Archives for January 2012

Top 10 green building trends in 2012

U.S. Trends

1. Green building growth to rebound

LEED project growth was slow in 2011, only gaining 3 percent for the year. But while LEED certification on new projects may take longer to gain much steam, the program’s retrofitting arm, LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EBOM), is quickly gaining traction.

2. Federal momentum has slowed

3. LEED-EBOM will gain momentum

4. Water issues grow in importance

“Even the water-wet areas have water problems brought on by infrastructure problems and population growth,” Yudelson says. “Florida doesn’t have a place for a reservoir in the entire state, so even if you have a slight drought, you have big problems.”

5. Zero-net-energy to gain traction

“Zero-net-energy needs to be in your future,” Yudelson says, adding that it works best on two- to four-story buildings that use only between 30,000 and 35,000 British thermal units per square foot per year.

Global Trends

6. Green building movement will continue to grow

7. Performance disclosure

Already popular in the European Union and Australia, requirements for buildings to disclose their energy use are gaining traction in the U.S.

8. Global carbon ratings

Carbon ratings that remain standard across countries are of particular interest to global property management companies. “If your company is committed to sustainability, you’re going to have to report this,” he says.

9. Solar power stalls

“Solar power is kind of slowing down,” mostly due to the costs involved, Yudelson says, adding that the focus is shifting instead to energy efficiency.

10. Building management goes into the cloud

As buildings get more complex, Yudelson says, “we’re seeing the need for software that allows us to manage buildings out of the cloud.

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder magazine.

 

Source from Inman News

All information is from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description.

 

Is now a good time to buy?

What trends are affecting the value of my home? What new economic policies will be shaping my real estate decisions in the coming months?

 

January 2012  Market Update 2012 shows signs of an improving housing market as the U.S. economy continues its forward-moving yet slow road to recovery. Although there are economists projecting housing prices will decline further, aided by distressed property sales that sell at a greater discount, these prices are expected to rebound considerably later in the year and continue into 2013.
Factors that continue to impede a speedier recovery in the housing are consumer confidence, job-growth uncertainty, and tough lending standards that keep many otherwise qualified buyers from financing a home purchase. However, consumer confidence may be showing signs of improvement according to a report released by Fannie Mae on December 7, which revealed that consumer sentiment toward home prices is stabilizing and that, for the first time in six months, more people believe that prices will soon begin to rise. This is an encouraging development, as much of our economic vitality depends upon the overall confidence of the consumer, and could trigger even stronger home sales as more people feel confident that prices will go up.
As the new year begins, many consumers appear to be in a holding pattern, waiting to see how the economy reacts to the different demands both here and abroad. Yet with steadily increasing sales and record-breaking affordability, now is the time to take advantage of these opportunities to buy or sell a home.

Sources: Fiserv, Fannie Mae

 

Home Sales
in millions

Sales among existing homes rose in November by a seasonally adjusted 4%, to 4.42 million units up from 4.25 million in October, and are 12.2 percent above last year at this time. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “Sales reached the highest mark in 10 months and are 34 percent above the cyclical low point in mid-2010 – a genuine sustained sales recovery appears to be developing.”
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Home Price
in thousands
While median home prices in November rose to $164,200 from $162,500 in October, they are down 3.5% from a year ago. David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv, stated, “Housing affordability has improved dramatically because of declines in both prices and mortgage interest rates. The monthly mortgage payment for a median-priced single-family home is now $700, compared to $1,140 in 2006—a decline of nearly 40%.” (Based on 2011 Q2 figures)
Inventory- Month’s Supply
in months

With increased levels of sales, the inventory of homes on the market continued to decrease, falling by 5.8% in November to 2.58 million homes available for sale, or an equivalent of a seven month supply at the current sales pace. This positive sign of increasing sales and lower inventories are keeping the housing market on track for stabilizing home prices and a stronger housing sector.

Source: National Association of Realtors


All information is from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description.

First Time Home Buyer Tips

  • Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
  • Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
  • List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
  • Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
  • Focus & Organization:In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
    1. One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
    2. A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.
    3. Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
    4. Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.
    5. Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?
  • Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
  • Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don’t make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
  • Be Thorough:A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don’t forget such essentials as:
    1. Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
    2. Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
    3. Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
    4. You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).

     


All information is from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description.

Fourth Quarter 2011 Real Estate Investment Outlook

Commercial real estate investors have not been dissuaded by the economic and political turmoil that has dominated headlines in recent months.

The latest NREI/Marcus & Millichap Investor Sentiment Survey shows only a slight decline in investor sentiment from the high of 164 that was recorded in the second quarter. It is important to note that the current investor sentiment matches the 152 recorded in fourth quarter 2010, which at that time represented the highest level the index had achieved since the survey began in 2004…

 

fourth_quarter_investment_outlook

All information is from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description.

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