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Category Archive: ‘The Future’

Facebook RE Advertising

Advertising houses for sale on Marketplace can’t be far off now – will some sort of brokerage or mortgage services be next?

LINK

Last week, Facebook announced that U.S. users are able to search for housing rentals on its Marketplace platform. Like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace—which launched in 2016—lets users buy and sell items nearby.

Now, not only can you sell an old couch, but also you can search for apartments and houses based on things like location, price, size, the number of bedrooms, and even if an apartment is animal friendly.

The housing section will include “hundreds of thousands of rentals” that go beyond the individual listings previously posted by users. Facebook has partnered with sources like Apartment List and Zumper to pull in listings. Other people—think brokers, agents, and property managers—can also post properties available for rent. Landlords can add 360-degree photos to each listing so that interested renters can take a virtual tour.

“Marketplace is a popular place for people to look for a home to rent,” said Facebook’s Bowen Pan. “Now that we’re adding listings from Apartment List and Zumper, people can search even more options in the U.S. to find a place to call home. First with vehicles and now with housing rentals, we’re partnering with businesses to bring more ease and convenience for consumers.”

Facebook’s latest announcement is part of a larger plan to keep users in the app longer and to function as a one-stop commerce platform for food, shopping, and even job hunts. Recently, Facebook upgraded Marketplace to include used car ads, and the continued expansion is in direct competition to longtime sites like Craigslist.

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, The Future | 1 comment

Smart City

This is a fantastic idea for retirees who don’t need to worry about traveling to work every day – a futuristic city out in the boondocks!  Sun City in Phoenix was the first 55+ retirement community built in the country, and when in opened in 1960, it was way out of town at 99th Ave.

Bill Gates wants to build at the A on the map – which is 339th Avenue!  But he is proposing more than a retirement community – this plan is for the ‘smart city’ of the future.

LINK

Bill Gates is building a “smart city” in Arizona which will feature driverless cars and “cutting-edge” technology.

Belmont Partners, one of the Microsoft founder’s investment firms, has spent $80m (£61.1m) on buying and developing the new community near Tonopah, west of Phoenix.

Mr Gates’ goal is to create a smart city called Belmont on the nearly 25,000 acres of land.

Everything about Belmont will be “forward-thinking”, the company said in a statement.  A total 3,800 acres will be dedicated to office, commercial and retail space.  Another 470 acres will be used for public schools, and homes will be built on 80,000 acres of the land.

Arizona, which neighbors California, home to tech hub Silicon Valley, has long been trying to become the go-to place for innovative technology companies.

Mr Gates’ decision to build his new city in Arizona will be a major boost for the state which has lifted many rules on self-driving vehicles to become a tech hub.

Read More

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, The Future, Thinking of Building? | 5 comments

Rising Rents = More Homeless

Rising rents are the main culprit of the growing homeless problem:

http://www.cbs8.com/story/36773396/tech-housing-boom-creates-homeless-crisis-on-west-coast

An excerpt:

“I’ve got economically zero unemployment in my city, and I’ve got thousands of homeless people that actually are working and just can’t afford housing,” said Seattle City Councilman Mike O’Brien. “There’s nowhere for these folks to move to. Every time we open up a new place, it fills up.”

San Diego now scrubs its sidewalks with bleach to counter a deadly hepatitis A outbreak that has spread to other cities and forced California to declare a state of emergency last month. In Anaheim, home to Disneyland, 400 people sleep along a bike path in the shadow of Angel Stadium. Organizers in Portland lit incense at a recent outdoor food festival to cover up the stench of urine in a parking lot where vendors set up shop.

Homelessness is not new on the West Coast. But interviews with local officials and those who serve the homeless in California, Oregon and Washington – coupled with an Associated Press review of preliminary homeless data – confirm it’s getting worse. People who were once able to get by, even if they suffered a setback, are now pushed to the streets because housing has become so expensive.

All it takes is a prolonged illness, a lost job, a broken limb, a family crisis. What was once a blip in fortunes now seems a life sentence.

“Most homeless people I know aren’t homeless because they’re addicts,” said Tammy Stephen, 54, who lives at a homeless encampment in Seattle. “Most people are homeless because they can’t afford a place to live.”

Read full article here:

http://www.cbs8.com/story/36773396/tech-housing-boom-creates-homeless-crisis-on-west-coast

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, The Future | 1 comment

Lease-To-Own

This could pull demand forward – in Seattle, Atlanta, and Cleveland so far:

https://www.divvyhomes.com/

How does Divvy work?

Divvy is an innovative new option that combines the best of renting and owning. Our program is 3 years long, and allows you to rent with an exclusive option to buy, while simultaneously building real equity in your future home.

Our program has a few simple steps:

  • You pick your dream home.
  • Our investors buy the home on your behalf.
  • You’ll put a minimum of 2% down and sign a 3 year lease. Every month, a portion of your payment goes towards building equity.
  • Once your lease ends, your equity converts into a down payment, allowing you to get a mortgage and buy the remainder of the property. Or if you choose not to buy, our investors will sell the home and you’ll receive the full value of your equity at that time.
  • Divvy allows you to save up for a mortgage while sharing valuable appreciation, all while enjoying your future home today.

FAQs:

https://www.divvyhomes.com/faq

Hat tip to Drew!

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, The Future | 4 comments

Baby-Boomer Housing

These responses point to a massive downsizing trend!

From realtor.com:

LINK

It’s all about millennials these days. Everything seems to center around these special snowflakes. But what about the original “me” generation? We’re talking about baby boomers, of course. What do these roughly 76 million Americans want when it comes to housing?

Well, they want multicar garages, for one thing. According to a recent survey by national homebuilder PulteGroup, they were the top feature boomers were looking for in a new home, followed by open decks or patios; eat-in kitchens; and a private yard.

About 38% of boomers plan to buy a home within the next three years, according to the report. About 11% expect to purchase a residence within the year.

The survey was of 1,043 folks between the ages of 50 and 65 who plan to buy a home in the next decade.

“Retirement marks a new phase in a baby boomer’s life, and it only seems natural to relocate or move to a new home when transitioning away from their primary career, or from the day-to-day rearing of school-aged children,” Jay Mason, vice president of market intelligence for PulteGroup, said in a statement. “It’s not surprising that the 55+ buyer wants a variety of options and choices in their homes.”

According to the survey, 39% of respondents said the main reason they’re moving is because they want to retire, 33% want to downsize, and 30% want to move to a more desirable location.

“One thing we know about boomers is they are not done yet,” says Amy Lynch, president of Generational Edge, a Nashville, TN–based company that consults with companies on generational differences in employees. “As a group, they are starting encore careers and also going back to school. And they often move to be near their millennial kids, who are having kids.” They also start new families of their own, through divorce or remarriage.

All of these situations may require a move. About 26% of boomers plan to stay in their current cities, but just move to a different home, while 34% want to remain in the state, but in a different city or town. Also, 38% hope to cross state lines.

Their top retirement destination? You guessed it: Florida. It seems you just can’t beat all of that year-round sunshine. The state was followed by fellow warm-weather states Arizona, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The cost of living is lower in these states than on the pricier West Coast or in the Northeast.

About 82% of boomers wanted to be someplace affordable, and 74% want to be close to their preferred health care programs.

But boomers don’t want to just pack up and leave their grandchildren. Being close to kids was their top consideration when choosing a new community. They also want to be near the water and park or other green space.

“We are in a period in this country where family life and family connections are very strong,” says Lynch. “There’s a lot of regret among boomers because they worked so many long hours when their kids were young. With grandkids, there’s a chance to make up for that.”

Posted by on Oct 26, 2017 in Boomer Liquidations, Boomers, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Buzz, Market Conditions, The Future, Thinking of Buying?, Thinking of Selling?, This Is America | 11 comments

This Week’s Disrupter

Talk about buying the listing! This is the UK version of Opendoor, and they are tempting sellers with a promise of a 97% cash advance on their house.  This idea is fantastic, and operators could make a bundle, right up until the market flattens out or declines. Then what?

LINK

An excerpt:

Nested, the U.K. estate agent that provides a cash advance to help you buy a new house before you’ve sold your old one, has raised £36 million in further funding. The round was led by Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital, and brings the less than two year old startup’s total funding to just shy of £50 million. Buying and selling houses is a pretty capital intensive business, after all.

Launched in January 2016, Nested competes with high end estate agents by providing all of the services needed to sell your house, but with a key difference. In addition to handling valuation, marketing and sales, the startup will offer you up to 97 per cent of the market value of your property as a cash advance, that way you’re able you to purchase a new home prior to your old one selling.

Not only does this eliminate much of the stress and uncertainty of selling and buying a home, including what your final budget will be, but also ensures that you are never caught up in the dreaded property ‘chain’ and potentially miss out on your desired home, or are kept in limbo indefinitely waiting for your property to sell.

In return, Nested charges a fee from 2-4 per cent (plus VAT) depending on how long it thinks it will take to sell your home, and reduces that fee by half if it fails to sell the property for an amount above its initial valuation (something I’m told hasn’t needed to happen yet). The idea is to incentivise the startup to always try to get you the genuine market price or above. It is also slightly different to the original pricing model that saw Nested split the difference 70/30.

In a brief call, Nested co-founder Matt Robinson, who previously co-founded online payments company GoCardless, told me that the startup’s best sales funnel is people’s bad experience trying to sell their home with a competing agency. He framed the current market as online-only estate agents who are targeting the low end by charging a flat up front fee but with little guarantee they’ll go on to sell your home, and traditional brick ‘n’ mortar agents who no longer add as much value as they used to now that listings and market data has moved online.

LINK

Posted by on Oct 23, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, The Future, Thinking of Selling? | 3 comments

Malls to Housing

They should have thought of this at Mugger Mall in Carlsbad before throwing millions at it – hat tip daytrip:

In the San Fernando Valley, there are plans to level a nearly vacant mall and replace it with some 1,400 homes, boutique retail shops and a concert venue.

In Orange County, an aging mall will give way to a mixed-use development with more than 900 homes. And in the South Bay, hundreds of homes are planned to replace a struggling mall that opened in the mid-1980s.

An old adage implores investors to “buy land; they’re not making it anymore.” But in a way, in cities across the country, they are.

Acres of prime real estate are opening for redevelopment as America’s malls struggle to compete with Amazon and other online giants, offering developers a rare shot to remake swaths of land in the country’s built-out metropolises.

In particular, real estate experts say, the demise of retail centers provides one of the best chances to add needed housing in California’s urban regions, where a shortage has left nearly 30% of renters in the state paying more than half their income on housing.

“It’s a huge opportunity — probably one of the biggest,” said Adam Artunian, a vice president with John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Irvine.

The redevelopments are likely to face hurdles from residents concerned over the changing character of their neighborhoods, but as Americans increasingly buy T-shirts, purses and electronics online experts say something needs to be done with all the massive retail centers that popped up during the postwar era before they become neighborhood blights.

A recent report from Credit Suisse predicted the trend will result in 20% to 25% of America’s malls closing in the next five years.

Read full article here:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-retail-housing-20170929-story.html

Posted by on Sep 30, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Local Flavor, The Future, Thinking of Building? | 0 comments

Build More….3x More!

This article adds the numbers.  We need to build at least three times as many homes as we’ve been building to keep up with the growth – and no telling what that would do to prices, if anything:

http://www.cbs8.com/story/36420282/report-changes-needed-to-meet-san-diego-housing-demand

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – As the homeless population grows and rents balloon in San Diego, city officials Thursday announced a series of proposals to help alleviate the housing shortage over the next 10 years.

Numerous changes to city codes and procedures are required to meet the housing demand, according to a report presented to the City Council’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee.

Some of those changes include rezoning areas around transit hubs to increase density, converting unused industrial zones into residential areas and encouraging smaller unit sizes. Making use of vacant lots and easing some onerous parking requirements are also among the ideas identified in the report.

“This is an exciting step because it gives the city goals for the future, and it gives the city goals to be measured by,” San Diego Housing Commission President Richard Gentry said.

To meet the housing need in San Diego, as many as 220,000 new housing units will need to be built by 2028, the report said. The top annual production rate within the last 5 years has been of 6,400 units. Even with the solutions identified in the report, San Diego would have to bolster its production rate.

“To meet the projected needs for the city for the next 10 years, we will need to produce between 17,000 and 24,000 housing units per year — a dawning task but a worthy goal to be set,” Gentry said.

After the presentation, City Councilwoman Georgette Gomez worried that more units may not necessarily fix the housing crisis facing the region.

“I would love to work with the housing commission to look at the affordability of housing,” Gomez said. “I’m not a firm believer that just creating units is going to get to the actual issues that are in front of us.”

According to a staff report, the annual rate of housing construction has been well under half that of population growth over the past decade, creating a warped supply-and-demand situation that has prompted costs to skyrocket. The result is that half of San Diegans can’t find rental units they can afford and 60 percent can’t afford to purchase a home, according to the report.

“What we are doing is driving our kids and grandkids right out of town,” Councilman Scott Sherman said.

The report identified the communities of Skyline-Paradise Hills, Linda Vista, Otay Mesa, Clairemont Mesa and Navajo as the areas with the largest housing growth potential. As many as 74,000 units could be built all together in those five communities.

If all the suggestions in the report are carried out, that 10-year housing goal could be met or exceeded. Then hope later one is to keep that same production rate through 2028 to keep up with the expected population growth.

http://www.cbs8.com/story/36420282/report-changes-needed-to-meet-san-diego-housing-demand

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017 in Boomers, Builders, Jim's Take on the Market, Local Government, Market Conditions, The Future, Thinking of Building? | 1 comment