Category Archives: Values

Foreigners Purchase Record Number of US homes

Written (Edited) by Diana Olick – CNBC.com

  • Foreign buyers closed on $153 billion worth of U.S. residential properties for the 12 months ended in March.
  • That marks a 49 percent jump from 2015-2016, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • Florida, Texas and California drew the most international buyers.

Video: Foreigners snap up record number of US homes

Foreign purchases of U.S. residential real estate surged to the highest level ever in terms of number of homes sold and dollar volume.

Foreign buyers closed on $153 billion worth of U.S. residential properties between April 2016 and March 2017, a 49 percent jump from the period a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. That surpasses the previous high, set in 2015.

The jump follows a year-earlier retreat and comes as a surprise, given the current strength of the U.S. dollar against most foreign currencies, which makes U.S. housing even more expensive. Apparently, the value of a financial safe-haven is outweighing the rising costs.

Foreign sales accounted for 10 percent of all existing home sales by dollar volume and 5 percent by number of properties. In total, foreign buyers purchased 284,455 homes, up 32 percent from the previous year.

Half of all foreign sales were in just three states: Florida, California and Texas.

Chinese buyers led the pack for the fourth straight year, followed by buyers from Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and India. Russian buyers made up barely 1 percent of the purchases.

But the biggest overall surge in sales in the last year came from Canadian buyers, who scooped up $19 billion worth of properties, mostly in Florida. They are also spending more, with the average price of a Canadian-bought home nearly doubling to $561,000.

“There are more [baby] boomers now than ever before. It’s the demographic,” said Elli Davis, a real estate agent in Toronto who said she is seeing more older buyers downsize their primary home and purchase a second or third home in Florida. “The real estate here is worth so much more money. They all have more money. They’re selling the big city houses that are now $2 million-plus, where they went up so much in the last 10 to 15 years, so they’re cashing in.”

Despite the anti-immigrant rhetoric from the Trump administration, especially about building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, nonresident buyers from Mexico were undeterred. Mexican buyers nearly doubled their purchases by dollar volume from a year earlier, coming in third behind China and Canada.

“You could easily make the point that perhaps their uptick was wanting to buy now before new immigration policy was in place,” said Adam DeSanctis, economic issues media manager at the National Association of Realtors.

In general, though, Mexicans have been buying less expensive homes. The average purchase price of buyers from Mexico came in at about $327,000, compared with the $782,000 average among Chinese buyers and $522,000 for Indian buyers. Mexicans overwhelmingly favored homes in Texas, while Chinese buyers opted more for California and, increasingly, Texas.

“The environment is much more Asian-friendly than it used to be with churches, grocery stores and schools that cater to their tastes,” said Laura Barnett, a Dallas-Fort Worth area Re/Max agent. “I have been told they target good schools and newer homes. Yards are not a high priority, but rather community parks.”

It’s also possible that Chinese buyers are being priced out of California. The average price of a home purchased by a buyer from China fell from about $937,000 to $782,000, even as the number of properties purchased jumped to nearly 41,000 from 29,000. The drop in purchasing power likely stems from tightened regulations in China with regards to capital outflow.

While international interest was quite strong in the second half of last year, it may now be weakening due to tighter regulations in China and weakening currencies in some international markets.

“Stricter foreign government regulations and the current uncertainty on policy surrounding U.S. immigration and international trade policy could very well lead to a slowdown in foreign investment,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR.

Original Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/18/foreigners-snap-up-record-number-of-us-homes.html

Thank You Gloria

My sister Gloria passed away today…but her spirit is still among us.

She gave love and hope to so many, even some who never had the opportunity to meet her. Through her amazing talent, Gloria inspired and taught young and old about the most important elements of life.

She is now at peace. May she rest in the knowledge of having done great work for others. God bless you Gloria. We love you and will always find meaning in your loving gifts to us. Thank you very much.

Gloria

We are fortunate to be loved by Gloria.

Gloria Kliewer Roe is the most loving, caring and talented individual I’ve ever had the privilege to know. Throughout the challenges known as Life, we shared the most precious elements, love and respect. My sister Gloria dedicated her life of discipline and sacrifice to providing hope, guidance and assistance to others through her amazing artistry.

Continue reading Gloria

2017 will be the year of the condo in Bellevue and Seattle

Developers say they’ll break ground on five — and possibly six — big condo projects next year.

The buildings will range from six to 40 stories, and all but one of the developers are from China or Canada. The one developer who says he’s still weighing whether to build a for-rent or for-sale project is domestic.

Continue reading 2017 will be the year of the condo in Bellevue and Seattle

Real Estate Flipping Profits Rising

Number of investors flipping homes returns to pre-crisis levels; big banks get back in the game.

House flipping, a potent symbol of the real-estate market’s excess in the run-up to the financial crisis, is once again becoming hot, fueled by a combination of skyrocketing home prices, venture-backed startups and Wall Street cash.

Continue reading Real Estate Flipping Profits Rising

Trump Improving Chinese – American Relations

Chinese state-run media lauded Donald Trump Tuesday after a phone call between him and President Xi Jinping, saying that the president-elect’s emergence could mark a “reshaping” of Sino-American relations. The pair spoke Monday, when Xi said that the two powers needed to co-operate and Trump’s office said the leaders “established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another”.

On the campaign trail Trump frequently demonized Beijing, but questions have been asked whether his conduct in the White House will match his promises as a candidate. Monday’s conversation was “diplomatically impeccable and has bolstered optimism over bilateral relations in the next four years”, China’s frequently nationalistic Global Times newspaper said in an editorial. Barack Obama, whose foreign policy pivot to Asia alarmed Beijing, was “profoundly affected” by the Cold War-shaped outlook of American elites, the paper said, but Trump’s views “have not been kidnapped by Washington’s political elites”. “Trump is probably the very American leader who will make strides in reshaping major-power relations in a pragmatic manner,” it added, saying his ideology and experience “match well with the new era”.

It was a sharp contrast to the same newspaper’s editorial the day before, which baldly warned the incoming president not to follow through on campaign-trail promises to levy steep tariffs on Chinese-made goods or Beijing would take a “tit-for-tat approach” and target US autos, aircraft, soybeans, and iPhones. But the president-elect’s ambiguous and sometimes contradictory views on key questions on the relationship between the world’s two largest economies, including trade, the South China Sea and North Korea, have cast a pall of uncertainty over how he will manage it. While campaigning,

Trump went as far as calling the Asian giant America’s “enemy”, accused it of artificially lowering its currency to boost exports, threatened to impose tariffs of 45 percent, and pledged to stand up to a country he says views the US as a pushover. But he also indicated he is not interested in getting involved in far-off squabbles, and decried the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, which encompasses several other Asian countries and has been seen as an effort to bolster US influence, for costing American jobs. TPP has been signed by the US but not ratified by the Senate, where its chances are seen as poor.

Tuesday’s editorial in the government-published China Daily newspaper called the Xi-Trump chat “propitious”, noting that Beijing is “understandably relieved that the exclusive, economically inefficient, politically antagonizing TPP is looking ever less likely to materialize”. Instead, Washington should consider joining the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade area encompassing the Southeast Asian grouping ASEAN, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Something of a mirror image to the TPP, it includes six of the putative Washington-led grouping’s 12 members.

Donald Trump has been President Elect for less than a week and everything is already falling into place. Both Canada and Mexico plan to renegotiate NAFTA. Mexico is considering talks about the wall and is preparing for mass deportation. Russia wants to help us destroy ISIS. China thinks our relationships will be better. The UK is very optimistic of relationships with the US. TPP was declared dead. All good things. Meanwhile, our mainstream media still hasn’t accepted the fact that he will be our next president.

The Chinese in general admire strength tempered with respect, protocol and politeness. Donald Trump is well and truly capable of all that.

Source: http://www.commonsenseevaluation.com/2016/11/15/china-says-trump-diplomatically-impeccable-first-contact/#sthash.dd1bgc0K.dpuf

Frank Assists the Chinese Community Reach Their Development Goals

As Frank begins again to build a development team geared to the unique needs of the Chinese community, let’s look at an example of how he can make a big difference in meeting the goals of others.

Frank was greatly honored when hired as a consultant to assist in the property purchase, development and construction of a new U.S. headquarters for a Chinese organization coming to Seattle.

Through Frank’s experience in managing the work of government agencies, contractors, architects, and engineers, he saved the organization well over a million dollars and eliminated at least a year of development work and construction time to complete the project. The highlights of his project consulting work included:

  • Searching for and locating documents in the City of Seattle government microfilm archives that resulted in a very significant price reduction of hundreds of thousands of dollars in the purchase price, by discovering important misrepresentations of the property.
  • Working with the top Planning and Building officials at the City of Seattle to gain important regulatory concessions that provided additional development advantages, and again saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by reducing code requirements which eliminated construction elements and months of development time.
  • Directing the work of architects, engineers and contractors as well as on site government building inspectors to gain additional regulatory considerations in the field, again saving time and money during the construction process by avoiding costly design and plan reviews through streamlining approval processes.

Frank’s aggressively successful consulting management style was praised by the new owners, as he greatly exceeded their expectations and goals.

Once again it was Frank’s great joy to meet his personal goal of bringing in projects under budget, ahead of schedule, and with more features than originally expected.

It is now Frank’s continued honor to work with a new team of professional and ethical associates in building the next series of development concepts, within culturally sensitive community living environments.

Please contact Frank to find out how he can assist you in fulfilling your dreams and goals.

Frank@FrankKliewer.com

Anytime cell: (206) 794-9900

Chinese Investors Looking for Development Opportunities

As subscribers and daily readers of the Wall Street Journal (print and online) we found the following article extremely telling in light of our past success and current work focus:

Chinese Cash Pours into U.S. Real Estate

SF Dev

Site on San Francisco Bay reflects a move into new development, beyond buying existing commercial properties

Chinese developers are planning a $1 billion commercial project on this San Francisco Bay property. Photo: Greenland USA

By Eliot Brown – Aug. 30, 2016 11:02 a.m. ET

For eight years, a pair of local developers gradually readied a 42-acre strip of waterfront land 10 miles south of downtown San Francisco for a major project, steering it through local land-use approvals.

Now, a group of major Chinese developers is poised to do the heavy lifting. The venture of Greenland Holding Group, Ping An Trust and other investors paid $171 million last month for the site that juts into San Francisco Bay.

The new owners are planning a more than $1 billion development aimed at biotechnology companies, an industry flourishing in the area. “We are pretty confident about the local market and particularly about the research-and-development market,” said Taotao Song, chief executive of the venture.

Over the past three years, Chinese investors have plowed money into some of the highest-profile developments in the U.S. Other cities with projects underway or in the pipeline include New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.

graph of Chinese money flow

The flow of cash from China into U.S. commercial property is continuing unabated as companies seek to diversify outside of China at a time when confidence is fading in their local real-estate markets, real-estate executives say.

President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign has also compelled Chinese investors to seek projects abroad as a way to hedge against a possible crackdown to their business at home. Officials have blocked property sales and detained companies’ executives during investigations.

In the first half of 2016, completed U.S. commercial property purchases by China-based investors were up 19% over a year earlier to $5 billion, according to data tracker Real Capital Analytics Inc. Including deals under contract that haven’t been finished, Chinese investors have committed $12.9 billion this year, nearly matching the $14 billion in all of 2015. The rate of increase does appear to be slower this year, given that in 2014 there was just $3.4 billion in sales to Chinese investors, according to Real Capital.

Investments include office towers such as Manhattan’s 1285 Avenue of the Americas—in which China Life LFC -2.02 % Insurance Co. bought a partial stake—and Anbang Insurance Group Co.’s $6.5 billion deal to buy Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc., which hasn’t closed. Anbang also led an aborted $14 billion purchase of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. HOT -0.37 %

Still, there are some headwinds back home for Chinese investors as officials seek ways to stanch the flow of money out of China. For those real-estate investors that do get money out, developing new buildings is a main focus, given that it offers far higher returns but also more risk than buying existing buildings.

“The vast majority are looking for development opportunities,” said Stephen Collins, who oversees a global capital markets group at real-estate investment-services company JLL. The Chinese companies have experience with development at home, and believe they “can make more money buying the land, building it and selling it,” than just buying an existing tower, he said.

Projects controlled or partly owned by Chinese companies include a development to create Chicago’s third-tallest tower; a planned tower that would be San Francisco’s second-tallest building; a cluster of giant mixed-use projects in downtown Los Angeles; and a planned skyscraper in downtown Boston by Chinese developer  Gemdale Corp. 600383 3.62 %

Earlier this month, in one of the flashiest investments yet, China’s Shanghai Municipal Investment said it was joining with New York-based Extell Development Co. to build the $3 billion Central Park Tower. The condo skyscraper is set to rise 300 feet taller than the Empire State Building to become the tallest apartment tower in the U.S.

LA Dev

A rendering of Greenland Group’s $1 billion Metropolis development in Los Angeles. Photo: Greenland USA

For all of these projects, a big risk is timing. The U.S. is seven years into an economic growth cycle, making many wonder how much longer the good times can last. Much of this concern is focused on Manhattan’s luxury-condo market, where Chinese companies have funded a large crop of towers that are just being built, despite a slowdown in sales and widespread concerns about a condo glut.

The largest Chinese developer in the U.S. is Greenland Group, which has a $1 billion cluster of towers named Metropolis being built in Los Angeles. The company also owns 70% of a $6 billion apartment development in the New York borough of Brooklyn, where three towers have sprouted since it first invested in 2014. More are on the way.

Greenland executives predicted in mid-2014 that they would double their pipeline within a year and have considered numerous sites throughout the country. But the company ended up being less active than expected: its first U.S. deal since mid-2014 was the San Francisco Bay site it purchased for the biotech center.

The seller of that site was a venture of Shorenstein Properties and SKS Partners, which bought it in July 2008 for $85 million and won city approval for a 2.3 million-square-foot development.

Greenland and its partners plan to start moving ahead on a 500,000-square-foot first phase as soon as infrastructure work being done by the city of South San Francisco is completed in mid-2018. Greenland said the venture would begin construction whether or not any of the space is leased beforehand.

—Esther Fung contributed to this article.

Original Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/chinese-cash-pours-into-u-s-real-estate-1472569340

 

The Value of Competition

Rock Bottom Lake Racers (2)

What is the value of competition? Is it the acquisition of a prize, like Olympic gold or the praise of fans and friends? While completion may provide some incentive through the lure of winning something, it seems the real value is in the physical, mental and emotional strength developed in us as we discipline ourselves to push toward achieving a goal. Having someone to work with or compete against provides an extra push and gives us a measure of our level of engagement within a social setting.

Life is full of opportunities to compete, not only in sporting activities, but also in every activity throughout our day. Can we be aware enough of our actions to gauge if we are improving how we function? While it is fine, and even necessary to relax and enjoy the ride in resting intervals to regain our strength, finding the next level of our capacity can be greatly rewarding as we increase our strength, and even amplify the bond we have with others.

I was having these thoughts about competition yesterday morning while enjoying the ten minute rural commute to my office in Duvall. All of a sudden, I focused on a truck in front of me that I had just caught up with at the stoplight entering town. I was blown away by the message on the rear door and grabbed my phone to take a quick photo (below) while stopped behind it. This was just too weird, considering where my mind had been for the past ten minutes before seeing the truck (and I drive a Jeep by the way). I’m pretty sure it was a coincidence…but I had to consider other options. In any case, Bam, a life message right in my face.

Compete 2

Do you have a competition specialty? If not, perhaps today is a good time to get in a game…you’ll be stronger in many ways for making the effort, and you might have some fun and even make some friends. Come on, I dare you! Join me, because I’ve decided to find a game today. Let our games begin, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride!