Amazon HQ2 Finalists Ranked on Housing

Amazon HQ2 Finalists Ranked on Housing
ATTOM Data Solutions   article by Daily Real Estate News | May 31, 2018

Amazon plans to announce its second headquarters location later this summer, and a handful of finalist cities are eagerly awaiting the decision. Amazon declared 20 finalists in the running for its HQ2 site. Cities are making their best offers to the online retail giant. Amazon promises to add up to 50,000 new high-paying jobs and invest $5 billion in the local economy to the chosen host city. Amazon will continue to maintain its headquarters in Seattle as well.

Ahead of the announcement, ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate research firm, ranked 19 of the U.S. finalists (excluding Toronto). The finalists were ranked on the following seven factors: median home prices, five-year home price appreciation, affordability, average school test scores, crime rates, property tax rate, and environmental hazard risk.

The HQ2 finalist that emerged on top of ATTOM Data Solutions’ rankings: Raleigh, N.C. The area got a boost from its relatively affordable homes, above-average school scores, and below-average crime rates and property taxes.

“It’s striking that 16 out of the 19 markets have median home prices that are lower than the city of Seattle, which our data shows was $585,000 at the end of Q4 2017,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “The only exceptions are Boston, Los Angeles, and New York, indicating that Amazon is interested in markets that have relatively affordable housing for employees. At the end of the day, two of the most important factors for the decision will be finding a market with an ample supply of workers with the skills Amazon is looking for along with an ample supply of relatively affordable housing for those workers to live in. A market like Raleigh certainly has the affordable housing, and it also has an ample supply of skilled workers thanks to the several top-notch universities in the vicinity.”


Source: “Amazon HQ2 Finalists Ranked by Housing Market Health,” ATTOM Data Solutions (May 30, 2018); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 053118


Construction Spending Rises for 5th Straight Month

Article by: Associated Press, Washington Post, Daily Real Estate News

Construction Spending Rises for 5th Straight Month

The worst year for home building on record was 2011, but the year ended with a surge in construction spending, as the new-home sector heads into 2012 on a brighter note.

For the fifth straight month, builders spent more on homes and projects, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Construction projects increased 1.5 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $816.4 billion — the highest level in nearly two years.

“The gains coincide with other signs that show the troubled housing industry may be improving,” the Associated Press reports. “Builders are more confident after seeing more interest in homes, and single-family home construction rose in the final three months of last year.”

Source: “Manufacturing Growth Fastest Since June; Construction Spending Up for Fifth Straight Month,” Associated Press (Feb. 1, 2012); Washington Post; Daily Real Estate News (February 2, 2012) | Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee

Real Estate Web Site Traffic Jumps 27%

Traffic to real estate Web sites increased 27 percent in February–the highest level since the first half of 2009. A bigger appetite for rentals has mostly driven the increase in real estate site traffic, according to a webinar by Experian Hitwise, in which it released its search tracking data.

The Web sites boasting the largest year-over-year increases in traffic were devoted to rental or rent-to-own listings, says Heather Dougherty, research director at Hitwise.

Also, traffic coming from social networks to real estate sites increased 61 percent year-over-year in February. Traffic to real estate sites from Facebook increasing 42 percent alone. Social networks now account for 4 percent of the overall traffic to real estate Web sites, Dougherty notes. The largest year-over-year increases in social media traffic last month were Yahoo! Real Estate, Trulia, Zillow, and

The following are the 10 most popular search terms on real estate sites in the last year, according to Hitwise:

1. “rent to own homes”
2. “rent to own”
3. “foreclosure”
4. “for rent by owner”
5. “puerto rico real estate”
6. “houses for rent in orlando”
7. “apartments for rent in michigan”
8. “low income apartments”
9. “houses for rent by owner”
10. “reverse mortgage”

Source: “Rental Interest Drives Real Estate Search Traffic,” Inman News (March 25, 2011); Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee

Williamson County Ranks 3rd Nationally for Future Job Growth

Tennessee’s Williamson County ranks third in the nation when it comes to job growth. 

According to Washington research firm Woods and Poole Economics Inc., Williamson County is expected to see growth of more than 3% in employment through 2040 compared the rest of the country which will see just over a 1% growth. 

“I think the fact there are 3,000 counties in America, the fact that we are number three speaks volumes for the leadership in Williamson County,” Matt Largen, Williamson County Economic Development Director, told Nashville’s News 2. 

He continued, “In today’s world, you want to have two things to have a successful economy, innovators and decision makers, and Williamson County has both of those and both of those kinds of people have built this economy over the last decade.” 

The county’s proximity to Nashville is an added bonus and so is its access to Interstate 65. 

The quality of life issue also factors in, according to Largen. 

“There’s the school system, great place to raise your family, great amenities, high end retail, corporate housing, all different sorts of housing, so I think all those things play a part in the puzzle that is Williamson County,” he said. 

According to the research, Williamson County will add more than 170,000 jobs over the next 30 years, a figure that is promising to both residents and businesses alike. 

Teresa Ofman opened LuLu, a home decor and gift boutique, in downtown Franklin two years and choosing a location was never a question. 

“The downtown location is the best.  Lots of tourists, tons of tourists,” Ofman told Nashville’s News 2.  “I have lived in Williamson County for 25 years.  I love it.  I shop here.  I live here.  I raised my son here.” 

Ofman believes Williamson County is appealing for many reasons. 

“We are very family oriented,” she said.  “There [are] a lot of local events all through the year for families and children.  I feel very safe here.  It’s just small town living.” 

County leaders believe most of the job growth will be in the healthcare and information technology fields. 

They also expect to see more corporate headquarters relocating to Williamson County and more people opening small businesses in the future. 

Ahead of Williamson County on the list are Loudoun County in Virginia and Douglas County in Colorado.


RELATED LINK: Nashville Area Links of Interest; Life is Good! Things to Do!

Source: 013111, WKRN, Woods and Poole Economics Inc. (; blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee

Good Housing News Predicted

All the leading indicators say housing is definitely on the mend, economists reported in advance of the official release of several pieces of good news expected this week.

Bloomberg News surveyed 53 economists and asked them where they expected the numbers to fall. Here are their predictions:

• Construction starts in September are expected to hit a 610,000 annual rate, the most since last November.
• Sales of existing homes likely rose to a two-year high.
• Because of fear of a relapse, the Federal Reserve is predicted to leave interest rates low for a few more months.
• Building permits, a sign of future growth, probably rose to a 590,000 annual pace, also the highest level since November, the Commerce Department is likely to announce.
• The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index is expected to rise to 20 from 19, the economists say.

Google Inc. plans to resume hiring and acquisitions after its third-quarter sales beat analysts’ estimates. CFO Patrick Pichette says: “We weathered what is an incredible recession. If you have all this behind you, the only outcome you should have as management is: ‘OK, let’s build now.’”

Source: Bloomberg, Courtney Schlisserman (10/18/2009)

Poll: Boomers Want Convenience, Familiarity

Baby boomers considering where they’ll spend their retirement say they prefer single-story living in suburbia, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders and the MetLife Mature Market Institute. 

The survey of owners and renters 55 and older identified some interesting preferences: 

  • One-third would choose a close-in suburb; another third prefer an outlying suburb; 25 percent desire a rural community; and 9 percent want to live in the center city.
  • About 79 percent want a single-story home, 15 percent prefer a two-story, and 6 percent want a split level.
  • Most respondents say they’d like their next home to be the same size as their current one.
  • The five features rated most important were in-home washers and dryers, storage space, windows that open easily, main-level master bedrooms, and easy-to-use climate controls.
  • Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed said they were not concerned about the impact of home building on the environment; 23 percent are concerned, but say that will not be a consideration when they purchase a retirement property; and 37 percent responded that want an “environment-friendly” home, but would not pay extra for it. Only 12 percent said they would be willing to pay more.

Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute (09/15/2009)