Real Estate Valuations and Appraisals


HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY– It’s a grand day when you can kick back and read the financials and eco- nomic info and enjoy that Guinness (it’s not beer!) with the good news for a change. Unemployment is down to about 7.7%. Ah, you lads and lasses, I hate to make that Guinness become a numbing factor, but I have to tell the truth. The last two months the government had to correct the unemployment numbers upwards because somehow they made a mistake! Now, that’s hard to imagine. In addition the reason the numbers are down is the construction jobs are up dramatically. Considering the various climatic occurrences throughout the coun- try, construction should be up. In New Jersey they are building new on and off ramps on he Garden Staten Parkway. Since Summer traffic will likely be less this year, one wonders if this is a shrewd investment. In addition the large number of people taking early and / or forced retirement are not unemployed, just underem- ployed and taking from another government pot. So, it looks great from one financial position and it sucks from another. So, enjoy that Guinness, it’ll sneak up on you quietly and give you healthy nutrients and vita- mins. Did you know that in Ireland Dr.’s tell pregnant women to drink a pint of Guinness a day because it is actually a healthy drink.

INVESTMENT GROUPS OWN SINGLE UNIT FORECLOSED DWELLINGS– In years past, the single family (oops!– unit) housing market belonged nearly solely to the American families satisfying their All- American dream. However, between 2004 and 2010 that scene has changed dramatically. The involvement of large-scale institutional investors has dramatically changed that landscape. A recent study conducted by poll- ster ORC International for Premier Property Management Group, an investor oriented found that roughly 52 percent of all rental units in the country are now single unit dwellings; and, and are now called home by 27 percent of all renters.

Now, this is good and bad. It is removing these properties from the vacant list and from shadow inventory lists. So the properties are serving the purpose for which they were intended. However, this also has a negative side. There are now fewer single unit dwellings for sale which is driving up the prices to a point that new home buyers can’t qualify for the loans needed to buy them.

60% of single unit tenants say they are preparing to buy when they clear up the financial problem they had encountered. Only 44% of apartment and multi-unit tenants claim to plan to eventually buy. It’s a safe assumption that housing prices will be dictated by the investment firms and equity firms buying these properties as they have for the past couple of years. Many of the properties bought are within very hard hit neighborhoods, so the investors owning these properties will set the market without competition. One can only hope it doesn’t create the next crash.

NEW HOME SALES- US new home sales jumped in January from the previous month to the highest level since July 2008, a sign that the housing recovery is accelerating. The Commerce Department reported new home sales rose nearly 16% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000. This was the largest percentage increase in almost 20 years. December’s sales were revised higher also from 369,000 to 378,000. One can credit this to a continued upswing in jobs, although questionable as to permanency of the job posi- tions. It appears that job creation is driven now by construction work. However, projects end and the layoffs begin. It seems the only real increase in jobs which should be considered are those that are per long term con- tracts. In addition near-record-low mortgage rates are spurring the home buying public. Somewhat an anom- aly, re-sales are at a 13 year low. This creates demand for an anxious buying market and as demand rises so will housing values. And, we hope that will be market value and not hyper price which is that which created the past several year housing bust.

NAR IS POSITIVE ABOUT HOME SALES / VALUES- NAR now is bullish on housing recognizing that sale price increases along with dramatically reduced foreclosure and shadow inventories are creating a seller’s market throughout the United States with the exception of the western states for local market reasons. The NAR attitude is that lesser available properties for sale and the more affordable mortgage rates give the buying market the impetus to enter the housing fray. The combination will promote home sales and increased sale prices. Fannie Mae economists are now also on the bandwagon of recovery and a definitive housing market increase of sales and values for 2013. Finally, they learned how to read.

SEMINAR– HOW TO DO AN APPRAISAL AND SLEEP AT NIGHT– We are sorry for those of you who were unable to gain admittance to the March 5, 2013 seminar. We were compelled to turn away many who tried to register up to 3 days prior. The response to the presentation was wonderful. Everyone became revi- talized and more prepared to enhance their success in their professional careers. As promised, we have ar- ranged for a location in Edison because of the initial response we received from appraisers within Middlesex, Essex, Union and Somerset Counties. We now will take reservations. It is on a first come first serve basis. In order to provide the best learning opportunity for the attendees, we need to keep the group small. This seminar is not to be confused with any other. Much of the content is unique based on thousands of hours of appraising and over 20 years of review appraising and professional liability representation for insurance carriers in the defense of appraisers.

Update: In 1 day this seminar is already 1/3 sold out.
Seminar Date:  Saturday, April 20, 2013
Registration:   7:30 A. M. – 8:00 A.M.
Breakfast:   8:00 A. M. – 8:30 A.M
Fairfield Inn Marriott
875 New Durham Road
Edison, NJ

Seminar Investment : $115.00
CE Credits : * 4 Approved by NJ Real Estate Appraisal Board