Partake in the Magic!

It’s that magical time of year, from tomorrow’s Thanksgiving feast to the New Year’s toast at the stroke of midnight to welcome in the New Year. 

It’s a time for family and friends. It’s a time to cherish every morsel, every moment, every memory. ?????????????

Wishing you and yours the most magical season ever. 

Whatever the season, no matter the reason, we at Landmark Group are here to help you achieve success in real estate. We can help you buy, sell or rent  residential, retail, office, wholesale or industrial property. We can also help you maintain, renovate or manage your property. Just give us a call.

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Success Is Not Age Related

A new study, rejecting decades of contrary thinking, finds that your age should never hinder you from being successful. 

For decades, scientists who study achievement have found that people tend to achieve their most promising work earlier in life rather than later. But a new big-data analysis appearing in the journal Science finds that long-term success doesn’t hinge on age or on early stardom in your career field. 

Instead, success hinges on a combination of personality, persistence, intelligence and some luck at any age, the researchers find. The research took into account all levels, from the student and young professional to mid-career striver and beyond. 

“The bottom line is: Brother, never give up. When you give up, that’s when your creativity ends,” says Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, who conducted the analysis with a team of researchers.

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Researchers at first just studied the career of physicists before broadening the study’s scope. Initially, the research team found that that physicists tended to produce their most notable work earlier rather than later in life, but it had nothing to do with their age. Instead, it was based on their productivity. Young scientists tried more experiments, which increased the likelihood they would find something that worked. As such, keeping your productivity equal at age 50 to a 25-year-old could score you just as much success, researchers found. 

The study also found the “Q factor” to be of great significance. The “Q factor” remains constant over time, researchers noted. Q compares with skill and includes factors like I.Q., drive, motivation, openness to new ideas and the ability to work well with others, researchers said. Q may be more important than how much experience a person has in a profession. Experience does not significantly raise a person’s ability to make the most impact in a project, researchers said. 

“It’s shocking to think about,” Barabasi told The New York Times. “We found that these three factors — Q, productivity and luck — are independent of each other.” 

We at Landmark Group are here to help you achieve success in real estate. We can help you buy, sell or rent  residential, retail, office, wholesale or industrial property. We can also help you maintain, renovate or manage your property. Just give us a call.

Posted in Attitudes, Business, Creative ability, Labor productivity, Persistence, Productivity, Self-actualization (Psychology), Success | Leave a comment

Multifamily, Industrial Lead Commercial Sectors

Multifamily and industrial properties will continue to lead growth among commercial real estate sectors as the economy makes moderate gains through the end of the year and into 2017, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors® reports. 

Speaking at the 2016 Realtors® Conference & Expo in Orlando, Yun said he expects rental rates in the multifamily sector to rise a modest 3 percent a year through 2018, fueled by young households who see solid job growth but aren’t yet ready to buy. Industrial properties — already one of the strongest sectors — are expected to see solid 4 percent growth in rental rates and little change in vacancies over the next two years. 

Retail and office space, which are battling online commerce and telecommuting trends, will see slower growth in rental rates of about 2 percent to 2.5 percent. 

Yun said the country is likely to maintain positive economic growth over the next two years, although it is likely to be sluggish: barely more than 2 percent in 2017, and maybe a little higher than that in 2018. Tepid business spending is mainly what’s holding back growth, Yun added, because other types of spending, including consumer and government spending, remain strong. 

Inflation will largely stay in check, thanks to low gas prices, but expect it to rise from 1.2 percent this year to 2.5 percent over the next two years because gas prices will continue to drop. That means the inflation rate will no longer offset rising medical costs, rents and college tuition. 

Look for the Federal Reserve to raise its short-term interest rate in December 2016 — and then possibly twice more in 2017. 

K.C. Conway, senior vice president of SunTrust Bank, who also spoke at the forum, is more pessimistic about the country’s economic growth prospects. He said growth is already starting to slow and could dip into recession at the end of the year. If so, the United States would join other big economies, such as the European Union, in seeing negative growth. Even China, which says its growth is at 6 percent, could see it slow to as low as 3 percent based on indicators that aren’t included in the country’s official figures, Conway said. 

Because of weakness in the U.S. economy, Conway said, the Fed might raise its short-term rate only once (in December) and then not at all in 2017 because increases could hurt the two sectors of the economy that are still doing well: home sales and personal consumption. 

Both Yun and Conway said the economy is hurt by the lack of new housing construction, which is keeping prices high and forcing young households to delay home purchases. At the core of the inventory problem are regulations that make it hard for banks to increase their construction lending to builders. Easing those restrictions for community banks, Yun said, would help unleash badly needed financing for builders without putting the banking system at risk, since large, systemically important financial institutions would still be subject to stringent capital rules.

We at Landmark Group are here to help you with any real estate need – buying, selling or renting residential, retail, office, wholesale or industrial property. We can also help you maintain, renovate or manage your property. Just give us a call.

Posted in Commercial real estate--United States, Construction industry, Economic conditions, Economic development, Economic growth, Economic indicators, House construction, Multifamily housing | Leave a comment

Off-Campus Housing Is Hot

Privately-owned housing built specifically for college students is proving to be a lucrative real estate investment in certain markets, according to new data from Axiometrics. The study, was commissioned by property management software company AppFolio, concludes that these shifts could upend the dynamics in local real estate markets near major colleges and universities. 

More than 47,000 new beds in privately-owned student housing are scheduled for delivery during the current semester. That is higher than any other year the study examined. The researchers expect more development to come online this time next year and suggest demand will remain high throughout 2017 and beyond. 

“In all, more than 1,000 beds were added at each of 12 university markets. Of those, only two have more than 1,000 beds scheduled for 2017 delivery,” writes Alexis Hammond, manager of marketing communications at AppFolio. “But as more students go to college, more student housing will be needed, and the sector looks to continue to be profitable for developers and property owners.” 

The report also found that while enrollment is up at many universities, growth is highest in the South. Texas A&M, in particular, is seeing a huge demand for student housing with enrollment up more than 15 percent. 

Unlike colleges and universities in the northeast, many of these schools are located in smaller cities with populations between 100,000 and 200,000. Researchers say this means absorbing even a modest increase in student enrollment significantly impacts local real estate markets. 

We at Landmark Group are here to help you with any real estate need – buying, selling or renting residential, retail, office, wholesale or industrial property. We can also help you maintain, renovate or manage your property. Just give us a call.

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Cities Blend Housing With Business

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Land is growing more scarce and more expensive in many large cities, and more developers are responding by combining commercial and residential spaces. 

In New York, for example, “it’s getting harder and harder to do office construction,” Seymour Durst, chief administrative officer of the Durst Organization, told The New York Times. “Housing is so much more valuable now; even in Midtown, it’s taking over.” 

City planners are turning to developments in Asia as recent inspiration. Areas such as Tokyo have become a leader in mixed-use development. Three of Tokyo’s tallest towers, all of which exceed 780 feet, feature shops and restaurants below condominiums and hotels. 

The improving job market has created demand for new office space, but the sector isn’t able to keep up with the stronger demand for housing. So the two are combining forces. A development in New York called Eos, for example, has 375 rental apartments as well as more than 122,000 square feet of office space and 49,000 square feet of retail space. Residents and workers have separate lobbies, elevators and terraces. “The housing definitely makes the commercial more feasible,” says Durst. 

A Brookings Institution study found that walkable, mixed-use developments could even possibly help to reduce the effects of disabilities many face as they age. 

Christopher Leinberger, a developer based in Washington, D.C. and a professor at the George Washington University School of Business, told The New York Times that some developers for retirement buildings are now looking for dense, urban or town-centered sites where services and social features are accessible.“The model used to be to isolate old people on cul-de-sacs backing up to a golf course,” Leinberger says. “The new model just beginning to rise is for walkable urban places.” 

We at Landmark Group are here to help you with any real estate need – buying, selling or renting residential, retail, office, wholesale or industrial property. We can also help you maintain, renovate or manage your property. Just give us a call.

Posted in Apartment buildings, Apartment houses, Apartments, Cities and towns - Growth, City planning, Commercial real estate, Construction industry, Dwellings, Joint occupancy of buildings, Metropolitan areas, Mixed use of buildings, Mixed-use developments, Multifamily housing, Urban housing | Leave a comment

California Seeks to Eliminate Utility Bills

The California Energy Commission will require new homes and commercial buildings to meet a “zero net energy” code. The mandate will cover new homes by 2020 and new commercial buildings by 2030. The code requires these new structures to consume no more energy over a year than the structure generates, such as by solar roof panels.

Some industry analysts believe the ultra energy-efficient goal is too ambitious. Builders are targeting tech companies to help them meet the goal, from Internet-connected thermostats, light dimmers and more gadgets that can help to reduce a home’s footprint. 

“We have to figure out a way to deliver this without hiking the price,” Dan Bridleman, senior vice president for sustainability, technology and strategic sourcing at KB Home, told The Wall Street Journal. 

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Compliance with the ZNE code could raise the price of a $300,000 home by $23,000, according to Mike Hodgson, chairman of the California Building Industry Association’s energy committee. For each $1,000 increase in home prices, 14,000 families in California would be priced out of the market, according to a study by the National Association of Homebuilders. “We’ll have very efficient homes, but I don’t know who is going to be able to afford them,” Hodgson says. 

The California Energy Commission, however, is banking on energy efficiency becoming more affordable with the costs of solar and other energy-saving features decreasing over the next few years. “You basically purchase an income stream in reduced energy bills,” says Andrew McAllister, the commissioner of the Energy Commission. “The barrier is getting the financial community to recognize the low operating costs.” 

California legislators have set a goal that by 2050 the state will reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions to 80 percent below the levels it produced in 1990. Buildings are becoming a primary target to reach that goal. Residential buildings currently account for about 32 percent of electricity usage across the state while commercial buildings use 37 percent. 

Some builders already are pushing forward. Meritage Homes Corp. began offering its first ZNE-standard homes four years ago, priced at the median market price for the local market. So far, it has built and sold 100 of these homes in the U.S.; half of the homes have been in California. The company now looks to go beyond the ZNE standard by building homes sealed more tightly and that consume even less energy so they’ll need smaller solar panels to power them. 

We at Landmark Group are here to help you with any real estate need – buying, selling or renting residential, retail, office, wholesale or industrial property. We can also help you maintain, renovate or manage your property. Just give us a call.

Posted in Architecture and energy conservation, Dwellings, Home ownership - United States, Solar energy, Solar energy policy, Technology, zero net energy | Leave a comment

Dying Suburban Malls Become Housing Mecca

As enclosed malls across the country look to reinvent themselves, some communities are finding that living in a mall could be a boon for property values. 

Those massive, enclosed malls popular in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s are dying off. More shoppers are buying online, instead of heading to walk the mall. Foot traffic among the largest malls in the country is plummeting. Stores are closing and some entire malls are going dark. About 200 malls have closed in the past two years across the country, says Ellen Dunham-Jones, an urban design professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. About 1,100 enclosed malls are left in the country, she says. 

But what does a community do when it has up to 1.2 million square feet of vacant retail space in a prime area of town? Nearly 300 former malls have converted or are in the process of converting to mixed-use developments, and 50 or so are adding in housing, Dunham-Jones says.   

Closed malls are being transformed into public parks, medical complexes and even hockey rinks.  They’re being reimagined as walkable “urban developments in the suburbs,” outfitted with boutiques, restaurants, fitness centers, entertainment and housing. 

Developers are eyeing shopping malls as prime real estate, particularly at a time when land has gotten scarce and pricier for new construction. At 50 to 100 acres, including parking lots, a closed mall could be a bargain, and it’s already about the size of a planned community or subdivision. 

“The dead malls and the dead parking lots are the new cheap land,” Dunham-Jones says. “A lot of developers are finding land that’s already been cleared. It’s flat; it’s already got some infrastructure on it [such as utility lines].” 

There are already several success stories to point to with the revitalized suburban mall. For example, the Boca Mall in downtown Boca Raton, Fla., was razed in 1989. Two years later, it became Mizner Park, a 30-acre project with shops, restaurants, office space and nearly 300 housing units. Property values skyrocketed about 14 times in 12 years after its opening. 

In another project, the Arcade Providence in 2013 was transformed into 48 affordable microapartments on the second and third floors and had boutiques on the ground floor. Median home prices near the arcade surged about 39 percent the year it opened in 2013, according to the Rhode Island Association of Realtors® & State-Wide MLS. 

We at Landmark Group are here to help you with any real estate need – buying, selling or renting residential, retail, office, wholesale or industrial property. We can also help you maintain, renovate or manage your property. Just give us a call.

Posted in Apartment buildings, Apartment houses, Apartments, Cities and towns - Growth, City planning, Commercial real estate, Commercial real estate--United States, Dwellings, Housing, Multifamily housing, Real Estate, Real property, Rental housing, Shopping centers - Remodeling, Shopping malls, Shopping malls - United States - Planning, Suburban homes, Urban housing | Leave a comment

Suburban, City Apartments Aligning on Prices

Investors are seeing bigger returns from apartments in the suburbs than they have in the past. Rents for suburban apartments grew at the same pace over the last five years as those in urban areas, according to new data from MPF Research.

“Returns from property appreciation over the past five years were virtually tied between suburbs and downtown areas,” according to MPF’s analysis over the top 50 U.S. apartment markets. Usually, apartment properties in urban downtowns tend to provide the highest returns from appreciation. However, over the last five years, that has changed. Suburban apartments have caught up as rents quickly rise, the National Real Estate Investor reports.

For both, the return on investment from price appreciation averaged 7.3 percent over the last five years, according to NCREIF data. In the suburbs, however – where rents and jobs are growing — the average return was near 8 percent.

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“Apartment buildings downtown now often have to compete with the many newly opened high-rises,” reports the National Real Estate Investor. Rents rose less than 2 percent for apartments in downtown districts in the 12 months that ended in the second quarter. Meanwhile, in prime suburban and suburban markets, rents were double that, growing by 4 percent over that period.

“Urban areas have enormous volatility in rent movement – and got hit the hardest in the last recession,” Jay Parson, vice president for MPF, told the National Real Estate Investor. “Top tier suburbs got hit less in the recession, and perform just as well, if not better, in good times.”

Investors may be rethinking their strategies. “There is a disconnect between where investors see the most value – urban areas – and where investors are actually generating the most income – top-tier suburbs,” Parsons says. “It will be interesting to see how long that dichotomy can persist. Are investors chronically undervaluing top-tier suburbs?”

We at Landmark Group are here to help you with any real estate need – buying, selling or renting residential, retail, office, wholesale or industrial property. We can also help you maintain, renovate or manage your property. Just give us a call.

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Home Flipping is Hot Again

Home flipping zoomed to a six-year high in the second quarter of 2016, as more investors eyed properties to spruce up and turn over for a quick resale. 

A total of 51,434 single-family homes and condo sales were completed flips in the second quarter of this year, up 14 percent from the previous quarter and up 3 percent from a year ago. It is the highest number of home flips since the second quarter of 2010, according to the Q2 2016 U.S. Home Flipping Report, released by ATTOM Data Solutions. 

“Home flipping is becoming more accessible for smaller operators thanks to an increasingly competitive lending environment with more loan options for real estate investors, who are also benefitting from the historically low mortgage interest rates,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “That favorable lending environment for flippers has helped to fuel the recent flipping frenzy we’ve seen over the past five quarters.” 

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Homes flipped in the second quarter accounted for 5.5 percent of all single-family and condo sales. A total of 39,775 investors (both individuals or institutions) completed at least one home flip during the quarter, the highest number of home flippers since the second quarter of 2007, the report showed. 

“We’re starting to see home flipping hit some milestones not seen since prior to the financial crisis, which is somewhat concerning, but there are a couple of important differences in the home flipping of 2016 compared to 2006 when home flipping peaked during the last housing boom,” Blomquist says. “First, home flippers are realizing a much bigger gross ROI in 2016, averaging 49 percent in the first two quarters compared to an average gross ROI of just 27 percent in 2006. Second, while an increasing number of flippers are financing their purchases, more than two-thirds are still using cash to purchase compared to about one-third using cash to purchase back in 2006.” 

Homes that were flipped in the second quarter took an average of 185 days to flip, up from 182 days a year ago. 

We at Landmark Group are here to help you with any real estate need – buying, selling or renting residential, retail, office, wholesale or industrial property. We can also help you maintain, renovate or manage your property. Just give us a call.

 

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Millennials Will Be Renting for a Lot Longer

The U.S. housing market continues to move ahead, but a generation of home buyers is being left behind.  

That’s the conclusion of an analysis of home ownership by John Burns, a real estate consultant and author who has crunched the numbers in a new CNBC report.  

Home ownership rates have fallen across all age groups since the housing collapse in 2009, but the biggest drop has been among the millennial generation.

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Burns predicts the home ownership rate will continue to fall through 2025. Which means that millennials will be renting for a lot longer than their parents’ generation did. 

In 2004, when the overall home ownership rate peaked at just under 70 percent for all age groups, those born in the 1970s were 25–34 years old, moving out on their own and forming new households.  

With mortgages easy to get, almost 50 percent of that age group owned their home. That’s 5 percent higher than the average rate since 1981, according to Burns’ analysis.  

Today, with mortgages harder to get and memories of the housing bust fresh in buyers’ minds, the home ownership rate among 25–34-year-olds has fallen to just 39 percent.  

A decade after the peak, that 1970s generation, now 35–44 years old, has also seen its grip on home ownership eroded by the housing bust. Its current 59 percent home ownership is 7 percent below the norm for that age group, and the lowest rate for 35–44-year-olds since the data became reliable in the early 1980s, Burns said.  

Though the home sales are still rising, they’re still far from the early 2000s boom. Looking ahead, Burns doesn’t see home ownership rates moving back to those pre-bust levels.  

Based on his estimates, the overall home ownership rate will fall to just 60.8 percent by 2025, the lowest since the mid-1950s. That forecast assumes roughly 15.9 million people born after 1960 will become home owners and some 10.6 million older home owners from earlier generations will pass away or no longer own their homes. That works out to a net gain of 5.2 million more home owners by the middle of the next decade.  

We at Landmark Group are here to help you with any real estate need – buying, selling or renting residential, retail, office, wholesale or industrial property. We can also help you maintain, renovate or manage your property. Just give us a call.

 

Posted in Generation Y, Home ownership - United States, Millennials (Generation Y), Rental housing | Leave a comment