Throughout the years, we have befriended many quality real estate brokers around the country and other parts of the world. In our effort to always provide the best possible service to our clients, we have built professional relationships and friendships with the best of these brokers and touch base on a regular basis to discuss how our individual regions are changing while learning about new services and technologies they’ve implemented. This year, we will share a collection of articles co-written with some of these amazing professionals.
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty and Caliber Home Loans looked at average prices of newer condominiums and compared rents for comparable apartments. They found the total cost of ownership was effectively lower when factoring income tax deductions, not to mention the opportunity for capital appreciation. The research was performed as part of a recent think tank hosted by the Puget Sound Business Journal, which was published as a section called The Manhattanization of Seattle.
“We observe China as the soon-to-be largest economy and a wealth engine with a high propensity for its nationals to seek financial safe harbor and education overseas. Asian demographics are the fastest-growing segment in Washington State with the greatest number stemming from China.”
Other markets covered in the report include The United States, The United Kingdom, and Brazil. View more insights in our Luxury Life report.
February 24, 2014 (Kirkland, WA) – Representatives of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty announced today a retail partnership with Woodinville-based DeLille Cellars to open Maison DeLille at 15 Lake Street in downtown Kirkland. The high-profile retail storefront will feature a wine bar and retail wine shop operated by DeLille Cellars while also showcasing art, fine furnishings and residential opportunities represented by the global realty network.
“We are thrilled to partner with DeLille Cellars on Maison DeLille and we’re eager to open our doors later this month,” said Dean Jones,
The 3,200 sq. ft. facility is set to open to the public on March 1, 2014 – precisely four months to the day after The Puget Sound Business Journal first broke the story about the unique retail concept. Designed by Atelier Drome Architects and developed by Adatto Construction, the facility features 17-foot ceilings and a unique building-in-a-building structure with expansive sliding wall panels to create individual spaces for day-to-day corporate use or to open up completely from street to bay for larger events of up to 250 persons on special occasions.Owner of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “Far more than a general real estate brokerage or a wine tasting room, together we’ve conceived the ultimate open house for the connoisseurs of life to experience a convergence of lifestyle brands within a single, beautiful setting.”
“Maison DeLille extends our brand well beyond our Woodinville-basedDeLille Chateau and Carriage House tasting room,” said Greg Lill, President of DeLille Cellars. “Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is a marketing maverick with a window to the world and a lakeside location, which is highly attractive to us. By combining our resources and databases we’re destined to draw both individual consumers and special events business to downtown Kirkland.”
Lill says his special events business is second only to retail wine sales and venue rentals brings tremendous awareness for his brand and event clientele. He believes the Maison Delille storefront along with the convertible functionality of the brokerage office will be a popular platform for other retailers and artists, broker promotions, corporate events, fundraisers and other philanthropic interests. Jones agrees saying the gallery-like retail experience is more dynamic than a typical brokerage office reception area while activating the retail to brin
“Our Kirkland branch provides a fully functional brokerage operation with all the systems to support our growing real estate enterprise on the Eastside,” adds Jones. “We’ve gone to great efforts to ensure that our retail experience is multi-dimensional and evolving, much like a website home page needs to stay current. Besides, events are a great way to bring individual broker networks together without feeling like you’re in a sales environment.”g attention to his exclusive properties.
Local opinion leaders have been watching the development of what’s being dubbed the “Connoisseurs of Life Showroom” with great interest.
“Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty and DeLille Cellars are a perfect pairing – it’s a very savvy retail concept,” says Maria Royer, Principal of Real Retail – a Seattle-based retail broker that specializes in lifestyle brands. “They will benefit from a prime downtown Kirkland location attracting a likeminded consumer drawn to the beautiful homes, compelling art and fine wines. The showroom is like a lifestyle magazine coming to life while providing a living room of sorts for the community. And given its adjacency to the Kirkland Marina, I think Maison DeLille will also become a popular lifestyle destination for boaters on Lake Washington.”
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Get ready for a little eye candy! Here are the 13 largest houses on the market in the US. From Florida to California and everywhere in-between, these mega homes boast guest houses, private lakes and even an equestrian center. Check them out here: http://curbed.com/archives/2014/01/29/here-now-the-12-largest-houses-on-the-market-in-america.php
For the second consecutive year, Cost vs. Value data show that the value of remodeling is up for all 35 projects included in the survey. This trend signals an end to the long slide in the cost-value ratio, which began to fall in 2006 and didn’t begin to rebound until last year (see, “Cost vs. Value 11-Year Trend”). For 2014, the cost-value ratio stands at 66.1%, a jump of 5.5 points over last year and the largest increase since 2005, when the ratio jumped 6.1 points to reach its high of 86.7%.
(The cost-value ratio expresses resale value as a percentage of construction cost. When cost and value are equal, the ratio is 100%; when cost is higher than value, the ratio is less than 100%; when value is higher than cost, the ratio exceeds 100%.)
Significantly, for the first time in four years, improved resale value of residential housing had more of an influence in the cost-value ratio than construction costs. A modest 2.2% increase in average national construction costs was more than offset by an 11.5% improvement in average national resale value. This reverses a trend that began in 2010–11, when construction costs dropped dramatically, but resale values dropped even more, driving the ratio down. The situation began to change in 2013, when lower costs were mainly responsible for across-the-board improvement in the cost-value ratio. While this was good news for the remodeling market, costs remained volatile and housing values had yet to stabilize. In what is perhaps the most positive sign in this year’s data, rising resale value is driving the overall market improvement.
There is still some progress to be made before the remodeling market fully recovers, but the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report shows that the national average cost-value ratio is up more than 9%, with 15 projects improving between 10% and 28% compared with 2013 (see “Biggest Gainers”).
The biggest gainer may reflect the market’s response to the year’s unpredictable weather and multiple large storms: Backup Power Generator, an $11,742 project that supplies electricity during a utility outage, increased 28% nationally to its all-time high of 67.5% in percentage of cost recouped, and jumped to 25th in the overall ranking.
More important is the continued presence of several big-ticket projects among the biggest gainers. Attic Bedroom Remodel, with a national average remodeling cost of $49,438, gained 15.6% compared with 2013, reaching a cost-to-value ratio of 84.3% and moving from eighth to fourth in overall rank. Similarly, Basement Remodel, with an average cost of $62,834, gained 10.4% over 2013 to reach a 77.6% cost-to-value ratio, and move from 13th to 12th in rank. Both of these projects have been trending upward in recent years, possibly because, compared with building an addition, they represent an inexpensive way to add living space to an existing home. But the fact that their comparatively high initial cost is balanced by a higher value at resale than at any time since the peak year of 2005 signals a return of confidence in the value of remodeling.
That said, replacements—especially door, window, and siding projects—once again outperformed larger discretionary remodeling projects, when judged solely by national ranking (see “ROI: Replacement vs. Remodeling”). Entry Door Replacement (steel) is once again ranked first, as has been the case since this project was introduced in the 2009–10 report, and is the only project to return more than 90% of cost (96.6%). Low initial cost combined with the positive effect on curb appeal is likely responsible for the high ranking. This is also true of the midrange and upscale versions of Garage Door Replacement, which ranked fifth and sixth, respectively.
At the next cost level, nine of the 14 projects with costs in the $5,000 to $25,000 range are also replacements. (Since the introduction of several low-cost projects to the survey, the Cost vs. Value Report has presented data in four cost categories, making for a better comparison among projects of similar size.) This includes all three Siding Replacement projects, led by Siding Replacement (fiber-cement), an “upscale” project ranked first in this category and second overall, with a cost-value ratio of 87.4% (a 10.2% improvement over 2013); and all four window replacement projects, led by wood and vinyl “midrange” projects with cost-value ratios of 79.3% and 78.7%, respectively.
While the cost-value ratio only occasionally exceeds 100% nationally, this occurs more often at the city level, where it typically indicates either strong appeal for a particular project, or a strong housing market, or both. This year, the cost-value ratio exceeded 100% in more than 300 instances or nearly 9% of the time. (By comparison, 2013 saw just 65 instances of projects exceeding 100%.) Of the 64 markets with at least one project that registered a 100%-plus ratio, 21 had 5 or more. Leading the list of high-ROI projects is Entry Door Replacement (steel), which topped 100% in 38 cities, followed by Deck Addition (wood), with a 100%-plus ratio in 25 cities (see “High-ROI Projects”). Most of the other top-performers are replacement projects, with four notable exceptions: Minor Kitchen Remodel and Backup Power Generator, both of which are under-$25,000 projects; and the two bigger ticket projects mentioned earlier, Attic Bedroom Remodel and Basement Remodel.
This year’s report added 19 new markets, bringing the total number surveyed to 101. (Wilmington, Del., was inadvertently included in this year’s survey. Future surveys will follow the U.S. Census and include Wilmington as part of the Philadelphia MSA.) Performance among these “first-time” markets was split, with 9 performing at or above the national average, and 10 below. Three first-time cities are among the ten markets showing a cost-value ratio above 80% (see, “Top 10 Cities”).
Seven of the nine regions outperformed the national average, a distinct improvement over 2013, when just four regions performed better than average. This result may be partly due to the uneven distribution of first-time cities, but it is difficult to determine how big a role this factor may have played, if any. The Middle Atlantic region, which picked up the most first-time cities, and the West North Central region, which picked up none, rank last among the nine regions (see “2014 Regional Comparison”), but they also ranked last in 2013. On the other hand, three regions that performed below the national average in 2013 and also added first-time cities (East North Central, New England, and Mountain) performed well above the national average in 2014.
Once again, the Pacific and West South Central regions ranked first and second, respectively, but the New England region moved from 6th to 3rd; and the East North Central region, from 7th to 5th.
Upscale and K&B
With a few already-noted exceptions, more expensive projects did not fare as well as lower-cost projects, although all made significant gains compared with 2013. While the cost-value ratio for all projects improved 10% on average, midrange projects improved 10.6% versus 8.8% for upscale versions. (Many projects in the Cost vs. Value Report have two versions, “midrange” and “upscale,” with lower and higher costs, respectively, based on scope of work, complexity, and quality of finishes.) One exception is Two-Story Addition, which improved 9.9% due to a large increase (11.9%) in resale value compared with a small (1.9%) cost increase. The other exception is the upscale Bathroom Addition. It ranked just ahead of the midrange version, suggesting that the market is willing to pay for more square footage and higher-end appointments in the bathroom.
Once again, the best-performing K&B project was Minor Kitchen Remodel, which includes new appliances and countertops, and a facelift for existing cabinets. At $18,856, it is not the least expensive K&B project, but it delivers a lot of bang for the buck.
In general, kitchen projects outperformed bathroom projects, regardless of cost. One indication is the Major Kitchen Remodel: Despite its hefty $54,909 price tag, its cost-value ratio of 74.2% ranks it second among the seven K&B projects, just above Bathroom Remodel, which is about one-third the size. And the $109,935 upscale Major Kitchen Remodel project ranked higher than the other three much smaller bathroom projects.
BREAKDOWN BY PROJECT
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Enrico Pozzo, Barry Bergner & the SeattlebyDesign Team
Housing starts soared in November, rising 22.7% from October’s revised estimate and 29.6% from last year, government data shows.
The quick surge prompted market analysts to speculate that the report gives the Fed even more momentum to begin tapering its monthly asset purchases.
Privately-owned housing starts reached an annual rate of 1.091 million in November, compared to 889,000 in October and 842,000 last year, the Commerce Department data reveals.
Single-family housing starts alone hit a rate of 727,000 in November – a 20.8% climb from October.
Meanwhile, the November start rate for buildings with five or more units hit 354,000.
Building permits – a forward looking indicator for the construction industry – fell on the other hand. Housing units authorized by building permits edged down to 1.07M in November, a 3.1% drop from October. Still, that figure is 7.9% above year ago levels.
Single-family permits alone rose 2.1%, reaching a November rate of 634,000 units.
Buildings with five or more units reached a permit authorization rate of 346,000 in November.
“Housing regained some momentum over the last three months,” analysts with Econoday noted. “Between recently strong retail sales and housing starts numbers, fourth quarter growth may be moderately strong. Today’s data add to odds that the Fed may taper somewhat with this afternoon’s policy statement.”
Enrico Pozzo, Barry Bergner & The SeattlebyDesign Team
Permits for future U.S. home construction rose to their highest level in nearly 5-1/2 years in October, suggesting the housing market recovery remained intact despite recent signs of slowing down.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday building permits jumped 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million units. That was the highest rate since June 2008. Permits increased 5.2 percent in September.
August’s permits were revised to a 926,000-unit pace from the previously reported 918,000 units. Permits lead housing starts by at least a month.
The Department postponed the release of housing starts and completions for September and October until Dec. 18 because the collection of data was affected by a 16-day shutdown of the government last month. November data also will be published at that time. The partial shutdown of the federal government also delayed the publishing of the September and October permits reports.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected building permits at a 930,000-unit rate in October.
While permits are not counted in gross domestic product (GDP), they are a key indicator of economic activity and the sturdy gains in both September and October should ease concerns the housing market recovery was stalling.
Higher mortgage rates have slowed the pace of home sales, but demand for accommodation as household formation continues to recover from multi-decade lows is expected to keep residential construction supported.
Home resales fell in October for a second straight month and confidence among single-family home builders has ebbed somewhat since nearing an eight-year high in August.
Permits for the multifamily home sector surged 15.3 percent in October after increasing 20.1 percent in September. Permits for buildings with five units or more reached their highest level since June 2008.
Single-family home permits, the largest segment of the market, increased 0.8 percent after falling 1.9 percent in September.
Enrico Pozzo, Barry Bergner & the SeattlebyDesign Team