Friday, July 18, 2014

Millennial-driven housing boom coming

The Millennials who for years have been holed-up in their childhood homes, won't be there forever.

They really do want to move out, according to a study by Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, and by 2025 could form 24 million new households.
Some 11 million recent grads were living with a parent in 2012, according to Pew. The homeownership rate for those under age 35 was 36% in the first three months of 2014, down from a high of 43% in 2005, according to the Census.
Three main factors have been holding them back, said the Harvard study: A weak job market for recent graduates. Student loans. And tight lending standards.
But as the economy turns around, the obstacles have begun to fall.
"When the job market recovers and their income recovers, they are going make their mark on this housing market," said Christopher Herbert, research director at the Harvard division, in a panel discussion following the release of the Harvard report.
Buying by Millenials should give a boost to the overall housing market.
"If somebody wants to move up from a starter house to a larger house, they need someone to sell the starter house to," said Mike Calhoun, the president of the Center for Responsible Lending, at the panel.
The report pointed out that some factors could restrain household formation. Despite economic news improving, Millennials face only slow economic gains. Unemployment is falling, but wage growth has been persistently stagnant. Plus, Millennials must still confront increasing student debt burdens and tight lending standards.
Instead of a mass exodus from their parents' homes, the authors said Millenials' might just trickle out, mirroring what Herbert called the economy's "steady, slow recovery."
The report also pointed out that borrowers of color, who are expected to see demographic growth that could help drive household formation and building, face mortgage denials at far higher rates than white counterparts, which might well imperil a housing surge.

Original CNN Article

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Gandy road extension expected to ease Southport traffic congestion

Relief for the parade of frustrated drivers who sit in traffic on Howe Street and N.C. 211 could soon be en route, as the City of Southport announced Tuesday that the planned extension of Rob Gandy Boulevard from N.C. 87 to East Leonard Street will now begin. 
The city’s board of aldermen met in special session Tuesday afternoon to unveil the private-public partnership endeavor that could be completed within three to four months.
The project is a major collaboration between the city, the N.C. Department of Transportation, local legislators, adjacent property owners and Capital Power, a biomass power generation facility on Powerhouse Drive, off Leonard Street. 
Mayor Robert Howard praised each of the entities during the meeting, and announced that Capital Power had agreed to donated between $1-million and $1.1-million towards the effort, fully financing the road portion of the project. Additionally, DOT has awarded the city a grant of $180,000, which will go toward the $196,000 needed for intersection improvements.
“A second entrance into Southport has often been talked about over the years,” Howard said. “As everyone knows, it will deliver the radical improvement needed to get traffic moving. The completion of this additional roadway will provide a much-needed relief for our city, and our friends living on Jabbertown Road.”
During a summit meeting held in May 2012 between the city, legislators and DOT, Howard was notified that it would be 2021 or 2022 before the road would qualify as a project under the state’s transportation improvement plan and operating budget. Howard said at the time he felt that would not be soon enough to solve congestion problems plaguing the area.
“On behalf of the board, we wish to thank Michael Lee, our transportation board member, DOT’s Division 3 engineer Karen Fussell, and Rep. Frank Iler and Sen. Bill Rabon for their support of this venture,” Howard said. “This was truly a group effort to make it happen.” 
Howard praised the role of facility plant manager Dave Groves and Capital Power for their contributions. 
Once the road extension is constructed, city and company officials are hopeful that truck traffic that currently utilizes Jabbertown Road to transport fuel to the facility will be eliminated.
“Traffic and road safety is a priority for Capital Power and it’s important to us to minimize disruptions to our neighbors,” Groves said. “That is why we are developing this road. A good happy community is a great benefit to us.”
The city also reached out to adjacent property owners Cameron Smith, Howard Lee and Aleyah Muhammad, all of whom Howard said gave easements to the state and city. 

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

House hunting? Download these apps first

From enabling us to virtually walk through an open house to instantly learning about the social scene in a neighborhood we're thinking about moving to, a new generation of apps and other technologies are taking the real estate shopping experience to the next level.

"There's been a revolution in innovation," said Alex Perriello, CEO of Realogy Franchise Group, which sponsored a conference last month showcasing several new real estate technologies.
Matterport, of Mountain View, Calif., recently unveiled 3D Showcase, which produces high-quality, 3-D images of homes that can be embedded in online listings. Users can virtually walk room-to-room, behind sofas, around beds and past corners. 
Then, at a click of a button, walls peel away revealing a photographic image of the house with all the spaces exposed. The 3D image can be rotated, turned and zoomed in on.
Matterport's CEO, Bill Brown, said that until now, listing sites usually contained slideshows of photos but, "There was no context to the space as a whole."
Furniture can be erased, leaving empty space behind. Or, it can be replaced with other furniture to re-stage rooms. Homebuyers can see what the place would look like after they buy it and put in the sofas, chairs and table they choose.
"This takes the dreaming part of house hunting and takes it to the next level," said Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate.
Meanwhiles, to avoid crowded open houses where you can't get an answer to your questions, or agents who are unfamiliar with the property, a company called BrightDoor is offering Beamly.
It uses small Bluetooth-enabled devices located throughout the home to send home shoppers information via their mobile phones or other devices. When a buyer goes into the kitchen, for example, they can learn more about the appliances or wood cabinet options available to them.
With Boston-based CO Everywhere, users with Bluetooth-equipped mobile devices can draw boundaries around interactive maps of neighborhoods they are looking to move into and the site will display an array of local social media content from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook from that area. It also posts local Meetup events and deals and coupons from local businesses through sites like YipIt.
"It's like the NSA for real estate," said Tony Longo, CEO of CO Everywhere.
Longo drew a two-block area of Greenwich Village in New York and found 49 people he could connect with at that moment. "The social intelligence that comes out of an area can be rich," he said.
Zumper, which specializes in rentals, has produced the Zumper Pro app that enables agents to quickly create new online listings in a matter of minutes. Using their smartphones or tablets, agents can take photos, write descriptions and fill in details, such as the number of bedrooms, baths and square footage.
Then, even before they leave the apartment, agents can post the listing online and send alerts to prospective renters with the app that a new place is on the market.
CNN Real Estate Article

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker
(910) 523-0903 mobileEmail Click here for more information on Brunswick, County Real Estate St. James Plantation