Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Real Estate Markets Tops for Flips

Here’s a look at recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious:

RISING BAY AREA HOME PRICES BRING OUT THE FLIPPERS
Double-digit annual home price appreciation in the Bay Area has created opportunity for flippers, says a new study, but the number of flips is likely to moderate as growth begins to slow.dollarsign

A Trulia report says that flips accounted for 4.0 percent of all transactions in the San Jose metro area between the third quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2014, the most of any of the 100 regions included in the study. The San Francisco area placed No. 2, with flips making up 3.8 percent of all sales in that time period.

According to the company, 10 percent annual price appreciation is the tipping point at which more flips usually begin to occur, and its data puts yearly home price growth at 11.1 percent in San Jose and 11.7 percent in San Francisco.

But flippers’ windows may start to close, according to Trulia, which has forecast slowing price growth and thus a cooldown in flipping activity


CHINESE INVESTORS HOME IN ON ATHERTON’S HIGHEST-END DIGS
The Atherton real estate market is getting plenty of attention – and money – from affluent investors from China, who have been snapping up some of the town’s priciest homes.

According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, foreign buyers, largely those from China, account for 75 percent of the buyer pool for properties in Atherton that are priced higher than $20 million. And many of the town’s absentee homeowners rarely occupy their sprawling estates — sometimes just a few times per year.

The chairman of Chinese investment firm China Oceanwide Holdings Co. seems to have a particular thing for Atherton, having purchased three homes in the town since 2012 for a total of $76 million. The wealthy executive tried to get his hands on a fourth home in the exclusive community, but that deal fell apart, the Journal reports.


U.S. ECONOMY TO SPUR HOUSING GROWTH IN 2015
Expect further improvement in  the U.S. economy this year, says Fannie Mae’s 2015 outlook, which will in turn lead to a modest uptick in home sales.

“Our theme for the year, Economy Drags Housing Upward, implies that both housing and the economy will pick up some speed in 2015, but that the economy will grow at a faster pace,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan, in a statement. Duncan predicts that the U.S. economy will expand by 3.1 percent this year, which he says is not robust but an improvement over 2014.

Fannie Mae forecasts housing sales to pick up by 5.8 percent over the coming year, most of it from the stock of existing homes.


WILL A 3D PRINTER BUILD YOUR NEXT HOME?
The home of tomorrow might not be built with hammers and nails after all, if a recent project from one Chinese construction firm is any crystal ball.

An article from The Atlantic Citylab describes how construction company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering built a five-story apartment building using a humungous 3D printer and recycled materials. Last year, the firm made the news when it constructed 10 affordable houses in a single day.

According to the article, the Shanghai-based firm plans to open “home-printing” factories in more than 20 countries worldwide, including the U.S.

(Image: Flickr/Leo Reynolds)

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