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Philadelphia Real Estate News | Untold Stories

What does art have to do with real estate news? Great question! Reminds me of my college days when I was asked why I double majored in Art and Business.

Rittenhouse Square Drawing Group – preCOVID

As an artist, my eye is trained to pay attention to the negative spaces in design. That’s the space in between and surrounding the primary object, whether it’s sculpture, drawing or photography composition. The negative space is actually form in design and sometimes the strongest element.

I study the news with the same mindset. Sometimes it’s the space between stories where the most important news trends emerge, often untold. Just as rip tides can emerge under what appears to be calm water, trends that could dramatically impact your real estate goals develop in the negative spaces that don’t make the news.

This past week, there’s a huge story in the negative space between three leading news trends.

Supreme Court Ends Eviction Moratorium

Landlord groups challenging the eviction ban pointed to a concurrence written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh when the earlier version of the moratorium was before the Supreme Court in June. Kavanaugh joined four other justices in letting the moratorium survive then, but he said he was only doing so because it was scheduled to expire on July 31 and said Congress had to act in order to extend it.CNN.com

More Philly landlords are selling their properties and deferring maintenance which threatens the supply of affordable housing

Nearly 21% of landlords listed a property for sale in Philadelphia during the pandemic, according to a survey by Penn and Harvard researchers. Less than 4% did so in 2019. One in five landlords listed a property for sale in Philadelphia during the pandemic, according to a survey by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Housing Initiative at Penn, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.” Philadelphia Inquirer

Who’s outbidding you? Hedge Funds buying homes

“The lack of supply of single-family homes has pushed up housing prices in many markets across the country — but would-be homebuyers find they are being outbid not just by other home seekers, but also by hedge funds.NBCNews.com

Another news report from Slate.com states;

“The median price of an American house has increased by 28% over the last two years, as pandemic-driven demand and long-term demographic changes send buyers into crazed bidding wars…..Might the fact that corporate investors snapped up 15 $ of U.S. homes for sale in the first quarter of this year have something to do with it? The Wall Street Journal reported in April that an investment firm won a bidding war to purchase an entire neighborhood worth of single-family homes in Conroe, Texas—part of a cycle of stories drumming up panic over Wall Street’s increasing stake in residential real estate. Then came the backlash, as cool-headed analysts reassured us that big investors like BlackRock remain insignificant players in the housing market compared with regular old American families….The truth is between the two: We can panic and acknowledge Wall Street’s small role at the same time. Although the number of houses being purchased by mega-investors is currently not enough to move the market in most parts of the country, these firms’ underlying structural advantage is profound and growing.”

Join LIVE news discussions on Clubhouse

Join us on Clubhouse!

I always believe in solutions vs complaints. In that mindset I started a ♣️🏚 room, REAL ESTATE REAL STORIES, which is open to all interested in real estate sharing current trends, insights and news from many sources, in real time!

On Clubhouse lately I’ve been learning from institutional investors, lenders and realtors from across the country and even internationally. I heard first hand from Wall Street fund managers of real estate deals going on behind the scenes. Including foreclosure inventory being bought in bulk directly from lenders with no public listings.

Tomorrow morning I’m hosting a discussion about the impact of the eviction moratorium – please join us!

Every Monday at 9am I host #MarketMonday where we discuss news from the prior week, local trends and shifts we are seeing. You’ll see my #MarketMonday posts on Instagram and Facebook, but please join us live as well if you can.

Clubhouse is an app you can download on your phone, available for both iPhones and Androids. Some new user tips – moderators look for this info to make sure you are real;

  • Use your real name
  • Upload a picture
  • Top 3 lines of your bio most important
  • Add your Instagram link – used for messages
  • ♣️🏚 now allows chats using ‘backchannel’ – look for the paper airplane icon

Other real estate news of note from this week:

“According to Kevin C. Gillen, senior research fellow at Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, this market is like none he’s seen in his years of analyzing Philadelphia residential real estate sales. Since last summer, he says, the market has outstripped even the 2008 market, the peak year of the real-estate bubble: “It’s the hottest market I’ve ever seen in terms of turnover rate, the amount of sales, the million-dollar sales, the price appreciation, the rapid turnover of homes once they’re listed. On any metric you want to bring to bear, the market is between red-hot and white-hot.” Some of this, Gillen says, is due to cyclical factors that routinely affect the housing market. One of those is interest rates that stand at all-time lows: “When interest rates are low, houses become more affordable, and that tends to push prices up.” Combine that with extremely low inventories of houses for sale, and the prices rise even further. “But the other big factor is that after the pandemic, there’s been a structural shift in the economy, from spending outside of the house to spending in the house.”

Sandy Smith, PhillyMag.com

Some negative space examples, including one of my own: