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Inside Real Estate (Dec 5th, 2019)

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1. Next year is anticipated to be a tough one for residential real estate, according to Realtor.com's 2020 forecast. Among its predictions: home prices will flatten, inventory will be tight (particularly for the entry-level market), mortgage rates will increase and buyers will chase affordability. The last prediction, the report states, will likely cause growth in mid-sized markets, since people will pursue better housing costs outside of the major metros. - CNBC

2. Princeton professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor said he believes the government’s role in protecting fair housing was undermined when it outsourced “developing, building, or managing any kind of housing program” to the private sector. In a Q&A with Vox, Taylor says that in order to close the disparity between Caucasian and African-American homeowners, the state will have to be more involved because the private sector will only widen the gap. One of the deep-rooted problems, he said, is that “property in white hands is valued more than property in black hands. So even when black people own property, it still does not accrue in value in the same way or at the same rate.” - VOX

3. Throwback Thursday: Remember in 2015 when the atheist community, United Church of Bacon — created by Penn & Teller fans — attempted to buy Penn Jillette’s Las Vegas home? The bacon worshippers aimed to build the “World's Largest Skeptic & Atheist Community Center.” The church’s efforts fell short: a crowdfunding effort to raise $500,000 ended up raising just $24,000 before the it was ultimately closed.

What's happened since: Jillette’s house sold for $1.8 million in 2016. Dubbed "The Slammer," the unique home is enclosed by concrete walls and features a 14-seat movie theater, recording studio, a lap swimming pool and a rooftop balcony with views of the Las Vegas strip. As one of the congregants once said, "praise the lard" for Jillette's postponed sale, it could've sold for well under market value just a year before. - LAS VEGAS SUN

4. Officials in Everett, Washington, on Wednesday considered a measure to provide homeless students shelter in single-family neighborhoods. A nonprofit organization called Housing Hope is collaborating with Everett Public Schools on a proposal to build between 34 and 50 apartment units for homeless students and their parents. These would be built on land owned by the school district. Residents of the neighborhoods in question say they support the measure, but they don't want these units built in their vicinity. One person said there's already housing "like this" in the area, and that children need "more opportunity than just this neighborhood." - KCPQ

5. Some military families are living in substandard conditions, with "mold, lead poisoning and rodent infestations,” while slumlords aren't being held accountable, a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says. At a Senate hearing held Tuesday, Sen. Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) said: "The GAO found that the often quoted 87 percent satisfaction rate is 'misleading and unreliable,' and that the records for resident requests for work orders and service calls are questionable.” Government officials must now decide if it should continue hiring the private companies that oversee military housing. - NEWSWEEK

6. Google just bought three Cisco office properties on Tasman Drive in San Jose, and reportedly plans to buy at least one other property in the area.  In total, Google has spent a reported $409.3 million on real estate in the area. This is expected to be a boon for the local employment landscape and one that should help grow the tech giant’s presence in San Jose and abroad: “The light rail line can connect these north San Jose campuses with the Google development downtown,” Dave Sandlin, an executive vice president with Colliers International, explained. Google's new purchases are at 175, 255, and 285 W. Tasman Drive. Google has also put in place an agreement to eventually also close on a building at 225 W. Tasman. - MERCURY NEWS

7. New records reveal that former Pixar president Ed Catmull in October purchased a $7 million Marin County in Mill Valley, California — roughly 14 miles north of San Francisco. The 3,617-square-foot farmhouse-style residence site on more than a quarter-acre. It was last sold for $2.35 million in 2008. Catmull’s new neighbors include director George Lucas and musician Jerry Garcia. - REALTOR

8. Market snapshot: Rents in Denver remained flat in November, with a 0.1 percent decline in rates from the previous month, according to a report from Apartment List. The year-over-year comparison was also steady, with a 0.7-percent rise. That puts the current monthly median rate for a one-bedroom rental in Denver at $1,069 and two-bedroom units at $1,353. - DENVER POST

9. A historic property in Clearwater, Florida — that was once the priciest property sold in that city — is back on the market for $13.9 million. According to public records obtained by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the estate at 802 Druid Road S. in Clearwater last sold for $11.18 million in 2017. The property includes a 16,000-square-foot house, two swimming pools, a 5,200-square-foot guest house and a sports court. Jennifer Zales and Martha Thorn, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate agents, are collaborating on the sale. - BUSINESS JOURNALS

10. At least 12 megamansions in Los Angeles will have to pay more than $1 million in annual property taxes. The Los Angeles Times has rounded up this exclusive collection of homes, which includes a mansion that sold for $85 million last year, that will owe $1.01 million in taxes to a  $94 million estate with a $1.36 million tax bill. - LOS ANGELES TIMES

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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