Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Solving the housing crisis with cheap ‘granny flats

Source: Business Insider

A startup out of Los Angeles wants to bring small, pre-fabricated living spaces ranging in size from 300 to 1,200 square feet into the backyards of the country's hottest real estate markets. Cover, is a technology company that plans, designs, and manufactures backyard studios, in-law units, home offices, and guest rooms — collectively known as accessory dwelling units (ADU) — using machine learning and methods borrowed from the aerospace and automotive industries. The company’s long-term goal is to increase the housing supply in cities where the cost of living has become prohibitive, in the hopes of driving market prices down. In January, legislation went into effect in California that makes it easier and cheaper for homeowners to build ADUs. The state hopes to see the housing stock climb as a result. If a homeowner is interested in putting an ADU on their property, they can fill out a survey of 50 to 100 questions, which covers everything from land type to cabinet finishes. For a one-time fee of $250, an algorithm gathers information on zoning and build codes in the area and returns multiple design options that meet the needs of the owner as well as city requirements.

  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

America’s declining mobility has millennials feeling stuck

Source: Curbed LA

According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans moving over a one-year period fell to an all-time low of 11.2 percent last year (domestic migration shrunk in half since 1965). The drop is particularly prevalent among millennials. New survey data from the Pew Research Center found that 25- to 35-year-olds are relocating at much lower rates than the previous generation. Last year, 20 percent of millennials moved sometime in the last year. When older generations were the same age as millennials now, they moved at higher rates: Gen X was at 26 percent, as was the generation between 1925 and 1942. According to data from Moody’s Analytics and First American Financial Corporation, median homeownership tenure—the average time someone stays in their home—just rose to 8.5 years, the highest they’ve seen since they began collecting data in 2008. And right now, especially in hot metro markets like San Francisco and New York, houses move at lightning speed. Redfin found that the average U.S. home went under contract in just 49 days in March, the fastest time on record since Redfin began keeping data in 2010.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

CA among top three markets for foreign commercial buyers

Source: Dallas Morning News

Florida and Texas were the top markets on foreign real estate investors shopping lists in 2016. The National Association of REALTORS® said 20 percent of its commercial real estate members closed a sale last year involving foreign buyers. Florida, Texas and California were the most popular markets for offshore buyers acquiring small properties for either investment or use, the REALTORS® found in their annual commercial real estate survey. "Nearly half of REALTORS® reported that they experienced a greater number of international clients looking to buy commercial space over the past five years," NAR's top economist Lawrence Yun said in the report. "Economic expansion has slowly chugged along since the downturn, but in comparison to the rest of the world, the U.S. remains one of the most attractive and safest bets for investors. There's little evidence this will change anytime soon." NAR found that most of the foreign buyers making a play in the U.S. were from China. Chinese investors accounted for 17 percent of the commercial property sales handled by Realtors.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Millennials are powering the housing market

Source: NBC News

Millennials were the largest group of home buyers (34 percent) for the fourth consecutive year, according to NAR's 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. By comparison, baby boomers were 30 percent of buyers. "Millennials have been fairly slow to get into the market, but we are seeing an uptick in millennial buyers this year — which is a good sign, because as home values rise, we want a wider number of people to participate in this housing recovery," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR. "There's a pent-up demand and as the economy continues to improve, we expect to see more people in their early thirties, adults who are still living with their parents — clearly not their idea of the American dream — begin to look for their own housing units." Research done by the National Association of Homebuilders found that more than 90 percent of millennials say they eventually want to buy a house.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Researchers Calculate Major Cost Savings of 3-D Printing Household Items

Source: Phys.org

Interested in making an investment that promises a 100 percent return on your money? Buy a low-cost, open-source 3-D printer, plug it in, and print household items. In a recent study, Michigan Technological University Associate Professor Joshua Pearce set out to determine how practical and cost effective at-home 3-D printing is for the average consumer. He found that consumers—even those who are technologically illiterate—can not only make their money back within six months, but can also earn an almost 1,000 percent return on their investment over a five-year period.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

In the Smart Home, Whoever Owns the Hub May Own Retail Too

Source: Forbes

Beyond the convenience of seeing who is knocking at your door, many of the potential uses of the smart home lead back to retail. Your refrigerator will tell you when you need more milk. Your smart lamp might predict or warn you when your light bulb is about to die. Your fitness tracker will make meal recommendations for how to change your diet to meet your fitness goals – meals it will undoubtedly want to help you plan and buy. And right now there are three main companies capable of carrying on a conversation with such smart devices: Apple, Google, and Amazon. If you’re using Amazon’s Alexa, where do you think it’s going to be easiest to buy that milk your refrigerator says you need? You might not even consciously approve the order – when milk gets this low, Alexa will order it, and Amazon Pantry will deliver.


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