South Shore Calendar: September 7th – 14th

South Shore Calendar: Sept. 7-14 #Weekend

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When a Starbucks Opens in Town, Home Prices Tend to Rise

Harvard study finds new measure of gentrification

When a new Starbucks comes to town, you can expect to find a 0.5% increase in house prices in that ZIP code within a year, according to a recent study by the Harvard Business School.

Using data from restaurant review site Yelp and the U.S. Census Bureau, the study found a distinct correlation between the opening of a new coffee chain location and home prices in the surrounding area.

But that doesn’t mean that Starbucks is attracting more affluent residents. In fact, the opposite is likely true.

“The most natural hypothesis to us is that restaurants respond to exogenous changes in neighborhood composition, not that restaurant availability is driving neighborhood change,” the study asserted.

The study presents a broader assessment of gentrification measures, determining that the neighborhood development is “strongly associated” with a jump in the number of restaurants, bars, cafes and grocery stores.

In the study, the economists say they have landed on an accurate way to analyze gentrification.

HBS Associate Professor Michael Luca told CNBC that Yelp can complement official data from government agencies by providing real-time updates on neighborhood stores.

“Yelp data has the advantage of being more up to date than most official government statistics,” Luca said. “It also contains metrics on things like cuisine, prices and ratings that can be difficult to observe otherwise.”

Based on their observations, the study asserts that a Starbucks opening can be a sign of gentrification.

“The presence of a Starbucks is far less important than whether the community has people who consume Starbucks,” the study stated. “Consequently, we think that this variable is likely to be a proxy for gentrification itself.”

Apparently, real estate agents and investors looking for clues about future property values can learn a latte from the presence of a new green sign in the neighborhood.



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7 Simple Tricks to Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Spa

7 Simple Tricks to Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Spa

#Bathroom #Spa #LenandLeslie Marma, September 5th, 2018

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July Pending Sales Miss the Mark, Led by Price Growth


New national home sales figures released by the National Association of Realtors Aug. 29 continue to show a housing market that can’t keep pace with prior years of stellar performance. For the seventh month in a row, NAR reported that pending home sales were lower than year-ago levels, this time missing the mark by 2.3 percent. Compared to June pending sales, July had 0.7 percent fewer contracts under agreement, signaling that home sales in August and beyond may continue slowing due to prohibitive prices.

“Today’s weakness suggests that home sales will continue to stagnate in the months ahead,” chief economist Danielle Hale said in a statement on the report.

While data on overall home sales in July was also lower, recent reports had suggested that the national market’s inventory problem could be abating. The number of new and active listings began growing slightly in some markets by July, and more new construction began coming online as well. But even with higher rates of price cuts reported in several cities,’s Hale explained that these trends haven’t translated to stronger sales because they have been limited to the high-end of the market.

“Because inventory relief hasn’t come in the price tiers where it’s most demanded by buyers — affordable, entry-level homes — this influx of houses for sale hasn’t translated into additional home sales,” Hale said. “Solving this mismatch in price between buyer demand and homes for sale is the key challenge facing the housing market.”

Even with weaker pending sales numbers, NAR’s pending home sales index was still higher than average nationally during the month of July (at 106.2, where 100 is historically average). The West and Northeast regions saw the greatest weakness in pending home sales relative to seasonal trends, down 5.8 percent and 2.3 percent on the year, respectively. Sales activity was strongest in the South, which included states between Texas and Florida and as far north as Maryland. The South region’s pending sales index came in at 122.1 in July.

“Contract signings inched backward once again last month, as declines in the South and West weighed down on overall activity,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said. “It’s evident in recent months that many of the most overheated real estate markets – especially those out West – are starting to see a slight decline in home sales and slower price growth.”

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5 Reasons You Should Sell this Fall!!!

KCM Crew, September 3rd, 2018

5 Reasons You Should Sell This Fall! | MyKCMHere are five reasons why listing your home for sale this fall makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! In fact, more often than not, multiple buyers end up competing with each other to buy the same homes.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now 

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon!

Historically, a homeowner stayed in his or her home for an average of six years, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. Many homeowners have a pent-up desire to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all that they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 44 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The abundance of inventory available in these higher price ranges has created a buyer’s market for anybody looking to purchase these homes. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.1% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life 

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you feel you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.




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Here’s How Much Monthly Income You Need to Rent a House in Every State

Published On 08/29/2018, Thrillist

average rent united states
average united states rent

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Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Finally See An Uptick

Rates now as steady as they were in the fall of 2016


Mortgage rates are finally seeing an uptick, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market survey.

Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said mortgage rates are now seeing a steadiness which was last seen in the fall of 2016.

According to the Primary Mortgage Market survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.52% for the week ending Aug. 30, 2018, increasing from 4.51% last week, and is still a substantial increase from last year’s rate of 3.82%.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage barely inched up this week, continuing the summer trend of essentially being flat,” Khater stated. “While sales and price growth have softened these last few months, this leveling of rates may be helping more buyers reach the market. Purchase mortgage applications this week were once again modestly above year ago levels.”

Khater believes the recent slowdown in price appreciation in several markets is good news for the many prospective buyers who were priced out earlier this year.

However, despite the economy in the second quarter expanding at its fastest rate in nearly four years, Freddie Mac expects only a 0.2% increase in total home sales in 2018. This equates to only 6.14 million homes sold this year, compared to 6.12 million in 2017.

Freddie Mac Aug 30

(Source: Freddie Mac)

The 15-year FRM averaged 3.97 this week, down from last week’s 3.98%. This time last year, the 15-year FRM was 3.12%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged this week at 3.85%, up from 3.82% last week, but still up from this time last year when it was 3.14%.

“Given the strength of the economy, it is possible for home sales to pick up even more before year’s end,” Khater concluded The key factor will be if affordably-priced inventory increases enough to continue this recent trend of cooling price appreciation.”

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