What Slowdown? Eight Housing Markets That Are Speeding Up

April 11, 2014

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While the housing market has cooled in many major cities since last year, other cities have only gotten hotter. In certain areas of Texas, North Carolina, Colorado and the Pacific Northwest, homes are selling like hotcakes thanks to strong job and population growth, worsening inventory shortages and, as Redfin’s CEO pointed out in December, relative affordability. Austin, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Portland, Raleigh, San Antonio and Seattle are among Redfin’s fastest markets. In February, a total of 37.9 percent of homes went off the market in less than two weeks in these eight markets, compared with 30.7 percent last year, and 22.5 percent across 27 markets. Speed isn’t the only thing that’s impressive. While the overall housing market has seen home sales drop since last year, sales in these eight markets are surprisingly steady given the limited number of homes available for sale. [Read this article]

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U-Haul Names Houston As The Number One Top 2013 U.S. Destination City

April 11, 2014

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The U-Haul 2013 Top 50 U.S. Destination Cities Report is in. According to U-Haul moving data reflective of nationwide statistics for calendar year 2013, families moving to Houston took the No. 1 spot again, for the fifth year in a row. For the fourth year in a row, Orlando, Fla., took the No. 2 spot. Las Vegas and Chicago ranked No. 3 and 4 respectively, while San Antonio held at No. 5 for the third year in a row. The ranking reflects destinations for movers renting a truck one way and considers every city in the country, regardless of size. Other cities in the top 20 include Austin, San Diego, Dallas, Sacramento, Charlotte, Phoenix, Tampa, Jacksonville and Tucson. [Read this article]

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Top 10 Markets For First-Time Home Buyers In 2014

March 29, 2014

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The study examined five key factors that make particular markets ideal for first-time buyers: market popularity, prices, inventory, time on market and unemployment rates. Florida had the most market of any state, with the metropolitan areas of Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater, Orlando and Jacksonville all making the list. “As we head into home-buying season, these markets show favorable conditions for first-time buyers, which is encouraging because these buyers are crucial to the housing market,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move Inc. “First-time buyers have a widespread impact on the local housing markets. In transitioning from renters to owners, new buyers pay property taxes and other fees and taxes associated with homeownership that benefit local schools and services.” Other markets on the list include Fort Worth, Dallas, Raleigh-Durham and Phoenix. [Read this article]

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Austin Tops List Of Fastest Growing Cities

March 29, 2014

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The energy surge. The boom in high tech. The housing rebound. Those are just some of the factors helping America’s biggest cities attract new residents. New data released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau crunches population counts in the 12 months leading up to July 1, 2013. Among metro areas of one million residents or more, Austin topped the list. Austin’s massive University of Texas is known for its engineering and computer science programs, which have spawned many local tech businesses and incubators. It has also attracted a number of bigger tech companies looking to recruit young talent. In January, the city’s unemployment rate fell to 4.7%. Oil booms helped other cities like Houston and San Antonio make the top ten. Meanwhile, some cities, including Phoenix and Orlando, are bouncing back from years of economic uncertainty. Other cities on the list include Raleigh, Denver, Nashville and Charlotte. [Read this article]

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Homebuilding Boosts Florida’s Economy

March 22, 2014

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Florida is adding jobs at a pace well ahead of the nation, and one sector in particular is spurring the surprising rate of job growth – homebuilding. Florida’s unemployment rate fell .2 percentage points in January to 6.1, according to a report from the Wells Fargo Economics Group. The state’s unemployment level has fallen below the national rate, dropping 1.9 percentage points over the past year, and is currently at its lowest level since June, 2008, according to the group’s report. Although posting gains in the state’s all-important leisure and tourism sector, an increase in construction makes a more poignant statement with respect to the state’s recovery. “One big reason Florida’s recovery has gained momentum is that construction activity has clearly turned the corner. Homebuilding has picked up across the state, which helped boost construction payrolls at an even faster rate than initially reported,” the report said. [Read this article]

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Top 10 Best Downtowns 2014

March 22, 2014

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The best downtowns foster creativity, inclusion and innovation. They showcase what is good about a community by offering a diverse array of local architecture, art, lifestyles and things to do. Great downtowns unite residents from all walks of life, even those in the suburbs, by providing places to connect. Above all, the top-performing downtowns must maintain a high level of energy and give all residents in a city a reason to come on down. Topping the Livability.com list of the Top 10 Best Downtowns, is Fort Worth, Texas. Few downtowns have achieved the cohesion between cowboy culture and urban sophistication that Fort Worth has. City and community leaders support a number of rehabilitation and improvement projects that help bring in more businesses, create a more walkable environment and ease traffic congestion. A collection of 13 parks provide residents, visitors and downtown workers with spots to soak in some sunshine, eat lunch and unwind. [Read this article]

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Post image for It’s Still Cheaper To Buy A Home Than Rent: What You’ll Pay In The 10 Biggest Cities

Despite rising home prices and climbing mortgage rates, it’s still cheaper to buy a home than rent one in major cities across the country, according to Trulia, which analyzed data in 100 metro areas. But home prices are just one factor to consider. Deciding whether to buy or rent also depends on the location and how long you plan to stay there. Nationwide, homebuyers who remain in their homes for seven years will save an average of 38% over renting, Trulia found. A year ago, buying was 44% cheaper. That means all of the initial transaction costs of buying a home – the broker’s commission, title insurance, legal fees and other closing costs – will be offset by benefits, like tax write-offs and price appreciation. And those costs will become cheaper than the total costs of renting, which include insurance and agent commissions. [Read this article]

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ZipRealty Names The 10 Best Metros For Home Sellers In 2014

February 24, 2014

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ZipRealty, Inc. has released a list of the Top 10 Best Cities for Home Sellers in 2014, based on housing market trends in 24 metro areas nationwide. “The real estate markets in the western region soared compared to the rest of the country in 2013, based on data we compiled over the past year in our Housing Trends Report,” said Lanny Baker, CEO of ZipRealty. ZipRealty ranked the top 10 metros based on three evenly weighted housing metrics – median sales prices, median days on market and total housing inventory per capita. The Top 10 Best Cities for Home Sellers in 2014 are the San Francisco Bay area, Sacramento, San Diego, Las Vegas, Orange County, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Washington, DC/Northern Virginia, and Chicago. Nationwide in 2013, median home sales prices increased 11.5% on average over 2012, and homes stayed on the market for an average of 35 days. [Read this article]

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Great Places To Follow Your Passions In Retirement

February 15, 2014

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Most of the best-places-to-retire lists at Forbes focus in large part on economic factors, like affordability and, often, a growing local economy that enhances the prospect for part-time employment. But if you’re retiring – or can live and work from anywhere – why not pick a place where you can follow the leisure time pursuits you’re most passionate about, be they cultural or physical? Forbes identified seven broad categories for a lifestyle focusing on your personal leisure-time interests. The category are: arts, fine dining, lifetime learning, volunteering, outdoor activities on water, outdoor activities on land, and the sub-category of golf. The result is a list spread across 22 states in all four continental time zones. Cities that made the list include San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, Jacksonville and Austin. [Read this article]

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America’s Future Cities: Where The Youth Population Is Booming

February 15, 2014

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To identify economic hot spots in the making, we often look for where immigrants, young people or entrepreneurs are clustering. But perhaps nothing is a better indicator than those who truly make up generation next – America’s children. Several major factors determine where the most children are being born, and more importantly, raised, says demographer Wendell Cox. Three key ones are economic growth, affordability and lower population densities. Using the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey, Cox looked at the under 14 populations of the nation’s 51 metropolitan statistical areas with over a million residents, and also traced the changing numbers in this age group since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007. Generally the highest proportions of young children were in lower-density cores of such cities as Dallas, Charlotte and Houston. The fastest growth in the under 14 population since 2007 has been almost entirely in heavily suburbanized low-density areas, led by greater New Orleans, Raleigh, San Antonio, Charlotte, Nashville, and Houston. [Read this article]

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