While tight inventory continues to nag the U.S. housing industry, homebuilders around the country are confident in the market, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The Housing Market Index revealed that builder confidence for new single-family homes stayed unchanged in February at 72. Respondents said they are encouraged by a pro-business political climate and surging consumer demand, said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.
“The HMI gauge of future sales expectations has reached a post-recession high, an indicator that consumer demand for housing should grow in the months ahead,” he said. “With ongoing job creation, increasing owner-occupied household formation, and a tight supply of existing home inventory, the single-family housing sector should continue to strengthen at a gradual but consistent pace.”
In other recent industry news:
The NAHB also reported that the size of new homes around the country is falling. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the median floor area of a single-family home was 2,371 square feet.
U.S. home construction jumped 9.7 percent in January to an annual rate of 1.326 million, the U.S. Commerce Department reported. Meanwhile, the number of building permits issued also increased 7.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.396 million as builders try to alleviate low inventory around the country.
Mortgage applications for new homes spiked 18.4 percent year over year in January 2018 from January 2017, according to the latest Builder Application Survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA predicts new home sales will hit 700,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis — the most since the survey started in 2013.
A study by the chief economist of global real estate investment company CCIM Institute partnered with Alabama Center for Real Estate highlights the likelihood of Amazon’s second headquarter location. The report, released after Amazon announced their narrowed list of cities weeks ago, highlights the probability of Amazon’s second headquarters occupying the Southeast region around Georgia. The $5 billion facility is estimated to generate 50,000 jobs in whichever city it may occupy. Amazon is not alone in the move east, other expanding companies are establishing in the nations “Golden Triangle,” which is described as a region between the Great Lakes in the north, Texas in the southwest and Georgia, South Carolina and Florida to the southeast.
In other Atlanta real estate news:
This week the Atlanta Housing Authority announced that The Benoit Group and The Michaels Organization will be development partners for the Englewood Manor development. The project is set to create an innovative and progressive sense of place and belonging by shaping the neighborhoods to provide a variety of housing options with neighborhood serving amenities, such as grocery stores, retail options, as well as green-space in the Englewood district, located along the Atlanta BeltLine.
For singles who are looking to spend less and still live alone, HotPads released a survey this week of the most affordable neighbors for individual renters. The survey suggest that renters living alone should look further north of downtown in order to save on rent every month. Neighborhoods such as Peachtree Hills, Paces, East Chastain Park, and Virginia-Highland made the top 10 cut, where single renters are likely to spend between 32 and 42 percent of their income on rent. Meanwhile, the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Greenbriar topped the list with a median one-bedroom rent rate of $1,002.
The city is proposing to make Roswell’s historic Mimosa Hall the oldest “net zero” building in the United States through the installation of thin solar panels and solar thermal that is integrated into the roof, according to the Atlanta Business Journal. Roswell’s historic Mimosa Hall, purchased by the City of Roswell with its nine acres of gardens and woods, was initially built around 1840. These efforts will minimize the city’s annual costs to maintain the property and remove the burden of maintaining the home in the future.
NeighborhoodScout, an online database from Location, Inc., features custom analytics and reports for investing, appraising and financing real estate. To create its list of safest cities, NeighborhoodScout compares cities across the country with a minimum population of 25,000. Crimes reported by the nation’s total 18,000 local law enforcement agencies are factored into the resulting list. Each city’s population and reported number of crimes are divided by 1,000 to provide a crime rate per 1,000 residents.
Across the country, low annual crime rates in residential suburbs within metro areas and near major cities have made real estate in these places very appealing. Called “bedroom communities,” the cites that ranked on the Safest Cities list from states like Massachusetts, Connecticut and Illinois offer residents life in a more quiet neighborhood, while enjoying close access to the big cities of Boston, New York, and Chicago.
Johns Creek (No. 62) is safer than 71 percent of cities in the U.S., according to NeighborhoodScout’s data. The city’s crime rate is 9.22 percent per 1,000 residents.
Milton (No. 72) is safer than 69 percent of cities in the U.S. The city’s crime rate is 9.74 percent per 1,000 resident.
“We continue to see bedroom communities, which are within large metro areas and near major urban centers like Boston, Chicago and New York, make the top of our list,” said Dr. Andrew Schiller, CEO and founder of Location, Inc. and NeighborhoodScout. “These safe communities within the urban/suburban fabric of America’s largest metropolitan areas often combine access to high-paying jobs in the urban center, decent schools and a high quality of life. This access to opportunity increases home values, with the result often being lower crime.”
Smaller units were combined to fashion a huge, open flat with two master suites
Buyers in the market for that rare Midtown condo where a living-room racquetball game might be possible could be in luck.
At the 22-story Luxe building in Midtown, which opened a decade ago just up the hill from Piedmont Park, this sprawling corner unit is actually two smaller condos combined.
The result? Two master suites, three parking spaces, and one wide-open kitchen/dining/and living room(s) combo among 2,733 square feet. (But could it be, possibly, too open?)
With the advent of neighboring high-rise construction, views toward downtown aren’t what they once were, but the “penthouse-style” residence still packs a scenic punch, with its Piedmont Park and central Midtown vistas.
Beyond the ample balconies, nice touches include the wet bar (with ice maker), storage unit, and motorized/polarized shades for so many large windows.
The monthly HOA commitment isn’t specified, but with so much space, logic says it won’t be a pittance, on top of the $1,095,000 asking price.
But, on a happy note, it does buy ’round-the-clock concierge services.
The personal finance website compared all 50 state capitals (analyzing the cities, not metro areas) by weighting 51 indicators of affordability, economic strength, quality of education and health, and overall living standards.
The data set ranged from number of attractions per city, poverty percentages, cost of living, quality of K-12 school systems, and options for dining out, among other metrics.
In the end, Atlanta just missed the Top 20, ranking No. 21.
“[Although] 17 of them are the largest cities in their states,” noted analysts, “the biggest population doesn’t always represent the best quality of life.”
Atlanta shined in rankings for most restaurants per capita (tied with Honolulu for No. 1, baby!), most attractions (No. 4), and percentage of college degrees (No. 4), as well as broader categories quality of life (No. 7) and, perhaps surprisingly, quality of education and health (No. 15).
However, the affordability metric (No. 29), the economic well-being category (No. 42), and dismal crime-rate ranking (No. 44) did the ATL no favors. (The economic well-being category examined such things as unemployment rates, wage growth, poverty levels, and population changes. )
On the bright side, Atlanta was slotted higher overall than other large cities, including Nashville, Indianapolis, and Boston.
Trenton, New Jersey ranked dead last among the country’s state capitals.
Below are WalletHub’s findings in interactive-map form. The smaller and purpler, per analysts, the better for living your life: