Archive for December, 2014

Existing Home Sales Weaken Despite Job Growth

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a story that looks at a month-to-month decline in existing home sales that came as a surprise to the experts:

Existing-home sales declined 6.1% in November from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. That was the lowest level since May.

November’s sales were 2.1% higher than a year ago and followed a particularly strong October, when sales reached their highest level of the year.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun called last month’s decline puzzling given strong job creation, rising consumer confidence, low interest rates and near-record stock-market levels. “Factors for improving home sales are rising,” Mr. Yun said. “Today’s decline, which is a large decline, is a bit puzzling, and I think it will be a one-month aberration.”

That could be true, but if the Fed raises short term interest rates next year as expected then borrowing costs could go up. In many markets there’s also a tight supply of homes which leads to an increase in prices. Finally, many of the jobs that are being created are lower-paying. Combine all that and you what you get is a recipe for continued weakness on the home buying front, which is probably good news for the apartment industry.



December 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm Leave a comment

Stove Top Fire Suppression Systems

WFMY has a story about stove top fire suppression systems – the system featured in the story is $50/unit – and how the Greensboro Housing Authority is going to install them in all their units.


December 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm Leave a comment

Burdensome Housing Regulations Contributing to Migration to “Red States”?

An interesting piece at highlights the role that overly-restrictive zoning is playing in the exodus from “Blue” states to “Red” states:

Whatever else Blue America has going for it, it’s done a terrible job of generating enough housing supply to accommodate all the people who might like to live there. So in addition to the traditional southward migration of retirees, you now see a substantial net population flowaway from richer areas in the Northeast and the California coast to the relatively low-wage economies of Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia. For many working- and middle-class Americans, the lower cost of living makes a decisive difference…

Incidentally, the widespread nature of the high coastal housing cost problem should give pause to the people who insist that it has nothing to do with zoning and is all about absentee foreign billionaires.

Most foreign buyers are Canadians looking for vacation homes someplace sunny. And while the Russian billionaire seeking a Manhattan pied-à-terre is a real phenomenon, it’s a stretch to imagine that foreign playboys are the ones bidding up the price of houses in Bergen County or Bethesda. The fact that overregulation of the land use sector is driving people out of blue states (and costing the national economy billions in the process) doesn’t mean that red states’ aversion to regulation is right across the board. But it is a real — and really big — failure of the political economy of American liberalism, and it’s something liberals ought to take more seriously.

December 15, 2014 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

Apartments Proposed for Adaptive Reuse Project in Mt. Airy

From the Triad Business Journal:

The Landmark Group presented its plans, which call for an 80-unit development expected to cost up to $10 million, to the city redevelopment commission, the Mount Airy News reported. The project would use six of the 22 buildings at the former Spencer’s Inc. property.

The development would be an affordable housing complex with one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Landmark officials want to make the project a public-private partnership and hope to use mill tax credits, the newspaper reported.

December 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

Making Space

Here’s a pretty cool system for optimizing space in a tiny apartment:

December 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment


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