Evening Roundup: Deals, Government Data, and, This Time, Renters Pay

Rounding up several stories we saw today:

  • First, more on Quidnunc’s affordable housing theme today:  Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies has announced an all-day Washington, D.C., seminar on rentals and affordability this Monday, Dec. 9.  A heavy hitter panel will get U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan for the keynote. The MacArthur Foundation is underwriting it.  For the agenda and panelists, and more important unless you travel on a whim, the web access details, can be found in the press release HERE
  • The city’s Independent Budget Office is targeting wealthy non-residents who maintain pricey New York City apartments for a tax hike.  It’s about 421-a again: Crain’s New York Business yesterday had the details on a recommendation for ending property tax breaks on apartments not being used as primary residences in “The Russians are coming! Not under this proposal,” HERE.
  • Inman.com has a story with a back-to-the-future feel to it:  a website is graciously offering to charge renters to access listings.  $35.  NextLanding offers a money-back guarantee—though we’re not sure for what.  From the item: “Philosophically, that means we can do things like contact … management companies or landlords on your behalf, sometimes repetitively,” according to a principal of the company.  The article explains that the firm verifies that listings actually are available by calling, texting or emailing brokers, property managers and landlords. “Often, it helps renters connect directly with landlords or property managers, enabling them to avoid paying fees to brokers who advertise the same listings.” You can read about this HERE. You can see it in action HERE.
  • “Building homes to lease, rather than sell, has begun to make sense to home builders and investors because the pool of qualified first-time home buyers has shrunk even as the price of buying existing homes has risen enough to make new construction worthwhile again.”  See “Home Buyers Are Scarce, So Renters Take Their Place,” in today’s New York Times.
  • The New York boutique investment firm Georgetown Co. bought Boston’s One Washington St., between State and Congress Sts., for 56.7 million—an impressive $23 million more than when the property changed hands just six years ago.  This all comes from Boston Business Journal’s BBJRE Daily, yesterday, HERE.
  • New York REIT AG Mortgage Investment Trust Inc. declared a dividend today.  The firm, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and focuses on investing in mortgage securities, is externally managed and advised by AG REIT Management LLC, a subsidiary of Angelo, Gordon & Co. L.P., a private investment firm with four U.S. office and six overseas offices, all based out of a midtown NYC headquarters. You can see AG Mortgage Investment Trust’s company description HERE.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development yesterday reported that sales of new single-family houses in October were up 25.4% over a revised September rate, to 444,000.  The same report said that the October median sales price of new houses was $245,800, while the average sales price was $321,700. A seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 183,000, a 4.9 months supply at the current sales rate.
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