Tag Archives: sales

Waterfront homes in the US command massive premiums, research shows

A typical oceanfront or lakefront family home in the United States is worth more than double the median value of all homes, and in some locations 10 or more times, new research shows. Currently the median price for a family home is about $171,600, while the median waterfront house was valued at $370,900, a premium of 116.1%, according to the analysis by real estate firm Zillow. Among large cities the biggest difference between median non-waterfront family home values and median waterfront house values are in Tampa, Florida with a premium of 733%, followed by Honolulu, Hawaii, with a premium of 334.5% and Long Beach, California with a premium of 321.6%. ‘The allure of ocean and lakefront living is powerful and undeniable, and millions of home owners nationwide dream of one day owning a home on the water. But those dreams come at a price,’ said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries. ‘Waterfront properties are both relatively scarce and highly coveted, and that high demand and limited supply leads to higher home prices. Additionally, added insurance, floods, environmental mitigation and infrastructure costs are often part of the tab when buying a waterfront home,’ he pointed out. ‘Still, as long as buyers understand the added costs and potential headaches, waterfront living is likely to remain one of life's simple pleasures for many, many years to come,’ he added. The median waterfront home value is calculated in the same way as the Zillow Home Value Index and represents the median value of all single family waterfront homes in a given community. The index includes family homes located 150 feet or closer to the waterline of an ocean or lakes with a total combined size of 10 square kilometers or greater. Properties separated from direct waterfront by a road with a speed limit of 25mph or less are also considered waterfront. Riverfront properties were not included in this analysis, nor were condominium or co-op housing units. Zillow's initial analysis covers 250 cities and towns nationwide with at least 100 waterfront homes meeting the criteria. Continue reading

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House sales in Scotland reach six year high but independence could affect growth

House sales reached a six year high in Scotland with monthly growth of 0.2% in July but slowing supply is on the horizon, according to the latest index. Over half of Scotland actually saw prices drop in July and home values are still 0.6% off the 2008 peak while sales remain 30% lower than pre-crisis levels, the LSL/Acadata index also shows. But first time buyer activity fuels new record prices in Aberdeenshire and Edinburgh and the average house price was £164,483 in July, up 5.7% from a year before. According to Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, part of LSL Property Services, a favourable lending environment boosted demand over the summer. ‘There were 9,285 transactions in July, climbing 5% up from June to reach the highest monthly total since July 2008,’ he said. He believes that this propelled prices to new peaks in July in some of Scotland’s centres of employment with Aberdeenshire and Edinburgh seeing transactions soar 20% and 25% respectively over the past year. But on the other side of the coin, uncertainty is leaving its trace and squeezing supply has seen slower overall transactions growth compared to last year. ‘Higher up the chain any prospective sellers with the luxury of time are hanging on to see which way the tide turns before they put their home on the market,’ he added. However, he warned that depending on the outcome of the referendum on Scottish independence later this week, this could reverse rapidly. ‘There is a chance of a mass take-off and sale of investments, which would disrupt house prices in the short term,’ he said. ‘Scotland’s housing market recovery is still in the delicate stages of rehabilitation, and the number of completed sales in the last 12 months still only represents 70% of the average over the period 2004 to 2007. Ambiguity surrounding Scotland’s future isn’t helping. We are in the throes of the longest period of sustained monthly house price growth since February 2007, but only time will tell whether this recovery will be derailed,’ he explained. ‘A Yes vote would usher in a further 16 months of uncertainty. A Scotland outside the UK would open the floodgates to the real questions of currency, exchange rates, mortgage risk, and property taxation. Many mortgage holders could see their LTV shoot up as the implications of borrowing from a bank in a foreign country are unmasked. A No vote doesn’t guarantee clarity either but the mist of ambiguity would clear sooner,’ Sexton pointed out. ‘Whichever way the chips fall on Friday morning, two million unhappy people will wake up in a divided Scotland, with a rift carved through society. This division will not easily be overcome, and it is the job of businesses to keep calm and carry on as usual. In the aftermath of the biggest decision Scotland will ever have to make, everybody will benefit from swift answers to our questions, regardless of the final word from the ballot boxes,’ he concluded. Continue reading

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House price momentum slows right down in the UK, says RICS index

House price momentum in the UK has slowed to the same level it was a year ago and new buyer enquiries fell for the second consecutive month, according to the latest index from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The number of agreed house sales also dipped for the first time since September 2012, but the overall picture shows a return to a less volatile market, with more stable price expectations over the next three months. The August index report shows that a net balance of 9% of surveyors are now expecting prices to rise rather than fall, down considerably from 51% at the start of the year. Significantly, the concern over a potential rise in interest rates could be a contributing factor to the fall in buyer interest and the number of agreed house sales, says RICS. Members also indicated that Mortgage Market Review from April and an increasingly acute shortage of conveyancers is adding between two to four weeks onto the time it takes to complete a transaction. At a national level, the sales and demand picture was mixed. In London, the South West and the West Midlands, there was a significant dip in new buyer interest, but Scotland and Northern Ireland were noticeable exceptions, where buyer enquiries remain firm, with a net balance of 43% and 52% respectively. While a lack of supply remains a challenge for the market across the whole of the country, there are at last some signs in the capital, where this problem has been most chronic, that instructions are now picking up. Prices over the next 12 months are still projected by surveyors to rise over the next year by 2.3% across the whole country, which is down from 3.7% at the start of 2014. Surveyors in Northern Ireland now appear most optimistic, anticipating a price gain of 3.9%. ‘Buyer activity in the London market has been particularly pronounced but that is in a sense consistent with the move to a more sustainable market in the capital,’ said Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist. ‘Elsewhere around the country, the market in general is showing a greater degree of resilience, but that largely reflects the fact that in some areas the recovery has only recently taken hold and affordability is rather less stretched. Significantly, members now expect price gains over the next year to be faster outside of the Capital, than in it,’ he explained. ‘Some of the momentum has come out of the housing market of late reflecting in part concerns over a likely rise in the cost of borrowing at some point in the not too distant future. However, we are also being told that the implementation of the recommendations of the MMR is taking its toll on activity; slowing the transaction process by on average up to a month,’ he pointed out. ‘Meanwhile, there are increasing signs that the London market is gradually moving onto a more sustainable footing with a modest increase in the number of instructions coming through slowly helping… Continue reading

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