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Inside Real Estate (Nov 22nd, 2019)

1. Zillow plans to feature an “almost trade-in experience” with homes as it ramps up its iBuying service, Zillow Offers. Zillow co-founder Richard Barton said he anticipates that people will eventually be able to go to a Zillow Offers property, let themselves in with the app and "have a mortgage ready to go." He adds: "We have an offer ready for your house when you’re ready to transact and you, with one click, can decide to move.” Some critics, including "Big Short" investor Steve Eisman, argue that the home-listings marketplace doesn't understand the huge risks that come with buying and selling properties. Zillow’s year-to-date revenue is $745.2 million, up by 117 percent year over year. - CNBC

2. There are currently fewer homeless people living in Los Angeles than there are vacant housing units, according to a report released Tuesday by UCLA law students. More than 40,000 empty dwellings could house the city’s population of 36,000 people — and then some. The problem is most of these vacancies are high-end, luxury residences that are out of reach for numerous L.A. residents. Of the 10 upscale apartment buildings, according to the UCLA students' analysis, 70 percent were empty as of April 2019 and cost an average of $3,000 per month for a 1-bedroom unit. - LA-IST

3. Amazon just signed a lease for 612,000 square feet of industrial space in Livermore, California, to expand its Bay-Area operations. Amazon's new landlord is an affiliate of Orchard Partners, a veteran development agency. This new deal adds space to Amazon’s already expansive portfolio of Bay Area leases, which include three buildings on one nearby block that totals 343,000 square feet. Amazon’s Livermore lease demonstrates the “retailpocalypse-“ fueled changes in the commercial real estate landscape: instead of retail spaces being occupied in cities, vast warehouses are becoming increasingly desirable. - MERCURY NEWS

4. The number of millennials intending to eventually buy houses is decreasing, according to a new survey by Apartment List. One in five millennials anticipates that they will rent housing indefinitely — that rises to almost 15 percent among young renters living in the New York City area. The biggest impediment for prospective buyers in this demographic is the down payment: Only 10 percent of millennials have saved more than $10,000 for that costly upfront expense. Fewer than 20 percent of New York millennials are projected to have the means for a 20 percent down payment in the next five years. - BUSINESS INSIDER

5. “Avengers: Endgame” director Anthony Russo is swapping his understated midcentury-modern house for the palatial "Dynasty" mansion. The home's lily pond is where "Dynasty" character Krystal lunges at Alex, pushing her into the water. Russo bought the estate known for the infamous "Dynasty" fight for $25 million. That Pasadena residence is very different from the 1949 midcentury home Russo is hoping to sell for $2.185 million. He reportedly purchased the retro house in 2011 for $900,000, before it underwent a comprehensive remodel. Despite the renovation, this dwelling retains several original features, including well-preserved kitchen cabinetry and refinished hardwood floors. - REALTOR

6. California is home to 91 of the country's 125 most expensive housing ZIP codes. Property Shark analyzed home sales up to Nov. 5 and concluded that ZIP code 94027 in Atherton, California, takes the No. 1 spot with a median home sales price of $7 million. Also on the list are 90402 (Santa Monica); 90210 (Beverly Hills) and 90272 (Pacific Palisades). Overall the Bay Area has 55 neighborhoods on this ranking, the most ZIPs per region in California. According to this data, Los Angeles and areas in Orange County were home to more than 400,000 million-dollar houses. - OC REGISTER

7. The South Shore Villas Condominium Association in Long Island, New York threatened to fine a couple who live in the complex $150 because their 4-year-old son was playing outside. Homeowners association president Marie Dellafranca said it's not "safe for kids to play on common area grounds," adding that at least one condo owner complained about the "noisy fashion" with which the boy was playing. Critics of the association said it could be racially motivated, since the boy is the only Hispanic child being targeted. Law enforcement officer Robert Parker said the boy "happens to be the only Latino child. So that raises questions about the possible motive for something like that.” Dellafranca refutes that it has anything to do with race. - WPIX

8. Democratic state lawmakers in Michigan on Tuesday presented new bills that would prevent landlords from rejecting tenants whose income sources include "Section 8 vouchers, disability income, and veterans’ assistance.” Michigan is one of several states that have reported landlord discrimination against Section 8 aid recipients. Democratic bill sponsor and House Democratic floor leader Yousef Rabhi says: "Just because you have a Section 8 voucher doesn’t mean that you won’t be a good tenant.” One consequence of this type of discrimination is that low-income residents end up huddled in poorer neighborhoods, many of which don't enjoy the same level of school districts or maintenance that affluent communities receive.  - NPR MICHIGAN

9. An apartment building in Washington D.C.'s District’s NoMa neighborhood — dubbed Resa — is setting itself apart from has a "lagom-" style design. The Swedish word "lagom" translates to "just the right amount," since it was created with a strong work-life balance in mind. The 12-story structure at 22M St. NE offers 326 units and was developed to be a haven from work: its "neutral colors, organic and neutral materials, as well as natural light" enhance the apartments' peaceful atmospheres. Rents for this luxury tower start at $1,875 for a 452-square-foot studio and range up to nearly $3,900 for a two-bedroom, a 1,179-square-foot unit. Residents began filling vacancies in June. Among the Resa amenities are a pet spa, electric-car charging stations, heated pool and grilling areas. - WASHINGTON POST

10. Detroit's Bagley Mansion — which is on the national register of historic places — was just listed at $3.27 million. Built in 1880, the four-story mansion features 8,500 square feet of mixed-use commercial space, which is currently being leased by a bridal studio from Keasha Rigsby of "Say Yes to the Dress” fame. The mansion’s stained-glass windows and stone carvings recall some of its century-old details, while its fenced lot is convenient for parking space if its next occupant stays on the commercial side. - WXYZ 

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.

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