Housing declines dragging down broader economy, visas for int’l buyers, and why you might suck at twitter
The New York Times had an article that diagnoses our national economic gloom to be a result of falling housing prices. The story cites a 2007 CBO review that calculates that:
people reduce spending by $20 to $70 a year for every $1,000 decline in the value of their home. This “wealth effect” is significantly larger for changes in home equity than in the value of other investments, such as stocks, apparently because people regard changes in housing prices as more likely to endure.
In these belt-tightening times, money from a permit to drill for natural gas on your property would sure be welcomed by most. But before you sign, realize that it could cause you to default on your mortgage. Banks are beginning to scrutinize these leases, wondering if at the end they are going to be stuck with a toxic waste site that they can’t sell.
More on a story from last week’s WWR blog entry: two Senators are preparing to introduce a bill that would give residence visas to foreigners who spend at least $500,000 to buy houses in the U.S. Overseas buyers spent $82 billion buying up U.S. homes in the 12 months ended in March, up 24 percent from a year earlier.
Gmail is getting a new look.
First Class mail goes up by a penny on January 22 to $0.45.
Social Media expert Chris Smith offered a Twitter webinar this week with enlightening and useful take-aways on how to improve one’s Twitter presence. Jeff Turner shares a nice write-up of the event and gives reasons why you might suck at twitter.
New iPhone 4S on sale, some customers notice yellow tint to screen.
International real estate buyers snapped up an estimated $41 billion in real estate in the US last year. With the recent downturn in home prices, the US is becoming a more and more popular location for overseas buyers looking for investment or even just a second home. Trulia recently released a study on their Trulia Insights blog that examined just where international buyers were shopping and the results are interesting. While no one should be surprised that Florida towns make up 10 of the top 24 cities for international searches, individual results by buyer country showed some interesting results (Click on the image at the top of the blog post for a full interactive list of country and city pairs). For example, Detroit was the fifth most popular city for buyers from Australia. People from the UK were most interested in a Los Angeles address, while San Antonio was most searched by visitors from Mexico.
Prefer to focus on where domestic buyers are coming from or where you might get referrals? NAR provides relocation reports based on government data. These multi-page PDF reports are available for free to members (so what have you got to lose?) thru the NAR store and go down the county level. These reports cover domestic buyers by county and represent actual purchasers, not just window shoppers.