What’s going on with the real estate market?
Have prices peaked or are home prices still on their way up? Are conditions stable or is a market correction imminent?
Investors and analysts love to speculate, but in the end, it’s anyone’s guess as to where the market will head in the coming weeks, months, or year. Unless you’re a Michael Burry-level visionary, it’s likely a waste to spend too much time trying to figure out when the next market crash is coming.
Still, it’s an integral part of every investor’s job to keep up with the market and news surrounding real estate. Not only does this inform your investing decisions, but it will give you an overall view of new technology, trends, and important happenings. If you’re serious about breaking into investing, you’ll want to live and breathe real estate — and keeping up with the news is an integral part of that (plus, it’ll make you look cool and informed at all your networking events).
So what’s going on in this week’s news? Here’s a roundup of some of real estate’s most interesting happenings.
Palo Alto’s high end real estate market cools down.
In a trend unfathomable a year ago, the ultra-wealthy market home to Google, Facebook, and many other high profile tech businesses is finally seeing a slowdown in home sales, according to Bloomberg.com.
One home, located blocks from Stanford University as well as the homes of Google co-founder Larry Page and Steve Jobs’s widow, just slashed its price by $500,000 after sitting on the market for over a month. Indeed, homes over $5M increased their average time on the market in April to 16 days, up from 11 in the same month in 2015 and 10 in 2014 — and although the sales are still moving faster than much of the rest of the country, May looks to see slower sales still.
The reason? Analysts point to turmoil in the global economy and the prospect of higher interest rates. Says Dean Wehrli, a senior vice president at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, “The seemingly inexhaustible well of very high-end buyers has proven exhaustible after all. The peak is behind us, and that’s becoming clearer and clearer to builders and buyers.”
While Millennials want to buy, only 9% plan to do so within a year.
In a continually hot topic in real estate, USA Today reports that Millennials continue to struggle to save for down payments, despite a desire to own their first homes. The reasons include high rents and crushing student loans, as well as a lack of affordable inventory. Whatever the full range of causes, the result is that homeownership rates of those 35 and under are on the decline — and it seems that trend won’t be changing anytime soon.
To follow Millennial couple Elizabeth and David’s quest for an affordable home to buy, click the article above.
China overtakes Canada as largest foreign buyer of U.S. residential real estate.
A new report, as told to us by Yahoo Finance, has found that Chinese buyers spent at least $93 billion on homes and condos, both for living and investment purposes, between 2010 and 2015.
One reason for this uptick is likely the investment method used by wealthy Chinese called the EB-5 program (a.k.a. the immigrant investor program). Basically, this program allows immigrants to invest capital in order to more quickly obtain a green card. Created back in 1990, this popular program has drawn about $11 billion in Chinese investments to the U.S. market.
While concentrated in major markets (with 70% of aggregate transaction volume in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles), more and more Chinese families are also expanding into lesser markets, looking for places to setting down and raise their families.
Says Bruce Pickering, Vice President of Global Programs at The Asia Society, “As the Chinese get more sophisticated, as they’re here more often, and as they start looking for value, the real bargains are not in these cities any longer, they’re inland and they’re places you wouldn’t normally expect to see it. So the Chinese are moving out pretty fast into cities that frankly could use the investment.”
Confidence in commercial real estate is on the rise.
As reported by Forbes.com, Forbes Insights released its findings from a survey performed between February 12 and March 14, 2016, where it questioned CRE management executives, brokers, investors, financing executives, and attorneys on the outlook for the U.S. commercial real estate industry.
Its findings included the following:
- More than half, 52%, of respondents believe that their segment of the market is either strong or very strong.
- 44% of executives surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that certain segments are poised for significant decline.
- 47% of total respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the U.S. CRE markets are in recovery.
Over 60% of those surveyed characterized their market conditions as optimistic and said that despite challenges in the commercial real estate niche, they saw significant opportunity.
What are your thoughts on these pieces of news? Anything you’ve seen in the news lately you’d like to discuss?
Be sure to leave a comment below!