Sunday, November 28, 2010

Luxury apartments vs. homeownership; suburban highrise development.

From CNBC comes the story of consumers from the high end of the real estate market that choose to rent instead of own because they fear losing their investment if they own their own homes. While the story focuses mostly on New York City, this trend has nationwide implications:
Demand for luxury rental units has increased as wealthier individuals who can afford to buy are deciding not to, according to brokers and real estate analysts in affluent areas of the country such as New York City, Chicago and San Francisco.

“More affluent Americans are opting to rent as oppose to buy,” says Jack McCabe, an independent real estate analyst and CEO of McCabe Research and Consulting in Deerfield Beach, Fla. “Within the last year, so many people have seen their family and friends get burned in real estate. They don’t see it as being a risk free investment as they used to.”

And they're paying top dollar to rent.

A year ago, I wrote of the nationwide trend toward high rise development in the suburbs and away from the cities. A move toward luxury rentals and away from ownership could accelerate this trend. This trend could also be increased if urban financial troubles continue to destabilize urban real estate markets.

Friday, November 19, 2010

City of York to raise real estate taxes.

Fox 43 News in York reports that the Mayor of York has proposed an increase in city property taxes in the amount of 11.9% for 2011. The measure must be voted on by York City Council by the end of 2010.

Increases in costs (any costs) tend to have an inverse effect on the value of properties - especially investment properties. These increased taxes, if approved should be taken into consideration in any assessment appeals for York city properties starting in 2011.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New lawsuit filed against Penbrook Borough;

I have written previously about actions of Penbrook Borough in Dauphin County against investors, including charges for filing false tax returns against those who had filed no returns at all. On November 3rd, one such investor filed a lawsuit against the Borough in the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas. The suit, filed by a pro se Plaintiff, identifies several acts of the Borough and its manager that have created liability.

The suit is docketed at 2010 CV 14365 CV and is available for public review.

More such suits are possible.