Louisville Properties Blog
Louisville Properties Blog

Louisville Properties Blog

Morgan Stanley Thinks the Country's Commercial Real Estate Troubles are Manageable

The Wall Street Journal reports that analysts at investment bank Morgan Stanley believe that the country's commercial real estate problems are manageable. A team of six of their commercial real estate analysts said recently that the current problems that plague that sector of the nation's real estate market are "only a moderate headwind for the economy," and that commercial real estate values reached their lowest point last summer. The team forecasted that the country is heading towards a "multi-staged" and "gradual" recovery and expected real estate values to remain stable throughout 2010.

They based their predictions on some movements in the investment property sector recently, among them CIM Group's move to pay off debts for their Drake Hotel property in Manhattan, Blackstone Group's move to buy Wachovia Corp.'s debt as part of a real estate investment trust, and other developments. However, others did not share Morgan Stanley's optimism. Jamie Dimon, Chief Executive of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., announced that his company's losses on commercial real estate loans were expected to get worse in the coming year.

While optimistic, Morgan Stanley tempered their enthusiasm for the commercial real estate market by saying that they expected commercial real estate losses for banks to worsen in 2010. They also told reporters that the challenges of refinancing commercial mortgage-backed securities were "substantial" and issued a warning that distressed commercial assets could continue to decline in value this year.

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Outlook for Commercial Real Estate in 2010

An article in The Richmond Times-Dispatch predicts that the nation's commercial real estate outlook won't look much better in 2010 than 2009. After a boom period over the previous years where developers, bankers and investors did very well, the economic downturn has hit commercial real estate in Louisville and other markets across the country especially hard. Long-term relationships between developers, bankers and investors have been hit hard as investors and bankers run for cover, and developers are forced to declare bankruptcy.

Commercial real estate values across the country peaked in late 2007 and have dropped a precipitous 43.7 percent through October of last year according to a report issued by Moody's/REAL Commercial Property Price Indices. The biggest losses in commercial real estate values were from October 2008 to the same month in 2009 that showed year-over-year declines of 36.4 percent.

One of the more accurate snapshots of the commercial real estate market is the number of delinquent loans for commercial real estate projects. From November 2008 to November 2009, the balance of delinquent commercial real estate loans soared from $7.03 billion to $37.93 billion, an astonishing 440 percent increase. While some industry watchers predict modest gains in commercial real estate values and sales in some markets, other markets are expected to continue struggling with few gains until late 2010 at the earliest.

If you're thinking of taking advantage of the current...

Louisville Real Estate Owner Questions His Tax Bill

Wave3 reports that a local man received quite a shock recently when he opened his property tax bill. Property taxes are due at the end of the year around the Louisville area, and when this owner of Louisville real estate opened his latest bill, he knew that something had to be amiss. Or at least he hoped so. The man owns a rental property on Bicknell Avenue that he estimates is worth around $48,500.

"The tax bill we get 12 months later is $94,210. I can tell you there's not one house in this area that's in this condition, and in this shape and in this area that has sold for that amount of money," he said.

The Louisville real estate owner felt that the value of his home and those near it had been assessed incorrectly, and he appealed the assessment to the Property Valuation Administrator.

"On a majority of those properties they agreed because we had the comparable analysis of properties that sold in that area," the owner said.

When the 2008 property tax bill came due, the owner said that he paid taxes consistent with a home of lesser value, but when the bill came 12 months later, it reflected a much higher appraised value. The Louisville real estate property owner also owns a house on Kahlert Avenue that also saw a steep appreciation in value and tax assessment. The man appealed to the PVA to reassess his properties, but got no response. He then contacted a local television station to investigate the situation and received a call from the PVA shortly thereafter promising to review his properties....

Sales of Existing Homes Up Sharply in November

The Washington Post reports that even while sales of newly built homes languished in November, sales of existing homes were up sharply that month. Most of the boost in home sales was attributed to federal programs, particularly the homebuyer's tax credit, which inspired buyers to take action rather than continue watching the market. November's existing home sales represented the highest level of sales since February 2007 and boosted housing markets across the country by reducing the inventory of unsold homes.

The National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing homes last November, which includes single-family homes, condos, townhouses and co-ops, rose 7.4 percent from October's sales. Year over year, November 2009 home sales were up 44 percent to an annual rate of 6.54 million homes—the highest yearly gain since these housing metrics started being tracked in 1999.

The Realtors Association cited the tax credit and lower home prices as the largest factors that drove home sales. Michael Larson, a housing analyst at Weiss Research, had this to say about November's home sales, "Clearly, the tax credit and the feds meddling in the mortgage market has helped add an extra kicker to home sales in the short term, but that's not the only factor at work. As housing prices fall, home ownership becomes competitive with renting, and buyers start to come out of the woodwork."

If you're tired of renting and want to take advantage of great deals on Louisville homes for sale, call Louisville Properties today at...

Sales of New Homes Drop 11.3% as Effect of Stimulus Fades

The Wall Street Journal reports that sales of new homes dropped more than eleven percent in November 2009 to a seven-month low. Real estate experts are cautiously optimistic about the country's modest, but steady economic gains. However, there is growing concern that new home sales and sales of existing homes could dive again after the federal homebuyer tax credit program expires in a few months. One real estate economist said, "The housing rebound has so far been largely supported by government programs, raising questions of sustainability as these programs end next year."

Peter Newland, an economist with Barclays Capital, was more optimistic. "Growth may slow from its current pace; but even as the government's fiscal boost fades, wages and salaries can provide underlying support for consumer spending."

The Commerce Department reported that the decline in home sales led to a seasonally adjusted rate of 355,000 new homes built, bolstered by a 7.4 percent increase in October that represented a surge in new home sales from previous months. This surge was attributed to the homebuyer tax credit scheduled to expire at the end of October but was extended. Their report also mentioned that new home sales typically comprise less than 15 percent of the total number of homes sold in the U.S. every year.

New home sales in Louisville reflected the national average. Like other housing markets across the country, sales of new homes were impacted by the current inventory of new, unsold homes. If you're looking for a new...

Home Sales Across the Country Drop Sharply in November

Many Louisville real estate agents already know very well that the number of people across the U.S. getting ready to buy a home dropped sharply in November 2009. Housing experts say that housing markets across the country could be heading for a "double-dip" drop in sales where a decline in home selling prices is exacerbated by potential homebuyers who can take a bit more time in home shopping since the federal tax credit was extended. Adding the usual downturn in winter home buying, real estate agents all over the country could have some extra time on their hands.

Recent home sales figures released by the government show that October home sales got a boost from the scheduled expiration of the federal homebuyer's tax credit. When the tax credit program was extended that month, buyers got several more months to bide their time and watch home prices for the best deals. However, Louisville home sales appear to have bucked the country's downward trend, at least for December 2009. Lisa Stephenson, executive vice president of Greater Louisville Association of Realtors, said recently that Louisville home sales in December might have been up sharply from November's home sales.

She was waiting on the release of the official home sales numbers, but thought home sales in and around Louisville may have climbed 40 percent in December. Whether Louisville home sales will continue to buck the national trend in January has yet to be seen. Nevertheless, if you're thinking about using the federal tax credit to buy a Louisville home for sale, call 502.744.9504 or visit Louisville Properties website to see the area's best selection of Louisville real estate.

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Louisville Home Decorating Trends for 2010

Buying Louisville homes for sale allows new owners to make a fresh start and display their flair for decorating when it's easiest to do it—without having to move and work around furniture and fixtures in the way. Furniture trends are moving away from dark finishes towards lighter, honey-colored tones that make rooms look and feel lighter and more spacious.

For wall prints, geometric patterns are en vogue, particularly bold patterns such as herringbone, ikats and Bargello designs that make a dramatic statement in any room. Other popular and trendy wall coverings getting a lot of exposure in decorating magazines include "new city brights" or rich, vibrant colors that add boldness and depth to any room. Another hot Louisville home decorating trend is maximizing the amount of natural light in every room, reducing dependence on artificial lighting during the day.

Author and design consultant Barbara Schirmeister said that common decorating themes where colors and textures are consistent are on their way out. "Matchy-matchy combinations are declining and unexpected pairings are escalating," she says. She said that mixing new contemporary furniture with traditional home furnishings is hot right now, and people buying Louisville homes are incorporating these styles in unusual and unexpected ways.

While these decorating themes are hot in Kentuckiana and elsewhere, when shopping for a Louisville home, buyers want anything but unusual and unexpected results. That's why more turn to Louisville Properties when looking for Louisville homes for sale. For the area's best selection of Louisville homes...

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