Cities battle against a flood of Chinese real estate investors

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Cities battle against a flood of Chinese real estate investors

Chinese investors snapped up around $100 billion worth of property around the world in 2016. While most countries normally like to encourage this kind of investment, some are saying they need to put some checks on the strength of foreign investor’s purchasing power in order to prevent real estate bubbles, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Back in 2010, Chinese buyers purchased just $5 billion worth of international property, the Journal noted. However, rising prices for both commercial and residential real estate in cities such as Sydney, Toronto and Vancouver are helping to spark a frenzy among buyers.

Officials from Australia and Canada told the Journal they’re growing increasingly concerned about the rising level of foreign investment, saying it could lead to price bubbles that threaten regional economies. In Vancouver, officials say home prices grew at a rate of 30 percent per month compared to the year before. In order to stem that growth, the city imposed a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers, increasing this to 20 percent last February. In turn that pushed more buyers to Toronto, which responded by introducing its own 15 percent tax on foreign buyers in April 2017.

Meanwhile in British Columbia, officials introduced measures aimed at deterring the resale of condominiums before construction has been completed, and also discouraging the flipping of condos that are yet to be occupied. Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, has seen exceptionally high demand from Chinese buyers, witnessing a 29 percent spike in sales of one-million-dollar plus homes. According to Christie’s International Real Estate, Victoria was the world’s hottest new housing market in 2017, with the price of single-family homes there soaring to $570,000.

“Victoria is experiencing the same rapid growth in housing prices and sales volumes that have strengthened Toronto and Vancouver in recent years,” according to the Christie’s International survey. “If Toronto and Vancouver can be a measure, it is likely Victoria will continue to perform well despite [new] regulations” that target foreign buyers.

In the U.S., Chinese investors also make up the biggest segment of foreign buyers. They spent a whopping $31.7 billion on residential homes in the U.S. between April 2016 and March 2017, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. Chinese investors also dominate foreign investment in Australia’s residential sector, buying around one third of that nation’s available plots, worth some $1.5 billion, in the last year.

Jon Ellis, chief executive officer at Investorist, told the Journal that Chinese buyers are an “unstoppable juggernaut”.

Over in China, the Beijing government has introduced its own measures aimed at preventing capital from leaving the country. New rules state that Chinese citizens can only exchange local currency worth a maximum of $50,000 per year, but loopholes still exist that allow many investors to get around these limits.

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Ruin Your Marriage With These 8 Money Mistakes

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The leading cause of divorce in America isn’t infidelity, but money troubles. It’s not necessarily being in trouble financially, but rather arguments about spending and saving (or lack thereof). In this post I’ll discuss the most common mistakes young couples…
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Cities consider subsidized housing to appease teachers

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Cities consider subsidized housing to appease teachers

Teachers across the U.S. are increasingly relying on strike action as they fight against low salaries that make it difficult for them to pay the rent or buy a home. Now, cities are attempting to respond with subsidized housing for educators, with projects under way in places like Chicago, Los Angeles and Santa Clara, and more being considered in Miami and San Francisco.

“Providing subsidies and housing is a smart incentive,” Sandi Jacobs, a principal at EducationCounsel, an education consulting group, told “There are certain metro areas where home prices … are so high compared to the average teacher’s salary. So it means teachers may have to live a significant distance from the school they’re teaching in, or they live with five roommates to afford their rent.”

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average elementary school teacher’s salary is $57,100 per year, while high school teachers rake in an average of $59,170 annually. However, in areas that have seen teacher strikes these salaries are often much lower – for example, in Oklahoma, elementary school teachers make an average of just $40.053 per year, while those in Arizona fare little better with just $44,200 per year.

That compares with a median home price of $279,900 nationally, according to National Association of Realtors’ data. In addition, the average cost of a two-bedroom rental apartment comes in at $1,170 per month, Apartment List data shows.

California was one of the first states to offer its teachers subsidized housing. In Santa Clara, 70 one-and-two bedroom apartments have been reserved for teachers since 2002, priced at around 60 percent of the going market rate. San Francisco meanwhile, has set aside $44 million to build 130 to 150 new subsidized apartments for between 60 and 90 teachers, and for other school staff, on a single site. It’s sorely needed as the median price for a home in San Francisco is a cool $1.3 million. The project will take three years to complete, however.

Meanwhile in Miami, officials are considering building a middle school with an entire floor reserved for teachers’ apartments. Should that project prove to be successful, officials may also construct a complex of 300 apartments on the grounds of another school in downtown Miami.

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Other Online Advertisement Options for Realtors that Aren’t Social Media

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Other Online Advertisement Options for Realtors that Aren’t Social Media

Social media for realtors has its perks, but it’s not the only way to create a digital footprint.

Take a look at these four online advertisement outlets that have nothing to do with social media:

#1 – Blogging

If you don’t have a blog for your agency, you should highly consider starting one. Blogs are one of the easiest ways to increase your website traffic, search rankings, and reputation.

You can optimize your blog articles for search engines so that you appear higher in user searches. Including keywords, such as the specific areas you serve, neighborhoods, and other terms your audience uses to search for your services can help put you in front of the right people at the right time.

Blogging is also one of the most cost-effective forms of digital marketing. If you’re not comfortable in your own writing abilities or don’t know how to optimize your posts for search engines, consider outsourcing your blogging to a freelance writer or content marketing company.

#2 – Google AdWords

More than three-quarters of all Internet searches happen in Google, so it only makes sense to include Google advertising in your online strategy.

Google AdWords are paid advertisements that appear at the top and bottom of search queries. When users search for a term you’ve bid on, they’ll see your ad.

Some real estate agencies bid on competitors’ names and keywords, in a strategy called ‘conquesting.’ This means when someone searches for your competitor, your ad will appear in the search results. This can be an effective way to draw attention away from your competitors in hopes they will click on your name instead.

No matter which terms you bid on, you have a couple options to budget for them: pay per impression or pay per click.

Paying per impression means you pay a flat rate per 1000 times your ad is shown. This type of marketing is usually cheaper than pay per click and you’re guaranteed to appear a certain number of times.

Paying per click means you only pay when someone clicks your ad. This type of marketing is more expensive than pay-per-impression, but it can deliver better results because it only targets people who click through to your website.

#3 – Bing

Google might be the largest search engine, but that doesn’t mean everyone is using it. Bing is a commonly missed advertising opportunity that shouldn’t be ignored by real estate agents.

Similarly to Google AdWords, Bing shows paid advertisements in search results based on the user’s query. Bing Ads only offer the pay per click option, so you’re never paying for impressions that don’t generate any activity.

#4 – Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting is a great way to put yourself back into view of those who visited your website but didn’t convert. This form of marketing keeps your agency in front of website visitors to help you build recognition, trust, and top of mind awareness.

Retargeting is touted as extremely effective because of this repetitive exposure for your brand.

Wrap Up

With so much focus on social media for real estate, it’s easy to forget there are other ways to advertise your agency online. Social media advertising can easily be a full-time job in itself, so it’s important you find other ways to spread the word online that are just as impactful but not nearly as time-consuming.

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4 Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing a CRE Data Vendor

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4 Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing a CRE Data Vendor

The digital revolution has unleashed a wave of CRE data tools, but not all data vendors were created equal. Here’s how to choose the most effective one.

There’s been considerable hype in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry about the latest business buzzword du jour: data. What efficiencies can it enable? What does it mean for traditional brokerage? How will it impact market research?

But while the CRE industry’s interest in data emerged in the wake of the digital revolution, digital technologies have not, for the most part, expanded the scope of information with which brokers work. The industry’s foundational data — cost of capital, demographic shifts, workforce trends, ownership histories, zoning regulations, etc. — remains the same, and no amount of technological innovation is going to change it.

What has changed is the ease with which brokers and other CRE professionals are able to access the high-value information they need to jump on opportunities as soon as they materialize. Information that was once accessible only to those patient enough to rummage through microfiches in some forgotten corner of a municipal office is now available to everyone on multiple devices.

That said, in a business like CRE, it’s the quality of the data that matters — more than both quantity or accessibility. According to one study, “only 50 percent of organizations with low data quality see accurate data analysis, while that number jumps to 83 percent for organizations with high data quality.”

This means CRE professionals interested in leveraging newly accessible market data should be looking beyond the sleekest new interfaces, and consider the underlying standards and practices to which different vendors hold the information they provide. To that end, here are four things every broker should look for when in the market for a new CRE data platform.

1. Is Your Data of High Quality?

As highlighted above, the quality of a vendor’s data is of unparalleled importance. While there isn’t a universal definition of “quality,” most experts agree that completeness, consistency, validity, and timeliness are all hallmarks of high-quality data.

Not only does incomplete data make it difficult for a platform’s users to perform rudimentary operations, it can also have knock-on effects. For instance, if a platform is missing the square footage for a particular building, not only will the building not show up in a simple square footage query, but its secondary measurements — cost per square foot, square feet per seat, etc. — will be thrown off, as well.

If a platform’s datasets are inconsistent or invalid, on the other hand, users are likely to receive either inaccurate or, more frequently, duplicate information that only serves to muddle what should be a straightforward search. This is a persistent problem for CRE data aggregators that simply draw as much data as they can from numerous sources without carefully cross-referencing the information. It’s important to ensure that the platform you’re using not only verifies the validity of all the data points its providing, but also leverages advanced algorithms designed to avoid redundancies.

In reality, no data platform is immune to errors or inconsistencies, but some take greater care to minimize them than others. In an industry as fast-paced as CRE, the more frequently data is validated, the more relevant it will be to the brokers who depend on it. In turn, brokers with access to up-to-date information will be better equipped to jump on potential opportunities.

2. Where Is Your Data Coming From?

As we worked to scale our offerings at Reonomy, we quickly realized that providing high-quality, comprehensive CRE data — especially on a national scale — would be all but impossible without strategic partnerships. The criteria according to which we evaluated potential providers were strict: they needed to produce high-quality datasets drawn from a variety of sources using sophisticated approaches that weren’t reliant on error-prone manual processes.

Measures like these are designed to ensure we’re presenting complete asset profiles for our users, as several records may exist in reference to the same property or “entity.” By applying machine learning algorithms to disparate datasets, we’re able to aggregate information about entities regardless of differences in record shape, storage location, or curator style or preference.

Conducting this process manually almost inevitably results in either duplicate pieces of information or incomplete asset profiles, making it difficult for brokers to do their jobs effectively and at scale.

3. Are You Equipped to Operate in Every CRE Market Across Asset Classes?

CRE data platforms that work well in one set of circumstances doesn’t necessarily work well in all circumstances — something that brokers should keep in mind if they work in multiple markets or asset classes.

The nearly 50 million commercial properties in the U.S. are sprinkled throughout more than 3,000 counties, each of which presents unique challenges to efficient data aggregation.

In New York City, for instance, most locally-managed CRE data is structured in a way that is machine-readable, making aggregation fairly straightforward. By contrast, sprawling cities like Los Angeles — L.A. County alone is comprised of 89 incorporated municipalities, each with its own approach to collecting and organizing property data — present many more obstacles to building complete (let alone consistent) datasets.

In order to source mortgage or sales documents in L.A., for example, one would need to call the Land Records Information office, submit a request, and wait days to receive the information. In New York City, on the other hand, that same information is more structured and accessible. Not What’s more, there is also a tremendous amount of metadata surrounding an event recorded in New York City. This metadata serves as a reference chain that helps data consumers understand how different events relate to one another, and allows consumers to infer important information — for example, if a mortgage has been released, assumed, or assigned.

As such, it’s important to assess a data vendor’s capabilities across all of your areas of operation, not just one or two of your niches.

4. Do You Offer Analytics Capabilities?

Advanced analytics capabilities can be a game-changing bonus for brokers looking for a competitive edge. After all, CRE success pivots not only on high-quality data, but on how brokers and investors make sense of it — and the strategic decision-making it empowers.

By analyzing seemingly unrelated data points within a broader dataset, effective CRE analytics tools can help brokers better understand the underlying factors driving business in their specific market or niche. Truly sophisticated platforms can follow digital breadcrumbs to move beyond surface level information, and uncover essential information on property ownership, sales comparables, debt history, and likelihood to sell.

This additional step from information to insight can often be the decisive factor in whether a broker is able to capitalize on the most lucrative opportunities, making it an invaluable add-on to any CRE data platform.

A Roadmap to CRE Dominance

After decades spent manually gathering critical information, CRE professionals finally have instant access to the coveted data they need to operate efficiently and strategically. But it’s up to them to discern between data that has the potential to drive meaningful business and data that may only complicate existing processes.

By keeping the above considerations in mind, brokers will be well on their way to making the data-driven decisions that will differentiate them from the competition.

About the Author : Richard Sarkis is CEO and co-founder of CRE data engine Reonomy

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Dave Ramsey’s Real Estate Principles

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Dave Ramsey’s Real Estate Principles

Learn to budget, beat debt, & build a legacy. Visit the online store today: Subscribe to stay up to date with the latest videos:… source

Camber Creek Closes On $30 Million of Capital for Second Fund

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Camber Creek Closes On $30 Million of Capital for Second Fund

Venture capital firm, Camber Creek, has closed a $30 million fund focused on investing in technology companies that provide novel solutions in the real estate industry. Investors in the fund are real estate owners and operators throughout the country who provide strategic value to the investment portfolio. By investing in Camber Creek, these investors stay at the forefront of the industry by having access to vetted, dynamic and purpose-built real estate technology solutions.


“Camber Creek allows us to be active in the real estate tech field. Companies have pitched us before on real estate tech, but it’s difficult to sift through the noise without expertise in the space. Having Camber Creek vet and find the winners is invaluable,” said John Scott, President and CEO of Westminster American Insurance Company, a Limited Partner in Camber Creek.

Investors in Camber Creek and its portfolio companies interact in a mutually beneficial way. Investors are able to utilize the technologies that fit a specific need in their real estate portfolios, and companies have a built-in customer pool, allowing them to grow more quickly.

“Camber Creek not only created an opportunity for us to invest in innovative companies like Latch but also address needs we have with technology. In fact, we are currently installing Latch locks in all of our new multi-family buildings,” said Dave Pollin, CEO of The Buccini/Pollin Group, a Limited Partner in Camber Creek.

In addition, Camber Creek’s expert investor pool enables the firm to conduct a rich and comprehensive due diligence process, a unique attribute for a real estate venture firm. Collectively, the firm’s investors own and manage more than 150 million square feet of commercial real estate and over 150 thousand multifamily units distributed across more than 2000 properties nationwide, and represent a broad spectrum of real estate industry expertise. Camber Creek harnesses this expertise during the due diligence process to determine whether a solution will revolutionize the industry.

“We’ve created an unprecedented investor network,” said Casey Berman, Camber Creek founder and Managing Partner. “We are able to cut through the red tape to make technology accessible quickly and help investors maximize their real estate businesses.”

Camber Creek’s investments include Latch, VTS, Latista (acquired by Textura), ClearEdge (acquired by TopCon), TurboAppeal (acquired by Paradigm Tax), Compstak, Measurabl, and Bowery.

More information can be found at

About Camber Creek

Camber Creek is a venture capital firm investing in technology that is changing the landscape of the real estate industry. Camber Creek’s partners include real estate owners, operators and decision-makers. The firm’s mission is to connect these leaders with the companies that are introducing innovative technologies to the real estate sector. Camber Creek and its partners contribute directly to the success of Camber Creek’s portfolio companies, and partners utilize the portfolio’s technology solutions in their core businesses. Camber Creek, its partners, and its portfolio companies are working together to bring the real estate industry into a technology-driven future.

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A Sample Rehab Timeline

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A Sample Rehab Timeline

The goal with every rehab is completing it as quickly as possible while keeping it on budget without compromising quality. Each project is different depending on the scope and magnitude of the project but with each project, you need a timeline for the order of completing each aspect of the rehab. Careful planning is required to avoid overlapping contractors or doing work out of sequence causing more work later on. For example, if you paint the interior too soon, you’ll be painting the house all over again (this has happened many times!). The goal is having as much work going at the same time that won’t negatively impact other work.


For illustration purposes, let’s assume you’re doing a project that needs a full rehab. Here is an example timeline:

Phase 1: All of the following items are the first things to do and can be done at the same time independent of each other.

Pull Permits.
Demo (exterior and interior).
Install Glass Block Windows.
Install new Roof.
Install Garage Door.

Phase 2: Once Phase 1 items are complete, you move on to Phase 2:

Siding/Fascia/Soffit: Siding is in Phase 2 because while tearing off the roof shingles (Phase 1), the debris might scratch or damage the siding, fascia, soffit, and/or gutters.
New thermal windows after siding and trim is removed.
Porches and decks.
Framing: Any framing for closets, doors, widening rooms, adding a wall, etc. come after demo.
Rough Trades: These are electrical, mechanical, and plumbing and they come in after demo but before drywall because they will be cutting holes to do their work.

Phase 3:

Drywall: Drywall is after rough trades and framing.
Subfloors: Subfloors are done in preparation for ceramic tile in the kitchen and baths, and before carpet or wood floors.
Any patch work or repairs.
Gutters: Now that fascia, soffit, and roof work is complete, gutters can be installed.

Phase 4:

Hang Doors.

Phase 5:

Ceramic tile.
Set Cabinets/Vanities: Ceramic tile must be done before setting cabinets/vanities because the cabinets go on top of the tile.

Phase 6:

Appliances: Once cabinets are set, appliances can be installed.
Granite: Once cabinets are set, granite can be installed.
Final Plumbing: Install all of the fixtures.

Phase 7:

Wood Floors: Once wood floors are finished, they are covered with paper and plastic.
Base Trim.

Phase 8:


Phase 9:

Carpet: Carpet is after paint so as to not get paint on the carpet.
Final Electrical: Install all the light fixtures. This is done after paint so as to not get paint on the lights.
Final Mechanical.

Phase 10:

Punch List.

Phase 11:

Final Cleaning.

This is just an example. With each project, constantly ask yourself, “What else can be going on right now?” Building a timeline upfront involves planning the sequence of work and then scheduling the contractors. This means that you need to be very organized with your contractors. It means you need to constantly think ahead to what’s going to be next.

What rehabbing tips can you offer? Please leave your comments.

Author bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for 12 years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest. With the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.

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Offering a Pristine Outdoor Lifestyle in Palm Beach County

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Offering a Pristine Outdoor Lifestyle in Palm Beach County

City life is not for everyone and many families are starting to look outside of traditional urban areas to set down their roots. With large cities expanding ever outwards, the options can be many depending on your preferred lifestyle.

The trend — especially with younger families — is to search for a neighbourhood that can provide them with a healthy and active lifestyle, away from the constant noise and business of a large metropolis. The city has its advantages, but it cannot provide the peace and tranquility of a more rural setting.

New developments, like the one offered by Arden Homes, are rich with opportunities to enjoy nature and outdoor activities. When the developers were designing their new community in Palm Beach County, their focus was on country living with all the outdoor amenities and nature that anyone could ask for.

So many new housing projects don’t take into account the desire of their residents to explore and enjoy their surroundings. This results in concrete, boring, side-by-side dwellings with no appeal or access to exploring nature. Take a look at some of the thoughtful design features of the Arden community that give a nature lover everything that they could desire right outside their front door.

Trail System

Residents can enjoy over 20 miles of beautiful hiking and biking trails. The community backs onto a nature preserve full of wildlife and birds of all varieties. Enjoy lake vistas, shady glens and access from all areas of the neighbourhood.

Green Spaces

Nearly every home backs onto a park, greenway or trail. This gives residents the feeling of real space and country living. The lovely landscaping and trees provide plenty of reasons to draw families outdoors in any season.

Community Farm

Residents are invited to enjoy the splendor of a 5-acre farm at the location. Children’s activities and adult farming and gardening lessons are held all year. Watch the corn and sunflowers grow from seeds that have been planted by your own hand and enjoy the freshness of farm-to-fork produce.

Pool & Splash Pad

At the hub of the community is an all-access Clubhouse that houses a two-level pool, providing fun for the whole family. Enjoy a quiet day in a private cabana on the upper pool deck or watch the kids play in the fountains and splash area in the lower pool.

Outdoor Fun

The Arden homes surround a mile long pristine lake that can be used for unlimited outdoor activities. Go kayaking, canoeing or fishing at your leisure. The lake is known for its excellent bass fishing and the shoreline is a bird watcher’s paradise.

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European Airbnb rival Spotahome lands $40 million funding round

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European Airbnb rival Spotahome lands $40 million funding round

Spotahome, a company that provides listings for rental listings, has raised $40 million in a new round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. London-based Passion Capital and Madrid-based Seaya Ventures also participated in the round, which brings Spotahome’s total funding to just shy of $64 million.

Bloomberg said the company rivals AirBnb by letting people rent homes in the same way they would book a hotel room. Spotahome also provides extensive floor plans, photographs and videos of the homes it lists to help customers with their decisions. For landlords, it provides special software for managing multiple properties.

“Real estate was one of the first industries that came online,” said Mood Rowghani, a Kleiner Perkins general partner, “but it has been slow to innovate.”

Rowghani told Bloomberg that the main competition in rental listings aside from Airbnb is simple text-based sites such as Craiglist, or individual real estate agent’s websites that don’t offer the same kind of software as Spotahome.

Rowghani also said the rental market in Europe, where Spotahome is based, is worth some $500 billion a year as around a third of people there lease their homes at least some of the time.

Spotahome cofounder and chief executive officer Alejandro Artacho said the company plans to use the new funds to accelerate expansion and hire new executives in areas such as product development and marketing. The company will also look at merger and acquisition opportunities, he said.

Spotahome, which currently lists around 50,000 rental properties in 33 European cities including Barcelona, Berlin, London and Rome, makes money by taking a cut from the total contract value. Its average fee is less than 9 percent, Artacho said.

The company currently has 300 employees, plus an additional 120 home checkers who work for the firm on a freelance basis to vet properties and create videos.

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