Thursday, July 7, 2016

FRIDAY - still smitten with the longer hours

Mark Feehily Collaboration

- The Do’s and Don’ts of Decorating a Small Bedroom
- Mortgage refinances jump 21 percent on near record low rates
- How to Address California’s Housing Affordability Crisis
- Foreign Interest in U.S. Homes Cools
- Silicon Valley Investors Are Finally Getting Marijuana Religion
- The Joy of a Balcony: 16 Ideas for Your Little Slice of the Sky


Mortgage refinances jump 21 percent on near record low rates - Applications to refinance home loans jumped 21 percent for the week, and they are now 113.5 percent higher compared to one year ago, when rates were about three quarters of a percentage point higher, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Clearly, the Brexit bonus to U.S. homeowners is well underway, as the drop in mortgage interest rates is putting more money in the pockets of owners. Application volume is now 66 percent higher than one year ago. Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist for the MBA, commented, “Mortgage rates have been low for years, but the impact of Brexit has brought us close to record lows once again, with jumbo rates already at their lowest levels, giving more borrowers a larger incentive to refinance.”

How to Address California’s Housing Affordability Crisis - State Treasurer John Chiang has penned an article calling for more housing supply in California to address the state’s affordability problem. He notes that “California is short 1.5 million affordable homes for families struggling to make ends meet, and the hole is growing bigger each year.” He added, “As our state’s chief investment officer, I see the cost of our neglect of housing needs from an economic lens as well as a human one. The credit rating agencies that influence the cost of borrowing for infrastructure projects and schools say the cost of housing is hurting businesses, and our CEOs say a lack of workforce housing is the reason companies like Toyota are moving jobs out of state.” He urges the state to start building.

Foreign Interest in U.S. Homes Cools - Purchases of U.S. residential real estate by foreigners who aren’t residents of the United States fell by $10 billion in the year ending March to $44 billion, the lowest level since 2013, according to a survey by the National Association of REALTORS®. Rising U.S. home prices and a strong U.S. dollar have hurt the purchasing power of foreign buyers. The survey looks at two categories of foreign buyers: Recent immigrants and non-residents. Purchases by immigrant foreigners actually rose to $59 billion from $49 billion, and the share of non-resident buyers decreased to 41 percent from about 50 percent in previous years. The average price of homes purchased by foreign buyers fell to about $480,000 from nearly $500,000 in 2015.

Silicon Valley Investors Are Finally Getting Marijuana Religion - The stigma surrounding the $7.2 billion marijuana industry is evaporating as Americans grow increasingly comfortable with the concept, more states allow medical and recreational use, and pot businesses start generating healthy profits. You know sentiment has shifted when the establishment moves in, as Microsoft Corp. did last month when it announced a partnership to track marijuana for local and state governments.

Google to occupy another CBRE Global Investors building in Moffett Park - The company is in for building permits at 222 Caspian Drive, according to city records. That's a 96,420-square-foot facility that was extensively renovated by Dostart Development Co. a couple of years ago. Dostart -- which paid $16.6 million for the property in 2013 -- sold it about a year ago to CBRE Global Investors for $40.5 million, according to Real Capital Analytics.

The Joy of a Balcony: 16 Ideas for Your Little Slice of the Sky - Get more from your compact outdoor space with the right plants, furniture and accessories


Virginia-Highland Whole House Renovation & Addition

Paddington Terrace

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