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Real Estate News

Foreigners buy record number of U.S. homes

Source: Los Angeles Times

Foreign home buyers scooped up a record number of residential properties in the United States in the last year, despite a rising dollar and political uncertainty, according to a survey released Tuesday.

The National Assn. of Realtors said foreigners bought 284,455 properties in the 12 months that ended March 31, about a third more than a year earlier. Dollar volume surged nearly 50% to $153 billion, also a record for the survey first taken in 2009.

Chinese nationals were the biggest buyers, purchasing $31.7 billion worth of property, up from $27.3 billion a year earlier and more than ever before, the Realtors said.

But the largest increase came from a surge in buyers from Canada, where prices have skyrocketed in recent years, partially due to Chinese investment there.Canadians purchased $19 billion worth of residential property, compared with $8.9 billion in the 12 months ended March 2016, the Realtors said in their annual report on international investment.

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Is California’s housing crisis spinning out of control?

Source: The New York Times

California has a severe lack of affordable homes and apartments for middle-class families. The median cost of a home in the state has surged to $500,000—double the national cost.

A booming economy, home construction, and apartments that haven’t kept up with demand have all fueled a housing crisis throughout the state. Home prices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego have surged as much as 75 percent over the past five years alone.

Homelessness in California is also on the rise. In Silicon Valley, lines of parked recreational vehicles can be found with people living inside them. In Los Angeles, some local residents are reportedly installing makeshift kitchens and living in vans within quiet neighborhoods.

The state has introduced 130 housing measures this year. Among one of the most recent actions, the Senate approved a bill to crack down on communities that have delayed or derailed housing construction proposals. The bill would restrict the ability to use zoning, environmental, and procedural laws to kill projects that may be considered “out of character” with the neighborhood. The bill is expected to be voted on again later this summer.

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Millennials Think Housing No Longer Part of American Dream

Source: HousingWire

In 2015, 80 percent of millennials said buying a home was part of the American dream, but the same survey taken at the end of 2016 showed that number dropped to 72 percent.

“Given millennials make up the largest pool of potential homebuyers in the U.S., this should be at least somewhat disconcerting,” Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin said. “If the for-sale housing market is to continue building steam in the years ahead, this demographic will need to transition into homeownership in order to support the resale of homes by their older counterparts.”

“Though home buying among millennials is likely to be volatile in the short-run, the long-run potential for this generation to support housing consumption in the U.S. is large,” McLaughlin said.

However, there is still hope for the future of homeownership. McLaughlin points out that the report shows growth in household formation. Household formation increased 0.5 percent to 805,000 new households, however, the increase was due to the formation of renter households."

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