Real Estate Tech News


Scott Wiener’s SB50 transit-housing bill clears key hurdle after some changes

Scott Wiener’s SB50 transit-housing bill clears key hurdle after some changes

SACRAMENTO — State lawmakers advanced a proposal to make it harder for local officials to block construction of apartment buildings around public transit after its author agreed Wednesday to carve out separate rules for more lightly populated counties. Sen. Scott Wiener, the San Francisco Democrat behind the bill to spur denser housing development in California cities, announced a deal with Sen. Mike McGuire that folded the Healdsburg Democrat’s similar but more limited measure into Wiener’s SB50. The combined bill, which passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee with bipartisan support, would allow residential buildings of at least four or five stories within half a mile of rail stations and ferry terminals, provided those projects meet other local design standards.
House Prices in U.K. Cities Grow at Slowest Rate in Seven Years

House Prices in U.K. Cities Grow at Slowest Rate in Seven Years

Home prices across 20 major U.K. cities rose by a feeble 1.7% in March compared to a year ago, the weakest growth in nearly seven years, according to a monthly index from real estate data firms Hometrack and Zoopla.  Buyers have pulled back considerably in recent months in response to political and economic uncertainty, causing house prices to stagnate across an index of the country’s major cities. The latest reading is the lowest since May 2012, according to Zoopla’s report.  London and cities in the South of England are largely driving the slowdown. Homeowners in Southampton were watching their home values grow by an annual rate of more than 3% a year ago, once-stable growth that has now dropped down to less than 1%.
IRS, Treasury Release Second Round Of Opportunity Zone Regulations

IRS, Treasury Release Second Round Of Opportunity Zone Regulations

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the issuance of the second set of regulations Wednesday afternoon, concurrent with a press conference held at the White House with addresses by President Donald Trump, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The announcement addressed what topics within the opportunity zone law were areas of focus in this round, but didn't give many specifics. The full guidance document was posted on the IRS website at around 2 p.m.
Americold Realty Trust buying cold storage provider Cloverleaf for $1.24B

Americold Realty Trust buying cold storage provider Cloverleaf for $1.24B

Atlanta-based Americold Realty Trust (NYSE: COLD) said Tuesday morning it plans to buy privately-held Cloverleaf Cold Storage from the company's management and an investor group led by private equity funds managed by Blackstone (NYSE: BX) for $1.24 billion. Founded in 1952 and based in Sioux City, Iowa, Cloverleaf is the fifth largest cold storage provider in the United States by refrigerated cubic feet and serves over 360 customers. Americold will acquire 22 facilities totaling 132 million refrigerated cubic feet. Cloverleaf’s properties are in nine states in the central and southeastern United States, and are complementary to Americold’s existing geographic reach, Americold said.
NAR slapped with second class-action lawsuit to end buyer broker compensation

NAR slapped with second class-action lawsuit to end buyer broker compensation

A second class-action lawsuit has been filed in protest of the buyer broker compensation rules set forth by the National Association of Realtors. The suit, filed in the Northern District of Illinois on Monday by Minnesota-based corporation Sawbill Strategic, alleges that NAR, Realogy, HomeServices of America, RE/MAX and Keller Williams violated federal antitrust laws by requiring property sellers to pay the buyer’s broker an inflated fee. The suit is nearly identical to one filed last month by a Minnesota home seller, which NAR called “baseless” and filled with “an abundance of false claims.” The suit alleges that the defendants conspired to drive up seller costs and reduce competition by requiring a home seller to pay compensation to the buyer’s broker, even though their involvement in the transaction is minimal.
Homebuilder sentiment inches higher, but affordability is still a problem

Homebuilder sentiment inches higher, but affordability is still a problem

The nation’s homebuilders are pleased with the strong demand they’re seeing this spring, but they continue to see buyers being held back by today’s high home prices. Builder confidence rose 1 point to 63 in April in the monthly National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. It was at 68 last April, and then hit a 2018 high of 70 in May. Sentiment has remained in the low 60s for the past three months. Anything above 50 is considered positive. “Builders report solid demand for new single-family homes, but they are also grappling with affordability concerns stemming from a chronic shortage of construction workers and buildable lots,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a homebuilder and developer from Torrington, Connecticu
Adjaye pips Heatherwick to win major Paris high-rise scheme

Adjaye pips Heatherwick to win major Paris high-rise scheme

A David Adjaye-designed tower is part of a winning competition bid for a major new urban district by the River Seine in south-east Paris The practice’s 100m residential block, called Tour Seine, is one of eight buildings designed by the Hardel Le Bihan-led design team for the 100,000m² brownfield site in the Bruneseau district. The project will link the city with the Ivry-sur-Seine suburb on the Périphérique, the French capital’s ring road, and includes 25,000m² of offices, nearly 800 housing units and 20,000m² of retail. The Nouvel R team, which also features Parisian firm Buzzo Spinelli Architecture and Lebanese outfit Youssef Tohme (YTAA) saw off finalists including a team led by Heatherwick Studios, which came second, and a group led by Parisian firm 2Portzamparc.
Lemonade picks up $300 million Series D led by SoftBank Group

Lemonade picks up $300 million Series D led by SoftBank Group

Lemonade,  the insurance startup founded by Daniel Schreiber and Shai Wininger, has today announced a $300 million Series D financing led by the SoftBank Group, with participation from Allianz, General Catalyst, GV, OurCrowd and Thrive Capital. Lemonade uses an AI-powered bot to digitize the insurance-buying experience for renters and home owners. Users simply download the app and answer a few questions before getting a quote, which starts at $5/month but can surely go up based on a number of factors, including how much personal property one owns.
Brexit Extension to Prolong U.K. Housing Market Pains

Brexit Extension to Prolong U.K. Housing Market Pains

The prolonged timeline for Britain’s exit from the European Union—now extended until Oct. 31—is dragging out the country’s real estate market malaise. Demand for homes across the U.K. fell for the eighth straight month in March, according to the latest report from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors released Thursday. The dearth of interest from home buyers has caused sales to slow and listings to languish on the market, with the average seller waiting 19 weeks from listing to close, according to the survey of more than 300 property agents.
New version of Kamala Harris housing bill would give many renters a monthly tax credit

New version of Kamala Harris housing bill would give many renters a monthly tax credit

In a sign of how the affordable housing crisis has become a focus for presidential contenders, Sen. Kamala Harris introduced a new version of her bill to give renters a tax credit. The new plan introduced Tuesday will give renters that spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities a credit depending on their income, and allow beneficiaries to receive monthly checks from the government instead of getting it once a year through a tax refund. Renters who make up to $125,000 a year would benefit, with those earning less getting the most support, and the credit would be capped based on the typical rent in the taxpayer’s neighborhood. Supporters say it would help rebalance a tax code that has long been weighted in favor of buying a home instead of renting.


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