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Existing-Home Sales at Highest Pace in 9 Years

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Existing-Home Sales at Highest Pace in 9 Years
Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, June 22, 2016
All major U.S. regions except the Midwest saw an uptick in existing-home sales last month, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday. As tight inventories continue to plague many markets, the median sales price for all housing types climbed to an all-time high of $239,700 in May — up 4.7 percent from a year earlier — as buyer demand outweighs housing supply.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, increased 1.8 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.53 million in May. Sales are now up 4.5 percent from a year ago and are at the highest annual pace since February 2007. This is the third consecutive month for gains in existing-home sales.

“This spring’s sustained period of ultra-low mortgage rates has certainly been a worthy incentive to buy a home, but the primary driver in the increase in sales is more home owners realizing the equity they’ve accumulated in recent years and finally deciding to trade up or downsize,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “With first-time buyers still struggling to enter the market, repeat buyers using the proceeds from the sale of their previous home as their down payment are making up the bulk of home purchases right now.”

Yun says sales likely will maintain their current pace throughout the summer, assuming there are no further decreases in job growth that could prompt a pause among repeat buyers.

Here’s a closer look at how existing-home sales performed in May, according to NAR’s latest housing report:
•Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $239,700 in May, up 4.7 percent from a year ago. That also surpasses the previous peak in median sales prices of $236,300, set last June.
•Days on the market: Properties spent less time on the market in May, selling, on average, after 32 days. That’s below the average time on market a year ago (40 days) and the shortest time since NAR began tracking such data in May 2011. Forty-nine percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month, also the highest percentage since May 2011. Short sales were on the market the longest, at a median of 103 days in May, while foreclosures sold in 51 days. Non-distressed homes took 30 days.
•Housing inventories: Total housing inventory at the end of May increased 1.4 percent month-over-month to 2.15 million existing homes for sale. That is 5.7 percent lower than a year ago. At the current sales pace, unsold inventory represents a 4.7-month supply.

“Existing inventory remains subdued throughout much of the country and continues to lag even last year’s deficient amount,” says Yun. “While new-home construction has thankfully crept higher so far this year, there’s still a glaring need for even more, to help alleviate the supply pressures that are severely limiting choices and pushing prices out of reach for plenty of prospective first-time buyers.”
•All-cash sales: Buyers paying in cash accounted for 22 percent of all transactions in May, down from 24 percent a year ago. Individual investors account for the biggest bulk of all-cash sales. Investors purchased 13 percent of homes in May, down from 14 percent a year ago.
•Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales dropped to 6 percent of all sales last month, down from 10 percent a year ago. Foreclosures comprised 5 percent of sales in May while short sales represented 1 percent of sales. On average, foreclosures sold for a discount of 12 percent below market value while short sales were discounted 11 percent.

Regional Snapshot

Here’s how existing-home sales fared across the country in May:
•Northeast: existing-home sales rose 4.1 percent to an annual rate of 770,000, and are now 11.6 percent above a year ago. Median price: $268,600, which is 0.1 percent below May 2015.
•Midwest: existing-home sales fell 6.5 percent to an annual rate of 1.3 million in May but are still 3.2 percent higher than a year ago. Median price: $190,000, up 4.8 percent from a year ago.
•South: existing-home sales rose 4.6 percent to an annual rate of 2.28 million in May and are now 6.5 percent above a year ago. Median price: $211,500, up 5.9 percent from a year ago.
•West: existing-home sales climbed 5.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.18 million in May but are still 1.7 percent lower than a year ago. Median price: $346,900, which is 7.7 percent above a year ago.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Talk real estate today with Ruth Kruger at 970-404-4000 or email at ruth@krugerandcompany.com

5 Solid Property Investments This Year

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5 Solid Property Investments This Year

Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Which property types are holding the most promise for investors this year? Experts from research firms Situs RERC, Reis Inc., Green Street Advisors, and Real Capital Analytics share with the National Real Estate Investor the property types that could prove to be the most profitable.

Investment Allure: Get Buyers on the Gravy Train

1. Senior housing: An aging population is making senior housing a good bet for investors. “Senior housing is experiencing upward demand, but with this property type, you can’t increase rent as rapidly as you can with multifamily,” notes Barbara Byrne Denham, a Reis economist.

2. Student housing: The pre-tax yield for student housing properties was 7.6 percent during the first quarter of this year, according to data from Situs RERC. “Student housing operations are generally in line with the long-term trend, and the sector’s defensive attributes have not gone unnoticed by investors,” says Andy McCulloch, managing director and head of real estate analytics at Green Street Advisors. He notes that student housing is the best performing sector year-to-date in the REIT space.

3. Warehouses: Big-box flex warehouse space is one of the healthiest industrial sub-sectors, which has been getting a lift from e-commerce tenants. “Against a backdrop of healthy demand boosted by e-commerce, market rent growth has been stronger than expected,” McCulloch told the National Real Estate Investor. “While new supply and obsolescence are always concerns for industrial, the sector’s future growth prospects look better than past performance would suggest.”

4. Neighborhood community centers: Situs RERC calls the neighborhood community center the second-best investment at the moment, right behind industrial warehouses. “Strip center tenants are generally healthier than mall tenants today, especially when putting department stores into the mix,” McCulloch notes. “While retailer bankruptcies are a continued nuisance in the strip sector, the lack of ground-up development points toward a continued improvement in operating fundamentals.”

5. Self-storage: The price appreciation within the self-storage industry has risen 16 percent over the past year, according to data from Green Street Advisors. “Storage continues to become more accepted as an institutional asset class, and operating fundamentals have been phenomenal,” says McCulloch. “Higher cap rates, solid NOI [net operating income] growth, and low cap-ex make self-storage a great business.”

Source: “Seven Property Types to Invest in This Year,” National Real Estate Investor (May 26, 2016)

Call Ruth Kruger today to discuss your real estate investments 970.404.4000 or ruth@krugerandcompany.com

FIABCI President Ruth Kruger

FIABCI-International-logo

President’s Message
Connecting for a Better World

Dear Friends,

“Connecting Development for a Better World” is theme of the 67th FIABCI World Congress in Panama. Connecting with you and our FIABCI colleagues around the world has been the highlight of my Presidency and why I joined FIABCI. I know the work we did and the connections we made – at the UN in New York, at the 66th World Congress in Malaysia, in Singapore, in Hawaii, in Dubai and in Nice – all contributed to growing FIABCI and our business opportunities.

I am ready to pass the President’s Gavel to Maire Rosol in Panama and focus on getting entries for this year’s Grand Prix Awards Competition. The Awards Gala will be in Aspen along with our Leadership Retreat this year. Over the last few years, I have been able to bring international recognition to four outstanding Aspen projects. The Grand Prix program is the easiest way for you to leverage your FIABCI membership. There is a deserving project in your home town. Raise your profile and secure an entry by August 31st. Click here for the entry form.

Thank you for your support over this past year, especially those who have served as leaders on the local, national and international levels. There is still more work to do and more connections to make. Now it’s your turn!

Sincerely,

Ruth Kurger
2015-2016 President

What the Fed’s Decision Means for Housing

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Since 2008, the Federal Reserve has kept a zero-interest rate policy in place. But on Wednesday, in a largely anticipated move, they voted to bring an end to that era and increased its benchmark short-term interest rate by 25 basis points from near zero.

The Fed made clear that it’s going to issue a gradual tightening cycle over the coming months. That likely means mortgage rates will inch slowly upward, though most economists are predicting that it shouldn’t unnerve the housing recovery.

“The interest rate is still low compared to historical standards,” Kevin Young, an analyst at IBISWorld in Los Angeles, told The New York Times.

The Fed controls the federal funds rate – also known as the short-term interest rate – that banks use to borrow money. That rate inadvertently ends up being passed on to consumers.

So what does the Fed’s latest move mean for the housing market?

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, says that an uptick in short-term rates shouldn’t have a big effect on those looking to borrow in 2016. With rates going up by such a small amount, the Fed’s move actually could serve as a stimulant to the economy, he says.

“The raising of short-term rates could be more of a confidence play to the market — it provides a signal that the economy is strengthening, and to the degree that the Federal Reserve is providing [that signal] and the lenders believe that, it may actually provide more lending opportunity for the banks,” Yun says. “As a borrower, even for the short-term borrower, what difference does it really make whether one is borrowing at 0.1% or 0.2%, when the Fed Funds Rate is historically at 3.3% or 3.5%?”’

Read moreREITS and Rates: The Investor Landscape

Some economists are predicting the Fed to raise short-term rates incrementally about four times by the end of next year.

“But we don’t expect mortgage rates to track the short-term policy rates directly,” writes Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com®. “In fact, we’re likely to see mortgage rates increase by only half or two-thirds as much.” Mortgage rates tend to track trends in long-term bonds.

According to realtor.com®’s 2016 forecast, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will likely average 4.65 percent by the end of next year. Last week, it averaged 3.93 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

Still, Smoke says rates will likely be volatile day-to-day and week-to-week in the year ahead as the financial markets try to anticipate the timing of the Fed’s policy changes.

“On the positive side, the massive amount of news coverage on the Fed’s move will finally hit consumers to realize that we are at the end of the low-rate era and that rates are now on the move up,” Smoke writes. “We think this will influence fence-sitting buyers – and, more important, fence-sitting sellers who intend to buy as well – to act before rates get much higher.”

Source: “The Fed Finally Makes Its Move, Cautiously,” realtor.com® (Dec. 16, 2015); “What the Fed Rate Hike Means for Mortgages,” National Mortgage News (Dec. 16, 2015); and “Housing Starts Rebound and Building Permits Hit 5-Month High,” The New York Times (Dec. 16, 2015)

To talk to real estate professional Ruth Kruger call directly at 970.404.4000 or email ruth@krugerandcompany.com

FIABCI-USA Presents the Asia Pacific Real Estate Congress

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Contact: Bill Endsley, Secretary General
202-809-1933 bill@fiabci-usa.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 1, 2015, Washington, DC

FIABCI-USA Presents the Asia Pacific Real Estate Congress

FIABCI-USA, the International Real Estate Federation – U.S. Chapter will host more than 100 high level international delegates from twelve Pacific Rim countries in Honolulu, HI, from September 10-12. With the theme “Success across the Pacific – New Development Concepts”, the FIABCI Asia Pacific Real Estate Congress (APREC) will examine key issues for the real estate profession and the planet including the need to focus new real estate development around active transportation hubs. Expert panels will discuss smart, sustainable and profitable urban planning and environmentally friendly luxury resort development. APREC will culminate in the Asia Pacific Panorama where professionals from Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and the US will provide cross border investment market updates.
Ma Ry Kim, Principal and Design Director at Group 70 International, an award winning design firm based in Honolulu, will present global trends in tropical resort development and FIABCI-USA President Ruth Kruger will introduce environmental innovations in Aspen ski resorts. “From the slopes to the surf, we’re taking a look at how luxury developers and operators can take the lead in reducing the environmental impact of their projects and educating the consumer on the need to rethink the way we work, play and live,” noted Ms. Kruger.
Additional content will include the Key Note Speech on investment trends in the region sponsored by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the Asia Pacific Transit Oriented Development Summit sponsored by Pacific Resource Partnership and Allied Builders System and expert panels sponsored by Alain Pinel Realtors and D.R. Horton Home Builders that will include architects, attorneys, developers, government transportation officials as well as real estate brokers, valuers and managers.
Social highlights include a Welcome Reception sponsored by the Honolulu Board of Realtors, the FIABCI-USA Grand Prix of Real Estate Awards dinner sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, a networking lunch sponsored by Hard Rock Hotels, the Signature International Reception co-hosted with the Hawaii International Real Estate Council and the Aloha Dinner sponsored by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.
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FIABCI-USA, the International Real Estate Federation – US Chapter provides access and opportunity for real estate professionals interested in gaining knowledge, sharing information and conducting international business. With members in 65 countries, including 100 Professional Associations, 65 Academic Institutions and 3,000 individual members from all professions of the real estate sector, FIABCI is the most representative organization of the real estate industry in the world and holds special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. For more information about FIABCI-USA use the contact above or visit www.fiabci-usa.com/.

Ruth Kruger is attending the conference. For more information call 970.404.4000 or email ruth@krugerandcompany.com

U.S. Home Prices Increase in 93% of Markets

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U.S. home prices increased in about 93% of markets in the second quarter, according to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors.

The median price for an existing single-family home in the second quarter was up 8.2% from the second quarter of 2014.

The median price during the first quarter of this year increased 7.1% from a year earlier.

NAR says increasing home prices means many homeowners will see increasing equity in their properties, which, in turn, should spur more homeowners to sell. This, in turn, will help put more homes on the market, thus addressing the problem of low inventory that has been plaguing the housing market for more than a year.

Call Ruth Kruger today at 970.404.4000 or email at ruth@krugerandcompany.com for all of your Real Estate needs.

9 Markets With the Highest Share of Equity

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     Markets With the Highest Share of Equity

As home prices rise, more home owners in some parts of the country are seeing gains in equity.

Read more: Many Owners May Underestimate Their Equity

Nearly 20 percent of all properties with a mortgage are considered “equity rich,” according to RealtyTrac’s second quarter U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report. The number of equity-rich home owners with a mortgage has risen by 1 million compared to a year ago.

“Some are leveraging that equity into a higher LTV refinance or a move-up purchase, some may be downsizing into an all-cash purchase and some may be cashing out of home ownership altogether,” says Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac’s vice president.

Not surprisingly, the highest equity places tend to be in areas that have seen the largest increases in home prices. RealtyTrac reported the following major metro areas had the highest percentage of equity-rich properties:

  1. San Jose, Calif.: 43.8%
  2. San Francisco, Calif.: 38.3%
  3. Honolulu, Hawaii: 36.7%
  4. Los Angeles, Calif.: 32%
  5. New York: 30.7%
  6. Pittsburgh, Pa.: 29.4%
  7. Poughkeepsie, N.Y.: 28%
  8. Oxnard, Calif.: 27.5%
  9. San Diego, Calif.: 26.9%

Source: “Shares of Seriously Underwater Foreclosure Properties Drops to New Low in Q2 2015,” RealtyTrac (July 29, 2015)

Buy or list your home today with Ruth Kruger call now 970.404.4000 or email ruth@krugerandcompany.com

20 Hottest Housing Markets

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The 20 Hottest Housing Markets Right Now

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | MONDAY, AUGUST 03, 2015
The U.S. housing market may be finding more balance, according to a new report from realtor.com®. For the first three weeks in July, the median list price rose to $234,000 nationwide, up 7 percent year-over-year, while inventories of for-sale homes rose and the median days on the market increased to 69 days.

NAR’s latest housing report:Home Prices Reach an All-Time High
“This year we’re seeing inventory continue to grow in July, albeit at a slower pace than this spring,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “And while demand overall is strong, the trend in median days on market is suggesting that the market is finding more of a balance, which bodes well for more moderate price appreciation in the months ahead.”

However, some housing markets continue to see rapid growth. Realtor.com® found that 20 markets receive 1.5 to three times the number of views per listing compared with the rest of the nation. Inventory in those markets is moving 24 to 41 days quicker than the national average.

“These hottest markets are the best in the country from both a supply and demand perspective,” Smoke says. “Sellers are seeing listings move much more quickly than the rest of the country and at an accelerating pace from just last month. Meanwhile, these markets are clearly attractive to buyers as the listings in these markets are viewed as much as three times more often than the national average.”

Here is realtor.com®’s list for hottest housing markets in July:

1. San Francisco, Calif.
2. Denver, Colo.
3. Dallas, Texas
4. Vallejo, Calif.
5. Santa Rosa, Calif.
6. San Jose, Calif.
7. Midland, Texas
8. San Diego, Calif.
9. Ann Arbor, Mich.
10. Santa Cruz, Calif.
11. Detroit, Mich.
12. Sacramento, Calif.
13. Stockton, Calif.
14. Yuba City, Calif.
15. Columbus, Ohio
16. Austin, Texas
17. Los Angeles, Calif.
18. Oxnard, Calif.
19. San Antonio, Texas
20. Fort Wayne, Ind.
Source: “The 20 Hottest Real Estate Markets in July 2015,” realtor.com® (Aug. 3, 2015)

Talk Real Estate with Ruth Kruger today 970.404.4000 or ruth@krugerandcompany.com

 

Globalization of Real Estate

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Speech delivered by Prakash Loungani
Advisor, Research Department at the IMF
2015 Global Real Estate Summit in Washington DC
July 8, 2015

Good afternoon. I am grateful to Professor Ko Wang of Johns Hopkins University for putting together this plenary session. And I welcome the many real estate associations—including the Global Chinese Real Estate Congress—that have come together to make this a truly unique event.

My remarks will focus on one aspect of the globalization of real estate markets, namely the role of foreign investors. We see frequent discussions of this in the media. For example, here is a recent column by Zoe Williams of The Guardian (Slide 2).

  • She complains that UK house prices—in London but also elsewhere—are “far beyond what people can afford” and that this is partly because houses are “going straight to mainly Asian investors”.

 

  • She worries that “when anybody from anywhere can buy a flat in your city, sooner or later the people who live and work in it won’t be able to afford to” and proposes the simple solution that the UK “ban the ownership of housing by foreign non-residents”.

What do we know about the role that foreign investors are playing in real estate markets? Anecdotally, there is indeed an increased role of foreign investors. It appears to be driven by three factors.

  • First, there has been an immense increase in wealth, particularly in emerging market economies.
  • Second, interest rates area at historical lows around much of the world, prompting a search for yield among other investments.
  • Third, in a few cases, increased geo-political risks are leading to safe haven flows to particular property markets. For instance, some research shows that has house price increases in London are correlated with increased political risk, which the authors argue drives capital inflows into real estate markets.


For the United States, we have a fair bit of survey evidence from the National Association of Realtors on the extent of foreign investments in real estate. These surveys reveal the following:

  • Foreign buyers accounted for over $100 billion of existing home sales, which is about 8 percent of the dollar volume of existing home sales and about 4 percent of the number of existing home sales. Of course, this means that foreign buyers are a more upscale group than domestic buyers: they buy houses with an average value of $500,000—twice the average value of a home sold to a domestic buyer.
  • Four U.S. states accounted for half of the sales to foreign buyers: Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona. About half of the foreign buyers came from five countries: Canada, China, Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom (Slide 3).

Just over half of the purchases by foreign buyers are all-cash purchases. Nationally, about 25 percent of existing home sales are all-cash purchases, with the remainder involving some form of mortgage financing. In contrast, about 55 percent of reported transactions with foreign buyers were all-cash sales (Slide 4).

While I have focused on the United States, there is also data available for a few other countries, such as Australia (Slide 5), which are the major destinations for foreign real estate investment.

The increases in foreign real estate investment present both opportunities and challenges. Housing has often been regarded as a prime example of a ‘non-traded’ good. As economists, we should welcome the increased opportunities for trade in housing, much as we would welcome any other form of international trade.

However, we also know from experience that the benefits of trade come with some short-run challenges. Let me mention a couple. The first is that, as in other forms of international trade, there are winners and losers from the increased trade in housing. In this case, the losers are often domestic buyers who could be getting shut out of particular property markets which are attractive to foreign buyers. Certainly we see many media reports of this kind as I noted at the outset of my remarks with the example from The Guardian. In some cases, the negative perceptions about foreign buyers are reinforced by allegations of fraudulent behavior. For instance, in Australia, foreign buyers are only permitted to buy new rather than existing residential property. But allegations of foreign buyers circumventing this rule have led the Australian government are to increase monitoring of foreign investment—including increased fines for those found to be in non-compliance—and an increase in application fees for foreign acquisitions to fund the additional monitoring.

We should take concerns about the possible short-run adverse effects of the globalization of real seriously. This is both the fair and pragmatic thing to do. At the same time, we should remind people of the long-term benefits from increased trade, and indeed even the short-run benefits. Consider the case of Spain. As is well-known, an over-investment in real estate was a source of the crisis in that country. But there may have been an over-correction as well, leading to a housing market that was too depressed relative to potential. But now, reports suggest that foreign investors are helping to drive a welcome recovery of Spain’s housing market.

The second challenge that foreign buyers can pose is to the conduct of macroprudential policy. In many countries, macroprudential tools have been used to contain housing booms. The most common tools are limits on loan-to-value (LTV) ratios and debt-to-income (DTI) ratios. Evidence thus far suggests that these measures are somewhat effective in cooling off both house prices and credit growth in the short run. However, as I noted earlier, many foreign purchases are cash-only transactions. Hence the limits on LTV and DTI ratios may not be effective against housing booms driven by increased housing demand from foreign cash inflows that bypass domestic credit intermediation. In such cases, other tools are needed. For instance, stamp duty has been imposed to cool down rising house prices in Hong Kong SAR and Singapore. Evidence shows that this fiscal tool did reduce demand from foreigners who were outside of the LTV and DTI regulatory perimeters. We may also need to consider what spillovers are generated from the presence of foreign investors and how to design macroprudential policies to deal with such spillovers (see Slide 6 for the general guidance given to IMF staff).


Global Housing Watch

Let me conclude with some remarks on recent developments in global housing markets and, given the interests of this audience, tell you a bit about the IMF’s views on housing markets in China.

Our Global House Price Index has been inching up for over two years now (Slide 8). After a brief correction at the onset of the Great Recession, many countries have seen robust growth in house prices over the past eight years (Slide 9-11). These include advanced economies—such as Australia, Canada and Norway—and many emerging economies in Asia and Latin America.

Now this does not mean that house prices are over-valued in these countries. Detecting over-valuation in housing markets requires detailed analysis and judgment. As part of their annual economic analysis of each economy, the IMF staff often does an assessment of the housing sectors as well.

Many in this audience may be interested in our view of China’s housing market. Given the size of the country, we of course have to take a more granular look in this case, using city-level and provincial data. Our country team has provided a comprehensive analysis in a working paper released just a few months ago. They find that prices have been moderating at both the national level and across all city tiers. On average, Tier II and Tier III/IV cities have performed the weakest; across geographical areas, the industrial Northeast and the Coast are experiencing the weakest price development (Slide 12).

The softening in prices reflects overbuilding across many cities. Inventory indicators point to a risk that construction has run ahead of demand in some regions. Based on historical data, higher excess supply is usually associated with lower real GDP growth across provinces (Slide 13). The transmission channel is likely through a slowdown in real estate investment, which was a key driver of growth as excess supply built up.

An orderly unwinding of this excess supply would be welcome. It will free up resources that can be used more efficiently in other parts of the economy, helping China moving towards its goal of a new and sustainable growth model. The key will be to allow this adjustment to take place, while avoiding a too sharp of an economic slowdown.

Let me summarize:

  • The global housing market has mounted a slow recovery overall. But the situation varies tremendously by country and calls for detailed country-level assessments. The IMF, as part of its annual economic reviews—our so-called Article IV consultations—has increasingly been carrying out such assessments. I provided an example of our analysis for China. Just this year alone, we have carried out assessments of housing markets in about 20 countries. I would recommend these reviews to you as a source of information and also to seek your feedback on how we can do better.
  • The panel discussion today focuses appropriately on an important development, the growing globalization of real estate markets. Like other forms of trade, this will confer long-term benefits. But, as I have argued, we need to be attentive to the short-run costs, particularly those imposed on some domestic buyers, and on the increased challenges for macroprudential policies.
  • Call Ruth Kruger today at 970.404.4000 or email ruth@krugerandcompany.com to chat about globalization of real estate.

Largest Ranch in the US available for $725 Million

Check out these stunning images of America's biggest ranch, which is going up for sale for a staggering $725 million. Bigger than New York City, the 510,000 acre Waggoner Ranch sits 170 miles outside Dallas, Texas. It's the largest contiguous ranch in the US and spans six counties. On the vast property are hundreds of homes and 20 cowboy camps, hundreds of quarter houses, 7,500 cattle, 1,200 oil wells and 30,000 acres of cultivated land. Realtors hope it will become the most expensive estate in the world and priced it to attract an oil tycoon or a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. The ranch has been tagged the 'Statue of Liberty' for cowboy culture. Dallas-based broker Bernie Uechtritz said: "It is an extremely rare piece of property, not only because of its individual attributes but you likely simply cannot buy this amount of contiguous ranchland under one fence anywhere else in the world. Certainly there are none, however large, that have the exact qualities, history and potential upside of this property."


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$725M for Largest Ranch in U.S.

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, JULY 22, 2015
The largest ranch in the U.S., spanning 798 square miles and more than six counties, has hit the market in Texas for $725 million. The property is bigger than Los Angeles and New York combined.

“It takes days to see it all,” says Bernard Uechtritz, a co-listing broker of the property, known as the W.T. Waggoner Estate Ranch. It has more than 1,000 oil wells, 6,800 cattle, 500 quarter horses, and 30,000 acres of cropland.

The ranch has been owned by the Waggoner family for more than a century. Last year, a judge ordered the sale of the property and appointed Uechtritz and a co-broker to market the ranch worldwide. The court ruling came after a 20-year legal battle in which the Waggoner family couldn’t agree on whether to liquidate the property or split it up among themselves.

Uechtritz says it’s possible a new owner might sell the property off in pieces. So far, 600 buyers have expressed an interest in the ranch.

It’s expected to make history once it sells, Bloomberg reports. “At almost three-quarters of a billion dollars, the asking price is more than quadruple the biggest publicly known sum fetched by a U.S. ranch, $175 million for a Colorado spread in 2007. The Waggoner is one of the 20 largest cattle ranches in the U.S. and is known worldwide for its quarter horses,” according to the report.

Source: “For $725 Million, You Can Buy a Texas Ranch That’s the Size of a Small Nation,” Bloomberg (July 21, 2015)

To talk about your Aspen Ranch call Ruth Kruger today at 970.404.4000 or email at ruth@krugerandcompany.com