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Inside Real Estate (Nov 25th, 2019)

1. While the aging of the Baby Boomers generation will increase the number of on-the-market homes, this won’t be a solution to the current housing shortage problem in some parts of the U.S., the Wall Street Journal explains. That outlet says that Gen Xers are a smaller population that generally doesn’t want to buy homes where boomers’ supply is. Many boomers’ homes are concentrated in “traditional retirement communities in Arizona and Florida,” and parts of the “Rust Belt," while younger homebuyers are still flocking to the coasts, the Journal says. Another problem is that the younger generation of potential homebuyers are less likely to buy homes at all since some are debt-burdened by student loans or have suffered from “stagnant income growth” for the last seven years. This mismatch of supply and demand may mean that some retirement communities will have to welcome younger populations or adjust their list prices. - WALL STREET JOURNAL

2.  A Huntsville, Alabama, apartment complex owned by the city's housing authority tested positive for high levels of radon, which is known to be a dangerous carcinogen. According to recent data, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the nation. Some public housing authorities have failed to fix this problem or have neglected to tell tenants about the potentially hazardous conditions. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers advice, tips and more for those living in HUD housing on its site. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

3. Former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Christopher Cox is selling his Laguna Niguel, California, estate for nearly $6.89 million. Cox —  who led the SEC under former President George W. Bush — reportedly purchased the property for $5.34 million in 2011. Built in 1989, the contemporary, 11,183-square-foot house features seven bedrooms, 8.5 baths, a craft room, wine cellar and media space. Among its notable features is a master suite with a second-floor balcony that overlooks the ocean. - REALTOR

4. A military family in San Antonio, Texas, said they suffered various ailments after living in what was dubbed the "Poop House” after sewage was found “swirling” eight inches under a room near the kitchen. The family’s residence on the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph — a United States military facility — is under investigation after former housing management company employees said they faked repair records to garner more bonuses for their employers. One employee at Balfour Beatty Communities said she was instructed to “change maintenance records to show repairs were done.” Hunt Military Communities, which operated more than 300 homes including the San Antonio family’s bile-infested residence, is currently facing a federal lawsuit. - SAN ANTONIO NEWS EXPRESS

5. The demolition of a historic Houston-area house is drawing ire from the community. Built in 1929, the Mediterranean-style house at 3300 East NASA Parkway in Pasadena, roughly 20 minutes south of Houston, is owned by NBA Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon. Before that it traded hands between Humble Oil, Rice University and NASA's Lunar Science Institute — when it served as a lab for scientists studying rocks brought back from the moon.  After years as a designated Texas Historic Landmark, the 17,000-square-foot estate was razed on Friday. While significant properties such as this one have protections inside Houston, this one did not qualify because it’s situated outside city limits, in an area that doesn’t provide defense from these types of demolitions. - HOUSTON CHRONICLE

6. A three-year investigation by Newsday reveals racial discrimination among some Long Island real estate agents. More than 90 agents were tested in 240 secretly recorded meetings and more than 5,760 home listings were analyzed. The study showed that 19 percent of Asians, 39 percent of Hispanics and 49 percent of African Americans were met with discriminatory behavior from agents. Long Island brokerages reportedly encouraged white home shoppers to pursue neighborhoods with mostly Caucasian representation, while minorities were pointed to "more integrated neighborhoods.” Some agents refused to provide home tours to minorities until they demonstrated proof of funds, while Caucasians were not subjected to the same financial inquiries. - NEWSDAY

7.  NBA star Shaquille O’Neal just launched an $80 million high-rise complex in Newark New Jersey, where the retired athlete was born. This new 22-story building, 50 Rector Park, boasts nearly 170 units, a gym, sky deck and an onsite co-working space. Rents range from $1,800 to $2,895 per month for studios, one- and two-bedroom homes. It is said to be the first high-rise built in Newark in more than 50 years. O'Neal cites his mother as the inspiration for the development’s launch after she told him “somebody needs to come by and invest in this city and make it beautiful again.” - ATLANTA BLACK STAR

8. A Little Rock, Arkansas, program that pays homeless people to pick up trash for $9.25 per hour just made it possible for one homeless man to afford his own apartment. When it was first pitched, the “Bridge to Work” initiative — launched by an Arkansas church — was planned for a six-month stint, but Mayor Frank Scott Jr. extended it through 2020. Other cities plan to debut similar programs that could help alleviate the current housing crisis in some states. - KTHV

9. Fox News host and prominent real estate investor Clayton Morris's former business partner, Herbert Whalen, was indicted on charges of real estate fraud. Whalen reportedly created fake leases and misrepresented the poor condition of homes he was selling. The charges against Whalen are similar to some claims made against Morris' firm, Morris Invest, but he was not specifically mentioned in this indictment.  - NEW YORK TIMES

10. YouTube star Doug DeMuro, known for his unusual and hyperbolic car reviews just bought a $1.72 million century-old San Diego home. The designated historic landmark is a quirky dwelling formerly owned by tetrachromatic artist Concetta Antico. DeMuro, who boasts more than 3.2 million YouTube subscribers, and his wife relocated from Philadelphia last year and rented before putting down roots at this Mission Hills estate. - VARIETY

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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