REAL ESTATE BRIEFS: Venice, architecture and more



Emphasizing the oft-repeated Realtor mantra that "all real estate is local," agent Robert Goldman of Michael Saunders & Company offers this report on the Venice market:

"Prices are 15 percent higher than last year, but since February they haven't changed much, varying not much more than 2 percent for the past 10 months. The homes that are selling are listed within 6 percent of the likely selling price, and since January are selling within three and a half months. The result is that inventory is low."

Goldman reports prices surged from market lows in February. "If you blinked, you missed it," he writes. "We have reached market balance. Prices will increase no more than 2 to 3 percent. That is a good thing, as it creates stability in the marketplace and is in accordance with the 100-year average."

For both sellers or buyers, he said, "there is no reason to wait on the sidelines. Rates are low, inventory is low, more sellers are realistic than not, buyers are plentiful, and prices will likely increase no more than 2-3 percent."


Home buyers who hire architects are looking to rely less on their cars, reports the American Institute of Architects.

Market conditions, along with changing lifestyle preferences and shifting demographics, means there has been a move away from automotive-centric locations, reports the AIA. These home buyers aslo want employment and entertainment options close by, and they prefer for low-maintenance, energy-efficient properties.

These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the third quarter of 2012 that focused on community and neighborhood design.

"In many areas, we are seeing more interest in urban-infill locations than in remote exurbs, which is having a pronounced shift in neighborhood-design elements," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. "And regardless of city or suburban dwellers, people are asking more from their communities in terms of access to public transit, walkable areas and close proximity to job centers, retail options and open space."

The AIA also reports that business is improving for architecture firms that design houses. Remodeling activity is the strongest segment of the market, followed by some segments of new construction.

— Harold Bubil, Real Estate Today


Last modified: December 21, 2012
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