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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories 

Please click on the below headlines for links to each story.

Here’s where homeowners are relocating (Housing Wire, Jan. 30)

Portland ranks 4th highest migration inflow (with a net inflow of over 4,000) in the fourth quarter of 2018. Most people are moving from San Francisco.

The report revealed that across the country, more and more Americans expressed interest in moving away from notoriously expensive markets like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

In fact, all of these metros saw their outflows (people moving away from the area) dramatically increase from the previous year, especially in San Francisco. In this metro, 24% of Bay Area Redfin users were searching for homes in another metro, which is an uptick from 19% during the same time period in 2017.

 

Fed Chair Jerome Powell says the case for raising interest rates ‘has weakened’ (CNBC, Jan. 30)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell issued his strongest statement yet Wednesday that the central bank has changed its outlook regarding interest rate hikes.

“The case for raising rates has weakened somewhat,” Powell said during a news conference following this week’s two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

The statement came after the FOMC decided to leave its benchmark interest rate target unchanged at 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent.

 

Zillow awards $1 million prize for making Zestimates more accurate (Housing Wire, Jan. 30)

According to Zillow, the improvements to the Zestimate will decrease its current nationwide error rate of 4.5% to less than 4%, meaning that half of all Zestimates will be within 4% of the selling price, and half will be off by more than 4%.

 

This is how rates could impact mortgage lenders going into 2020 (Housing Wire, Jan. 29)

Although the economy strengthened significantly throughout 2018, lackluster growth in wages deeply impacted mortgage lenders as rising rates pushed many Americans out of the housing market.

And while some experts predict 2019 will behave similarly, new data from Capital Economics suggests an oncoming economic slowdown will push the Federal Reserve to slash interest rates by 0.75% come 2020.

“With equity markets rebounding from their recent lows, economic growth solid, and core inflation close to 2%, we still think the Fed will raise rates once more, either at the April/May or June meeting,” Capital Economics writes. “Further ahead, however, we expect a sharp slowdown in economic growth will force the Fed to cut rates by 75bps in 2020.”

 

Survey: Half of Boomer homeowners plan to age in place (Housing Wire, Jan. 25)

Most say they plan to borrow from their equity to make it happen

More than half of Baby Boomers plan to age in place, electing to renovate in order to meet their changing needs, according to a new survey released by Chase and Pulsenomics.

The Housing Confidence Index surveyed 3,000 heads of households, 753 of which were Baby Boomers.

Among this group, 52% said they will never move from their current home, and 88% said they plan to make improvements to their home, with bathroom renovations topping the project list.

 

Hottest ‘Hoods 2018: Where homes fetched the highest prices in and around Portland (Portland Business Journal, Jan. 24)

The Portland metro-area’s residential real estate market cooled off a little in 2018 — with a 5.2 percent drop in closed sales to 38,309 in Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill and Clark (Wash.) counties.

But prices kept rising.

The median sale price on the Oregon side of the region hit $400,000 last year, up 5.3 percent from 2017. On the Washington side, Clark County median sales price was $355,000, an 8.7 percent annual bump up, not bad when U.S. core inflation was estimated to be just 1.9 percent in 2018.

 

Zillow: Home value appreciation slows nationwide (Housing Wire, Jan. 24)

These five major markets experienced significant slowdowns in annual home value growth:

Seattle: Decreased 7.4%
San Jose: Decreased 6.9%
Philadelphia: Decreased 3.4%
Sacramento: Decreased 3.3%
Los Angeles: Decreased 3.1%

 

Just For Fun

Massive faux chateaux development sits empty after developer goes bankrupt (Curbed, Jan. 25)

Nestled into the beautiful rolling hills of central Turkey, there’s a housing development of apocalyptic proportions. Rows of identical faux chateaux sit empty at the Burj Al Babas complex after its developer, Sarot Group, recently filed for bankruptcy.

When construction started in 2014, the Burj Al Babas was supposed to be a luxury residential retreat for wealthy investors from the Middle East. The $200 million complex called for 732 identical homes in the style of the French chateaux, each with an ornate facade, Juliet balconies, and a round turret fit for a princess. The interiors could be customized to the buyer’s desires.

Thanks for reading!