Monthly Archives: September 2016

Home that Come down off

Housing starts took a nose-dive in November as they dropped from October’s 10-year high, according to the new report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Privately owned housing starts decreased 18.7% in November to 1.09 million, down from 1.34 million in October. This is down 6.9% from last year’s 1.17 million.

Of those, single-family housing starts totaled 828,000, a drop of 4.1% from October’s 863,000.

However, one expert pointed out that while the sudden drop was due to last month’s high in part, there were still other factors.

“Housing starts dropped in November, and the drop was due to more than October’s big increase,” Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin said. “For context, housing starts in November were the second lowest since October of last year.”

“While starts fell in November, they continue to provide an important release valve for solid demand in the housing market, but still have much more room for growth,” McLaughlin said. “Starts in November were only 55% of their long-run average, but year-to-date they are up 4.8%.”

McLaughlin stated that he expected housing starts to increase throughout 2017, but not everyone was so positive. In fact, one expert said this is not only bad news for housing, but also for the economy overall.

“There’s little to cheer about regarding residential construction in November,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. “The fall in single-family housing starts offers zero relief to the housing inventory shortage throughout the country.”

“Moreover, the collapse in multifamily starts assures continued robust growth in rents next year,” Yun said. “Housing costs are rising and this trend will nudge up the broad consumer price inflation enough to surpass 3% next year, which is easily above theFederal Reserve’s desired inflation target. The soft housing starts also assures continued sluggish expansion in the overall economy.”

Great predictions for housing

This year is nearly over, and 2017 will being in just a few short weeks. As the year comes to a close, predictions for next year are pouring in.

It’s hard to say what the new year will bring with the newly-elected President-elect Donald Trump. Zillow points out in its predictions how some of his policies could affect housing next year.

Here are Zillow’s six predictions for 2017:

1. Cities will focus on denser development of smaller homes close to public transit and urban centers.

2. More millennials will become homeowners, driving up the homeownership rate. Millennials are also more racially diverse, so more homeowners will be people of color, reflecting the changing demographics of the United States.

3. Rental affordability will improve as incomes rise and growth in rents slows.

4. Buyers of new homes will have to spend more as builders cover the cost of rising construction wages, driven even higher in 2017 by continued labor shortages, which could be worsened by tougher immigration policies under President-elect Trump.

5. The percentage of people who drive to work will rise for the first time in a decade as homeowners move further into the suburbs seeking affordable housing — putting them further from adequate public transit options.

6. Home values will grow 3.6 percent in 2017, according to more than 100 economic and housing experts surveyed in the latest Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey. National home values have risen 4.8 percent so far in 2016.

Other predictions for next year include this one from Redfin, predicting the fastest real estate market ever, this one from Kroll Bond Rating Agency, this one and this one from Bank of America.

Foreclosure filings show largest this month

The drastic drop from last month could be due, in part, to October’s unexpected increaseof 27% in foreclosure filings.

November’s decrease marks the 14th consecutive month with an annual decrease in foreclosure filings.

Most of the states, 32, posted annual decreases in foreclosure activity. Florida showed the largest decrease at 33%, followed by Michigan with 24%, Missouri with 17%, Washington with 16% and New York with 4%.

Foreclosure starts decreased by 19% month-over-month in November to 35,222, and by 15% annually. This marks the 17th consecutive month of annual decreases in foreclosure starts.

November also saw a decrease in real estate owned properties to 31,806. This is down 7% from last month and 21% from last year, marking the ninth consecutive month of annual declines in REOs.

Police found a real estate agent shot to death in an abandoned home in Atlanta, according to an article by Richard Elliot for WSB-TV.

Police found 32-year-old David Abbasi Friday afternoon after responding to a call about shots fired. The agent died in the house of two gunshot wounds.

The best part is that toward the end of February, Tony Robbins, a motivational speaker and author, turned up as a surprise benefactor.

According to CBS SFBayArea, Robbins stepped in to buy them a new spot – a $750,000 condo in the mission district.

But this surprise gift is turning out to be a lot more complicated.

Find popular homes for sale

The real estate website recently tallied up all the clicks on their site for 2016 and discovered the top 10 most popular houses in 2016.

Many of these homes have ties to movies or significant events, while a few draw the curious for other reasons, according to an article by Eric Gunther on However, that attention did not always translate to a good selling price, or any sale at all.

The ‘Amityville Horror’ house, 108 Ocean Ave, Amityville, New York

Price: Listed for $850,000, entered into contract in November

Why: This home was the site of gruesome murders in the early 1970s, making the house famous for being “haunted.”

The Connecticut castle, 450 Brickyard Rd, Woodstock, Connecticut

Price: Listed for $39 million, pulled from market

Why: This home made the list of most popular homes for the third year in a row. It’s castle-like structure is enough to make anyone click on the home to see more.

The ‘Silence of the Lambs’ house, 8 Circle St, Perryopolis, Pennsylvania

Price: Sold for $195,000

Why: This home was featured in the film The Silence of the Lambs about a serial killer/cannibal, and sold at a significant discount from the listing price of $249,000.

The beer can hoarder house, 108 Freese Dr, Sanger, Texas

Price: Listed for $89,900, currently in sale-pending status

Why: This home featured photos of its owner’s love for beer as hundreds or even thousands of cans of Natural Light filled the floors.

Mysteriously shot and killed

Detectives are still investigating the homicide but did say they believe Abbasi was at the house because he was interested in buying it.

“It’s a little unreal,” neighbor Jacob Hunt told Channel 2’s Richard Elliot.

Hunt lives next door to the abandoned house.

Many neighbors had previous concerns about the house, and even complained to code enforcement to get it demolished or properly boarded up.

But this isn’t the first incident of an agent getting shot within the week. A real estate agent from Texas was also shot under mysterious circumstances.

Police found a real estate agent shot to death in an abandoned home in Atlanta, according to an article by Richard Elliot for WSB-TV.

Police found 32-year-old David Abbasi Friday afternoon after responding to a call about shots fired. The agent died in the house of two gunshot wounds.

Connection with murdered real estate agent

A few short days ago, a real estate agent in Abilene, Texas, was shot and killed inside his home. Now, the police have made an arrest in connection with the case.

Monday morning, 54-year-old real estate agent Tom Niblo [pictured below] was shot and killed in his home, an act which police believe wasn’t random.

Now, police arrested the agent’s brother-in-law Luke Sweetser on charges of theft of a firearm, according to an article by Jamie Burch for KXTS. However, police say that the arrest was in connection to Niblo’s murder. He is now being held on a $400,000 bond.

From the article:

According to the arrest warrant obtained by KTXS, police found several stolen firearms in a storage facility on Mesquite Street police say was used by Sweetser. KTXS spotted police back at the facility Wednesday afternoon.

KTXS later witnessed investigators unload 21 long guns, 4 pistols, several magazines and several boxes of ammo they had seized from the storage facility. The weapons are just some of the more than 100 pieces of evidence Police Chief Stan Standridge said his investigators recovered over the past two days.

Now, the Abilene Police Department acquired a search warrant to take a DNA swab from Sweetser, according to an article by Brian Bethel for Abilene Reporter. His DNA will be compared to the DNA found on the a stolen gun that was obtained in connection to the shooting.

Niblo’s wife, who was in the house when her husband was murdered, said she heard shots fired and managed to escape. She now told a friend that she heard as many as 10 shots, the article states.

HousingWire reached out to the APD for more details on Sweetser, however they declined to comment.