Housing affordability largely unchanged in England and Wales in 2018

ONS | April 01, 2019

Housing affordability in England and Wales stayed at similar levels in 2018, following five years of decreasing affordability, but new homes are less affordable, official data shows. On average, full time workers could expect to pay an estimated 7.8 times their annual workplace based earnings on purchasing a home in England and Wales last year, the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal. At the local level, London boroughs had the widest range of estimated housing affordability; more than three times the range of any other region while Copeland, in the North West of England, was the most affordable local authority with average house prices being 2.5 times average workplace based annual earnings.

Spotlight

The Asia Pacific real estate market will enter a period of slower growth in 2016, with several markets already experiencing a correction. Slower than historical average economic growth; increased uncertainty around China; potential interest rate movements; and weaker business sentiment all point to occupiers adopting more conservative real estate strategies in the near term. The investment demand will remain upbeat, however, on the back of high liquidity and promising long-term growth.


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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

HomeJab Debuts Novel Real Estate Agent Marketing Method That Creates Real-Estate-Backed-NFTs to Promote Home Sales

HomeJab | July 14, 2022

HomeJab, which provides real estate agents on-demand professional real estate photography services nationwide, is debuting a new and novel marketing method that gives real estate agents a new avenue to promote homes for sale – using an NFT, or non-fungible token. Real estate agents who use HomeJab for professional real estate photography for their listing can now receive a free real-estate-backed-NFT of the home as part of their order. This new service from HomeJab includes promoting these NFT-backed homes for sale and listing them on the new HomeJab NFT site at nft.homejab.com. HomeJab founder and CEO Joe Jesuele emphasized that this new service for real estate agents supplements their traditional marketing efforts by exposing them to an NFT-interested audience. "For real estate agents, we provide an easy way to promote their listings to a new market of potential buyers and it doesn't cost them anything," explained Jesuele. "For crypto enthusiasts, we offer a way to purchase real world assets legally using blockchain," he added. The first NFT-backed home currently being marketed for sale on the HomeJab NFT site is in Detroit, at 20060 Canterbury Road owned by Daniel McDonald and listed for $415,000 by Lisa Virkus, a real estate agent and founder of Realty in the D. Team Title Services, owned by Web Raulston and based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, handles the title and settlement services. McDonald is a Key Advisor at Mortgage Token, which aims to be the first company that allows clients to leverage their home equity to invest in cryptocurrency. "I'm a firm believer that with digital assets such as NFTs, entire industries will benefit from being built on the Ethereum blockchain by increasing consumer transparency and transaction cost-effectiveness," home seller McDonald said. McDonald explained that blockchain, like the internet, is the new "great equalizer" and that "Web3 will level the playing field, making information and pricing inequalities a thing of the past." "Mortgage Token is an autonomous modernized lending platform bridging the gap between real estate and crypto lending. We look forward to launching before the fourth quarter of 2022 as the first lender specifically investing in cryptocurrency." Jason Yourofsky, Mortgage Token founder Jesuele noted, "Our customers will get an NFT listing for free with every photo shoot, and direct exposure to a more tech-savvy group of buyers." With the new service, an agent can bring their buyer, and the buyer would purchase the NFT, which provides them with an option to purchase the property. Buyers purchase NFTs with USD Coin (USDC), a digital currency fully backed by US dollar assets, on the Ethereum blockchain. HomeJab receives 1% on the NFT sale, with the proceeds distributed to the title company who then facilitates the closing and recording of deed. The seller and buyer agent commissions would be part of the settlement statement, like any other traditional transaction. About HomeJab HomeJab is America's leading on-demand professional real estate photography and video service for real estate pros. Lightning-fast high-end visual production offerings also include immersive 3D interactive tours, floor plan creation, affordable virtual staging, turnkey aerial services, and the creation of real-estate-backed NFTs. Its efficient one-stop-shop for real estate listings promotions at HomeJab.com features affordable and customizable shoots to create the most engaging visual content for faster home sales and enrich the listing agent's personal brand. HomeJab is available nationwide and in the U.S. and Canada.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Curbio Expands into the Jersey Shore with Fix Now, Pay Later Home Improvement Solution

Curbio | July 07, 2022

Curbio, Inc., the leading fix now, pay-at-closing home improvement solution for real estate agents and their clients, today announced that it has expanded its services into the Jersey Shore area of New Jersey. This expansion includes Tom's River, Atlantic City, Cape May, and the surrounding areas. Curbio is a groundbreaking PropTech solution that has set out to transform the way that real estate agents, brokerages, and their clients get listings ready for market. Curbio's expertise in pre-listing home improvements, combined with its proprietary technology, enable the company to complete pre-listing updates of any size efficiently and reliably, so that realtors and their clients can sell their home for more without the hassle of traditional home improvement. Curbio takes care of all sourcing, project management and communication, and acts as the licensed, insured general contractor on all projects. The company does not have any project minimums or maximums, making their pay-at-closing solution ideal for listings of any size. From basic listing preparations to whole home makeovers, Curbio helps any listing become market-ready quickly and reliably. "We couldn't be more excited to be bringing Curbio to the Jersey Shore. Buyers in the Jersey Shore want move-in-ready homes, and Curbio is here to help with that. We are the only completely turnkey pre-listing home improvement solution that allows real estate agents and their clients to update their listings and sell for more, without taking on the stress of traditional home improvement. Plus, homeowners don't pay any cash until the home sells, with zero interest, fees, or premiums," said Olivia Mariani, VP of Marketing at Curbio. This is the seventh new-market expansion for Curbio this year, following their launches in Nashville, Tenn., Richmond, Va., Wilmington, Del., Charlotte, N.C., Virginia Beach, Va., and Raleigh, N.C. The company now serves 31 markets across the United States. About Curbio Curbio was founded in 2017 to transform the multi-billion-dollar home improvement industry and has quickly become the nation's leading pay-at-closing home improvement solution. The company partners exclusively with real estate agents and their clients to get any home ready for the market, allowing it to sell faster and for top dollar. Using technology to power their service, Curbio completes pre-listing home improvement projects of any size quickly and without hassle, from start to finish, with zero payment due until the home sells. Curbio is trusted by thousands of realtors and brokerages nationwide, and has been continuously recognized for its exemplary solution, receiving nods in HousingWire, Qualified Remodeler and Comparably, to name a few.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Whitecrest Real Estate Celebrates the Completion and Official Grand Opening of Brand-New Luxury Condominium Development, The Heritage

The Menkiti Group | May 21, 2022

MG Residential, an arm of Brookland's The Menkiti Group, was joined by Whitecrest Real Estate, to celebrate the launch of The Heritage, a newly developed collection of modern condominiums starting in the mid $300's. The new development offers 1–2-bedroom units that range from 570 – 1050 square feet. The completion of this project marks a major milestone in the new development and momentum in Ward 5. "The project was started late 2018 and took over 3 years to complete. Even through the chaos of COVID-19, we trooped through as we believed in the project," said the company's Director of Design, Maryam Kazmi. "We chose this project as we believed in the neighborhood and wanted to add value to this area and offer new modern living. This is an emerging neighborhood and we wanted to be part of its story." The Heritage lies in the heart of Woodridge, a residential neighborhood located just north of the National Arboretum. The dynamic team of Whitecrest Real Estate always believed in the Woodridge neighborhood, but it was not until they began working in the area, that they realized its true potential. We were one of the first very few developers who started to invest in the neighborhood, about a decade ago in 2013 with a boutique style building. While working in Woodridge, we realized that it is not only a conveniently located and easily accessible neighborhood to various hot spots of Washington DC, but also amongst one of the safest and most affordable areas in the city." Reza Damani, Real Estate Investor and Chief of Operations for Whitecrest The Heritage is conveniently located near a variety of the District's parks and amenities. Barnard Hill Park lies in the northwest corner of the neighborhood, providing 22 acres of open green space for walking or picnics. Also, near the neighborhood, the Dwight A. Mosley Playground and Taft Recreation Center have a large playground, several sports fields, a tennis court, and a basketball court. Although Woodridge lies in a residential area, its proximity to the city's main attractions is what gives this neighborhood its unique flexibility and advantage. Whitecrest and MG Residential were joined by many Ward 5 residents and local businesses, resulting in a successful community event. Joe Dawson of Mission Mortgage and Lawrence Elliot of Prime Title sponsored the event and were also in attendance. "We appreciate everyone who attended the official Grand Opening for The Heritage," says MG Residential's VP of Sales and top 1% of realtors nationwide, Lashika Mason. "We are truly overwhelmed by the constant outpouring of support from the community and look forward to seeing The Heritage's impact in Ward 5." The Heritage is on one of the main arteries of the neighborhood, that runs into Washington, DC. The luxurious finishes combined with the extra effort that was taken to preserve the 100-year-old bank façade makes this beautiful building stand out. The Heritage is a well-built, high-end, and eco-friendly mixed-use condo building in a calm and inviting neighborhood that's a rare find in Washington, DC. The units are well-designed, efficiently built, and are offered at the most competitive prices available in the marketplace for brand-new condominiums. "This is an exciting partnership with MG Residential and Whitecrest Development," says top producing realtor and Managing Director at MG Residential, Anthony Mason. "We are proud to be a part of this project and are looking forward to seeing the impact on the community as we strive to continue to fulfill our mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate." About Whitecrest Real estate Whitecrest is a dynamic team of real estate investors composed of four key players: Farid Khan serves as the President for Whitecrest Real Estate Company. His primary role is developing a vision for White crest real estate. He also Analyzes budgets and financial reports regularly, reviews and advises on contracts, and leads the company towards success. Reza Damani serves as the Chief of Operation for Whitecrest Real Estate, providing executive management and overseeing all areas of a project from acquisition of raw land to design and development of all the company's construction projects. Mr. Damani is a licensed Class A builder in the Washington DC area with 20 plus years and over 150,000 total developed square feet in the Washington DC metro area. From site selection, through acquisition and construction, to occupancy, he offers comprehensive ground-up and build-to-suit development services for the region. Syed Ali serves as the Chief financial Officer for Whitecrest Real estate and is responsible for tracking cash flow, financial planning, analyzing the company's financial strengths and weaknesses and proposing strategic direction. He is also responsible for maintaining relationships with bankers and investors. Maryam Kazmi serves as the Director of Design for Whitecrest Real Estate. She oversees all design decisions and aesthetics of the project from the floor plans to the finishes. Her responsibilities include making all indoor and outdoor spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting essential and decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials to ensure a well-designed and cohesive look to the whole project. About MG Residential MG Residential is a premier sales team based in Washington, DC, with expertise providing residential and commercial real estate services to buyers, sellers, investors, and developers across Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Over the past 15+ years, MG Residential has had the privilege of serving over 3,000 families in the greater DMV region and has consistently been ranked within the top 100 teams nationally for Keller Williams. Founded with the mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate, MG Residential is anchored by Bo and Kymber Menkiti and Anthony and Lashika Mason. Their goal is to close the gap on homeownership and create intergenerational wealth in the District of Columbia and throughout the greater DMV region.

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REAL ESTATE ADVICE

New Urban Land Institute Report Explores How Real Estate Sector Can Support People Experiencing Homelessness

Urban Land Institute | June 28, 2022

A new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) investigates how the real estate community is working to address the homelessness crisis in the United States. The report explores how to support people experiencing homelessness through creative housing solutions and collaboration with community organizations, with the ultimate goal of providing abundant, affordable, and high-quality housing for affected and at-risk populations. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2020 marked the fourth consecutive annual increase in people experiencing homelessness. Homelessness is a systemic challenge that necessitates the involvement and collaboration of the government, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, health and social services, faith communities, and the public. The ULI report, Homeless to Housed, offers housing case studies, universally applicable lessons, and a blueprint for how to replicate best practices in other communities to show how the development community can be an active partner in addressing homelessness. More than ever before, homelessness is being driven by rapidly increasing housing costs, and the public and private sectors must work together both to meet the needs of the unhoused and to prevent more households from falling into homelessness. This report offers creative models and examples of how the real estate community is effectively leveraging its housing development, management, investment, and financing expertise to enable cities to overcome the growing challenge of homelessness." Christopher Ptomey, Executive Director of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing Key takeaways from the new report include: Housing is important, but social services are essential: Housing is an essential first step in addressing homelessness, but it is not a solution in and of itself. Comprehensive social services are a critical second component. Delivering one without the other offers little chance of successfully tackling the crisis. Novel, creative solutions are needed: Nowhere is the need for innovation more evident than in seeking to address homelessness. Two areas of focus are cost-effective construction methods and non-governmental funding sources. Private companies -- both in real estate and in other sectors -- have a vital role to play in the latter. All segments of the community must play a role: Homelessness affects real estate, health care, social services, education, economic development, and more. Community collaboration is essential, particularly among the private and public sectors. The real estate sector is obligated to provide cost-effective housing, and it is incumbent on governments to pursue bold policies that allow for more housing for people of all income levels. Homelessness is a multifaceted issue, but in many cases links back to economics: Whether because of a lack of affordable housing, low wages, unexpected expenses, loss of employment, illness, lack of insurance, or a domestic issue, homelessness can be a result of economic stress. The report includes seven case studies that feature creative solutions for addressing homelessness that could serve as models for investors and developers alike: New Orleans: City of New Orleans Shelter and Engagement Center provides a 24-hour shelter to 100 homeless individuals and provides services to help guests secure permanent housing. Mountain View, Calif: LifeMoves is a supportive interim housing community that provides intensive case management services to help clients overcome homelessness and return to sustainable housing. Long Beach, Calif: Former Best Western Motel Conversion was the recipient of funds from Project Homekey, California's innovative $600 million program to purchase and rehabilitate housing. The former motels now provide temporary housing for residents 65 and older with pre-existing conditions that put them at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. San Antonio: Haven For Hope is the largest mixed-use development in the United States that provides housing for people experiencing homelessness, as well as job training, education, medical care, identification recovery, case management, and animal care services. Sharon Crossing, N.C.: The Lotus Campaign is a non-profit organization that increases the availability of housing for people experiencing homelessness by engaging with the private, for-profit real estate and investment communities. Recognizing that neither the public nor private sector can solve homelessness alone, the Lotus Campaign strives to bridge that gap while minimizing risks for vulnerable renters. San Francisco: The Bryant Street Project provides 145 apartments of permanent supportive housing near public transit, grocery stores, and community parks to ensure that residents have access to neighborhood amenities and services. Washington: John and Jill Kerr Conway Residence provides housing constructed with sustainable materials as well as health and social services to veterans experiencing homelessness in collaboration with the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. Berkeley, Calif.: The project at 2012 Berkeley Way is a redevelopment of a surface parking lot in downtown Berkeley that will create three distinct projects – an 89-unit affordable family housing development; a 53-unit permanent supportive housing development; and a homeless shelter plus transitional housing – in one unified building. The full Homeless to Housed report is available on ULI's Knowledge Finder platform. About the Urban Land Institute The Urban Land Institute is a non-profit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 45,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

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Spotlight

The Asia Pacific real estate market will enter a period of slower growth in 2016, with several markets already experiencing a correction. Slower than historical average economic growth; increased uncertainty around China; potential interest rate movements; and weaker business sentiment all point to occupiers adopting more conservative real estate strategies in the near term. The investment demand will remain upbeat, however, on the back of high liquidity and promising long-term growth.

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