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Affordable Housing Issues and Solutions to Watch

The Stessa Weekly Newsletter is hand-curated every week to bring you insightful accounts of new features, investing tips, business insights and market trends from the real estate ecosystem. In addition to our regular rental market news, this week covers affordable housing issues and the effects of emerging technologies on the real estate market.

Housing Affordability

Atom Data Solutions’ highly anticipated release of their Q1 2018 U.S. Home Affordability Report shows that median home prices remain unattainable for average wage earners in 304 of 446 counties.  This indicates likely continued strength in the residential rental markets for both single and multi-family homes nationally.  Importantly, 8 of the 10 most expensive counties show a decline in net migration indicating that those areas may be at or near capacity for average wage earners in these rental markets, and pushing a boom in rental markets in adjacent communities

 

Justin Fox of Bloomberg Online lays out the benefits of owning rather than renting across the USA.  He also identifies one significant drawback, that with decreased residential mobility unemployment times lengthen and regional population shifts become more complex.

 

Jacob Passy of Market Watch reports that new California zoning laws are playing an important part in the recent increase of accessory dwelling units such as mother-in-law suits, or ‘granny flats’.  The increased demand on rental and short term housing solutions combined with statewide changes in zoning laws has created a building boom in these Mother in Law units.  

 

Elijah Chiland of Curbed reports on the controversial California Senate Bill 827 proposed by Senator Scott Weiner, which would establish statewide standards for new residential projects close to public transportation. The bill’s removal of some regulations on parking and density would significantly impact the project types that could be built near public transit. Weiner said the bill’s purpose is to decrease the cost of housing and increase the accessibility of public transit; however, opponents fear the proposed bill would lead to demolition of smaller and affordable developments which would be replaced with larger, market rate projects.

 

Todd Conway, co-founder of Pillow, outlines ways in which owners of multi-unit buildings have benefited from the increase in the short term rental market, and especially from the increased market penetration of services like AirBnb. Of particular note is how these solutions can decreased vacancy rates, increased rental revenue, and the potential for long term leases these arrangements generates.

 

Emerging Technologies

 

Nathan Sykes from Realty News identifies some of the changes self driving cars will have on the real estate market.  We especially love the idea that low value parking spaces could be converted into additional housing or higher value amenities as communal ride sharing and self driving cars eliminate the need for onsite parking.

 

James Beardsley from Estate Agent Today attempts to unravel the many effects of Artificial Intelligence upon the global real estate markets.  He touches on the effects of AI in how we buy, sell and maintain properties.  Particularly at risk to the rise of this technology are the brokers and real estate agents who make up the lion’s share of real estate professionals

 

Ben Lane from Newswire updates on a recent $177 million investment in UK unicorn and flat fee brokerage Purplebricks.  This investment will largely be used to expand their offerings throughout the United States with $71 million earmarked for expansion across the country. This will further excel the pressure on commission rates globally.

 

 


 

The Stessa Weekly Newsletter is hand-curated every week to bring you insightful accounts of new features, investing tips, business insights and market trends from the real estate ecosystem.