Home prices soar again; some buyers camp out to lay claim to a future condo

The row of campers first started settling in Friday night in Belltown. By early Saturday morning, a line of about 130 people stretched around the block.

They weren’t waiting for the latest iPhone or the opening of some hot new restaurant; they came with $5,000 checks to reserve new condos that start at more than $300,000 and aren’t opening until 2019.

The frenzy over a high-rise residential building that hasn’t even broken ground yet is the latest sign of a Seattle housing market that continues to get even more brutal for homebuyers.

Going up

Median single-family home-price increases over the past year:


Sodo/Beacon Hill


King County


Seattle area

New home-sale numbers released Monday show that for the fourth straight month, King County has set a record for prices, with the

... read more at: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/home-prices-soar-again-some-buyers-camp-out-to-latch-on-to-a-future-condo/

Heath Paley’s ‘weirdly interesting’ photos capture diversity of Maine downtowns

Heath Paley approaches his art the way a private detective might approach a stakeout. He studies his subject from multiple perspectives, settling on one that offers a broad, unobstructed view.

His stakeouts may last several hours, sometimes days or weeks. He sits alone, camera at his eye, clicking off multiple shots with his 35mm camera.

A Portland-based fine-art photographer, Paley creates a single large-scale image – some as large as 8 feet wide and often mounted on aluminum – from a series of overlapping photos that he stitches together on a computer to create a composite digital image. The result is an unusually dense picture that is packed with depth, detail and saturated color.

When curator Heather Frederick saw a print of his in the Portland Museum of Art Biennial in 2011, she found it “weirdly interesting” but couldn’t readily identify why. Across the image – in every corner, in the middle, on

... read more at: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/05/heath-paleys-weirdly-interesting-photographs-capture-the-diversity-of-maine-downtowns/

What’s up with that lofty Nob Hill condo listed at $1.3 million? (photos)

A century before the Pearl District pushed penthouses prices to the moon, Nob Hill was the address for Portland’s rich and famous.

While grocery baron Fred Meyer occupied the entire top floor of the landmark 1929 Envoy building on one side of Burnside Street, artists and entrepreneurs were flying into multilevel, luxury pads across the road.

Residences in Northwest Portland seemed more fitting to Manhattan than Stumptown. Architectural firms like Whitehouse Fouilhoux were on a tear to sketch out plans for pricey European and Eastern-style buildings and mansions.

One of the grandest buildings by the firm was known as the Seven Hundred Five Davis Street Apartments in fashionable Nob Hill.

The seven-story, French Renaissance-style structure formed a U-shape fronted by a formal courtyard. Exterior walls were covered in off-white terra cotta and soft red brick.

The entrance foyer’s elevator was installed a year before one was famously inserted into the Pittock Mansion a

... read more at: http://www.oregonlive.com/hg/index.ssf/2016/06/classic_1913_condo_nw_portland.html

‘Buyer gridlock’ creates new ways of climbing the property ladder

Defeated house hunters in Toronto and Vancouver who feel that the supply of affordable homes must be shrinking aren’t entirely imagining the phenomenon.

Beata Caranci, chief economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, says the houses listed for sale are increasingly tilted towards the upper end of the market. Her report, entitled Moving on the Monopoly Board: Buyer Gridlock in the Toronto and Vancouver Housing Markets, illustrates how the change is shifting the way people get onto the property ladder and how they climb up once they get there.

Ms. Caranci was prompted to drill into the numbers behind the vanishing listings after hearing so much about the lack of supply that continually frustrates house hunters in the two cities.

“You keep hearing it’s a sellers’ market but the sellers have to go somewhere.”

Ms. Caranci says it’s still common for people to buy an entry-level home with the thought of trading up as babies come along,

... read more at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/toronto/buyer-gridlock-creates-new-ways-of-climbing-the-property-ladder/article30229666/

FED: Everywhere we look the job market is tight

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The labor market looks tight everywhere the Federal Reserve turns.

Its latest Beige Book released Wednesday contained anecdotes from its 12 districts on their regional economies.

Most places noted that the gap between the number of jobs and people available to work was shrinking, meaning the labor markets were tightening.

More demand for workers also meant modestly higher wages, according to the Fed’s districts. Markets like Richmond and Atlanta reported higher wages for lower-skilled workers, while minimum-wage pressures were felt in San Francisco.

The wage pressures came as overall economic growth trudged along. From April through mid-May, the districts’ economies grew modestly at best, while Chicago and Kansas City slowed.

It’s not a hard data release, but the Beige Book gives us a sense of what is informing the Fed’s outlook on consumer spending, the housing market, manufacturing, inflation and other key areas.

Market expectations

... read more at: http://www.businessinsider.com/fed-beige-book-june-1-2016-6

San Diego County home prices up 6.2% – The San Diego Union

Southern California home prices continued to outpace the national average, and many major cities, said the SP/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday.

Prices nationally, adjusted for seasonal variation, rose 5.2 percent in the 12 months ended in March, with the Pacific Northwest and West seeing the biggest gains.

San Diego County’s median home price increased 6.2 percent , lower than the 6.4 percent increase in February and 6.9 percent in January. Los Angeles and Orange counties were up 6.5 percent, down from 6.8 percent in February and 6.9 percent in January.

Portland had the biggest gains at 12.3 percent, followed by Seattle at 10.8 percent and Denver at 10 percent.

Economists said home prices continue to rise because of improved labor markets and employment rates, low mortgage rates and limited home supply.

Mark Goldman, finance and real

... read more at: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/may/31/home-prices-case-shiller/

How can we keep Boston from turning into a truly unaffordable city?

If you live in or near Boston, you already know that housing is expensive. Rents and mortgages eat up a growing share of middle-class incomes. And among the poor, affordable housing is as rare as it is essential.

But if you’re wondering what the solution is, so is everyone else. Boston’s housing woes are far from unique. Housing costs in Greater Boston are very much in line with peer cities like Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Ore. — and far below what you find in a truly overheated market like California’s Bay Area.


Has any city found the secret to balancing economic dynamism with affordability? Not really. But if Boston doesn’t make room for low- and middle-income

... read more at: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/05/31/boston-housing-expensive-but-could-worse/fJw0ao3zBV21z5FbD9XC5J/story.html

Portland home prices, rents continue to rise

Home prices are rising faster than wages in Portland and a growing number of other parts of the county. (Portland Tribune file photo)
Home prices are rising faster than wages in Portland and a growing number of other parts of the county. (Portland Tribune file photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — The supply of homes for sale in Portland has declined 31.6 percent since last April, the largest drop of any major city in the country, according to a new report.

The resulting shortage has helped push Portland home prices up 15.1 percent in the past year, to an average of

... read more at: http://koin.com/2016/05/31/portland-home-prices-rents-continue-to-rise/

NYC ‘trophy’ apartment could list for $250 million

NEW YORK — Billionaires’ Row.

That’s what New York real estate experts have dubbed a lineup of a half-dozen new superluxury skyscrapers overlooking Central Park that are home to some of the world’s most expensive apartments.

A luxury 90-floor apartment skyscraper rises above all other buildings overlooking Central Park, while a crane sits atop ongoing construction for a new condominium skyscraper at 220 Central Park South on Thursday in New York. The Associated PressA luxury 90-floor apartment skyscraper rises above all other buildings overlooking Central Park, while a crane sits atop ongoing construction for a new condominium skyscraper at 220 Central Park South on Thursday in New York. The Associated Press


One penthouse on the 89th and 90th floors of a skyscraper near Carnegie Hall that went for more than $100 million seems almost a bargain compared to

... read more at: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/05/29/nyc-trophy-apartment-could-list-for-250-million/