26 November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Modern Florida homes, by real estate specialist Tobias Kaiser modernsouthflorida.com

In gratefulness for what we have, a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!

Photo: Zwetschgen (135205) ©tckaiser

21 November 2014

How much house you get for $2m nationally; On airline misery; Two opponents united

Several things are on my mind this week... here we go:

You may remember a weirdo in Raleigh, NC, who objected to a modern home being built after it was approved and half finished?

Well, the petty-minded neighbour lost, and the owners can complete construction of their modest modern in the Oakwood neighbourhood.

Modern homes by Florida real estate agent and modern architecture specialist Tobias Kaiser
The Weber house by Weber/Matsumoto, 1953
Now fate brought two former opponents in that case together again. How? A Raleigh homeowner wants to remove the historic designation she had sought for her 1953 modernist home, the Weber house.

At Wiesner vs. Cherry/Gordon on opposite sides, now North Carolina Modernist Homes and the Oak City Preservation Alliance are united in fighting against that little side-step, which seems driven by the owner's awakened sense of marketability.

Her argument: though she hopes the next owner will enjoy the house as it is, but: when she is ready to sell she could do so much easier without the burden of the designation.

So why seek it in the first place – for a tax break perhaps? Read all the juicy details at the News & Observer.

Lively mod scene up there, ain't it? And: did I mention that preservation starts with the seller, not the buyer?


Off-topic: Bad week for Jet Blue-flyers. The once rule-breaking and beloved airline caved in – a sign of modern times?

It will A) charge for checked bags (yup), B) will start a tiered pricing system for tickets – the more flexibility you want, the more you pay – and C) will introduce a "cabin refresh".

That is what Caroline Costello over at SmarterTravel correctly calls "a pleasant-sounding way to tell us that other peoples' seatbacks (and elbows) will be closer than ever", and their planes "are going to get more crowded, with less available overhead-bin space".

Which leaves Southwest – for now – as the only domestic carrier where luggage flies for free.

But much more important: if your travel plans change, as mine did for reasons outside of my control three times this year, SWA does not charge re-booking fees.

Correct: no re-booking fee, only any possible fare difference. That policy saved my bacon three times in 2014 – this weekend one of those instances – and makes SWA my Go-To domestic carrier, preferred by lightyears.


Modern homes by Florida real estate agent and modern architecture specialist Tobias Kaiser
The Duenke house by Ralph Fournier
Finally, back to Real Estate:

The Gray Lady (nickname for the New York Times stemming from the time before it started printing in colour) published an overview how much house you will get for $2,000,000 nationwide.

Following that, in my next post I will show you what $2m buys in South Florida.  

Photos: News&Observer, New York Times

07 November 2014

South Florida Home Sales, 3rd Quarter 2014

Summer activity for Single Family Homes (SFH) in the TriCounty area (Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade, the area from Jupiter to South Miami) is completely over, the market is noticeably getting quieter. All key numbers for Q3 2014 show this, and – unlike during earlier periods this year – all three counties moved in unison.

SE Florida SFH sales for the last 36 months. red = list price, green = selling price, blue = inventory. Source: Kaiser Assoc.

Some key data for the third quarter:

1. Inventory ended at 18,395 SFH, an increase of 3.6 percent to the second quarter. It now sits at 5.0 months, a very strong 16.7 percent over Q2, since closed SFH sales dropped by 4.3 percent over the previous quarter.

2. Asking prices of all SFH are down, landing at a median $376,700. September was the sixth month in a row with declining list prices – but because of the list price volatility, it ended up only 1.0 percent under September 2013.

3. Selling prices per square foot are slightly up y-o-y at $135/sf. Not so absolute selling prices at $265,470, though they have fluctuated all over the board this year from $251,000 in January to $279,000 in July. Year over year though, median selling prices in Q3 were up by 5.5 percent, but flat in comparison to Q2. Recognise a pattern? Good, me neither.

Tracks of a horseshoe crab–similarities to the housing market?
My prediction: the market is going up or going down.

Seriously: I think we will see a limp market for SFH for the rest of the year and perhaps into early 2015, with a lot of hesitation on the buyers’ side, though financing does not seem to be the issue anymore.

In addition, very problematic is the lack of good homes in the market for modern architecture, which I focus on. Buyer interest is there, but under $600,000 there are barely any architecturally interesting homes for sale.

So if you consider selling a modernist property, by all means please do contact me for a free analysis and consultation.