Newark is a surprisingly good fit

From Yahoo Finance:

Why Newark could be perfect for Amazon’s new headquarters

New York, San Francisco and Denver have all been heralded as the best city for Amazon’s new second headquarters, HQ2.

But what about Newark?

Yes, the city in New Jersey. The state, like many others trying to land the estimated 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion in investment, plans to submit a bid by the Oct. 19 deadline. And Newark is the state’s best chance of winning. If you peruse Amazon’s eight-page request for proposals, Newark meets all the minimum criteria outlined.

New Jersey’s largest city is accessible to tech talent (it’s home to New Jersey Institute of Technology, abuts Rutgers University, is about 60 minutes away from Princeton University, and is a brief commute from New York City’s major academic institutions), has an airport and several other transit links (train lines, interstate highways and ports), and maybe most importantly, has affordable shovel-ready sites for the eventual 8 million-square-foot, $5 billion complex that would rival Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.

“Newark has a world-class port and a depth of resources,” says Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, former New Jersey state treasurer who wrote an opinion piece earlier this week touting Newark’s worthiness. “At the same time, it does not have the kinds of pricing pressures [real estate and living costs] that would be a barrier somewhere else.”

Amazon already has a foothold in Newark. In 2008, Amazon acquired Newark-based Audible, an online seller of audiobooks, for $300 million. It has since maintained the subsidiary’s headquarters there. In fact, Audible is redeveloping a historic church in the city for its new home.

And that’s just a fraction of Amazon’s presence in New Jersey. The company has taken more space there than in neighboring states New York or Connecticut. In the past five years, Amazon has built more than 5 million square feet of warehousing/distribution space and has 13,000 full-time employees in New Jersey, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Services.

While Newark is located north of these Amazon facilities, it could be an ideal location because it is going through somewhat of a revitalization. (In the past, Newark has been plagued by crime, poverty and high unemployment.) Some $2 billion worth of real estate development, including 2,000 units of housing, is planned or underway in the city.

Among those projects is developer Lotus Equity Group’s redevelopment of the Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, which will be transformed into an 8-acre mixed-use project with office and housing.

Posted in Economics, New Development, New Jersey Real Estate | 69 Comments

Choking the market

From MarketWatch:

Existing-home sales fall in August for the fourth time in five months

Existing-home sales in August dropped for the fourth time in five months as real-estate agents continue to blame a lack of available homes to buy.

The National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales fell 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.35 million, the worst level in 12 months.

Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a 5.44 million pace.

Total housing inventory at the end of August declined 2.1% to 1.88 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 6.5% lower than a year ago.

That limited inventory has helped stoke prices — the median existing-home price in August was $253,500, up 5.6%.

Posted in Housing Bubble, Housing Recovery, National Real Estate | 140 Comments

Does anyone really want Amazon?

From the Philly Inquirer:

Beware, Philadelphia: Amazon could drive up housing prices

When Amazon announced its search for a second North American headquarters, government officials, developers, and residents in cities nationwide embraced the prospect as decidedly good news.

Including many in Seattle.

While cities began immediately plotting ways to reel in the online retail giant, Seattle, for the first time in years, was catching its breath. After years of skyrocketing real estate prices, unprecedented development, and a record-breaking number of cranes in the sky as a result of Seattle’s tech boom, Amazon’s plan to expand elsewhere offered the city, finally, a reprieve.

Granted, Amazon’s presence has been extraordinary for Seattle. Since the company began building its campus there a decade ago, Amazon has provided jobs, investment, and a reputation that Seattle never could have imagined. Today, 40,000 well-paid employees bustle around the company’s urban campus. Amazon has built and rented 8.1 million square feet of downtown office space. At least $3.7 billion has been invested in the local economy. And Amazon’s presence has persuaded other tech companies — Uber, Airbnb, and Zillow — to locate in the city.

But with prosperity have come profound costs. By some measures, Seattle has become the fifth-most-expensive U.S. city and the ninth-priciest worldwide. The median price of a single-family home or condo in Seattle was $522,000 in August, according to real estate company Redfin, a 67 percent spike from April 2010, when Amazon opened its headquarters. Last month, the median rent for a one-bedroom jumped to $1,380, according to Apartment List. And a Seattle Times analysis found that Amazon occupies 19 percent of Seattle’s office space — putting more pressure on office rental prices, some argue.

Yet Amazon’s impact on Seattle’s housing market is undeniable, raising the question: Could Amazon create the same affordability crisis in its next location?

“Every city will be confronted with this if Amazon chooses it,” said Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist. But, “it gives cities the opportunity to define it. … To talk [in their proposals] about how the city could manage this growth.”

Posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, New Jersey Real Estate, Philly | 68 Comments

Best places to live in America

From Money via the Star Ledger:

These 4 N.J. towns are ‘the best places to live in America’ (or so Money magazine says)

MONEY magazine’s annual “Best Places to Live in America” list features four towns in New Jersey this year.

Each year, the magazine’s editors determine the rankings by weighing data like crime risk, median household income and ethnic diversity. The list was limited to no more than four places per state, no more than two per county, and one place per state in the top 15.

#8 – North Arlington – Besides its location about 15 miles from Wall Street, North Arlington’s proximity to the Meadowlands Sports Complex and MetLife Stadium was a factor in the decision to place it on the list.

Riverside County Park’s attractions also were weighted into the highest rating for a New Jersey town on the list.

#24 – Saddle Brook – Saddle Brook, with a population just higher than 13,000, is one of the smaller locales in the North Jersey region featured in the list.

It’s even closer to New York City, with an average commute time listed as 23 minutes.

#33 – Parsippany Troy Hills – Parsippany-Troy Hills is back on the list after being ranked last year. It was also ranked in 2014. With multiple corporations including Jackson Hewitt and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts being headquartered here, the township ranked well economically.

The town’s bustling art scene and 25 parks were also favored in the selection. It also features Craftsman Farms, shown above, a school for the arts & crafts movement and now a museum.

#36 – Clifton – The Sopranos was shot here, the top-ranked hot dog in New Jersey is sold here, and besides the attractions and reputation, Clifton offers “a winning mix of affordability and access,” the MONEY rankings say.

Posted in New Jersey Real Estate | 200 Comments

Noticing some extra room these days?

From the Star Ledger:

Worry as Census says N.J.’s population shrank for the first time in years

New Jersey may have lost population for the first time in a decade, new data shows, potentially imperiling economic growth and the number of Congressional seats it holds in the coming years.

New estimates from the American Community Survey suggest New Jersey lost about 13,000 people from 2015 to 2016, which would reverse several years of slow growth since the state was decimated by the housing crisis in the mid-to-late-2000s.

Experts were wary of making too much of the figure, noting that it was an estimate and only a slight decrease, but said it points to a broader trend — New Jersey isn’t growing.

“When you have strong population growth, like in Texas for example, those new people need places to live, places to shop. All of that benefits jobs, benefits the economy,” said James Hughes, a professor at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. “If you don’t have that, you’re certainly going to have limited economic growth.”

Analysis by NJ Advance Media shows about 226,000 people moved out of the state between 2015 and 2016, about 30,000 less than the total who moved to the Garden States from within the country and abroad.

With a historically low birth rate, New Jersey’s growth has hinged upon immigration for several years. But the number of people leaving keeps growing, stagnating the state’s population on the cusp of nine million.

“My gut says that much of the stagnation we continue to see is driven by a combination of factors,” said Jon Whiten, Vice President of New Jersey Policy Perspective. “Among them would certainly be the broad trend away from sprawl and unchecked suburban development, which was New Jersey’s stock in trade for some time.”

Data shows that trend continued in 2016, while Atlantic County and rural counties in South Jersey also struggled with population retention.

“For a long time, we had a lot of automobile-centric growth. Rail now determines ecomic opportunity. That’s a fundamental change,” Hughes said.

Posted in Demographics, Economics, New Development, New Jersey Real Estate | 63 Comments

Will flat fee take off? (probably not)

From CNBC:

No more 6% commission – these brokers will sell your house for a flat fee

In an increasingly crowded and competitive real estate market, brokers are messing with traditional models, and that could mean big savings for sellers and buyers.

For decades, the 6 percent commission for real estate agents has been pretty standard, but then came 2 percent and 1 percent offers from new brokerages, and now, just a flat fee.

London-based Purplebricks, which is barely 3 years old, launched its new U.S. business in Los Angeles on Friday, after raising $60 million in special stock offering.

It offers the full services of a regular real estate brokerage for just $3,200. That includes professional photography, 3-D virtual tours, help with staging, home tours and listings on all the major online platforms.

Buyers who choose Purplebricks as their agent will receive a $1,000 rebate on closing. The model has been successful in the U.K., and the company expanded into Australia in 2016.

“I think what’s great about our model is it’s new in the U.S., but it has been proven in the U.K. within three years,” said Eric Eckardt, Purplebricks’ U.S. CEO. “When they launched in the U.K., they weren’t the first flat-fee model, but the way they approached the market, with a full hybrid offering, with the customer service from listing to closing, with a local real estate professional to provide all the services associated with that — it has really been a competitive differentiator.”

Purplebricks is not the first flat-fee model in America. Reali recently launched in San Francisco with much the same offering but a higher flat-fee of $4,950, likely because of San Francisco’s higher median home price. It is now expanding to Sacramento, California.

“The differentiation we make is not just our agents or fees,” said Reali CEO Amit Haller. “We created significant technology and a strong efficiency of our agents. That’s what allows us to reduce costs so significantly at the consumer level.”

Haller said that as his company reaches other, lower-priced markets, the flat fee may decrease.

Both Reali and Purplebricks focus heavily on technology, which is taking over the real estate business in general. Haller started in tech and then moved to real estate.

“In general, the real estate market is being disrupted by many people, and I think that many of us, as a company, we expect a lot. We are going after the same war,” Haller said. “We want to change things for the consumer.”

Posted in National Real Estate | 62 Comments

NJ Income Jumps to #3 Nationwide

From the Star Ledger:

N.J. shoots up the state income rankings, reverses depressing trend

New Jersey households made $76,126 last year, a 4 percent growth over 2015, according to recently released Census data.

The growth shot New Jersey from the fifth-ranked state in the nation to third, behind only Maryland and Alaska. The state far outperformed the national median of $57,617.

Its income growth between 2015 and 2016 was sixth in the nation, which marked a drastic shift. New Jersey was dead last in income growth between 2014 and 2015.

The increase in median income last year was “nothing to sneeze at,” said Jon Whiten, vice president of think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective.

“But we’re not out of the woods — it’s still lower than it was in the pre-recession peak,” he said.

The average household income in 2008, adjusted for inflation, was $78,992.

Posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, New Jersey Real Estate | 145 Comments

The biggest barrier to starter homes – zoning laws and NIMBY

From HousingWire:

Trulia: Housing market fails to produce what buyers really want

The gap between the homes consumers want and the homes available for sale continues to grow in many markets across the U.S., according to the latest Mismatched Markets report from Trulia.

In order to examine the widening gap, Trulia compared home searches with for-sale inventory on Trulia between April and June of 2017, and compared it with that same period last year.

The data showed potential homebuyers continue to struggle when looking for starter and trade-up homes, but expensive luxury homes are flooding into the market. Trulia’s national mix-match score for all homes increased from 92 last year to 14.7.

The total share of starter and trade-up homes dropped to 45.8% this year, down from last year’s 46.5%, even as the share of searches for these homes increased from 55.6% to 60.5% during the same time period.

As starter and trade-up homebuyers see falling number of homes available, with shortfalls of 8 and 6.7 percentage points respectively, luxury homes saw a surplus of 14.7 percentage points nationally.

Posted in Demographics, Economics, National Real Estate, New Development | 79 Comments

The New Weehawken

From the Star Ledger:

How the hottest real estate market in N.J. literally divided this tiny town

Seemingly everyone knew this tiny cliffside town — all 1.4-square miles of it — would one day become a dynamic real estate market.

Barbara Tulko, a Weehawken resident since 1974 and a realtor since 1984, remembers diverting bubbly first-time buyers in the 1980s looking to live in Hoboken up to neighboring Weehawken. It had the same key features the more well-known community had — views and easy access to Manhattan — but was less crowded and considerably less expensive.

Mary Ciuffitelli, a 37-year Weehawken resident, would advertise various properties she owned as the “extreme West side” — because it was nearly an extension of Manhattan.

But in 2017, Weehawken requires no diversionary tactics or aggressive sales pitches.

Because of demand from buyers who have been priced out of New York City, Hoboken and Jersey City — and who are now scooping up luxury waterfront condos — median home values in the town of under 15,000 residents increased nearly 25 percent over the last year. It’s the highest surge in the state.

Median home values are now at $757,500, compared to $488,000 in 2012, and Zillow predicts that figure will hit $809,000 by July 2018. The price continues to rise as a surge of waterfront development has taken place in the town through which the Lincoln Tunnel and it’s daily 50,000 number of drivers pass, including construction of The Estuary (589 rental units), The Avenue Collection (177 condos), and RiversEdge (236 units) and RiverParc (280 units).

Yet the spoils of gentrification are rarely evenly distributed — and a closer look at the boom in Weehawken reveals tensions and fault lines. In a town where 55 percent of students in their school system are on free or reduced lunch, the largest property value increases have largely been concentrated near the waterfront.

And with the cliffs of the Palisades sharply dividing longtime residents, who live at higher, inland elevations and share a western border with Union City, from new city transports down along the Hudson River, some say that the town has split into two.

“You could say you know everyone in Weehawken,” says Enrique Romero, who grew up there. “Before you go down there.”

“We created now a new city,” says Gabe Pasquale, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Landsea Homes, one of the developers of the waterfront.

Posted in Gold Coast, Housing Recovery, New Development | 254 Comments

Will rent control hinder Newark redevelopment?

From the Star Ledger:

Residents win rent control battle; landlords face steeper hurdle to raise rents

Landlords looking to raise rents on rent-controlled buildings will have to meet a higher threshold to do so under new measures passed by the city this week.

The City Council approved a resident-sponsored initiative to tighten rent control laws, last week. The measure requires a landlord spend 12 months worth of rent to rehabilitate a vacant apartment in order to raise rent by up to 10 percent.

“From the perspective of ensuring that we maintain housing affordability from every level, from low-income through moderate-income, the rent control ordinance is another extremely important piece of the puzzle to do that,” said Richard Cammarieri, a housing advocate who works at New Community Corporation.

Homes for All Newark, a coalition of housing advocates and renters, collected enough signatures to submit a ballot initiative to the city last month requesting these changes. If the council failed to approve the measure, it’d be up to the voters to decide.

The rent control measure essentially reverses changes South Ward Councilman John Sharpe James proposed early this year. In March, the council agreed to lower the amount a landlord must spent in rehabilitation costs to raise rents: Eight months worth of a unit’s rent would allow a landlord to raise rent by 20 percent. The new legislation caps increases at 10 percent.

Cammarieri said rent control changes were one part of making sure the city remained affordable amid new waves of development. The city is also pushing an inclusionary zoning ordinance requiring new developments to set aside low- and moderate-income units.

Posted in New Development, New Jersey Real Estate | 46 Comments

Get out your wallets

From CNBC:

Almost half of top US housing markets are ‘overvalued’

It will come as no surprise to anyone out house hunting today — buying a home is becoming ever more difficult to afford.

Prices just keep soaring while incomes fail to keep pace. Even historically low mortgage rates are not helping enough. At the end of July, of the top 50 markets, based on housing stock, 46 percent were overvalued, according to CoreLogic.

A market is considered overvalued when home prices are at least 10 percent higher than the long-term, sustainable level. On the flip side, 16 percent of markets in the report were listed as undervalued and 38 percent came in fairly valued.

Home prices came in 6.7 percent higher in July, compared with the same month a year ago. A record-low supply of homes for sale keeps driving prices; the supply at the end of July was 9 percent lower compared with a year ago and has been shrinking steadily for nearly three years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“Home prices in July continued to rise at a solid pace with no signs of slowing down,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The combination of steadily rising purchase demand along with very tight inventory of unsold homes should keep upward pressure on home prices for the remainder of this year. While mortgage interest rates remain low, affordability cracks are emerging.”

Price appreciation is strongest in the Pacific Northwest and in Denver, where some of the tech industry has migrated, ironically because Northern California housing became so expensive.

“The sharp increase in prices in Washington and Utah has been especially striking, with home price growth in both states accelerating by 3 percentage points since the beginning of this year,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic.

Even Las Vegas, where homes lost more than half their value during the housing crash, is now considered overvalued. Washington, D.C., Miami and Houston are also on that list, although Houston home values will surely be hit hard by Hurricane Harvey.

Posted in Demographics, Economics, National Real Estate | 101 Comments

Dynamics right for a bubble? Or is it different this time?

From the NY Post:

Are we headed for another housing collapse?

One decade after the biggest housing collapse in America’s history led to a global recession, could we be facing another crisis?

“Not happening,” says Burns, adding that the 2007 housing crash “was based on lending practices which have since been cleaned up.”

Many industry experts agree. The subprime mortgages that targeted borrowers with less-than-perfect credit and led to financial turmoil 10 years ago do not play a role in today’s real estate market.

“When you talk about a bubble, you think of people being really exhilarated and excited and prices going way up. We don’t see that now,” says Annie Cion Gruenberger, who has been a New York City broker with Warburg Reality for 28 years. “We have a very positive market, but a targeted market of smart buyers.”

So what do high price tags and low supply mean, if not economic catastrophe?”

The 2007 collapse spooked home builders so much, they didn’t want to build anything but high-end properties. That drove up house prices and made it harder for people to buy starter homes.

Meanwhile, the market was split into two halves: places such as Las Vegas, where development was overstretched and unsustainable, and which is still struggling to bounce back; and places such as Portland, Ore., and Silicon Valley, where NIMBY regulations limit how much construction can happen, meaning fewer homes available to buy. As a result, there’s a real lack of housing where the jobs are.

NAR’s Fears points to a number of trends: First, homeowners are staying in place longer, limiting the number of existing homes for sale. Low unemployment rates are keeping them from leaving town in search of work. High home prices are inspiring them to remodel rather than relocate within their communities, if they want a different kind of house. First-time buyers who can afford it might buy a home that can accommodate two kids instead of one, precluding a move a couple years after their purchase. Grandparents are staying put to live near their kids, rather than flying off to retirement far away.

In March, William Poole, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, wrote a column for cnn.com, pointing to concerns about the country’s two biggest mortgage lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “In Freddie’s 2016 Annual Report, the agency says 36 percent of its obligations are ‘credit enhanced,’ meaning they carry mortgage insurance of one sort or another, which is typically used for weaker mortgages,” Poole wrote. “If these weak subprime mortgages begin to fail in large numbers, so also will the insuring companies.”

Jonathan Miller, a real estate analyst at Miller Samuel, is unmoved by such arguments. He says the average buyer today has an average credit score “well above 700. They are some of the highest average credit scores in history.” He added that any subprime failures would be offset by the quality of most American borrowers being “unusually high.”

Posted in Housing Bubble, Housing Recovery, National Real Estate | 132 Comments

That was fast…

From the NYT:

The Urban Revival Is Over

For all the concern about the gentrification, rising housing prices and the growing gap between the rich and poor in our leading cities, an even bigger threat lies on the horizon: The urban revival that swept across America over the past decade or two may be in danger. As it turns out, the much-ballyhooed new age of the city might be giving way to a great urban stall-out.

Starting around the turn of the millennium, young, affluent professionals began pouring into the cores of big cities, reversing generations of white flight. Unlike their parents and grandparents, these new urbanites embraced the energy and authenticity — and the ethnic, racial and sexual diversity — that are emblematic of cities. Established corporations and high-flying tech start-ups followed suit. The urban revival has been so thoroughgoing that it has even engendered a new crisis of success, whose symptoms are runaway gentrification, soaring housing prices and a widening income gap between newcomers and longtime residents.

But even as people and companies continue to pour into cities, signs that the tide has crested are emerging.

While many, if not most, large cities grew faster than their suburbs between 2000 and 2015, in the last two years the suburbs outgrew cities in two-thirds of America’s large metropolitan areas, according to a detailed analysis of the latest census data by the demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution. Fourteen big cities lost population in 2015-16 compared with just five in 2011-12, with Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, hemorrhaging the most people.

Over this same period, the suburbs of Sun Belt cities like Charlotte, N.C.; Orlando and Tampa, Fla.; and Denver gained population. Low-density suburban counties are once again the fastest-growing parts of the nation, according to a deep dive into America’s 3,000-plus counties by the urban economist Jed Kolko, outpacing the growth rates of dense urban counties by a large measure in 2016, when they posted their fastest growth rates since the housing crisis of 2008.

Posted in Demographics, National Real Estate, New Development | 34 Comments

That time when Vernon was cool, until it wasn’t.

From the Record:

Remembering Hugh Hefner’s Great Gorge Playboy Club

There was much excitement for miles around the North Jersey area when Hugh Hefner built and officially opened The Great Gorge Playboy Club in Vernon in 1972. Some were excited about the top entertainment and gourmet food that would be available. Others were overjoyed at the amount of local jobs that were being created.

My own favorite memories are of swimming in the luxurious Olympic-sized outdoor swimming pool. The club also had an indoor pool and Jacuzzis that also were crowd-pleasers. The buffet with its variety of food was amazing too.

Every newspaper was filled with news around the grand opening of the multi-million dollar resort complex. Descriptions were that the building was “natural” in the mood created by the décor and windows – giving a feeling of being outdoors when one was inside. Public areas included the VIP room, Playmate Bar, Sidewalk Café, a deli, the Living Room and a discotheque. A sauna and health center were available too. A wading pool was available for children who came to the resort with their parents.

The top entertainers of the day performed. Some of those who initially come to my mind are Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Frankie Avalon, Pearl Bailey, Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, Diahann Carroll, Johnny Cash, Sammy Davis Jr. Duke Ellington, Englebert Humperdinck, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Johnny Ray, The Supremes, Dionne Warwick – they all were there.

The hotel was sold to the Americana chain in 1982. Reports at the time said the resort had been losing money for years.

Later, sold again it was turned into the Seasons Hotel. Still later Seasons was sold to Metairie Corp. which turned into the Legends Resort and Country Club. The hotel has been derelict and permanently closed to public operations for many years.

In February 2017 Vernon Township began to evict low-income full -ime residents of the hotel. Township officials said the owner rented rooms out illegally and that health and safety issues had to be addressed.

There was a murder at the site in 2008. A 36-year-old Oklahoma man who was living at Legends Resort while working on the pipeline project was found dead on a sidewalk outside the resort at 3 a.m. There were arrests and two brothers from Port Jervis, N.Y., were charged with first-degree murder.

Those who remember the elegant, classy Playboy Club of the 1970s would not recognize it today. Its present condition is a sad site for those of us who remember the club in its prime years. We will continue to treasure those memories and still visualize the original Playboy Club and Hotel of Vernon as it was. How lucky we were to have experienced it!

Posted in New Jersey Real Estate, North Jersey Real Estate | 9 Comments

Pending sales now down 4 out of 5 months

From HousingWire:

Pending home sales decrease slightly in July

Pending home sales dropped slightly in July, marking the fourth decrease in the past five months, according to the latest Pending Home Sales Index report from the National Association of Realtors.

The index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 0.8% to 109.1 in July. This is down from a downwardly revised 110 in June, and down 1.3% from last year. This marks the third annual decrease in the past four months.

“With the exception of a minimal gain in the West, pending sales were weaker in most areas in July as house hunters saw limited options for sale and highly competitive market conditions,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

“The housing market remains stuck in a holding pattern with little signs of breaking through,” Yun said. “The pace of new listings is not catching up with what’s being sold at an astonishingly fast pace.”

Yun explained the national median home sales price rose 38% over the past five years, however hourly wages increased just 12%. This trend continues to place pressure on affordability in some markets. But NAR’s report showed the slowdown in existing sales since spring is the result of a supply problem and not one of diminished demand.

“Buyer traffic continues to be higher than a year ago, the typical listing has gone under contract within a month since April, and inventory at the end of July was 9% lower than last July,” Yun said.

“The reality, therefore, is that sales in coming months will not break out unless supply miraculously improves,” he said. “This seems unlikely given the inadequate pace of housing starts in recent months and the lack of interest from real estate investors looking to sell.”

Posted in Housing Recovery, National Real Estate | 56 Comments