David Kirkpatrick

December 26, 2009

2010 — a look back, a look ahead

The New York Times has an AP article today that looks back at the last ten years and makes a few projections for the next ten covering nine sectors: banking, real estate, retail, health, manufacturing, automobiles, energy, airlines and media/technology.

From the link, here’s what the article predicts for energy:

THE DECADE AHEAD: By 2019, many cars may get 50 miles per gallon or better. Improved gas mileage, rising prices for gasoline and more energy-efficient homes are seen keeping demand for oil and natural gas at moderate levels in the U.S.

Even so, nearly half of the nation’s electricity still will come from coal even with more wind and solar energy sources.

August 17, 2009

Five real estate lies

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:41 pm

I’d say this article may currently be a case of good advice coming a bit late in the game, but real estate is cyclical and a new buying frenzy is coming someday. Maybe not anytime too soon, but it is coming.

All five of these falsehoods are worth taking to heart. I’m adding number one to this post because I know a number of people who totally fell into the trap of “I prequalified for this amount and by god I’m buying a house for that amount.” Those people now? Not feeling so good about pushing the top edge of their purchase time financial clout.

From the link:

1. Buy as much home as you can afford. Even after the breathtaking three-year decline in home prices, I still hear this mantra over and over. This line from a well-known TV realtor continues to ring in my head: “You qualified for a $295,000 mortgage and you should spend that.” When the budding buyer protests, the realtor responds with a curt, “You can’t get what you want for less.”

The home shopper is worried about going too deep into debt and the realtor wants her to party like its 2005. And we know all know how long that hangover’s lasted.

Here are the two reasons NOT to buy too much house. You could lose an amount of money that you cannot afford to lose. Yes, home prices can decline. Because homes are bought with large amounts of leverage, a small decline can wipe out your entire investment and then some. In buying too much house, that loss will be too great as a percentage of your income and savings.

Two, the minute your income declines you bought MORE house than you can afford. As soon as someone takes a 20% hit to their pay (easy if you’re in a commission-based job) or suffers a job loss, that house payment becomes beyond your means.

The basic concept of buying a modest home over renting is sound because of the forced savings. But overreaching and buying too much house is not wise. A bigger home is not a better investment.

April 22, 2009

Las Vegas “wins” foreclosure crown

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:23 pm

A dubious honor to be sure, but Las Vegas has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation. There are some truly devastated areas of real estate out there.

From the link:

Metro areas in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona topped the foreclosure filing list for the first quarter of 2009 in a report from RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed properties. A foreclosure filing includes default papers, auction sale notices and repossessions.

Las Vegas had the highest rate of foreclosures of any city, with one in every 22 homes subject to a foreclosure filing in the first three months of the year. The rate of foreclosure filings was 4.5%, seven times the national average.

Merced, Calif., had the second highest rate, with Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., Stockton, Calif., and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., rounding out the top five.

“The metro areas with the highest levels of foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2009 paint a picture of concentrated problems in a relatively small number of hard-hit areas,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a written statement.

January 16, 2009

Trammell Crow, RIP

Filed under: Business, et.al. — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:07 pm

The man was a Dallas real estate legend.

From the link:

Trammell Crow, the renowned Dallas developer who reshaped the city and other metropolitan areas with his commercial developments, died Wednesday night. He was 94.

Crow founded the Trammell Crow Co. in the post-World War II era.

The Dallas native began his real estate empire by constructing his first commercial development in 1948. Crow’s initial project was an 11,250-square foot-warehouse in the Trinity River Industrial District near downtown Dallas. From there, Crow partnered with Dallas civic leader John Stemmons and pioneered a real estate boom the district.