Housing News Roundup: June 19, 2015
Bloomberg Columnist: Housing Recovery Is Slow and Varied
Reviewing current housing indicators, Bloomberg columnist Barry Ritholtz concludes that the strength of housing markets varies by region and is distributed unevenly across the nation, especially in cities. When considering how to assess the state of housing in the United States Ritholtz examines: homeownership rates, mortgage rates, equity, recovery and luxury versus ordinary home sales. Particularly noteworthy among the findings is the strength of luxury markets such as San Francisco and New York City, while other markets and regions still face strong headwinds.
Source: Bloomberg View
“Coliving” to Afford Housing in Booming Cities
As rents continue to rise in cities like San Francisco, Washington, DC, and New York City, people seeking proximity to work may be drawn to“coliving” arrangements. A coliving resident describes her experience sharing a large urban property with 8 roommates. Some businesses see these arrangements as opportunities to operate a new property type which blends hotel and residential aspects. While the author enjoys the affordability of communal living, the business model has not yet found economic success.
Source: Fast Company
Public Parcel Sale in CA Showcases Competing Priorities
A defunct hotel San Jose, California has an uncertain future, as the publicly-owned parcel faces an open bid. Mayor Sam Liccardo has proposed converting the shuttered Plaza Hotel into temporary housing for almost 50 homeless citizens for up to six months. The hotel is currently owned by the successor to the former redevelopment agency. During the agency’s offer period to public agencies, none made a bid, thus putting the property up for sale to the highest bidder, bringing in needed revenue. Developer KT Urban is exploring the opportunity to purchase the property as part of a larger development plan. City officials are currently seeking authorization to acquire the property for conversion to transitional housing. If granted, the city would request its removal from the open bidding process.
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Affordable Housing Shortage Creates Worker Shortage for Utilities
San Juan County, Washington, has the state’s largest gap between average home prices and incomes. In the island community, residents are feeling the ripple effects. For more than a year, the local utility company was unable to activate a new phone system because they could not find enough staff. Those would otherwise fill those jobs could not afford to live on the island.
Source: King 5 News