Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate Assets to Hit Record High

The wave of foreign capital flowing into U.S. real estate is poised for a record-setting year.

“We have strong inbound capital that we believe will see the U.S. exceed the previous peak of 2007 by year-end,” says Lucy Fletcher, vice president of international capital group and capital markets with real estate services firm JLL. As of mid-year, JLL estimates total cross-border investment in U.S. property at $24.1 billion, compared to the $23.6 billion recorded during the full year of 2014.

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Ancient feng shui principles are very much alive

romakoma / Shutterstock.com

Chinese and Chinese-American buyers make up the fastest-growing segment of the homebuying population. As a group that spent a projected $28.6 billion on real estate in the U.S. from April 2014 to March 2015, the Chinese buyer has a lot of power — and a lot of rules to follow.

Feng shui principles may not be important to the American homebuyer, but they can be a deal-breaker to the Chinese buyer. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, in partnership with the Asian Real Estate Association of America, recently conducted research with 500 Chinese-Americans to learn about their buying habits and home design mindset.

Developed more than 3,000 years ago, feng shui is an art and science created to promote positive energy and balance to the design of a home. The study found that 86 percent of Chinese-American buyers will consider the principles of feng shui and 79 percent would pay more for a home that fits that preference.

Real estate agents should take certain things into consideration, such as a home located at the end of a dead-end street, with the front and back door aligned or with a staircase directly facing the front door, as these are all against the principles of feng shui.

 Feng shui embraces a clutter-free home — most importantly in the kitchen, where clutter quickly accumulates. All counters are to be cleared of appliances and personal items to let the energy, or qi, flow freely. This is an important component of a home for 64 percent of Chinese buyers.

The elements in a home — fire, water, wood, earth and metal — should be balanced. This means plants, intelligently placing mirrors and adding only pops of complementary colors. The bathroom is a great place to add plants, especially in bathrooms with more modern design or hard elements.

Thirty-two percent of buyers look for complementary colors in the kitchen, like orange or red. Because there is already fire and water in the kitchen, play with incorporating metal and wood with decor and furniture.

The bedroom is another room that should be clutter-free, and the bed should be placed in the middle of the room to promote good energy flow. Get rid of the television and separate any other spaces, like a workspace, from the core layout of the room by using room separators.

Absolutely do not place the bed facing the door, according to 41 percent of Chinese-American buyers.

For some, these standards may seem picky, but these buyers are willing to pay 16 percent more for a home that aligns with feng shui, and 75 percent say a home with a structural feng shui “deal-breaker” would keep them from closing a deal.

Takeaways:

  • Don’t show Chinese-American buyers a home at the end of a dead-end street, with a front and back door aligned with one another or with a staircase facing the front door.
  • Eighty-six percent of Chinese-American buyers will consider the feng shui principles when buying a home.
  • Clear clutter and balance out the elements in a home: fire, water, earth, wood and metal.

See BHGRE’s infographic about feng shui:

feng-shuiArticle originally written by Kimberly Manning, Inman Select August 2015

Buying is cheaper than renting in most places

Many renters would be better off buying a home than continuing to pay steep rental costs, finds a new study.

The monthly payment on a median priced home is more affordable than the monthly fair market rent on a three-bedroom property in 76 percent of the U.S. counties, according to RealtyTrac’s Residential Rental Property Analysis, which encompassed 461 counties nationwide with populations of at least 100,000.

Overall Researchers found that fair market rents represented 28 percent of the estimated median household income, while monthly house payments on a median-priced home – which included a 10 percent down payment and property taxes, home insurance, and mortgage insurance – represented 24 percent of the estimated median income.

Originally published in The Daily Real Estate News April 10, 2015

“From a pure affordability standpoint, renters who have saved enough to make a 10 percent down payment are better off buying in the majority of markets across the country,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “But factors other than affordability are keeping many renters from becoming buyers, a reality that means real estate investors buying residential properties as rentals still have the opportunity to make strong returns in many markets.”

Of the 461 counties analyzed, 351 had house payments on a median-priced home in the first quarter of this year that was lower than fair market rents on a three-bedroom home.

Goodbye Granite: The New Top 6 Countertop Finishes

You are starting to hear many people say they are tiring granite. The following link shows new potential countertop finishes.

http://dishwashers.reviewed.com/features/goodbye-granite-the-6-hottest-countertop-finishes?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=USAT%20Recirc

Lenders to lead the way in new closing process

Once TRID takes effect in August, everyone will answer to the lender, top bank executives say

On Aug. 1, lenders will resume responsibility for the actions of all parties at the closing table — but that doesn’t mean lenders will prepare consumer disclosures and loan documents in a vacuum.

That’s what a panel of executives from some of the nation’s largest banks told members of the American Land Title Association last month when discussing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule, which will take effect Aug. 1.

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Six ways millennials are impacting the global real estate market

A recent National Association of Realtors report, Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends 2015, revealed that the global real estate market is once again witnessing a large number of millennial homebuyers and realty investors. These young financiers have braved the recession that almost strangled the market to death a couple of months ago. However, times have improved and the report indicates they are the largest share of recent buyers.

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