Building lot prices hit new high | Cross River Real Estate

According to NAHB’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) data, median single-family lot prices outpaced inflation once again (4.4% vs 2.4%) and reached new record high in 2018, with half of the lots selling at or above $49,500. The most dramatic rise in lot values is observed in the West South Central division where median lot values more than doubled since the housing boom years.

While this constitutes a new nominal national record, lot values adjusted for inflation have not reached the housing boom peak levels. In the midst of the building boom – when twice as many single-family homes were started – half of the lots were going for over $43,000, which is over $53,000 when converted in $2018.

The West South Central division – that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana – stands out as a division where new historical records were hit not only in nominal terms but also when adjusted for inflation. Compared to the peak years of the housing boom, lot values more than doubled in this division.

Historically, lot values in the West South Central division have been the lowest in the nation. They started rising in 2013 and by 2015 caught up with the national median. As of 2018, half of the lots in the West South Central division sells for more than $62,000, 25% above the national median lot value for single-family spec homes of $49,500. This represents a significant jump in the division lot values since the building boom when more than half of lots were priced under $30,000.

Single-family spec homes started in New England are built on some of the most expensive lots in the nation. Half of all sold single-family homes started in New England in 2018 report lot values in excess of $140,000, a new nominal record for the division. New England is known for strict local zoning regulations that often require very low densities. Therefore, it is not surprising that typical single-family spec homes started in New England are built on some of the largest and most expensive lots in the nation.

The Pacific division has the smallest lots. However, the median lot value reached $87,000 in 2018, the second most expensive value in the nation and a new nominal record for the division. As a result, the Pacific division lots stand out for being most expensive in the nation in terms of per acre costs.

The East North Central is another division that hit a new record high, with half of the lots priced above $52,000, exceeding the national median lot value for single-family spec homes.

The East South Central Division that has the second largest lots in the nation simultaneously reports the lowest median value of $38,000 per lot, thus defining the most economical lots in the nation as well as lowest per acre costs.

Given that nation’s lots are getting smaller and home production is still significantly below the historically normal levels, it might seem surprising that lot values keep going up. However, the rising lot values are consistent with persistent record lot shortages that NAHB reported recently. They are also consistent with significant and rising regulatory costs that ultimately increase development costs and boost lot values. It is also possible that home building shifted towards more urban and dense areas where land values are typically higher, and land development faces more stringent regulation requirements.

For this analysis, the median lot values were chosen over averages since averages tend to be heavily influenced by extreme outliers. In addition, the Census Bureau often masks extreme lot values on the public use SOC dataset making it difficult to calculate averages precisely but medians remain unaffected by these procedures.

This analysis is limited to single-family speculatively-built homes by year started and with reported sales prices. For custom homes built on owner’s land with either the owner or a builder acting as the general contractor, the corresponding land values are not reported in the SOC. Consequently, custom homes are excluded from the analysis.

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Leftist Utopia: San Francisco banning gas stoves | Waccbuc Real Estate

No more fire in the kitchen: Cities are banning natural gas in homes to save the planet

SAN FRANCISCO – Fix global warming or cook dinner on a gas stove?

That’s the choice for people in 13 cities and one county in California that have enacted new zoning codes encouraging or requiring all-electric new construction.  

The codes, most of them passed since June, are meant to keep builders from running natural gas lines to new homes and apartments, with an eye toward creating fewer legacy gas hookups as the nation shifts to carbon-neutral energy sources.

For proponents, it’s a change that must be made to fight climate change. For natural gas companies, it’s a threat to their existence. And for some cooks who love to prepare food with flame, it’s an unthinkable loss.

Natural gas is a fossil fuel, mostly methane, and produces 33% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas causing climate change.

“There’s no pathway to stabilizing the climate without phasing gas out of our homes and buildings. This is a must-do for the climate and a livable planet,” said Rachel Golden of the Sierra Club’s building electrification campaign.

These new building codes come as local governments work to speed the transition from natural gas and other fossil fuels and toward the use of electricity from renewables, said Robert Jackson, a professor of energy and the environment at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

“Every house, every high-rise that’s built with gas, may be in place for decades. We’re establishing infrastructure that may be in place for 50 years,” he said.

These “reach” or “stretch” building codes, as they are known, have so far all been passed in California. The first was in Berkeley in July, then more in Northern California and recently Santa Monica in Southern California. Other cities in Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington state are contemplating them, according to the Sierra Club.

Some of the cities ban natural gas hookups to new construction. Others offer builders incentives if they go all-electric, much the same as they might get to take up more space on a lot if a house is extra energy-efficient. In April, Sunnyvale, a town in Silicon Valley, changed its building code to offer a density bonus to all-electric developments.

No more gas stoves?

The building codes apply only to new construction beginning in 2020, so they aren’t an issue for anyone in an already-built home.

Probably the biggest stumbling block for most pondering an all-electric home is the prospect of not having a gas stove.

“It’s the only thing that people ever ask about,” said Bruce Nilles, who directs the building electrification program of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colorado-based think tank that focuses on energy and resource efficiency.

Roughly 35% of U.S. households have a gas stove, while 55%have electric, according to a 2017 kitchen audit by the NPD Group, a global information company based in Port Washington, New York. 

For at least a quarter of Americans, it doesn’t matter either way. They already live in houses that are all-electric, and their numbers are rising, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s especially true in the Southeast, where close to 45% of homes are all-electric.

For the rest of the nation, natural gas is used to heat buildings and water, dry clothes and cook food, according to the EIA. That represents 17% of national natural gas usage. 

But the number of natural gas customers is also rising. The American Gas Association, which represents more than 200 local energy companies, says an average of one new customer is added every minute. 

“That’s exactly the wrong direction,” Nilles said.

States weigh climate change solutions

The nudge toward all-electric buildings is the type of shift Americans will begin to experience more and more in coming years. Last year, California’s governor signed an executive order directing state agencies to work toward making the entire state economy carbon-neutral by 2045. 

California is not alone. New York, Hawaii, Colorado and Maine have economywide carbon-neutrality goals, and several more are debating them. More than 140 U.S. cities have committed to transitioning to carbon-neutral energy. 

The natural gas industry rejects the notion that it should not be part of the nation’s energy future.

“The idea that denying access to natural gas in new homes is necessary to meet emissions reduction goals is false. In fact, denying access to natural gas could make meeting emissions goals harder and more expensive,” said American Gas Association President and CEO Karen Harbert. 

The association calls the new zoning codes for new construction burdensome to consumers and to the economy. They also say it’s more expensive to run an all-electric home. A study by AGA released last year suggested that all-electric homes would pay $750 to $910 a year more for energy-related costs, as well as amortized appliance and upgrade costs.

But critics question AGA’s conclusions. 

Amanda Myers, a policy analyst at Energy Innovation, a research nonprofit group focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, said AGA presumed high electricity rates because of unrealistically large increases in expected electricity use and made unusual assumptions for how any anticipated electric load growth might be met. 

An analysis last year by the Rocky Mountain Institute found that in locations as diverse as Chicago, Houston and Providence, Rhode Island, all-electric new homes over a 15-year time frame could save residents as much as $260 a year compared with new homes with air conditioners powered by electricity and natural gas. 

You’ll pry my cold, dead hands off my gas range

The selling point for getting away from natural gas may come from a type of electric range that, according to chefs, is just as good if not better than gas. As fundamentally attached as people might be to cooking with fire, induction stoves are making headway.

Long popular in Europe and increasingly trendy in the United States, induction cooktops are different from the kind of traditional electric range where coils become red-hot. Induction ranges use electromagnetic energy to directly heat pots and pans.

They are fast, energy-efficient and safe because there’s no open flame, and they are cool to the touch unless you’re a piece of metal. 

As Reviewed.com puts it, they’re “gentle enough to melt butter and chocolate, but powerful enough to bring 48 ounces of water to a boil in under three minutes.”

The downsides are that induction cooktops are more expensive than traditional electric stoves, generally a third to half more. They also work only with pans with steel or iron bottoms.

Professional chefs say modern induction ranges are comparable to gas. The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, America’s preeminent cooking school, trains its chefs on both induction and gas stoves because they will encounter both types and must know how to use them.

“Some of the finest restaurants in Europe are often out in mountainous areas or places where there isn’t gas. They cook on induction and that works just fine,” said Mark Erickson, a certified master chef at the institute. 

Regular electric stoves aren’t a deal-breaker either, said Erickson, who lives in a townhouse with one and cooks on it every night.

“If I were given the chance and if it were a choice of gas or electric, I would choose gas because it’s what I’m used to,” he said. “But in all honesty, it’s not the end of the world.” 

Read more…

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/11/10/climate-change-solutions-more-cities-banning-natural-gas-homes/4008346002/

Modern Germany | Katonah Real Estate

Villa Neo

Querkopf Architekten

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PROJECT DETAILS

PROJECT NAME Villa Neo

LOCATION Rosengarten Germany

ARCHITECT Querkopf Architekten

PROJECT TYPES Single Family

PROJECT SCOPE New Construction

SIZE403 sq. meters

YEAR COMPLETED 2019

SHARED BY Madeleine D’Angelo

PROJECT STATUS Built

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

FROM THE ARCHITECTS: 

This villa breaks with all traditions and forms an unrestrained contrast to the otherwise natural surroundings. Like an artistic installation on a podium made of natural stone, which at the same time forms the underground car park, lies the two-storey villa and clearly focuses on the forest as the main point of reference. The shape of the building is based on the idea of an L, which borders the hillside of the plot while providing a sheltered outdoor-space for the terrace.

A small gap forms the entrance. From the street, three exposed shapes of concrete blend strikingly and puristically, leaving no room for a glimpse inside. The ground floor is completely closed to the street, dissolves to the forest by large glass elements, which flood the space with light, and produces an intense connection to the environment and nature. The upper floor forms a creative contrast to the ground floor. Above the transparent construction of glass and steel hovers an imposing, twisted concrete body, which ensures a high degree of privacy and protection. a few, floor-to-ceiling window elements in the sleeping areas present targeted views into the forest. Large slats of steel are wrapped around the airspace in the middle of the house and create a connection of the levels. This is our vision of a sculptural, purist and modern villa that abstracts classical rules: for an incomparable sense of living in the midst of nature.

Nature as a starting point
Focused on the essentials and at the same time rich in characteristic features, the innovative villa made of concrete sits on a base made of natural stone and convinces with a unique sense of living as well as an artistic installation. Nature and architecture not only meet each other, aligned with the forest they flow into each other. The generous glass elements provide plenty of light and reveal the view of nature from the exclusive living area.

The nature is omnipresent: The forest has significantly influenced our thoughts on a perfect facade for this place. He has set us the task to develop a surface that can not be impressed by moss, leaves and weather, but just by dignified aging. – Crosshead architects

Break up closed forms In pleasant seclusion and undisturbed, “Villa Neo” is the most attractive retreat someone from Hamburg can imagine. Concrete, glass and steel – these are the three main materials that determine the characteristic appearance of this villa.Surrounded by the nature as well as the restful forest, the inhabitants of this property can concentrate on the desirable contents of life. On the one hand closed by surfaces of concrete to the street, the construction of the object leads to a pleasant level of privacy and security. Opened to the other side to the pool, whirlpool and forest, the natural urge for free space is satisfied. “Villa Neo” scores with originality. The object is not a modular house, but emerged from a unique vision. With a mixture of Bauhaus and brutalism, it emits strength and security to the outside without losing its elegance, generosity and tranquility in the inside. It gives its inhabitants a sublime feeling of freedom. – Querkopfarchitekten Ground floor The paths in the house are efficiently aligned: One junction connects all rooms on the ground floor. The generosity of the ground floor come especially due to the open access to all living spaces to retribution. Coming through the main entrance, the view to the left falls past the luxurious Eggersmann fitted kitchen with high-quality Gaggenau appliances directly onto the living / dining area framed by a large glass front. The Minotti sofa set in the comfortable living area. The TV room of the right wing underlines the use of only the most exclusive furnishing materials. 
UpstairsThe artfully staged and wood-clad stairs lead through the impressive airspace to the upper floor. Custom-made, floor-to-ceiling fitted wardrobes line up impressively in the sophisticated overall concept together with high-quality bathroom fittings. The special living atmosphere is topped by stylish details, such as pebble stone walls or full-surface mirror installations in the bathroom. Targeted views of the garden and the forest are provided by the large windows in the bedroom and the study and invite you to dream.

Basement The rooms in the basement offer in addition to the impressive living space above, a spacious guest room and a hobby room and a bathroom with exclusive rain shower. On the same level are the four garage spaces, which are easily accessible from the living area. Enjoy the silence The impressively choreographed outdoor space of the plot offer the resident plenty of space for relaxation and a sweeping view of more than 960 square meters of lawn. The turquoise blue water of the unique infinity pool impresses even without going into it. The 170 square meters large south-facing terrace area invites you to a cozy get-together. The entire complex seduces to spend one or the other summer day in the fresh air. If it gets colder, a luxurious whirlpool provides the necessary warmth.

Day becomes night The room-high window fronts flood the living area with plenty of daylight, opening up the view into the green landscape. A highlight are the large steel blades which are wrapped around the space in the middle and connect the lower and upper levels in this way. As soon as the day is over, the numerous elegant designer lamps immerse the rooms in an atmospheric light and, together with exquisite designer furniture and a state-of-the-art fireplace, create irresistible coziness and warmth. Whether day or night, light or dark, inside or outside – Villa Neo is an architectural highlight at any time and from any perspective. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to develop this property without compromise. 

Project Credits: 
Project: Villa Neo 
Architects: Querkopf Architekten. Fionn Mögel (lead archtiect), Simon Mögel, Frank Zander, Wasfy Taha (project team)
Engineering: Weber & Poll 
Landscape: Querkopf Architekten
TGA : Querkopf Architekten
Photographs: Frank Löschke I Arnt Haug

Homeownership rate increases with lower rates | Bedford Hills Real Estate

According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the U.S. homeownership rate increased to 64.8% in the third quarter of 2019, which is 0.7 percentage points higher than the previous quarter reading of 64.1%. This puts the national homeownership rate back to a level near where it started dropping as interest rates increased. The rate reached a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter 2016. Compared to the peak of 69.2% by the end of 2004, the homeownership rate is still 4.4 percentage points lower and remains below the 25-year average rate of 66.3%.

The HVS also provides a timely measure of household formations – the key driver of housing demand. The housing stock-based HVS revealed that the count of total households increased to 122.7 million in the third quarter of 2019 from 121.4 million a year ago. The gains are largely attributed to strong owner household formation. Indeed, the number of homeowner households has been climbing since the third quarter of 2015, while the number of renter households has been on a downward trend. This implies a transition from renting to owning is the powerful driver of household change. Specifically, the number of homeowners increased by 1.4 million, but the number of renter households declined by 33,000 in the third quarter.

The homeownership rates among all age groups, except for households ages 55-64, increased in the third quarter 2019. Households lead by 35-44 year-olds registered the largest gains among all households, 0.8 percentage points from a year ago. The homeownership rate of households under 35, mostly first-time homebuyers, stood at 37.5 % in the third quarter, 0.7 percentage points higher than a year ago. The homeownership rates of households ages 45-54 edged up a 0.4 percentage point. Households ages 65 and older saw their homeownership rates rise to 78.9% in the third quarter 2019 from 78.6% a year ago. However, the homeownership rate of households lead by 45- 54 year-olds did see a drop in the third quarter compared to a year ago.

The homeowner and rental vacancy rates remained in the record low territories, signaling a supply-constrained housing market. The non seasonally adjusted homeowner vacancy rate remained low at 1.4% in the third quarter 2019. At the same time, the national rental vacancy rate stood at 6.8%, unchanged from the second quarter.

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US housing starts increase | Pound Ridge Real Estate

U.S. Housing Starts Increased Along With Permits in October

U.S. new-home construction rose in October as single-family starts registered the strongest pace since the beginning of the year. The highest level of permits since 2007 shows healthy homebuilding ahead.

Residential starts advanced 3.8% to a 1.31 million annualized rate, in line with the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, after a revised 1.27 million pace in the prior month, according to Commerce Department figures released Tuesday. Permits, a proxy for future construction, rose 5% to a 1.46 million pace, the most since May 2007.

The starts data are in line with recent reports that indicate the housing market is improving. Lower mortgage rates are luring homebuyers who may have been on the fence, boosting optimism among developers and contributing to more construction.Single-family home starts increased 2% to 936,000 in October, the strongest reading since January, while permits for new construction of those dwellings climbed 3.2% to a 909,000 pace that was the fastest since August 2007.U.S. homebuilder sentiment ticked down in November after four consecutive months of gains, private data showed Monday as the outlook of builders in the South soured. The gauge remains elevated and optimism for sales over the next six months rose to the highest since May 2018. Groundbreakings for the multifamily category, which tends to be volatile and includes apartment buildings and condominiums, increased 8.6% while permits rose 8.2%. Data out later this week is forecast to show existing home sales, which make up the vast majority of home transactions in the U.S., increased in October from the prior month in a sign that the housing market continues apace. Also, new-home sales, which comprise about 10% of sales but are a timelier indicator, remained close to an almost 12-year high.

Three of four regions posted an increase in starts last month, led by a 17.6% surge in the West to the fastest pace since March 2018. Starts also rose in the Midwest and South. About 181,000 homes were authorized but not yet started, the most since March and indicating a growing backlog for builders.The report, produced jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has a wide margin of error.

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bloomberg.com

Mortgage rates average 3.66% | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.66 percent.

“The housing market continues to steadily gain momentum with rising homebuyer demand and increased construction due to the strong job market, ebullient market sentiment and low mortgage rates,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Residential real estate accounts for one-sixth of the economy, and the improving real estate market will support economic growth heading into next year.”

News Facts

30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending November 21, 2019, down from last week when it averaged 3.75 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.81 percent.
15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.15 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.20 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.24 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.39 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.44 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.09 percent.
Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

How mobile homes became a billion-dollar, recession-proof industry | Bedford Real Estate

Mobile homes are no longer just a necessity for the poor. They’ve increasingly become a must-have for some of the world’s richest private equity players.

A 2016 investor pitch from manufactured housing owner and operator RHP Properties boasted that its portfolio of 33,000 lots — stretching across seven states — had “low cash flow volatility and steady year-over-year rent increases” as well as minimal capital expenditures.

The pitch apparently worked on Brookfield Asset Management, which has poured billions of dollars into trailer park sites in the past few years.

The Canadian private equity giant bought a portfolio of manufactured home sites in 13 states from Colony NorthStar for $2 billion that May. The deal included the acquisition of a joint venture backing RHP’s sites, a Brookfield spokesperson confirmed to The Real Deal.

Brookfield, which has more than $350 billion in assets, now owns 130-plus mobile home communities, making it one of the one of the largest manufactured housing investors in the U.S. RHP declined to comment for this story.

The immobility of so many mobile and manufactured homes has caught the attention of private equity firms in a big way. With most low-income renters unable to quickly up and move their properties, institutional real estate investors increasingly see that as a surefire bet — especially in a major downturn.

Douglas Danny, a Marcus & Millichap broker who specializes in manufactured housing sites, called them one of the safest assets in a recession. “From 2008 to 2012, there was no effect whatsoever on manufactured housing,” he said. “Now the new buyer coming into the space is the institutional buyer.”

And a who’s who of global investment giants have poured more than $4 billion into the market in the past four years: Brookfield, Blackstone Group, Apollo Global Management and the Carlyle Group have all snapped up, or flipped, trailer parks in that time.

Janet Sallander, a commercial real estate appraiser at Cushman & Wakefield, said mobile homes have become the “default working-class housing.”

“It simply produces better returns compared to other asset classes,” Sallander said.

Mobile home economics

Due to zoning restrictions and the high cost of land in many areas, there are just 6,250 mobile home parks in the U.S., according to a 2019 Cushman & Wakefield report.

Individual plots are rented out to tenants who purchase their own homes. And unlike aging apartment buildings in more heavily regulated housing markets, owners of these lots only need to provide utilities, while residents are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their homes.

Blackstone made its first bet on manufactured housing last year when it bought a $172 million portfolio of 5,200 lots from Ontario-based Tricon Capital Group. Other major players — including the Carlyle Group and Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties — are snapping up manufactured home communities, with one analyst calling it “the most recession-proof housing stock in existence,” as TRD previously reported.

“A lot of investors are buying big complexes, if they can find them,” said PJ Mikolajewski, president of Ideal Manufactured Homes and a California Manufactured Housing Institute board member. “And as soon as they buy them, they jack the rents up.”

For Alberto Calvillo, a lifelong construction worker who recently moved his family to a site owned by RHP in Bohemia, New York, it was the most affordable option after he was priced out of another mobile home park in nearby Commack.

Calvillo said he now pays $1,000 a month to rent the land where his 900-square-foot house sits. His extended family gathered at the single-wide home, decked out with custom-fitted green and orange panels, on a Sunday afternoon in September.

“This isn’t a mobile home,” Calvillo said with a laugh as he pointed out the obvious lack of wheels, the custom wraparound deck he built and the new concrete foundation. “I’m going to stay here until I die.”

The average cost of moving such a home is $5,000 if the home has wheels to begin with, according to a 2019 report from the national community group MHAction. So when owners of manufactured homes are priced out, they often need to sell their homes at a loss and are replaced by new homeowner-tenants without any big losses for the site’s owner. The result is a low turnover rate and extremely stable revenues.

“If you have the right underwriting, you can increase rent 5 percent each year,” said Marcus & Millichap’s Danny. “Within three to five years, you’ve gone from a 3 or 4 to a 6 [percent] and the park has gone up in value.”

Documents from Florida-based Sunrise Capital Investment — which cite “superior risk-adjusted returns for investors” — give an inside look at the upsides for those in the business.

Manufactured housing is a “recession-resistant” asset class with low turnover that allows for “consistent rent increases,” the pitch to investors reviewed by TRD notes.

“Demand for our product actually increases as the economy tightens.”

Bullish bets

Carlyle, one of the country’s largest private equity firms, made a splash in 2015 when it bought a manufactured home community in Silicon Valley for $152 million.

Tenants in the area soon complained of exorbitant rent hikes and a deterioration in management responsiveness — sparking new calls for statewide rent control in California. The D.C.-based investment group recently flipped the complex, selling it to Chicago-based Hometown America for $237.4 million this August, according to California property records.

Carlyle did not respond to requests for comment.

The rush of private equity into manufactured homes has also attracted the ire of U.S. senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who in May wrote stern letters to Brookfield’s Bruce Flatt, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, Apollo’s Leon Black and Carlyle’s co-CEOs.

“Unable to afford moving, and unable to sell their manufactured homes, some residents report that they are forced to choose between ‘paying for increase[ed] housing costs … or abandoning their homes,’” her letter reads.

One publication called it a Dodd-Frank moment for manufactured home communities, but Blackstone was unfazed. Wayne Berman, the firm’s head of global government affairs, said in his response to Warren that Blackstone hoped to “raise the bar for customer service within an industry that has not always historically provided a high-quality resident experience.”

“Although we’re a tiny part of the overall market, [we’re] dedicated to professional management, capital investment and resident service,” Matthew Anderson, a Blackstone spokesperson, said in a statement to TRD.

Brookfield is “highly attuned” to the fact that the asset class can include lower-income populations, according to the company, which outlined steps the firm has taken to ensure affordability.

In other cases, though, bullish investment strategies have quickly backfired. At one manufactured housing complex in Akron, New York, which Sunrise Capital purchased for under $4 million in 2017, the firm raised rents to $525 from $280 and cut the 122-lot site’s employee payroll by $30,000, sparking an outcry from tenants.

After the residents organized an eight-month rent strike against their new landlord, the complex was placed into a receivership and the investment firm ceded control to the tenants. Representatives for Sunrise Capital declined to comment.

But those bad bets have yet to deter aggressive investors on the whole, industry sources say.

“It could cost [up to] $10,000 to move a home, depending on how big it is,” Rob Ybarra, a debt and equity broker at CBRE based in Las Vegas, noted. “But if you raise rents 25 or 50 bucks — are you going to pick up and go somewhere else? Probably not.

“That’s one of the really big reasons that people like this property type,” Ybarra added. “It’s a captured audience.”

read more…

https://therealdeal.com/miami/issues_articles/a-captured-audience/

The rents are too damn high | Bedford Corners Real estate

The cost of rent in the U.S., particularly in certain metro areas, is too darn high.

Nearly half of U.S. rental households are spending more than the recommended 30% of their income on rent, according to a report from Apartment List. (The national rate went from 49.5% in 2017 to 49.7% in 2018.)

And according to Apartment List, “in 19 of the nation’s 25 largest metros, a household earning the median renter income would be cost-burdened by the median rent. Of the 100 largest metros, the median renter would be burdened in 64 metros.”

Among the biggest metros in the U.S., Miami has the highest cost burden rate at 62.7% — this means that 62.7% of its renters are spending more than the recommended 30% on rent. Not far behind is New Orleans at 60.1% The two largest metros in the U.S. by population, New York and Los Angeles, are at 52.2% and 56.9% respectively. Given their size, NYC and LA house the highest number of cost-burdened individuals.

Miami has the highest cost burden among the biggest metros, but California has the most cost-burdened households. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)
Miami has the highest cost burden among the biggest metros, but California has the most cost-burdened households. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

“Certainly, the worst offenders — places like Los Angeles, Boston, San Diego, Miami — these are places where it’s not always easy to build as many houses as you’d like, but also their economies have been very strong, so the increases in rental [costs] become an unfortunate byproduct of that,” Igor Popov, chief economist at Apartment List, told Yahoo Finance.

By state, Florida has the highest cost burden rate at 56.5%. Other high cost-burdened states include New York, New Jersey, California, Colorado, Louisiana, and Connecticut — notably places along the coasts.

“We’re seeing that especially coastal cities — where adding new housing is difficult but economies are booming — those are the places where affordability issues are stacking up the most,” Popov said. “With that said, it is a national problem so even cities that aren’t necessarily in the housing affordability debate every day still have a lot of renters who are struggling.”

A building with residential apartments stands in the newly developed and exclusive Hudson Yards neighborhood in Manhattan on September 13, 2019 in New York City. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A building with residential apartments stands in the newly developed and exclusive Hudson Yards neighborhood in Manhattan on September 13, 2019 in New York City. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Supply and demand

Then there is San Francisco, which has a cost burden rate below the national average — despite the fact that the city has the highest rent in the country. This is because of rent control, Popov explained.

“A lot of the people who are able to live and rent in San Francisco are ones that have been in rent-controlled apartments for some time,” he said. “And so a good chunk of the city is covered by rent control. When you look at who’s actually able to rent in the market, a lot of families are able to afford it because they are basically paying below market rates.”

He continued: “The market rates in San Francisco are essentially the highest in the country. If you’re just moving to San Francisco and looking for an apartment, the prices are very high. But formally, the majority of people that are able to comfortably add rent are the ones who aren’t paying the market rate, but are usually in a rent-controlled apartment. Rent control often plays a role in these affordability numbers, often driving a wedge between the market rate that a new resident would pay, versus the rent-controlled rate the existing residents pay.”

Vineland, New Jersey, has the highest cost burden rate. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)
Vineland, New Jersey, has the highest cost burden rate. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

Because of high rents in many of these cities, residents often turn to surrounding areas to reside for more financially feasible places to live. This is the case of Riverside, Calif., a city near Los Angeles, where the median rent accounts for approximately 36% of a person’s income.

“Riverside is actually seeing a lot of people who are migrating from the LA metro in search of more affordable options, but that demand is, in turn, driving up the price there as well,” Popov said.

‘I guess we went in the wrong direction’

Supply and demand wasn’t the only factor that affected the increase in rent-burdened households last year. Rental increases also outpaced wage growth in 2018, the first time since 2011.

“There’s a lot of factors for why that might be but on a very macro level, I think this economic expansion has been one that hasn’t [benefited] low-income households very well,” Popov said. “That shift was a bit surprising especially given that … we’ve seen a lot of high-income renters flooding in the rental market. In some ways, they’ve been padding the stats, so to speak, because they’ve come in and they’ve typically been able to afford their rentals, so they’ve made it look like things are getting better but this year, I guess we went in the wrong direction.”

From 2017 to 2018, there were nearly 300,000 more cost-burdened rental households throughout the U.S., which Popov described as “a big change in the number of people that have gone from being able to afford their housing to technically living in a place that they’re unable to afford.”

“You risk them moving away and that could both affect the economy and the economic diversity of a city when the renters move away, and you risk not being able to attract talent to grow the economy, and you risk not having basically that next generation being able to come and move to the city to keep it vibrant,” Popov said. “I think of this on a city-by-city basis and on that level, there are a lot of markets where maybe the flag isn’t being raised for the first time — maybe it’s been raised for a while.”

read more…

https://money.yahoo.com/rent-high-america-housing-133403276.html

Leftist Utopia California shuts lights again | Armonk Real Estate

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said it may cut off power to roughly 303,000 customers across 25 counties in California this week to reduce the risk of the utility’s equipment sparking a wildfire.

PG&E said a strong offshore wind early Wednesday morning and dry conditions may lead to power shutoffs for customers in the Sierra Foothills, the North Valley, North Bay and other parts of the Bay Area. Customers that could be impacted in those regions were notified Monday morning.

By Monday night, the potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs were expanded to include Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and San Mateo. Customers that could be impacted in those regions were notified Monday afternoon.

Shutoffs would begin Wednesday morning if they’re enacted. PG&E said its goal would be to return power to customers by Monday.

Can’t see the map? CLICK HERE

“If PG&E calls the PSPS, the shutoffs will take place in phases beginning Wednesday morning through early afternoon, based on local weather conditions,” the utility said in a news release Monday night.

The shutoffs are part of PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff program, which is designed to reduce the threat of wildfires that could be sparked by lines brought down in gusting winds. PG&E’s equipment has been blamed for causing a series of destructive wildfires in recent years.

PG&E’s power shutoffs have drawn ire from residents, businesses and local governments. Gov. Gavin Newsom has threatened a possible state takeover of the troubled utility.

read more…

https://www.kcra.com/article/pge-shutoffs-november-18-update-california/29833826

Cement paneling to build low-cost housing units for refugee camps | Pound Ridge Real Estate

These “Just Add Water” Homes Can Be Built in Less Than 24 Hours

View PhotosTINY HOMES + DESIGN NEWS

These “Just Add Water” Homes Can Be Built in Less Than 24 Hours

Paris-based architecture and design firm Cutwork plans to use roll-out cement paneling to build low-cost, durable housing units for refugee camps.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are an estimated 25,900,000 refugees worldwide, and that number is growing. As a new housing solution, Cutwork has developed a “just add water” building technology that can be used to construct a tiny home in a day’s time—no building experience or tools required.

The technology has myriad advantages over the flimsy, disposable tents found in many refugee camps. They’re fireproof, waterproof, insulated for harsh climates, and can be washed and cleaned easily. The structures also use 90% less raw material than traditional concrete shelters—and they’re three times stronger. Though they’re designed to provide temporary housing, they’ll endure for at least 30 years.

The shelters are made from an advanced concrete composite that is lightweight, durable, and three times as as strong as traditional concrete. Sheets of the material can be draped over snap-together metal framing, and then hardened in place when water is added.
The shelters are made from an advanced concrete composite that is lightweight, durable, and three times as as strong as traditional concrete. Sheets of the material can be draped over snap-together metal framing, and then hardened in place when water is added.
The Cortex shelters can last for at least 30 years, providing an eco-friendly and resilient new means of housing.
The Cortex shelters can last for at least 30 years, providing an eco-friendly and resilient new means of housing.
The 250-square-foot structures are insulated for comfort in harsh climates, and they have windows for light and ventilation. The interiors can be outfitted with toilets, electric stoves, and living rooms. 
The 250-square-foot structures are insulated for comfort in harsh climates, and they have windows for light and ventilation. The interiors can be outfitted with toilets, electric stoves, and living rooms. 

The Cortex shelters can be prefabricated in pieces near refugee camps and then flat packed and shipped to the build site. Upon arrival, the concrete paneling is rolled out and formed around metallic frames. Once the paneling is in place, water is added in situ to harden the concrete composite.

Each home comes with the basics: a strong locking door, a toilet, a shower, and windows for light and air circulation. Solar panels provide electricity for interior lighting, charging electronics, and cooking atop an electric stove. Additional features can be added depending on the specific needs of a home or an encampment.

With a digital manufacturing method, parts can be created near refugee camps and then trucked to the site for assembly. The materials can be flat packed and pieced together by two people in under 24 hours.
With a digital manufacturing method, parts can be created near refugee camps and then trucked to the site for assembly. The materials can be flat packed and pieced together by two people in under 24 hours.
The modular construction process doesn’t require any tools or building expertise.
The modular construction process doesn’t require any tools or building expertise.

Cutwork CEO and co-founder Kelsea Crawford says, “Our mission is to create stability and security for people who have lost the most—essential safety, a place to call home, and the simple foundations to rebuild communities and hope.”

read more…

https://www.dwell.com/article/cortex-tiny-homes-emergency-housing-cutwork-eb680bd6