Top Buyers of U.S. Real Estate are Chinese for 4th Year

Chinese buyers were the top foreign purchasers of U.S. real estate for the fourth year in a row, a survey released Wednesday showed.

The National Association of Realtors reported that Chinese buyers bought 29,195 properties worth $27.3 billion in the 12 months ending March 2016. At a median price of $542,084, the typical Chinese purchase was more than double the median U.S. existing-home price of $223,058, showing that the acquisitions were made by the burgeoning Chinese elite.

Chinese purchases were more than triple that of the number-two nation, Canada, which had $8.9 billion of U.S. properties. India ranked third with $6.1 billion of purchases, and Mexico fourth at $4.8 billion.

That said, foreign purchases of U.S. real estate actually declined slightly, by 1.3% to $102.6 billion of residential property. The NAR said that decline came due to a stronger U.S. dollar and a weak global economy, as well as rising U.S. house prices.

Even the Chinese purchases fell, by 4.5%.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the NAR, said British purchases may subside after the vote to leave the European Union, which has sent the pound GBPUSD, -0.9906% down sharply. Britain accounted for $5.5 billion worth of purchases in this survey, ranking fifth-highest.

Latin Americans, Europeans and Canadians mostly sought properties in Florida and Arizona. California and New York drew the most Asian buyers, the NAR said.

Source: Marketwatch

Steal this Luxurious Estate on 4 Acres in SW Ranches!

Unique opportunity to own a luxury estate on 4 acres in Southwest Ranches. Asking $3,790,000 – REDUCED $2 Million below market value, don’t miss out!

Brand-new 2-story estate, completed in 2014. More than 15,000 sq. ft. under air. Never occupied & ready for 1st owner.

Highlights

Grand foyer with dual stairs, sumptuous master suite with custom spa & sauna, gourmet kitchen, unique sports parlor with “hideaway” Basketball hoop, massive outdoor pool & more! On 4 manicured acres, with private lake, private gate. Mature landscaping for privacy.

Minimum 24-hour notice for showings.

Link to Featured Listing

 

FED: Vulnerable Commercial RE Sector May Take Hits

The Federal Reserve warned that prices in the commercial real-estate market may have run up too far too fast.

Valuations in commercial real estate “appear increasingly vulnerable to negative shocks, as CRE prices have continued to outpace rental income,” the Fed said in its semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress. The Fed noted that prices exceed their pre-crisis peaks by some measures.

The Fed included a special section on financial stability risks in the report, which accompanies Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony. The report said that even given “moderate’’ financial vulnerabilities, risks of external shocks, such as the U.K.’s possible exit from the European Union, pose stability risks.
The report also highlighted issues related to credit exposures to the energy sector, money-market mutual funds and stock valuations.

The central bank said price-to-earnings ratios on a forward-looking basis for stocks have increased to a level “well above” their median for the past 30 years.

“Although equity valuations do not appear to be rich relative to Treasury yields, equity prices are vulnerable to rises in term premiums to more normal levels, especially if a reversion was not motivated by positive news about economic growth,” the Fed said.

The Fed said “some structural vulnerabilities are expected to persist” in money-market mutual funds even after Securities and Exchange Commission reforms go fully into effect in October.
“Leverage for the non-financial corporate sector has stayed elevated and indicators of corporate credit quality, though still solid overall, continued to show signs of deterioration for lower-rated firms, especially in the energy sector,” the Fed said in its report.

Strong U.S. bank capital positions contributed to the resilience of the financial system, the Fed said.

Source: Bloomberg

HUD Awards $46.5 Million to Tackle Lead in Homes

To protect children and families from the hazards of lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently awarded $46.5 million in grants to 15 local and state governments.

The grant funding will reduce the number of lead-poisoned children and protect families by targeting health hazards in over 3,100 low-income homes with significant lead and/or other home health and safety hazards. The Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant program has a demonstrated history of success, filling critical needs in urban communities where no other resources exist to address substandard housing that threatens the health of the most vulnerable residents.

As HUD celebrates this June as the first ever National Healthy Homes Month, HUD Secretary Julián Castro is focused on helping children and families secure quality housing by protecting them from the hazards of lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards.

As the leader in lead paint hazard control, HUD’s grant awards are one of our strongest efforts to prevent lead poisoning among children,” says HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “These awards will help clean up lead paint hazards in thousands of low-income homes across the nation, eliminating the sources of permanent health and behavioral problems that lead poisoning brings.

Unsafe and unhealthy homes affect the health of millions of people of all income levels, geographic areas, and walks of life in the U.S. These homes affect the economy directly, through increased use of health care services, and indirectly through lost wages and increased school days missed. Housing improvements help prevent injuries and illnesses, reduce associated health care and social services costs, reduce absentee rates for children in school and adults at work, and reduce stress, all which help to improve the quality of life.

HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health and safety hazards from lower income homes, stimulates private sector investment in lead hazard control, supports cutting-edge research on methods for assessing and controlling housing-related health and safety hazards, and educates the public about the dangers of hazards in the home.

The funding announced directs critical funds to cities, counties and states to eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health hazards in thousands of privately-owned, low-income housing units. HUD is also providing these Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration program grantees over $4.5 million in Healthy Homes supplemental funding to help these communities mitigate multiple health hazards in high risk housing simultaneously, in conjunction with their lead hazard control activities.

SOURCE: RISMedia

 

Sumitomo Re-enters Boldly the Miami Market with $220M Icon

The U.S. arm of Japanese trade conglomerate Sumitomo Corp. recently paid $220 million for the iconic Miami Tower office building.

The purchase marked one of Miami’s biggest investment deals so far this year, as well as a surprising display of optimism in the U.S. commercial real estate market from Sumitomo, which only has a handful of marquis properties stateside.

The company has a long history developing and investing in real estate, both within its home country Japan and abroad. Data from Real Capital Analytics shows the company has interests in 63 properties worldwide with an estimated value of $4.9 billion. Most of those properties are office buildings in large Japanese cities like Tokyo, though a smattering of development sites, retail and industrial buildings are also included.

Within the last decade, Sumitomo has acquired interest in $2.4 billion worth of property and sold another $2.3 billion, according to the data. For its real estate dealings in the U.S., however, Sumitomo seems to take a much more calculated approach. Before its purchase of Miami Tower, the company’s stateside office holdings included only two office towers, both occupying premium locations in their cities’ respective central business districts. Sumitomo owns the Class A office tower at 203 North LaSalle Street in Chicago, for which it paid $111.5 million in 2014, and the tower at 450 B Street in San Diego, which it acquired for $73 million in 2013.

This purchase smacks of Sumitomo’s previous and first foray into Miami back in 2008, when it made a splash in the office market with its $260 million purchase of the 34-story Miami Center building. Four years later, the company sold Miami Center to Crocker Partners for a mere $5.2 million more than what it paid.

As recently as a few years ago, “South Florida wasn’t viewed as a long-term investment; it was opportunistic,” Krasnow said. “Now, Miami is viewed from the capital perspective. It is much more of a strategic investment.

In the past year, institutional buyers like insurer Prudential Financial and TIAA have swallowed up large swaths of office product in suburban markets like Coral Gables and the business parks surrounding the Miami International Airport.

Though Sumitomo has been tight-lipped about its most recent acquisition of Miami Tower — sources say those involved in the sale are under confidentiality agreements — a statement from Robert Obringer, the company’s vice president, illustrates Sumitomo’s motivation for paying such a premium for a piece of Miami iconography.

As part of our constant management of assets, we are always looking for opportunities that will maximize return on investment, and this property offers a strong upside potential for in-place cash flow and the opportunity to increase value,” Obringer said in the statement.

Source: The Real Deal

An Exciting Month for RIVA Fort Lauderdale

What an exciting month. RIVA hosted four great community events, beginning with a festive, after-hours networking reception for community leaders and members of the Greater Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce’s Gay & Lesbian Business Exchange Council.

Daniel de la Vega President of ONE S.IR. SPEAKING

Daniel de la Vega President of ONE S.IR. SPEAKING

RIVA also hosted The Leadership Broward Foundation’s 2016 Profiles in Leadership honorees. In addition, RIVA was an exclusive sponsor of the annual Waterway Soirée, one of Fort Lauderdale’s must-attend, signature fundraising events, which benefits the Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center, hosting a five-star dinner aboard a luxurious, private yacht for 20 VIP guests.

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The new and elegant RIVA building capped the month with a VIP Rooftop Party, this past Wednesday May 25th at the new Audi Fort Lauderdale location, where more than 400 guests attended the sunset bash with a bird’s eye view of the construction progress.

More information about RIVA

 

Sales Soar for New Homes in April

New home sales data released this week showed that sales were 16.6% higher than March when comparing the seasonally adjusted annualized rates, and 23.8% higher than last year.
This news comes from estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2016 was $321,100; the average sales price was $379,800. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was $243,000. This represents a supply of 4.7 months at the current sales rate.

At last we have a clear, statistically significant view that the new home market is having its best spring buying season in a decade,” says Realtor.com® chief economist Jonathan Smoke. “April’s non-seasonally adjusted volume of new home contracts was estimated to be 61,000, which was the highest April volume since 2007. However, a key difference between now and 2007 is that 38 percent of the new homes sold then were completed speculative inventory. In April, less than 30 percent of new homes sold were completed. Likewise, the supply of new homes for sale in 2007 was 7.4 months. This April’s new home supply was 4.7 months – solidly below normal. It appears that the growth in sales is coming from higher price points, indicating that builders are finding success with move-up, luxury, and active adult home buyers rather than entry level buyers. Hopefully this will free up existing home owners to sell their lower priced homes as they move up.

Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield stated, “The spring home buying season is in full swing as builders have been picking up steam through the first quarter. While the large jump in new home sales is encouraging, I would look for a normalization in the coming months that shows a slow but steady increase in the health of the housing market.

Source: RISmedia.com

New Addition to Miami’s Skyline – One Thousand Museum

One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects marks the Pritzker Prize-winning architect’s first residential skyscraper design concept in the Western Hemisphere. With her name on the project and iconic design tower in the center of Downtown Miami’s skyline, the tower will be the catalyst that shifts the center of gravity for high design and luxury residences. Overlooking the contemporary Pérez Art Museum Miami, Museum Park, the soon-to-be-opened Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and the American Airlines Arena; One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects offers an unmatched standard of luxury living within Miami’s cultural nucleus.

Downtown Miami Skyline featuring the One Museum condominium development adjacent to Miami Art and Science Museums.

Downtown Miami Skyline featuring the One Museum condominium development adjacent to Miami Art and Science Museums.

The 62-story tower will contain only 83 residential units, which consists of a two-story duplex penthouse, four townhouses, eight full-floor residences and 70 half-floor units. The duplex penthouse is priced at $50 million with over 16,000 square feet; duplex townhome residences and full floor residences are priced from $10.9 million to over $20 million and range from 8,000 to 10,000 square feet; half-floor residences are priced from $6 million to over $8 million and range from 4,600 to 4,800 square feet.

Residences will feature faucets by Dornbracht; induction cook tops, in-wall ovens, steam ovens, microwaves, dishwashers and integrated coffee makers by Gaggenau; custom cabinetry by Poliform; refrigerators by Sub-Zero; a German interior illumination concept by apure with design by Porsche Design Studios; custom doors by Lualdi with Valli & Valli’s Duemilacinque series handles designed by Zaha Hadid; state-of-the-art home automation infrastructure by Creston; and custom olfactory scenting options by 12.29, inspired by Zaha Hadid’s architectural vision. The project’s 30,000 square feet of luxury communal areas include a two-story Aquatic Center and Sky Lounge at the 61st floor, a Sun & Swim Terrace with a landscape design concept by Enea Garden Design, the city’s only private rooftop helipad and more.

One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects broke ground in December of 2014 and is scheduled for completion in late 2018. During the summer of 2015, One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects’ foundational work began with a 24-hour concrete pour in which 1000 trucks poured 9,500 cubic yards of concrete.

Developed by Louis Birdman, Gregg Covin and Kevin Venger with sales and marketing headed by ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects’ unprecedented fusion of art, architecture, design, location and luxury will make it Miami’s most coveted address.

For more information, be sure to visit my One Thousand Museum – Miami page.

Source: The Architect Magazine

5 Reasons NOT to “For Sale By Owner”

In today’s market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising, some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are five of those reasons:

1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 89% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 20% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3. Results Come from the Internet

Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 44% on the internet
  • 33% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspaper

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $210,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $249,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $39,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.

Source: Keeping Current Matters (www.keepingcurrentmatters.com)

Swanky Condo Breaks Ground in West Palm Beach

This is the first major waterfront condo in West Palm Beach since 1987. It comes at a time when the city’s downtown and surrounding neighborhoods have 25 major projects in the pipeline.

In a recent interview, Golub said he was attracting buyers from the Northeast and Palm Beach homeowners who wanted to leave older homes for a new condo with luxury amenities.

Bristol Palm BeachUnits range from 3,700 square feet with three bedrooms to 9,000 square feet with five bedrooms. The interior designer is Amir Khamneipur, who selected woods, stone and imported custom fittings. Amenities include a marble-decked lobby, a club lounge, a fitness center, a two-story wet and dry spa, terrace gardens, and a 75-foot lap pool. The building features a concierge and Bentley service throughout the Palm Beach area.

The developers said the Bristol Palm Beach is 40 percent pre-sold. The developer is asking for 50 percent deposits in stages during construction.

Units start at $5 million. The project should be completed in fall 2018.

Source: South Florida Business Journal