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Buying a rental property is cheaper in the winter — here are the 26...

Cleveland Increase in annual investment return: 12.25% Median home sale price (winter): $69,950 Median home sale price (summer): $77,500 Savings on home purchase: 10% 22. Dallas Increase in annual investment return: 12.37% Median home sale price (winter): $166,950 Median home sale price (summer): $201,875 Savings on home purchase: 17% 21. Detroit Increase in annual investment return: 12.47% Median home sale price (winter): $132,000 Median home sale price (summer): $165,000 Savings on home purchase: 20% 20. St. Louis Increase in annual investment return: 12.82% Median home sale price (winter): $91,125 Median home sale price (summer): $110,000 Savings on home purchase: 17% 17. New York City Increase in annual investment return: 14.88% Median home sale price (winter): $309,000 Median home sale price (summer): $405,733 Savings on home purchase: 24% 11. Minneapolis Increase in annual investment return: 16.08% Median home sale price (winter): $163,823 Median home sale price (summer): $205,000 Savings on home purchase: 20% 10. Seattle Increase in annual investment return: 17.81% Median home sale price (winter): $389,500 Median home sale price (summer): $517,000 Savings on home purchase: 25% 8. Columbus Increase in annual investment return: 18.61% Median home sale price (winter): $131,000 Median home sale price (summer): $175,000 Savings on home purchase: 25% 6. Chicago Increase in annual investment return: 21.19% Median home sale price (winter): $185,000 Median home sale price (summer): $250,000 Savings on home purchase: 26% 4. Cincinnati Increase in annual investment return: 23.76% Median home sale price (winter): $85,500 Median home sale price (summer): $110,203 Savings on home purchase: 22% 2.

Countdown: The top 10 stories of the year (1,2)

1 top article of 2017. As we counted down to Christmas we saw the top articles of the year, which you can catch up on below. But now, the holiday is passed, and before we move on the new year and the changes it brings, it’s time to look at the top article that attracted the most reads this year. We already discovered the 9th and 10th top articles in part one of the countdown, the 7th and 8th top articles in part two, the 5th and 6th articles in part three and the top 3rd and 4th articles in part four. 1 article, let’s check out the 2nd most popular article on HousingWire this year... And the runner up is: Written in May, after a legacy of rumor dating back to 2015, Housingwire finally reported that Nationstar Mortgage officially became Mr. Cooper. A journey that Nationstar Mortgage first began way back in 2015 neared its conclusion, as the company announced that it would officially transition and become Mr. Cooper in August 2017. 1, most popular, most read article of 2017: Surprise! It was inauguration day and President Donald Trump wasted no time at all in making his first move. Just moments after President Trump was sworn in on Friday, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it is indefinitely suspending the reduction of FHA mortgage insurance premiums, undoing a cut announced by the Obama administration only a few weeks ago. The suspension is effective immediately.

Store closures rocked retail in 2017. Now 2018 is set to bring another round...

A larger-than-average slew of retail bankruptcies and stores being shuttered rocked the industry this year, making headlines and dragging even some of the better-performing companies such as Home Depot, TJ Maxx and Costco down with the dismal news. Still, shoppers may not yet realize the full impact of these changes. The closure may not come until 2020, in some cases. Ascena Retail Group, for example, which owns names such as Dressbarn, Loft and Ann Taylor, could close as many as 667 stores by mid-2019, depending on how negotiations pan out with U.S. mall and shopping center landlords. Instead, Starbucks must adhere to an operating covenant within their contracts. Gap and J.Crew are other apparel names that have announced plans to shutter some locations over the next year to two years, but the retailers haven't set a firm date. H&M, which reports its full-year results late next month, is also expected to open fewer stores than planned next year and will begin to close some of its doors. According to FGRT, the most closure announcements so far stem from RadioShack, Payless and Rue21, all of which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017. "If they can't make critical investments, they have to ask themselves if it makes sense to plod on another year or if it's of better interest in the long term ... to make a better [store] structure." About 3,400 openings have been announced so far in 2017, according to FGRT.

The Benefits (And Limits) Of Fintech In Commercial Real Estate

The commercial real estate (CRE) industry is no exception. But just as several enterprising tech companies have disrupted the consumer lending market, tech-enabled alternative lenders are continuing to transform the CRE market. Over the past several years, alternative lenders — including tech-enabled direct lenders like us, non-bank lenders and marketplace lenders — have effectively leveraged technology to create a more efficient and streamlined CRE sale and financing process. • Borrower completes a loan application and applies for a loan at a bank or alternative lender. Just as technology helped transform consumer lending through the rise of platforms like peer-to-peer platforms Lending Club and Prosper, technology is helping to simplify and speed up the commercial real estate lending and underwriting process. Technology can also be used to help speed up the due diligence and closing process. These algorithms can comb through data at many times the speed of a human and, in some cases, automatically screen out unqualified applicants. Why You Can't Underwrite A CRE Loan With An Algorithm But for all the benefits of technology, there are still some things a computer can’t do. There are so many factors that go into this decision — the quality of the borrower, the location of the property, the type of property, the potential cash flows from the property and, of course, the financial details of the loan. We are still in the early days of fintech in the CRE market.

People love talking about property, how listening can help you in Real Estate Investing

It’s one of the most essential life skills you’ll ever learn… I’m talking about listening. I’ve made a lot of money over the years from simple conversations that have alerted me to something, or some opportunity, that I might not have otherwise noticed or seen clearly. So whenever you’re looking to buy property, you should take the time to ask your friends, colleagues and acquaintances for their thoughts. Whenever friends visit Hong Kong, I always ask about what they’re seeing in real estate back home in their neighbourhood or city. But as important in my mind as big-picture research is, so is listening and talking to locals who share knowledge that you would otherwise not be privy to. Before you make an investment, call a few people, shout them a coffee and see if they can add to your research. What’s happening on the ground Top-down research can give us the big-picture story. Getting the overall market call right is hugely important, but it is that knowledge at grassroots level that can really give you an edge when you’re making big real estate investment decisions. Listen, listen and listen some more Just by listening and being alert and interested in property news and stories, I have chanced upon real estate investment opportunities – many of which have led to very profitable outcomes. If you make it a habit to ask questions, and more importantly listen to the answers, you’ll put yourself in the best position to do the same.

Avoiding The Dangers Of Buying To Flip In An Overvalued Market

You purchase a house below market value, make a few low-cost, high-impact improvements and sell it at market price for a profit. For example, the price offered when purchasing the property is, of course, based on an estimate of what it will cost to renovate the house and the expected resale value. The key word there is “estimate.” If the flipper encounters issues that increase the cost of repairs, the net revenue from the flip can drop precipitously. In a hot real estate market, labor costs will go up and it may be difficult to find the skilled labor needed to make your desired upgrades in a timely manner. And generally speaking, the longer a flipper has to hold a property, the lower the profits. In that scenario, not only will the investor suffer a decrease in profits, they may actually have to sell the property at a loss. When using 5% over fair local value as the measure, Fitch labels 27% of the 412 housing markets it monitors overvalued. Flippers who buy in one of these markets and have a flip in progress when the bubble bursts are left with the difficult decision of whether to hold the property and hope for a market rebound or sell it as quickly as possible and take the loss. For many investors today, especially in over-valued markets, buying, rehabbing and renting single-family homes is becoming a safer alternative to the buy, fix and flip strategy. This is because rents tend to fall slower than home prices and if your cash flow and returns are based upon rental income and long-term appreciation — instead of an immediate appreciation in sales price — the assets will continue to perform as expected.

8 Differences Between Investing in REITs and Physical Properties

However, if you are still undecided on whether to invest in REITs and physical properties I will share four more differences between investing in the two here. This will make a total of 8 differences. These tenants vary according to the type of REITs you choose. The continuity of your rental income depends on your ability to attract, retain and collect money from your respective tenant for as long as you possibly can. Would you like to receive uninterrupted income consistently from making a one-time investment in a REIT over the next five, 10 or 20 years, or worry about fluctuations in your rental income? If you invest in REITs, you are relying on the professional expertise of the appointed property managers to carry out a good job to manage the properties within the portfolio. For instance, you may not need to pay income tax on distributions received from REITs. However, you would most likely pay income tax on rental income from your small apartment. If you want to learn more about investing and to keep up to date on the latest financial and stock market news, you can sign up for a FREE subscription to The Motley Fool's investing newsletter, Take Stock Singapore. The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better.

Net Neutrality Rollback Threat to Real Estate Industry

The net neutrality controversy came to a head last week when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed the Obama-era open internet regulations following a meeting on Dec. 14. The repeal has been contested by the real estate industry, consumers and Democrat lawmakers, who sought to keep streaming and internet service provider (ISP) choice in consumers’ court. What Is Net Neutrality? These regulations maintained that providers could not use consumers’ streaming data against them to block competitor’s pages, force them to use specific services and visit specific websites, and/or increase prices by imposing additional costs for “package deals.” Removing these protections opens the door to tiered service from ISPs. Meanwhile, tier two companies (most likely small businesses who can’t afford to pay higher fees) would suffer slower internet speeds or even blocked pages. With the rollback, the FCC is restoring the framework implemented before 2015, which featured a “light-touch” philosophy when it comes to FTC involvement. And restoring a favorable climate for network investment is key to closing the digital divide, spurring competition and innovation that benefits consumers.” How Will This Impact Real Estate? With this repeal, high-earning brokerages may be able to pay for preferential treatment, creating an unfair advantage against small real estate businesses. After the FCC’s announcement of the rollback, NAR released the following statement: “The internet as we know it today is a fair and open platform that puts everyone on a level playing field,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “FCC’s rollback of the Open Internet Order will mean higher costs and slower service for millions of American consumers and businesses.

Investors propel post-Harvey housing rally

Whether they flooded or stayed dry, whether they've been fixed up or remain gutted, houses in Houston are selling at a solid clip. Single-family home sales across the Houston area were up 7.4 percent in November compared with the same month last year, according to the latest report from the Houston Association of Realtors. Demand for homes priced less than $250,000 has been extremely high in recent years as home values have been on an upswing, leaving many would-be buyers priced out. The median price of the single-family homes that sold last month was flat from a year ago at $225,725, according to the association, which tracks sales handled through the Multiple Listing Service primarily throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. Ambrose doesn't know who is buying her house, but she did get a couple of "low-ball cash offers" likely from investors. The company buys many of its houses from homeowners wanting to avoid foreclosure. The first callers are usually homeowners who had their properties on the market before they flooded. The second set of calls are those who can't afford or don't want to fix their homes. Homes that flooded just once, Spitz said, and are outside a flood zone, are generally the most desirable to investors. Areas like Katy and Cypress are areas people want to live in.

For the Next Housing Crisis, Lessons From the Last One

But, according to a new working paper, lowering principal had very little effect on defaults for underwater borrowers. “If borrowers’ mortgage balances were much higher than their home value, policy makers and academic researchers worried the borrowers might decide to walk away, ” says Dr. Noel. But a more effective policy to help those homeowners and give the economy a boost, he says, might have been to temporarily lower the underwater homeowners’ mortgage payments, freeing up cash flow and thus spurring consumer spending. DR. NOEL: It has always been difficult to tease apart the effect of principal and monthly payment reductions because prior research had studied them together. The second group received the exact same short-term payment reduction, but also received about $70,000 in mortgage principal reduction, writing down, on average, a third of their mortgage balance. DR. NOEL: The principal reduction had no statistically significant effects on borrowers’ short-term default rates. It also had very little effect on consumption. If, for example, a borrower owes $80,000 more on their mortgage than their home is worth and $70,000 is forgiven, the home is still underwater. WSJ: How big a role did a homeowner’s leverage play in default rates? We have a new version of the paper coming out soon where we look at a different source of variation in the Home Affordable Modification Program over the same period and find a 1% reduction in monthly mortgage payments reduces default rates by about 1%.

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Solutions for Affordable Housing Crisis?

Global Shapers and ACTS sought to bring together people on the front lines of the city’s housing crisis to highlight the good work being done in Milwaukee, identify gaps where additional strategy and investment are needed and raise awareness for others to get involved in solutions. Panelists were Irma Yépez Klassen, housing policy director in Mayor Tom Barrett’s office; Kori Schneider-Peragine, senior administrator of the Inclusive Communities Program at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council; and Dorothy York, associate director of ACTS. Gosman cited statistics that set Milwaukee apart when it comes to affordable housing. She cited a newly proposed ordinance in the city Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee that would require all new privately financed apartment developments of 20 units or more to include 10 percent affordable units. Awareness and understanding about the variety of resources available to those seeking affordable housing options is also lacking, Stoner said. Gosman said he disagrees with Desmond, the author of “Evicted,” who believes housing vouchers are the answer for Milwaukee. “The housing voucher system is broken,” Gosman said. “Anything that’s meant to be a safety net shouldn’t be rationed.” Rental assistance isn’t the only resource available, Stoner said, “and if more people knew that, then we would be able to more clearly see the gaps of people who we’re not getting to with the current resources available.” For example, ACTS helps low-income people own homes. The panel discussion left both Stoner and Graham with mixed feelings. Graham agreed.