5 Must-Read Real Estate Articles of The Past Week

5 Must-Read Real Estate Articles of The Past Week


There are so many real estate articles out there — and so little time! For busy investors looking to take a quick reading break, look no further than our list of recommended reading for the week. From advice and investment tips to market reviews, we’re highlighting the stuff that’s really worth your time.

So sit back, and take a break. These were the 5 Must-Read Real Estate Articles of The Past Week:

For Foreign Buyers, Family Homes Over Trophy Towers

By Julie Satow via The New York Times

Foreign InvestmentOn a rainy night a few months ago, Mauricio Amaro, tired after a long day of business meetings, decided to pick up some dinner at the Dean & DeLuca in SoHo. There, he ran into a wealthy businessman he knew from São Paulo, Brazil. “I was shocked when I saw him,” said Mr. Amaro, the chairman of the Latam Airlines Group. “You would never see a high-profile person like him going to the grocery store back home, especially not without armored guards. There you go straight from the office, to the car, to home.”  The scene confirmed for Mr. Amaro why he wants to move his family to New York. “We really want to raise our kids in a more relaxed environment, where they can be free and just walk to school without having to worry about safety,” said Mr. Amaro, whose children are 3 and 5. He recently purchased a four-bedroom condominium at the Astor, at 235 West 75th Street on the Upper West Side. He will move there with his family once his green card is approved. “New York is a very natural fit for us,” he said. 

By Diana Olick via CNBC

ForeclosureIt is possibly the nastiest consequence of the holiday season. Foreclosures rise now, as banks try to get ahead of the traditional December moratoriums, when they suspend all foreclosures due to the holidays. No lender wants to take a house back during the holidays, but it appears to be particularly bad now for a number of reasons. Newly started foreclosures rose 12 percent in October from September, according to a new report from RealtyTrac, a foreclosure listing company. That is the largest monthly increase since August 2011, and more than twice the gain from September to October in the last five years. Just over 48,000 properties started the process in October, still 14 percent less than a year ago. Foreclosures have been declining steadily for the past several years, with more than 6 million homes lost since 2008. Part of the annual increase this year could be due to already troubled loans that were modified but are now re-defaulting. More than half (57 percent) of new foreclosures in August were re-defaults, according to Black Knight Financial Services, the largest share of repeat foreclosures on record. That is likely continuing into October’s numbers.

Will it ever end? Manhattan median rent now $3,391

By E.B. Solomont via The Real Deal

RentHere’s to a generous holiday bonus this year! Manhattan’s median rental price jumped another 4.5 percent in October, to $3,391 – achieving a nearly two-year streak of steadily rising prices. With price gains over 21 consecutive months, the number of new rentals slipped 0.4 percent to 3,469, according to Douglas Elliman’s monthly rental report. Manhattan’s vacancy rate increased to 2.34 percent from 1.96 percent last year. The lower end of the market showed the most strength, the report found. Though the median price for larger units – those with three bedrooms or more – dropped 7.9 percent to $5,891, the median price for one-bedrooms rose 4.1 percent to $3,340. “We’re continuing to see more polarization between the luxury market and the rest of the market,” said Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the report. “One reason is tight credit tipping first-time homebuyers to the rental market.” New rental product is also skewing toward the luxury end, Miller said. Compared with Manhattan’s median price of $3,340 for a one-bedroom, Brooklyn’s median price for a one-bed pad set a new record at $2,883, up 6.3 percent year over year. 

McDonald’s Won’t Spin Off Real Estate Holdings

By Julie Jargon via The Wall Street Journal

McDonaldsMcDonald’s Corp. Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook announced a dividend increase and other financial measures to appeal to investors, while putting to rest speculation that the restaurant chain would spin off its vast U.S. real-estate holdings. On the heels of its first strong quarter in two years, McDonald’s said at its investor conference in New York on Tuesday that it will increase planned cash payouts to investors by about a third, accelerate cost cuts, and boost sales of restaurants to franchisees. But McDonald’s rejected the idea of hiving off its property into a real-estate investment trust, as some investors have urged. Mr. Easterbrook said that after a thorough study, the company has decided a REIT would be too risky to its business model, which relies on rental income from franchisees for a big portion of its revenues. “Our conclusion is that we don’t believe it serves the best interests of shareholders to pursue a REIT at this time,” Mr. Easterbrook said. “The potential upside isn’t compelling, and the future value at risk too great.”

4 Things to Know About Real Estate Investments

By Simon Constable via U.S. News & World Report

InvestingIf you own your home, should you buy real estate securities? It’s a reasonable question because for many people, their home is a large portion of their overall wealth. A family with $500,000 in savings, including stocks and bonds, and a home valued at $300,000 would seem to be heavily invested in real estate. But that’s probably not the best way to look at things – although your home may act as a store of wealth, history has shown it likely won’t do much better than keep up with inflation. It probably won’t beat the returns you’d get from the stock market. Here’s why and how at least some real estate securities have a place in your investment portfolio. You can diversity your portfolio. Returns on real estate investments have low correlations to other investments, such as the broader stock and bond markets, says Jay Jacobs, director of research atexchange-traded fund provider Global X in New York. When the Standard & Poor’s 500 index of large-capitalization stocks increases, you could see real estate stocks move up or down in price, or simply not move at all. That lack of correlation makes the value of an overall portfolio more stable over time. 

Did you like these articles? What were your favorite articles this week?

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