MORE CALIFORNIANS CAN AFFORD TO BUY HOMES

More Californians found it easier to purchase a home in the first quarter of 2015 because of lower interest rates and stabilizing home prices, according to the California Association of Realtors. Up from 33% in the first quarter a year ago, more California buyers could afford to purchase a median-priced single-family home in the first quarter of 2015. “Home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $87,700 to qualify for the purchase of a $442,430 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home….” .

Source: C.A.R. Market Matters

LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME? HOW ABOUT A $50,000,000 PARKING GARAGE IN MANHATTAN?

Of course, you will have to renovate it – that will only cost you from between $9 million to $20 million. Listed by Pat Wheatley of Sotheby’s International Realty, this five-story Beaux-Arts structure was built circa 1906 “when only the elite had cars”. Boasting a mansard roof and dormer windows, the 40-foot-wide building consists of about 17,200 square foot with ceilings up to 17 feet high. Needless to say, “We’re targeting people who need a large home,” Ms. Field said. And, might we add, a big pocket book.

Source: Wall Street Journal

STRONG DOLLAR GIVES THE BOOT TO SOME FOREIGN INVESTORS

For example, a Russian buyer paying in rubles, spent twice as much in February than a year ago for Miami real estate. Buyers using euros saw a 24% price increase in New York City, while a Canadian has to pay 20% more to purchase a vacation home in Phoenix. The exception is the Chinese buyer – for them, the “stronger dollar will indicate that the U.S. is the most safe country” for investors, according to Ms. Hwang of Century 21. Also, the yuan closely follows the dollar. In key markets, prices are much higher for buyers using such currencies as rubles, euros or Canadian dollars. According to Eric Morath of the Wall Street Journal, “That could reshape certain U.S. housing markets where foreign buyers have been a stabilizing force.”

Source: Eric Morath, Wall Street Journal

San Diego Profiled in National Geographic Channel’s “Smart Cities” Series

And, San Diego is the ONLY city in North America to be profiled! A one-hour documentary focuses on San Diego’s quality of life including the technology sector, local innovators, green practices and public planning. Mayor Kevin Faulconer remarks: “Over the past year, we’ve talked a lot about how San Diego is a place of innovation and opportunities and the world is taking notice”. According to National Geographic, this documentary “uncovers what makes this unique city one of the most innovative, forward-thinking cities across the globe” and “delves beneath the surface to examine the city’s characteristic tolerance, talent, and technology that has seen it transform in recent decades.” Congratulations San Diego!

Source: KPBS