Real Estate Market Bulletin Blog

The latest news about the Massachusetts Housing Market
June 7, 2009

Most Expensive Real Estate Markets For 2009

Author: admin - Categories: Real Estate News, home sales trends, real estate trends

The only United States location to find its way onto the list of most expensive real estate markets for 2009 was New York City coming in at an average price per square meter of $14,989. It should come as no surprise that Monte Carlo comes in first place more than three times more expensive per square meter than New York City at $47,578.

London and Moscow come in at a close 2nd and 3rd. Both coming in at just above $20,000 per square meter for real estate. The price index was based off of a 120 sq. m. good condition high-end apartment in 110 cities around the world.

Most expensive property markets

(based on 120 sq. m. apartment in city-centre )

RANK COUNTRY CITY/REGION AVE PRICE (US$/sq. m.)
1 Monaco Monte Carlo 47,578
2 Russia Moscow 20,853
3 UK London 20,756
4 Japan Tokyo 17,998
5 Hong Kong Hong Kong 16,125
6 USA New York 14,898
7 France Paris 12,122
8 Singapore Singapore 9,701
9 Italy Rome 9,166
10 India Mumbai 9,163

As you can see from the table, several Asian cities have been on the rise in the past several years. Tokyo and Hong Kong came in 4th and 5th respectively overtaking Paris and Rome a phenomenon that has taken place only several times in the past half a decade.

For those who are bargain hunters, some of the cheapest real estate was detailed as well. The cheapest coming in at just $574 per square meter was found in Cairo, Egypt. In general the cheapest real estate was found in the Middle East, Asian and Latin America. It’s interesting to note that some of the cheapest real estate is found in Asia as well as some of the most expensive.

Least expensive property markets

(based on 120 sq. m. apartment in city-centre)

RANK COUNTRY CITY/REGION AVE PRICE (US$/sq. m.)
112 Egypt Cairo 574
111 India Bangalore 657
110 Chile Concepción 669
109 Ecuador Quito 820
108 China Chengdu 999
107 Nicaragua Managua 1,080
106 Indonesia Jakarta 1,102
105 Jordan Amman 1,150
104 Peru Lima 1,154
103 Chile Santiago 1,221

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June 1, 2009

Real Estate Internships on the Decline

Author: admin - Categories: Employment, Real Estate News

In the current market it should come as no surprise that paid and unpaid real estate internships are becoming harder and harder to find.  Interns are typically viewed as expendable to companies and in the current economic downturn it seems only natural to cut back on hiring interns.  But could this initiave hurt companies more than they know?  Interns are often hired as full-time entry level employees upon graduation since they already know the philosophy, mission, and environment of the companies they interned for.  However without this natural progression, companies will be hiring their new employees from a much bigger pool of potentially lesser qualified individuals.

College students in Texas attending Texas Christian University are finding it harder and harder to get their foot in the door in the Real Estate Market.  Kelly Faerber, a senior majoring in TCU’s real estate market was lucky to get an internship with N3 Real Estate, saying ““I talked to a lot of companies and a lot of them said they are having to cut back, but I think students see how important it is to get the experience…I would much rather not get paid and get the experience than have to miss out on the opportunity.”

Glen Hahn, the CEO of Fort Worth-based Innovative Developers Inc. commented on the situation saying “We have offered an internship for several years, but what we’re seeing different this year is the number of activities that we have for an intern to do, we want the experience to be productive for that intern; be able to bring them in and show them the inner workings of a real estate development company and give them some job experience. But at the moment, our number of new projects has skinnied down a little bit, so it’s disappointing, but I don’t know that we’ll have an intern this year.”

Real Estate isn’t the only market where students are struggling to attain internships but it certainly is one of the hardest hit markets in this economy making it increasingly difficult for interns to get their foot in the door.

Read more here

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May 22, 2009

Is it the Right Time to Buy?

Author: admin - Categories: Foreclosures, Lending Rate, Real Estate News, homeowners

The real estate market of today is an amalgamation of foreclosures, bank owned homes, and distressed sellers.  These circumstances have lead to unbelievable deals financially for those willing to make a quick decision and a commitment.  The market as it is now is inefficient and lacking order.  People who are buying are often seeking bargains meaning they’ll either pounce on the first and best deal they see out there, or they’re willing to wait a few months before swooping in for the purchase in a short sale process.  And still others prefer to take part in a chaotic bidding war for a bank-owned house being auctioned.  This leaves little room for the traditional, more relaxed methods of buying a house.  Buying houses on a whim is not everyone’s style however. 

There are several aspects artificially limiting the supply of residential property and at least temporarily bringing the housing market back to a more orderly, less chaotic fashion.  Some of these aspects include:

– New statutes requiring banks to engage in negotiations to work-it-out with homeowners before foreclosing
– The federal government asking for a voluntary cessation on foreclosures

– Borrowers filing lawsuits and bankruptcies

– The promise of bailout money for financially strapped borrowers.

 

Perhaps in response to these aspects, and perhaps not there has been a slowing of declining home prices and an increase in sales recently.  On top of that, interest rates on 30-year fixed loans remain extremely low.  And although unemployment is still increasing, median income appears to remain unchanged across the nation.

Overall, it is expected that market value of homes will continue to decline, but at a slower pace.  For the foreseeable future, the markets will be mixed, troubled and unpredictable.  In other words, don’t expect the current status quo to go away anytime soon.

Homeowners
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May 14, 2009

Top 10 Fastest Growing Markets For Real Estate

Author: admin - Categories: Real Estate News, Real Estate Opportunity, home sales trends

You won’t find Miami, Phoenix, or any of the wounded Californian towns on this list of the most promising real estate markets for the upcoming year.  Money Magazine claims that despite a poor real estate market and the housing crisis certain markets are expected to show price gains in the following months and years.  These cities and towns have been virtually uninjured by the economy, seemingly immune to the foreclosures that have plagued the rest of the nation.

10.) El Paso, TX
12-month forecast: 1.8%
Median home price: $134,000
One year price change: 6.9%
Five year price change: 51.9%
Change in foreclosure rate: 32%

9.) Baton Rouge, LA
12-month forecast: 1.9%
Median home price: $170,000
One year price change: 5.7%
Five year price change: 38.3%
Change in foreclosure rate: 14%

8.) Grand Rapids, MI
12-month forecast: 1.9%
Median home price: $124,000
One year price change: -3%
Five year price change: 8.3%
Change in foreclosure rate: 37%

7.) Scranton, PA
12-month forecast: 2.2%
Median home price: $128,000
One year price change: 7.2%
Five year price change: 41.1%
Change in foreclosure rate: 8%

6.) New Orleans, LA
12-month forecast: 2.2%
Median home price: $158,000
One year price change: 1%
Five year price change: 43.7%
Change in foreclosure rate: 49%

5.) Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY
12-month forecast: 2.4%
Median home price: $105,000
One year price change: 1.6%
Five year price change: 24.5%
Change in foreclosure rate: 14%

4.) Syracuse, NY
12-month forecast: 2.6%
Median home price: $126,000
One year price change: 0.8%
Five year price change: 29.5%
Change in foreclosure rate: 27%

3.) Birmingham, AL
12-month forecast: 2.7%
Median home price: $156,000
One year price change: 2.9%
Five year price change: 29.4%
Change in foreclosure rate: 20%

2.) Rochester, NY
12-month forecast: 2.7%
Median home price: $121,000
One year price change: 3.4%
Five year price change: 20.1%
Change in foreclosure rate: 5%

1.) McAllen, TX
12-month forecast: 4%
Median home price: $109,000

One year price change: 2.1%
Five year price change: 23.3%
Change in foreclosure rate: 23%

Real Estate Opportunity
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May 6, 2009

Real Estate Market Dependent on Employment Security?

Author: admin - Categories: Employment, Real Estate News

The Real Estate Market may be well on its way to recovery, however standing in its way are still escalating job losses and lack-luster consumer confidence.  In response to this, some realtors are catching on and offering “protection packages” similar to what Ford and Saturn and other car dealers have been offering on their commercials.

As an example, “Long & Foster Real Estate” is offering a job loss protection program for home buyers.  The sellers of the home will purchase the plan for a flat fee of $500 and offer the protection to buyers.  If buyers lose their jobs within the first two years after their purchase, the protection plan will pay up to $1,800 a month toward mortgage payments for six months.“People are afraid if they buy a house, they will get a pink slip the next day,” said Scott Shaheen, a Richmond regional vice president for Long & Foster, “This protection program takes out the fear level.”

Similar to what Long & Foster Real Estate is offering, LifeStyle Builders and Developers Inc., is offering up to $1,500 a month toward the mortgage, at no cost to homebuyers should they find themselves without a job.

Whether or not this is what the Real Estate market needs to jumpstart it and turn the past months of downturn to an upturn we will see, but it certainly can’t hurt.

Real Estate Market
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April 26, 2009

First-Time Homeowners May Help A Lousy Market

Author: admin - Categories: Foreclosures, Real Estate News, home sales trends, homeowners, real estate trends

About half of all homes sold last month were sold to first-time homeowners that however has not made up for an overall sub-par spring selling season.  The median price for a house in the month of March was $175,200, down 12% from the previous year.  Typically house prices rise in the Spring season however as was expected, prices are historically low in comparison with previous years.  The good news is that house prices are up 4% from February especially in the western states, the region of the US most effected by foreclosures and the economic slump.

Leading this surge in first-time homeowners purchasing houses this spring may be a new initiative for first-time home buyers where upon purchase they can receive an $8,000 tax credit.  Hopefully this recent surge in first-time home owners will last through the summer, boosting some much needed action and money into the housing market.

Click here to read more…

Homeowners
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April 20, 2009

Commercial Real Estate Still On the Downturn

Author: admin - Categories: Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate Investment, Real Estate News

As the Dow slowly but steadily increased over the past month there was talk of a turn-around in the real estate market. And although the market overall and the residential real estate market potentially may be on its way up, there’s still one market that has not been showing much promise, the commercial real estate market.

In a report issued by Ben Bernanke on April 15th entitled “The Beige Book” the fed says,

“Nonresidential real estate conditions continued to deteriorate over the past six weeks. Demand for office, industrial and retail space continued to fall, and there were reports of increases in sublease space. Rental concessions were rising. Property values moved lower”

As a testament to the quote just last week General Growth Properties the second largest mall owner in America owning over 200 properites decalred bankruptcy after reporting it was in $27 billion of debt.  To add fuel to the fire some are estimating that the default rates on commercial loans could go as high as 6.0%.  Other hotel companies such at Starwood Hotels & Resorts are expected to post losses in the upcoming months.  Only time will tell whether or not the commercial real estate market will turn around before we see more bankruptcies within the industry.

Read More…

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April 12, 2009

U.S. Real Estate Becomes Target of Chinese Investors

Author: admin - Categories: Foreclosures, Real Estate Investment, Real Estate News

Amidst the current recession hitting the United States few are finding financial opportunity, those who are however are finding it in the real estate sector. A surprising phenomenon has been happening in the past 6 - 12 months, Chinese investors have been investing heavily in the sub-par American real estate market. “The real estate prices in America have gone down drastically,” said Yin Guohua, a partner in a law firm who recently returned from an 11-day U.S. tour with a group of Chinese elite. “It’s a good option for Chinese people who want to buy for investment.”
Chinese real estate tours within the United States are on the rise and many are hoping that the Chinese investment in US real estate will aid the otherwise stagnant and failing real estate market. The thought being any money flowing into the real estate market no matter where it comes from is ultimately good and will hopefully spark others to re-gain their confidence.

Housing Market
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April 6, 2009

Thinking About a Mortgage? Consider a Green Mortgage

Author: admin - Categories: Mortgages, Real Estate News, ma mortgage

Trying to afford your dream home?  Well a “Green” mortgage may be the answer to the financial problems mortgages traditionally posed to many homeowners and home buyers.  A “green” mortgage or an energy efficient mortgage allows those seeking mortgages to take out a larger amount than they would normally be qualified for in exchange for a promise to either upgrade existing home fixtures, heating and cooling systems, or appliances with more energy-efficient ones or purchasing an already energy-efficient home.

Since mortgage interest payments are tax deductible a green mortgage can be more financially efficient than using a credit card, or a traditional loan in upgrading your appliances since those options offer little to no tax benefits.

It may sound great, however green mortgages aren’t easy to find or qualify for:

There are two ways a home can qualify for a green mortgage. For existing homes, you’ll need energy-saving improvements verified by a Home Energy Rating System, or HERS, report, following an inspection by a certified home energy rater. To find one in your area, go to the Web site of the Residential Energy Services Network, click on “Home Energy Ratings,” and then select “Find a Certified Rater.” For new construction, a builder must certify that home meets energy-efficiency guidelines.” -Residential Energy Services

Environmentally Friendly Houses
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March 25, 2009

Is Real Estate Finally a Good Investment Again?

Author: admin - Categories: Foreclosures, Real Estate Investment, Real Estate News, home sales trends

Not since the Great Depression have prices for commercial properties and homes dropped so much.  Falling house prices have been the source of much consternation in the past several months for homeowners, speculators, and the economy in general.  However the new low prices have found a market, especially in regards to distressed properties.  As of recently co-op and condo sales have actually began to rise and its estimated that roughly half of these have been from distressed properites (ie. Foreclosures).

     Although the overall housing market isn’t expected to take a turn for the better until at the best next year, investors who can come up with long term sources of money are purchasing the properties and often renting them out.  Companies such as Angel Acquisition Corp. purchases, renovates and then sells distressed residential properties are banking on the prospect that the real estate market has reachest the lowest it will go and are hoping for a recovery in the housing market soon to reap great profits.

Read More Here

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