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Canadian Home Sales See Biggest Gains of 2018
Home sales in Canada saw their biggest increase of the year in June, with Toronto leading the way after a 17% spike in sales. Across the country, the number of transactions was up 4.1% after reaching a five-year low, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Prices were up .9% from the previous year, although they were down slightly, .1%, from the previous month. Rising interest rates and tighter lending regulations have kept buyers on the sidelines this year, but the rising sales numbers indicated the market may be “re-calibrating.”
U.S. Mortgage Applications Dip
Applications for home mortgages in the U.S. tumbled 8.8% in June 2018 compared to the previous year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Builder Applications Survey data. Compared to May 2018, applications were down 12%. Despite these changes, which are partly due to the industry’s traditional summer slump, “new home applications are up 2.5% relative to the first six months of 2017,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA chief economist and senior vice president of research and industry technology.
Singapore’s Cooling Measures Seen as ‘a Big Setback’
A new stamp duty on developers and other cooling measures in Singapore are “a big setback for the property market,” according to Augustine Tan, president of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore. The government’s efforts have caused foreign investors to shy away from the area, he said. They’ve also made home ownership more expensive, he said, with first-time buyers forced to come up with more cash for down payments. Developers are also stepping back, he said, and reevaluating the supply and demand for housing projects in the area.
Hong Kong’s Proposed Vacancy Tax May Mean More Rentals
A proposed vacancy tax on Hong Kong developers may mean more rental units will be available in the city. Developer Sun Hung Kai Properties recently announced it will be renting 140 of the apartments at Victoria Harbour, currently under construction, instead of selling them as previously intended. Other developers could follow suit, finding it easier and faster to rent the properties rather than pay the tax while waiting for a buyer. The vacancy tax proposal could add an additional cost of 4% to 5% on new apartments that are vacant for more than six months.
High-End Dallas Market Saw Fewer Sales, but Slightly Higher Prices in Second Quarter
Fewer luxury homes in Dallas sold in the second quarter, but prices are still on the rise, according to a report from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. The second quarter saw a 4% dip in high-end homes in the area, but the median price for those homes was up close to 5% to $1.465 million in the same time period, compared to the previous year. Homes stayed on the market for less time as well, with homes taking 69 days to sell, as opposed to 80 days in the second quarter of 2017. Sellers are getting 94% of their asking prices, according to the report.
AROUND NEWS CORP
Bel-Air Homes Duel to Become America’s Most Expensive [The Wall Street Journal]
Your Best—and Worst—Shot at Buying a Home Is in These Cities [MarketWatch]
It’s a Scorcher: Hot Garden Looks to Lure Buyers [Times of London]
Swimming in the Lap Pool of Luxury: 8 Lap Pools Ready for a Buyer to Dive In [realtor.com]