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Inside Real Estate (Nov 13th, 2019)

1. State officials in Texas broke ground Tuesday on a $200 million project to renovate Rusk State Hospital, which is part of $745 million allotment that Texas has pledged for revitalizing state psychiatric hospitals. According to Health and Human Services executive commissioner Dr. Courtney Phillips, the design of a behavioral facility can affect patients. Right now, some of the buildings used for this type of medical treatment are "literally crumbling and they were not laid out for mental health treatment," Senator Robert Nichols explained. Also planned for the funding is the construction of a new hospital in Houston, which is home to the largest medical center in the world. - KTRE

2. The wave of people moving to central or downtown areas of major metros is being led by the baby boomer generation, not millennials, according to Curbed. The Urban Land Institute’s latest Emerging Trends Report states that the number of downtown residents grew by more than 10 million people aged between 55 and 64 years old. The same sector shows 4.7 million 20- to 29-year-old residents moving closer to town. Both age groups are seeking the same features, Curbed explains, which include easy access to retailers and public transportation. Another contributing factor is the trend of boomers working past typical retirement age and preferring to stay active and social without the weight of large, suburban houses. - CURBED

3. Chicago's forthcoming mixed-use complex being built next to the Union Market food hall will feature 99 co-living apartments. The Highline at Union Market at 320 Florida Ave. NE will have ground-floor retailers and roughly 420 housing units, including the shared dwellings by co-living company Quarters. The Quarters will have two- to four-bedroom options that will come fully furnished. Included in the price of rent are professional cleaning, smart-home technology and all utilities. Some of the Quarters homes will have private restrooms, but most will share communal facilities with other tenants. - WASHINGTON POST

4. Rents in some pricey U.S. cities are finally becoming more affordable, but they’re still very expensive, according to new data. Among the cities where rents — as a percentage of income — are dropping include San Francisco, Oakland, California, Boston, Atlanta and Chicago, respectively. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, people should not spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. In San Francisco, for example, residents are putting nearly 40 percent of their paychecks toward rent. Rates in that city are notorious for their high prices: a one-bedroom apartment costs roughly $3,400 per month. As for markets where rent is becoming less affordable, Detroit tops the list: in 2015, residents were putting 36 percent of their incomes toward housing, that rose to 43 percent by 2018. Following Detroit are New Orleans, Long Beach, California; Memphis, Tennessee and San Antonio, Texas, respectively. - YAHOO FINANCE

5. At the other end of the rent spectrum: Numerous U.S. cities offer one-bedroom units priced at a mere $600 per month. On the roster are Youngstown, Ohio; Amarillo, Texas; Conway, Arkansas; Shreveport, Louisiana; Champaign, Illinois; and Greenville, Texas. At the bottom of the ranking is Rogers, Arkansas, where a one-bedroom apartment goes for just $510 per month. - MONEY

6. And rents aren’t just pricey in this country: the new average monthly rent in Ireland rose to €1,400, which is roughly $1,540 dollars per month. Dublin prices have more than doubled in the last decade — a whopping 125-percent increase — despite its lack of growth since 2012. This has contributed to the rise of homebuying, with parents steering their children toward mortgages instead of leases. Trinity College Dublin professor Ronan Lyons said the problem is a supply shortage due to how expensive it is to build in Ireland. He adds that this will likely lead to at least another decade of high rents, which is “not good news” for a country that draws those seeking affordable markets in which to set up businesses.  - THE JOURNAL

7. Some Realtors in Orange County, California, area are now professionally shooting and editing videos to attract affluent home shoppers. Some videos portray an aspirational lifestyle of luxury cars and opulent mansions. Others show more traditional at-home behavior, explains agent Ben Bacal: “I like to pull characters through the house and do something that makes it voyeuristic, where you can see the property.” So far, these films are proving to be more effective than ordinary marketing. Agent Ben Bacal — who had been creating these films since 2014 — sold a record-breaking $1.7 million property. - NEW YORK TIMES

8. Pop-star brothers Nick Jonas and Joe Jonas purchased $34.1 million worth of real estate within a 3-mile radius of Encino, a high-end area in Los Angeles. Nick Jonas and his wife, actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, paid roughly $20 million on a 20,000-square-foot property that features views of the mountains. Joe Jonas and his wife, "Game of Thrones" star Sophie Turner, snatched up a $14.1 million, 15,000-square-foot mansion that boasts a wine cellar, gym and home theater. - WALL STREET JOURNAL

9. Just two weeks after hitting the market, an Orinda, California, house designed by revered architect Olof Dahlstrand is already pending a sale. The rare, 1950s midcentury-modern house went was listed at $2.2 million and is just one of eight remaining residences created by Dahlstrand. Dahlstrand is known for drawing inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright who believed in developing buildings that are "in harmony with its natural environment.” - REALTOR

10. Market snapshot: There is a growing divide between income and housing affordability in Charleston, South Carolina, according to Post and Courier. Land prices are high in this city, so even new homes built for the the lower-end price range can be relatively pricey. The cost of land in Charleston has also deterred some builders from erecting too many new homes, since they don't want to be stuck with excess inventory. That’s negatively impacted supply, which has driven prices up. - POST AND COURIER

Written and curated by Darla Guillen Gilthorpe. Darla writes for the Houston Chronicle, where she was part of its 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist staff. She was previously an editor at Vox Media site Eater and has had bylines in Elle Decor, SFGate and various other outlets. Follow her on Twitter here.

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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