Lof t project in the historic district around the corner from 4th and Plum. 304 McFarland street.
Denise Guiducci of RE/MAX CityWide announced that the Le Brittany Condominiums in the downtown Cincinnati business district has sold out, giving another indication that the city’s urban core has strong demand for condominiums in the 180k – 230k price range.
RE/MAX CityWide has announced the complete sellout of Le Brittany Condominiums at 9th and Race in Cincinnati’s central business district. The 18 unit project has a mix of 2 bedroom 1.5 bath units and 1 bedroom 1.5 bath units, with selling prices between 179k and 240k. The project was originally an apartment building which was fully converted to condominiums.
Guiducci was recently selected by Cranewoods Development to list the McFArland Lofts project in the downtown Cincinnati West Fourth Street historic district.
“The McFarland Lofts is an exciting project for us. It has the advantage of being in the price-point ‘sweet spot’, and combines great location with inside garage parking, private balconies and 2 bedroom 2 bath contemporary floor plans”.
Downtown Cincinnati lofts got another acknowledgment of their value, convenience and quality of life. Recently, Downtown Cincinnati Inc.(DCI) and the Greater Cincinnati Relocation Council hosted a conference entitled “Living Happens Here,” to promote the wide variety and high quality of downtown and Over-the-Rhine lofts and living options for relocating professionals coming to Cincinnati.
““Downtown has a fabric that is very diverse. It has the hustle and bustle of all different races and economic backgrounds,” said Arleen Koth, vice president of DCI. “It’s where your living room can spread out into Fountain Square… And even without white picket fences, children and pets are a part of this fabric.”
The conference was organized to address a lack of awareness or misperceptions many realtors and relocation specialists have about downtown Cincinnati lofts and real estate options. The program included a guided tour of the variety of housing options available in Cincinnati’s business district and Over-the-Rhine.
The Senate passed an amendment that extends the first-time home buyers $8,000 tax credit by three months IF you already have a contract in hand.
The U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday to give homebuyers another three months to settle on their contracts and take advantage of a popular tax credit that sparked a rush of activity in the housing market.
The amendment also includes the $6,500 credit for existing home owners looking to change their primary residence. This is an extension for closing on existing contracts, not for any new contracts that came after the earlier deadline of April 30th. The new deadline for closings is September 30th and is welcome by buyers and banks who have been caught in the logjam of so many closings trying to come in under the previous deadline.
Read more about it here.
With the continuing housing slump and overall low growth economic conditions, commercial real estate nationwide isn’t expected to begin to turn prices around until 2011 but the local conditions in Cincinnati may have a brighter outlook.
According to a recent article in the Kentucky Post:
“If the market hasn’t bottomed out [in Cincinnati], it’s very near bottom,” said CB Richard Ellis managing partner Ken Murawski, adding that the first half of 2010 will show marginal growth. Then, he says, things will start to get better in the second half of the year.”
Beyond the effects of the national situation, Cincinnati’s circumstances may also be effected by staff consolidations from various spaces in the Central Business District as businesses, particularly American Financial, begin their long planned move into the new Queen City Square office tower. The glut of available office space has caused many landlords to lower rates and negotiate new long term leases before current leases expire.
Buyer’s and Tenant’s Market
All that means, it is a good time for forward thinkers to get into the market for investment and new leased spaces at historically low prices compared to long term trends.
“I think now is an ideal time for real estate investors to begin acquiring properties,” said Keith Yearout, also in the CBRE Investment Properties Private Client Group. He said smart investors will selectively acquire assets now, instead of waiting for the heard to come back to the market at some point in 2011.
“I think investors have to take a hard look at where market rents are, strength of tenants, length of lease terms, but for the deals that pass the little more stringent underwriting criteria, I think there are attractive values out there,” Yearout added.
There are also some cautions pointed out in the article so read the whole thing.
Cincinnati Real Estate Consultant Comments on Recent Listing in U.S. News report “Top 10 Cities for Real Estate Steals”
A recent article in US News and World Report ranking cities where there is potential for “real estate steals” prompted a discussion of the Cincinnati housing market and its prospects with Real Estate Development Consultant Andrew Howe of Cranewoods Development.
Cincinnati, OH (PRWEB) February 25, 2010 — Andrew Howe of Cranewoods Development gives local confirmation that Cincinnati is one of the “10 cities for real estate steals” as recently reported in U.S. News and World Report. Citing stable values during the recent boom and bust and a firm price to income level, Howe says, “Cincinnati real estate has always seemed to escape the dramatic boom bust cycles that devastate other parts of the country.” While the article predicts further price drops, it anticipates a bottoming in 2010 setting the stage for future appreciation.
Howe, a Cincinnati real estate development consultant and a successful developer and general contractor for markets in Ohio and Florida for over thirty years, transformed his firm into a development consultancy using his expertise in development, construction and finance to assist lenders and development groups in resolving problem projects and loans. Cranewoods primarily serves the Greater Cincinnati area and Florida’s Eastern shore.
Unlike Florida, Howe stated, “Cincinnati’s real estate stability moderates development profits in great years, but also limits the pain on the downside.” While Cincinnati has dodged the brunt of the crash, both lenders and developers have still been faced with stalled projects and loan defaults. The stabilization of the housing market has followed the same pattern as many other parts of the country, with the under 300k housing prices leading the market in sales. Although sales prices are at discounts to where they were in 2007-2008, the fact that there was an increase sales transactions during the second half of 2009 and 2010 is a positive sign for absorbing inventory, the first step in a market bottom and eventual recovery.
Howe points to downtown’s loft projects as a prime example. “Cincinnati’s loft condominiums in the under $300k range that are well designed and well located are starting to sell again,” Howe said, pointing to Hamilton County tax records showing a surge in downtown loft sales beginning in the 3rd quarter of 2009. “The real estate cycle will turn around as they all do. It’s a matter of survival while the market takes the necessary steps to recover.” Read more →
Cincinnati Ohio Real Estate has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top ten markets for healthy real estate development investment and even potential “steals” (USNews).
In an article from February 12, 2010 entitled “10 Cities for Real Estate Steals”, U.S. News surveyed information primarily compiled by Moody’s Economy.com to search out markets where price-to-income ratios are most in line with their historical averages despite the challenging economic environment.
Cincinnati Real Estate Developers And Buyers
Certainly the news does not come as a surprise to the Greater Cincinnati real estate development community who have witnessed the near 30% downturn nation-wide and yet experienced very little of the trend locally. In fact, buyers and investors see, despite some near term fluctuation, that many properties in the market are actually undervalued compared to the long term trends.
“10 Cities for Real Estate Steals”
Concerning the Greater Cincinnati real estate development market, the U.S. News reporter, Luke Mullins, states:
“Home prices in Cincinnati have remained relatively affordable throughout the nation’s recent boom-and-bust cycle. The area’s price-to-income ratio actually increased from 2006 to the third quarter of 2009. Its most recent reading of 1.41 is slightly below the 1.46 average ratio of the 15 years before 2003. Although home price declines have moderated in recent months, Moody’s Economy.com believes further drops may be in store as additional houses go into foreclosure. Home prices in Cincinnati are expected to bottom out this year before creeping higher.”
Here is the recent view of one local Cincinnati real estate developer, “It’s challenging to get deals done out there, but there are spots around town that are very well positioned.” via
The Real Estate Development trend in Greater Cincinnati Ohio
Mortgage rates have recently dropped to 4.93 and added federal incentives continue for first time and current homeowners looking to buy so expect the current short term fluctuation in the greater Cincinnati real estate market to begin to get back to its historical trend by the end of 2010.
Buying a house but not sure what you’re going to use to finance the purchase given today’s climate in the mortgage market?
If you’re a veteran or active duty military, then you must consider a VA Loan, a benefit thanks to your service to the United States. A VA Loan is a great option for buying a home, whether it’s your first or your third time buying a house; the VA Loan gives you flexibility as well as offers an affordable solution to financing your next purchase.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the VA Loan is the no down payment requirement. Sure, there were plenty of no down payment options 24 months ago, but like the housing bubble, those programs burst and now the VA Loan is the last zero-down mortgage product available. In addition to zero down, the VA Loan also has no private mortgage insurance, which is standard on conventional loans unless you put 20 percent down. Another aspect of the VA Loan is the relaxed credit requirements that still allow you to get a low interest rate. While most conventional products require a 720 or above to get the lowest rates, VA lenders generally only require a 620 minimum credit score, and the rates for those scores are still the lowest available.
The VA Loan also allows you to refinance into a lower interest rate (down the line) without appraisal or income documentation; said Jake Vehige, VA Loan Specialist with VAMortgageCenter.Com.
There is a VA funding fee associated with a VA Purchase Loan, however that fee is 2.15% of the loan amount for first-time VA users and 3.3% for subsequent VA Loan use. That fee can be rolled into the cost of the loan, or the seller is allowed to pay for it as well. Borrowers who can document at least a 10% service-connected disability are exempt from the funding fee.
Provided you’ve got good credit, doesn’t have to be great, you were honorably discharged and you’ve had steady income for the past two years, a VA Loan is definitely worth your consideration when purchasing your next home.
A recent study and market analysis show the extension of the first-time home buyer tax credit and the addition of credit for existing homeowners is working for our economy. But the credits are set to expire in April and interest rates are beginning to rise from their near historic lows so the time to buy is now.
“Twenty percent of homeowners are more likely to consider purchasing a home than they were six months ago, thanks to the revised $6,500 federal tax credit, according to the survey.”
Coldwell Banker conducted the survey of over a thousand homeowners and found that the vast majority planned to use the money on “smart spending” that pays off existing debts, goes to home improvements, savings and household expenses. All of which aid our economy by increasing consumer confidence. That’s good news for existing homeowners.
“This may mean the move-up buyer is back in the marketplace,” said Jim Gillespie, chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker. “We’ve got a strong market for the first-time buyer and a strong market for investors. The move-up buyer has been sitting on the fence but hopefully the $6,500 tax credit will stir him to contact a realtor.”
The first-time homebuyer credit is a new tax credit included in the recently enacted Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
For homes purchased in 2008, the credit operates like an interest-free loan because it must be repaid over a 15-year period.
The credit was expanded in 2009 for homes purchased in 2009, increasing the amount of the credit and eliminating the requirement to repay the credit, unless the home ceases to be your principal residence within the 36-month period beginning on the purchase date.
Q. How much is the credit?
A. The credit is 10 percent of the purchase price of the home, with a maximum available credit of $7,500 ($8,000 if you purchased your home in 2009) for either a single taxpayer or a married couple filing a joint return, but only half of that amount for married persons filing separate returns. The full credit is available for homes costing $75,000 or more.
Q. Which home purchases qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit?
A. Any home purchased as the taxpayer’s principal residence and located in the United States qualifies. You must buy the home after April 8, 2008, and before Dec. 1, 2009, to qualify for the credit. For a home that you construct, the purchase date is considered to be the first date you occupy the home. Taxpayers (including spouse, if married) who owned a principal residence at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase are not eligible for the credit. This means that you can qualify for the credit if you (and your spouse, if married) have not owned a home in the three years prior to a purchase. If you make an eligible purchase in 2008, you claim the first-time homebuyer credit on your 2008 tax return. For an eligible purchase in 2009, you can choose to claim the credit on either your 2008 or 2009 income tax return.
Q. Can I apply for the credit if I bought a vacation home or rental property?
A. No. Vacation homes and rental property do not qualify for this credit.
Q. Who is considered to be a first-time homebuyer?
A. Taxpayers who have not owned another principal residence at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase.
Q. How do I apply for the credit? Read more →