Property, Rentals, Transactions

FEMA to Repeal Certain Flood Insurance Rate Increases

LANGDON, N.D. – April 17, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Today the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced it is moving forward with repealing certain flood insurance rate increases as required under the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, cosponsored by Congressman Kevin Cramer. A bulletin from FEMA directing flood insurance providers to stop charging full-risk rates for all types of Pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) properties covered by Section 3 of the 2014 legislation, including primary residences and businesses. Cramer released the following statement on the announcement

Bay Area Median Sale Price Highest Since 2007; Slowest March Sales in 6 Years

La Jolla, CA. – April 17, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Home prices in the Bay Area continued to increase at a brisk pace last month, the result of a strong local economy and a tight supply of homes on the market. The number of homes sold was the lowest for any March since 2008, a real estate information service reported.

IBTS Is Recognized With A 2014 ENERGY STAR® Certified Homes Market Leader Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 16, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) is pleased to announce that it has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with as a 2014 ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Market Leader. This award recognizes the important contribution IBTS has made to energy-efficient construction and environmental protection by verifying more than 1,500 ENERGY STAR certified homes in 2013. Collectively, these homes will save homeowners approximately $450,000 on utility bills and reduce 5.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year

Southland Home Sales Stuck at 6-year Low; Median Price Rises to 6-Year High

La Jolla, CA – April 16, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Southern California home sales quickened last month compared with February, as they normally do, but remained far below average and at the lowest level for a March in six years. The median sale price rose to a more-than-six-year high, driven up by demand that continues to exceed supply in many areas, as well as a shift toward a greater share of sales in middle and high-end markets, a real estate information service reported.

Natural Yard Care “How to” Workshops – A Big Win for Homeowners

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 10, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Natural yard care is a win-win opportunity,especially for homeowners. They get a less expensive, lower maintenance and safer yard. They also get the satisfaction of knowing that their yard is less harmful to aquatic life and provides needed habitat for native wildlife such as birds and butterflies. Two 2-hour evening workshops at the Tacoma Nature Center will help homeowners put natural yard care into practice.

PIQUET REALTY, THE PREFERRED REAL ESTATE AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL BUYERS, ANNOUNCES THE ACQUISITION OF PORTMAN REALTY, INC. NEW YORK

New York, NY – April 10, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Piquet Realty, a leading luxury real estate firm with offices in Miami and Orlando, known for their deep ties to the high-end Brazilian investor community, is expanding its foothold in the New York City luxury and commercial marketplace with the acquisition of Portman Realty, Inc., which includes Portman Realty Management, which manages north of 1.0-million-square-feet in New York. Cristiano Piquet, who first established his firm in 2008, will be the President and CEO. New York-based Benjamin Benalloul, formerly President of Portman Realty, will be the Vice President. Benjamin will work in tandem with Cristiano to lead business development and client service initiatives for Piquet Realty in all regions where the firm operates

ABC Supports House Effort to Halt Ambush Election Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 10, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) praised today’s U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce markup of The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 4320) and The Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 4321), which halt key elements of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “ambush” election proposed rule.

Unionization of more than 1,200 security officers– largest private-sector organizing win in New Jersey in a decade.

Newark, NJ – April 9, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Private security officers in New Jersey have won a historic, 3.5 year industry-wide contract improving wages and benefits for over 1,200 security officers who protect commercial office buildings in Essex, Hudson and Union Counties, including the cities of Newark and Jersey City. The first-ever union contract between New Jersey’s top private security contractors and 32BJ of Service Employees International Union is the result of one of the largest unionization drives occurring in New Jersey in recent memory. The contract will be effective in April and is expected to be ratified by the workers on April 12. Most officers will see a minimum wage increase from $9 to $11 over the life of the contract and all security officers will receive nearly two dollars an hour in raises by the end of the contract.

New Appraisal Institute Book Aids Valuation of ‘Green’ Homes

CHICAGO – April 8, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Appraisers need to get up to speed on the latest energy efficient home features and should learn to determine how green a property is, according to a new book by the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

WARBURG REALTY® APPOINTS ALEXANDREA MERRELL

New York – April 7, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Warburg Realty®, one of Manhattan’s leading residential real estate companies, today announced that Alexandrea Merrell has joined the firm in its Tribeca office.

HouseLogic Wins Best Real Estate Social Media Campaign of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 4, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — HouseLogic.com, the comprehensive website for homeowners from the National Association of Realtors®, has won the 2014 Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) “Best Real Estate Social Media Campaign Award” for developing original infographics distributed via Facebook and other social communities.

URBAN COMPASS ADDS PROMINENT SALES AND RENTAL AGENTS

NEW YORK, NY – April 3, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — After six years at Citi Habitats, the prominent Griffith-Scholz Team has moved over to technology-driven residential real estate companyUrban Compass. The Griffith-Scholz team, led by Mark Griffith and Cindy Scholz, includes Angel Ramirez, Robert Bell, Christopher Ritchey, and Carlota Sosa, and has won multiple awards at Citi Habitats, including Team of the Year and serving on the firm’s President’s Council. Also joining Urban Compass are Justin Croushore and Scott Sobol, both veteran agents from Douglas Elliman. With years of experience in selling both residential properties and new developments, all eight of the new hires bring both market knowledge and incredible exclusive listings to Urban Compass, which continues its rapid growth.

New Standard Contract for Public State and Federally-assisted Infrastructure Projects Will Help Public Owners Get Better Project Results

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 3, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, the ConsensusDocs Coalition is publishing a new standard contract with integrated general conditions for a public works project. ConsensusDocs tailored the terms and conditions and oriented them for public works owner projects that use state public funding or federal financial assistance. This new standard contract document is expected to be particularly helpful for local and state governments that are looking to use an off-the-shelf contract solution

Vacation Home Sales Surge in 2013, Investment Property Declines

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 3, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Vacation home sales rose strongly in 2013, while investment purchases fell below the elevated levels seen in the previous two years, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Commercial Property Transaction Volume on Course to Reach a Ten-Year High by 2016, Says New ULI-EY Real Estate Outlook

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 2, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — A new U.S. real estate forecast based on a survey of 39 of the industry’s leading economists and analysts predicts that commercial property transaction volume will reach $430 billion by 2016, exceeding the volume of 2006. The latest multi-year outlook (covering 2014 through 2016) from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and EY projects steady growth for the U.S. economy; sustained strength from real estate capital markets; and continued improvement in both commercial real estate fundamentals and the housing sector

PRIVATE LENDERS, USDA HELPED RECORD NUMBER OF TENNESSEE FAMILIES ACHIEVE HOMEOWNERSHIP IN 2013

Knoxville, Tenn., – March 31, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) – USDA Rural Housing Administrator Tony Hernandez announced today that the agency’s home loan-guarantee program reached a record high in Tennessee as private lenders used the program to help 6,913 families and individuals buy a home in rural areas of the State during fiscal year 2013. The total private/public investment topped $846 million in rural Tennessee communities.

Las Vegas Region February Home Sales

Las Vegas – March 27, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — area homes sold at the slowest pace for a February in five years as the inventory of homes for sale remained tight and some buyers faced credit and affordability challenges.

Former Real Estate Broker Arrested on Fraud Charges

BOSTON – March 27, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — A Mansfield man was arrested Monday and arraigned in U.S. District Court in Boston on Tuesday, March 24 on charges that he defrauded a married couple out of nearly $200,000 in connection with alleged real estate transactions

FHFA Announces $9.3 Billion Settlement With Bank of America Corporation;

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 27, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, today announced it has reached a settlement in cases involving Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, Merrill Lynch, and certain named individuals totaling approximately $5.83 billion. Bank of America Corporation owns Countrywide and Merrill Lynch. The cases alleged violations of federal and state securities laws in connection with private-label, residential mortgage-backed securities (PLS) purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007. Allegations of common law fraud were made in the Countrywide and Merrill Lynch cases

FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Decrease Slightly in February

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 27, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — National data shows interest rates on mortgages decreased in February. Contract mortgage interest rates decreased 0.07 percent from January to February, according to an index of new mortgage contracts