Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Phila Prime.Com (Gateway page & Links)

Recommended Posts

: PHILAPRIME.Com : ...... : Gateway page to PhilaPrime's threads ...

DATA : MAPS : Case : N'hoods : WestPh : WayneJ : NPhila : Skysc : Oppty : Equities : Condo? : ssc #2: PP :


Other: SSC #2 : 30thSt : CcTwr : / GoWeb : priv :

TAcJkaD.png > view Data

CHAT with others about the possible slowdown of the Condominium market / on the CONDO? thread,
(To become a member and Join the discussion here, scroll down to post #3, below)


Why Philadelphia is a Prime target for investors

+ One of America's most walkable cities, with a good public transport system.
+ Key strategic location on the East Coast, and good universities and strong healthcare expertise.
+ Property is far more affordable than NYC, Boston, Washington; Yields are much better, like 2x, on average.
Now with steady job growth and a rising population and more office space, Rents and Property prices are rising again, hitting new highs. Gentrification is occurring along many of the transport links.


Summary GUIDE to the principal Threads in the PHILA Prime section of the larger GEI Forum


This is the Landing page - the jumping-off point to many PP threads

Threads : those with restored images are marked with an asterisk below
ALL are in GEI's PHILAdelphia Property sub-forum : how to Join, see post #3, below


PHILAPRIME.Com (Gateway page & Links)*
=============== : views :
PP Landing Page- : 00,013 : http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=21632

DATA, Charts, etc. : 00,607 : http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=21331
MAPS, Transport- : 00,513 : http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=21332

Case: Ph.Property: 07,896 : http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=19729
Neighborhoods---- : 17,727 : http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=20036
Phila opportunities : 17,074 : http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=19682

W-Philly, Balt. Ave : 00,488 : http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=21427
Wayne Junction--- : 05,249 : http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=20655
Key Phila Equities : 00,236 : http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=21415

Phila Skyscrapers : 00,200 : http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=21546
Condos still good?: 00,112 : http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=21547
SADLY, I recently lost many hundreds of images - the restored threads are marked by an *asterisk.http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=21686

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cycles suggest next major High, maybe 2025-6

The 18-year Long Cycle in pictures - it is also reflected in the timing of new construction.
A short 1-2 year dip could be due soon - "the mid-Cycle correction" can start this year.



A Vintage postcard, showing the 1930's skyline. Note the prominence of City Hall.


Philly's skyline in 1989 at an 18-year Cycle Peak. The construction of new skyscrapers had begun - after a long pause.


Philadelphia's night time Skyline, circa 2017. New skycraper growth is evident everywhere.



Philadelphia City Hall. Philly still has many classic buildings, reflecting its rich history. The William Penn statue had a special significance.

Designed to be the world's tallest building, it was surpassed during construction by the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower, though it was at completion the world's tallest habitable building. It was the first modern building (excluding the Eiffel Tower) to be the world's tallest and also was the first secular habitable building to have this record: all previous world's tallest buildings were religious structures...


One Liberty Place towers over City Hall

City Hall was the tallest in Philadelphia from 1901 until 1987, when it was surpassed by One Liberty Place ending an unspoken, gentlemen's agreement that limited the height of buildings in the city to be no higher than William Penn's hat atop City Hall.

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_City_Hall



CYCLES ?? assuming fixed 18 year cycle (theoretical)

1901 : Phil City Hall completed
1991 / 1989 : see chart above, One Liberty Place was completed in 1987, two years prior to the cycle peal
2007 : US Property cycle peaks


> For more cycle charts, see the Condo? thread.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

How to JOIN the Discussion on threads here - It's Free

To join the chats & the community at PhilaPrime, ... and also participate in the various GEI forums

PLEASE JUST SAY HELLO if you want to make this site more useful

And let us know what brought you here, and what you like


Why don't some of the (new) readers try joining GEI, and give me some comments on what you like,


Here's how to join GEI : see post #2 on the following thread:


Go Read the instructions in post #2 of the GEI Landing page.

(However to get past security, you will need to be able to answer a question concerning Dr B's favorite animal.

Hint: the answer is not an animal at all it is THIS GUY, "Admiral Byrd", spelling the name with a "Y", and not an "I")

You might also consider joining one of the Meet-up groups that GEI, MakatiPrime, and PhilaPrime members participate in.

(( Meet-up suggestions may be added here later ))

Meet-ups in the Philippines have attracted as many as 22 people - there are over 50 people on the Philiippines Viber chat

Membership to the PhilaPrime forums on GEI is free, and once you have joined, you can post on the Forums here.

You may want to make your first post on the special Forum (to introduce yourself, & talk freely):


+ PRIVATE CHAT for Philadelphia : Introduce yourself, & Free-form discussion

(( The thread is Not yet available ))

* ( the Chat thread was moved to a private area, that the public / non-members cannot see )

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Capsule : Philly, A Prime target for investors
+ One of America's most walkable cities, with a good public transport system.
+ A key strategic location on the East Coast, and good universities and strong healthcare expertise.
+ Much property is far more affordable than NYC, Boston, Washington; Yields are much better, like 2x, on average.
Now with steady job growth and a rising population and job growth, Rents and Property prices are rising again, hitting new highs. Gentrification is occurring along many of the transport links.

Longer Version

Why Philadelphia is a Prime target for investors
Philadelphia lost 1/3 of of its population from 1946-2000, but it retained a good public transport system.

Also; a key strategic location on the East Coast, and good universities and strong healthcare expertise.

By 2000, much property in the city was priced far below replacement value of maybe $125 per sq foot.

Beginning in about 2000, the population began growing again, at maybe 1% per annum. Jobs began to ncrease, and young people who had gone to Universities in PH decided they wanted to stay in the city and enjoy its urban culture, its transportation system and PH's extreme walkability. Prices were also far below other East Coast cities such as NYC, Boston, and Washington, and so property was affordable, even for some recent graduates in their twenties.

Now with rising population and job growth, Rents and Property prices are rising again, hitting new highs.

New home construction is occurring in many parts of the city, where prices are high enough to pay for the land, and the price of new construction. Gentrification is happening along many of the transport links.

Even MORE...

Philadelphia Story - the Case for Property investing

> http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=19729

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Restored !

I have restored the LOST images, on the CASE thread, one of the most popular threads here: (over 8,000 views)

Philadelphia Story - the Case for Property investing

The Philadelphia Story / argument for investing summarized, this way:
+ Philly's population has been growing at about 1% per annum, since 2000
+ Vacancies are near 5%, and decent places rent out quickly
+ Jobs are growing, and there are (at least) four new office skyscrapers under construction
+ The management guarantee is "net" of all costs, and the company has meaningful equity
(For a particular investment, this is what we are told, and have had confirmed by experience)

Have a look - here's a post with links to Videos which help to make the case

On 5/3/2015 at 12:06 PM, DrBubb said:

The secret of restoring prosperity in Philadelphia : Minimize the need for cars,
and build a high quality of Life that does not require driving, as in NY City

/ 1 /

Andrés Duany - The General Theory of Urbanism

Published on 30 Jul 2014

Andrés Duany, founding partner of urban planning firm, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, presents the General Theory of Urbanism at Hertfordshire, UK. Introduction by Lord Salisbury. This lecture remarks upon the extraordinary persistence of Howard's Garden City idea. After demonstrating how this idea contains the golden mean of all positive urban and rural traits, Andrés completes and updates Howard’s paradigm, and proposes its use in the planning profession as a Standard Model from which deviations are numerically measured. This paradigm is then tested on six diverse Hertfordshire communities, and finally applied in a case study of the transformation of Stevenage, with remarkable results.

The General Theory of Urbanism Book is available for free download for a limited time here:

/ 2 /

My favorite architect
Andres Duany: Principles of New Urbanism

Duany explains New Urbanism, & how it is propelled by:
+ the market-what people want : shops, schools, work w/in walking distance
+ nimbyism : we could get permits, when others could not
+ health (physical & mental) : more exercise, less isolation with communities
+ green movement : closer to nature, less need for huge highways

"We are not against Houses. but houses have to be attached to a system."
"To accommodate cars, some planners made walking impossible"

"Empty nesters are moving back downtown, because they prefer walkable living"

/ 3 /
Here's what Andreas Duany said:
"A car is a necessity in most of America... otherwise you have no career or social life...

The estimated cost of a car is $9,000 a year... We have been designing a country, where we must have a car, and so we cannot afford housing. For each car you do not buy, you can afford another $100,000 of housing."

He said this in this video with his vision of the Future:

FUTURE MAN - Andrés Duany Gives the Lecture of a Lifetime (unfortunately, the Video was deleted)

He drove in from the airport, and saw many suburban areas that are sliding... becoming future slums.
(Suck it up, you die-hard suburbanites. Maybe you should rethink your future, before it catches up with you.)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
... ...
Gold prices were relatively unchanged after U.S. consumers bought fewer pre-existing homes in August, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Existing home sales shocked with a drop of 1.7% last month to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 5.35 million units, compared to July’s annualized rate of 5.44 million homes, the association said on Wednesday.

This marked the lowest level in twelve months. Economists were expecting to see a 0.3% advance to 5.46 million units.


PHM / Pulte Homes - could topping out - it has been a bellwether for builders - and tends to lead house price ... 12mo :


. . .

The median price for all existing-home types in August was $253,500, up 5.6% from last year, which marked the 66th straight month of year-over-year gains. At the same time, the association said that total inventory as of the end of August declined 2.1% to 1.88 million existing homes available for sale.

"Market conditions continue to be stressful and challenging for both prospective first-time buyers and homeowners looking to trade up," added Yun.

Many economists warn that rising home prices could potentially pose a serious challenge to future sales.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

WEST PHILLY is Transforming... but there is more change to come (dead ahead?)

Markers of Westward Rejuvenation - Three locations on Baltimore Avenue to watch

When these get transformed, it will be a sign that rejuvenation is marching Westward


Old Buildings at 51st & Baltimore Avenue

The one on the right, and the lot next to it, seem to have already received approval for rebuilding - note yellow signs


Three buildings on the 5400 block of Baltimore


Ambassador theatre / to Baltimore Pizza, on Baltimore Avenue

Baltimore Pizza was next to the size showing the intersection of 5500 / 5600 Baltimore Avenue


(Going south, this may be another marker for the spread of rejuvenation):


Apple Storage

> West Philly thread: http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=21427

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

"CHOP is creating 50,000* new jobs," an agent told us, in one of the conversations we are having.


CHOP : U-Penn's Children's Hospital has recently opened a huge & gleaming new building,

within its campus area in University City


They are now hiring staff, and this may be one of the important things fueling demand for new properties in West Philly.

Historically, UPenn, Drexel, and others has helped to provide some of the equity (several thousand?) for its employees who want to buy properties. What a powerful way to fuel a property buying boom


> More, post#34: http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=21427&page=2


*50,000 seems too big to me.

10,000 maybe?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazon's Plans : are a big Talking point in Philly right now

A growing Philly reaches for the Sky & for a new Employer




Here are all the Cities near Philly vying for Amazon's new HQ

With Amazon on the hunt to build a second headquarters, cities like Philly are hoping to win the e-commerce giant over.

But Philly already has some stiff local competition.

It’s been a few weeks since Amazon broke the internet when it announced that it was looking for the next place to put down roots for its second headquarters. Seemingly every major U.S. city except Seattle has thrown its hat into the ring, vying for the chance to bring thousands of jobs to town.

Philly is no different. Word on the street is that the city sent a representative to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters earlier this month. It also polled Philly residents, asking anyone and everyone for help on how to bring Amazon here, launching a social media campaign called #PhillyDelivers along with it.

Philly touts its affordability, increasing millennial population, and location as reasons why it would make the perfect place for Amazon to set up shop. But it faces stiff competition from cities all around the country—including some of its own neighbors.

. . .

Philly’s pitch, per the mayor’s office:

Obviously, this is going to be a very competitive process. Philadelphia will be submitting a proposal and given their preference for a city with over 1,000,000 people, Philadelphia would provide them with a perfectly located East Coast hub where they have access to a rapidly growing millennial talent pool. We’re also much more affordable than other nearby east coast cities with similar population sizes.

OTHER nearby cities:
+ Campden : has direct access to mass transportation, including major highways
+ Atlantic City : an aggressive package, including possibly millions of dollars in tax breaks
+ Bensalem PA : 675 acres of mostly undeveloped land along its riverfront
+ Wilmington DE : centrally located, home to a lot of corporate headquarters, incl. Bank of America, ING
Proposals to Amazon are due by October 19. Stay tuned.

Philly wants your help to bring Amazon HQ2 here

Philly wants to bring Amazon’s HQ here. But where?

9 prime places in Philly for Amazon’s HQ2, mapped

Dear Amazon: Here Are 25+ Really Good ... - Philadelphia Magazine.

Sep 7, 2017 - We think Philadelphia would be a PRIME location for Amazon that would make ... The Philly tech and business community is already standing strong with .... We're perfectly located in the northeast corridor which is the most ...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

9 prime places in Philly for Amazon’s HQ2, mapped

uCity Square

Filbert Street, , PA 19104 Visit Website
The Navy Yard
4747 South Broad Street, , PA 19112 Visit Website

Tons of cities have gone to great lengths to convince Amazon that they’re the best pick: A Georgia town said it will change its name to Amazon if the e-commerce giant sets up shop there. Birmingham, Alabama set up a bunch of ginormous Amazon boxes around its city.

Philly, which could actually be a top contender, took to the actual internet, launching a three-day video campaign that touted three main reasons why #PhillyDelivers for Amazon HQ2: Its logistics, workforce talent, and livability.

The videos were created by Leveler Media:
Philly Delivers : Main pitch
Philadelphia Delivers: Logistics


PHILLY in Third (says Moody's) - Could move higher...

The latest report questioning where Amazon’s next headquarters should be ranks Philly as the third best choice, with the potential to move into first place.

That’s according to Moody’s Analytics, which just published its report on Economy.com. It deemed Austin, Texas as the best metro for Amazon HQ2, with Atlanta and Philadelphia rounding out the top three spots, respectively.

Moody’s took a data-driven approach to its findings, focusing on five main criteria:

1) business environment, 2) human capital (i.e. skilled workforce), 3) cost, 4) quality of life, and 5) transportation.


Choices: Amazon says it got 238 entries for 2nd headquarters

ABC News
Proposals were due last week, and Amazon made clear that tax breaks and grants would be a big factor in deciding what entry prevails.

Amazon.com Inc. did not specify which cities or metro areas applied, but many of the location have made their interest public. The company said Monday the proposals came from 43 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, as well as three Mexican states and six Canadian provinces.

In a tweet, the company said it was "excited to review each of them."

Besides looking for financial incentives, Amazon had stipulated that it wanted to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand that headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.

The mixed blessing of Amazon

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazon's Official deadline (Oct.20) now passed - Winner to be named in early in 2018?

Philly’s official Amazon HQ2 bid names University City, Navy Yard as possible sites

“We’re gonna win this” - says Mayor Kelly

by Melissa Romero Oct 19, 2017


The city also launched an immersive website that include the official bid, interactive maps, the three proposed sites, and all of the videos that tout Philly’s livability, talent, and logistics, with cameos from restauranteurs and entrepreneurs to Penn’s president Amy Gutmann to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.

More than 200 local business leaders, as well as various community development groups, students, and people from all over the city participated in the creation of the bid. Although the the announcement was made six weeks ago, much of the bid process was squeezed into three weeks, said Marc Coleman of Tactile Group, which developed the website.

Amazon first broke the internet a little over a month ago when it announced that it was looking for a new place in North America for its second headquarters. It is currently located in Seattle on a 8.1-million-square-foot campus.

The requirements included a location within a North American city and metro area of more than one million people that could attract and retain tech talent. And of course, enough land to build its mega-campus.

Philly was one of the first cities to pitch itself as a “prime” location from Amazon HQ2. Over the past few weeks the city put out an open call to residents to help shape its proposal, started a social media campaign called #PhillyDelivers, and finally, published a series of videos in the final days leading up to the October 19 deadline that touted its location, transit systems, talent pool, and livability.

> https://philly.curbed.com/2017/10/19/16502752/amazon-hq2-philadelphia-rfp-schuylkill-yards-navy-yard-ucity

/ 2 /

Amazon HQ2 bids: The good, bad, and the totally embarrassing

Cities are thirsty for Amazon. Is that a good thing?

by Patrick Sisson / October 19

The pursuit of Amazon’s #HQ2 has been compared to an urbanist’s Super Bowl.

But as today’s final deadline for proposals has led to a flurry of activity by planners, mayors, and civic boosters, it seems more like a reality show: Lots of squirming for attention, occasional displays of desperation, and one unlikely suitor winning the rose in a over-the-top finale.

As Recode noted, anxious cities are already reading into anything tweeted out by an official Amazon account.

It’s true that Amazon has taken the entire process, including its detailed request for proposals, very seriously. The potential boon to cities, estimated to be 50,000 high-paid employees and $5 billion in investment from the retail giant, could be transformative.

But, as more than 100 cities submit bids, including all the U.S. cities Curbed covers, would landing Amazon’s second home have it own set of downsides? Seattle’s experience suggests that cities need to plan far ahead to deal with the growing pains and transit issues Amazon may bring to their neighborhoods, and studies suggest HQ2 may bring rising rents at a time when cities are already dealing with shortages of affordable housing.


Cities mentioned: Detroit, Calgary, Kansas City, Birmingham, Missouri hyper-loop, Denver, Toronto, Newark, Little Rock

> https://www.curbed.com/2017/10/19/16504426/amazon-hq2-bid-urban-planning



> source: https://www.curbed.com/2017/10/19/16502988/amazon-hq2-bid-rent-apartment-housing

/ 3 /

How might Amazon’s HQ2 impact Philly rents?

Amazon could bring 50,000 employees to whatever city it chooses for its HQ2. What does that means for rents in Philly, a city that consistently touts its affordability?

A new report finds out.

If Amazon picks Philly to build its second headquarters, it could mean colossal changes—both good and bad—for the city, including an influx of an estimated 50,000 new jobs. But with potentially thousands of people moving to Philly, what does that means for rents in Philly, a city that consistently touts its affordability?

Rents in the Philadelphia metro will increase an additional 0.6 to 0.8 percent each year with Amazon HQ2, costing a Philly renter up to $6,506 more over the next 10 years, according to a new report released today by Apartment List. Those numbers are on top of the already 3.1 percent average baseline rent growth that Philly has experienced each year from 2005 to 2015.

Compared to the 15 other major metros that Apartment List analyzed, a 0.6 to 0.8 percent additional increase places Philly in the “moderately impacted” category. Meanwhile, fellow Pennsylvania city Pittsburgh, also in the running for Amazon HQ2, would experience a much larger rent hike, estimated at 1.2 to 1.6 percent each year.

. . .

For Philly, the analysis found that with a vacancy of 9.0 percent, Philly is actually pretty well-equipped to handle the 50,000 Amazon employees, if you compare its current stats to other cities. Take San Jose, for example, whose average rent already rose an astonishing 57 percent between 2005 and 2015. It also has the lowest vacancy rate out of all the 15 metros studied.

Therefore, the researchers suggest that the Philly metro’s population size and high vacancy rate will prevent any extreme rent increases. But, things aren’t all perfect. The researchers caution that rents will still rise no matter what, “due to the difficulty of building in the metro.”

Historically, the metro has issued 10,882 building permits on average each year. That rate would need to increase, says Apartment List, if the metro wants to be able to handle the job growth and new Amazon folks. This finding is in line with a separate report, which found that Philly already isn’t building enough housing—affordable housing, at that—for its projected population growth.

. . .

This report does account for potential Amazon employees opting to buy versus rent. Their expected salaries are estimated to be around $100,000 (Philly’s median household income is currently around $41,000) so they could certainly afford a downpayment a one of the homes in Philly’s market.

It’s a different story though because although the city’s rental market has a decent vacancy rate, the amount of homes for sale in Philly is at an all-time low. That means with Amazon’s influx of workers, even more people bidding to buy a home. Only, Amazon’s employees would likely be able to afford the increased home prices.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awaiting the Queen (Amazon Corp.)
30th St. Station master developer search delayed due to Amazon HQ2

Amtrak has postponed its search until early 2018

by Melissa Romero Oct 3, 2017

Screen_Shot_2016-06-16_at_11.13.41_AM.0. Rendering by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Amtrak’s search for a master developer to take on its 30th Street Station District Plan just came to a halt in light of all of the Amazon hubbub.

Amtrak sent an e-mail to interested developers yesterday announcing the postponement of its request for qualifications (RFQ) for a master developer, the Inquirer first reported. The search will pick up again in early 2018.

The RFQ was issued in late August, seeking a developer to implement Amtrak’s 30th Street Station District Plan, a $6.5 billion venture to improve the station and create a mixed-use development all around the station.

Why the halt? Amazon.

It sounds like Amtrak is seriously considering Philly’s pitch to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to the city. The area surrounding the 30th Street Station District Master Plan, which includes Schuylkill Yards, is said to be one of the spots being pitched by the city to Amazon.

> https://philly.curbed.com/2017/10/3/16404122/amtrak-30th-street-station-rfq-delay-amazon-headquarters

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Philly's competition: "Cool"?  Yes. But maybe too Expensive.

Frisco's Bubble fears... too much hype? No longer affordable

Tech & the China factor has driven prices to unaffordable levels. Sales now down from one year ago.


Is there a housing bubble and will it burst in San Francisco?

The Mercury News-5 Oct 2017
A report about the risk of a housing bubble in 20 global financial markets rates San Francisco real estate as the most overvalued among the ...

UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index 2017: San Francisco is the ...

Business Wire (press release)-28 Sep 2017
UBS Wealth Management's UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index 2017 report analyzes residential property prices in 20 select urban areas ...

Pending home sales plunge across Bay Area and state

The Mercury News-24 Oct 2017

They rose a modest 2.8 percent in San Francisco. .... we will see california housing prices drop off a cliff, one the new tax bill gets signed by


Home values in Seattle are growing twice as fast as San Francisco ...

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)-26 Oct 2017

Zillow Group (Nasdaq: Z, ZG) is reporting that home values in the the ... "Seattle and San Jose, California, have left San Francisco's housing ..


San Francisco is a “superstar” city buoyed by the growth of high-wealth households.

Prices in San Francisco are up nearly 65 percent since 2011, UBS says, but its housing market is protected by “strong economic fundamentals amid the astonishing boom of tech companies.”

So where might the housing bubble pop?

Toronto tops UBS’s Global Real Estate Bubble Index for 2017. Also at risk of a housing bubble are Stockholm, Munich, Vancouver, Sydney, London and Hong Kong — though London and Hong Kong, also deemed “superstars,” are presumably at less risk than the others in that group.

What could push bubbles toward bursting? Interest rates, for one thing. If they climb, investors could pull back.

And then there’s the general problem of affordabilty.

“The recovery in the U.S. housing market following the bursting of the housing bubble in 2007 has taken national home prices to new heights,” said Jonathan Woloshin, co-head of Americas Fundamental Research at UBS Wealth Management’s chief investment office.

A bit ominously, he added: “In our opinion, housing affordability is significantly more challenged than conventional wisdom posits.”

  • UBS Wealth Management's UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index 2017 report analyzes residential property prices in 20 select urban areas around the world.
  • Toronto faces the greatest risk of a housing bubble, followed in descending order by Stockholm, Munich, Vancouver, Sydney, London, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam.
  • For buyers, San Francisco is the most overvalued US city in the study, followed by Los Angeles. Boston and the New York metro area are fair value, while Chicago is the only undervalued city in the study globally.

In San Francisco, in the wake of the technology boom and buoyant foreign demand, real house prices have soared 65% since 2012. Price growth has slowed in recent quarters, but remains 6% above the national average. Despite the thriving economy, average incomes have risen only 10% since 2012 and have not kept pace with house prices, worsening housing affordability further.

In Los Angeles, since 2012, real housing prices have increased by 45%, while across the US the figure is just 23%. The prospering economy and demand from China are fueling the boom and show no sign of decelerating. Prices, however, are still 20% below their 2006 peak. While income growth has escalated in the last two years, housing affordability is stretched and should slow price growth.

In the New York metro area, real prices rose by less than 3% in the past four quarters and are 10% higher than in 2013, when the market bottomed out. The pace of price growth is only half the national average. Manhattan house-price dynamics were much stronger in the last couple of years, propelled by demand from global investors and new luxury developments. But momentum has already slowed in the high-end market.

In Boston, house prices increased by 6% last year and are now 20% higher than in 2012. The regional economy and incomes are growing faster than the national average. Housing affordability remains good compared to other cities in the study. A 60 square meter (650 square foot) flat costs only four annual household incomes. As population growth remains vigorous and supply may be slowing, prices should continue to rise.

In Chicago, since 2012, prices have risen by 15% in real terms but remain 30% below their 2006 peak. Decreasing population, sluggish employment and lackluster economic and income growth hinder the recovery of broad-based demand in the housing market. UBS Wealth Management expects price growth to lag behind the national average in the coming quarters.

With respect to international markets, the outlook in Europe is heating up. Claudio Saputelli, Head of Global Real Estate for UBS Wealth Management's Chief Investment Office (WM CIO), says: "Improving economic sentiment, partly accompanied by robust income growth in the key cities, has conspired with excessively low borrowing rates to spur vigorous demand for urban housing." In the Asia Pacific region, Hong Kong and Sydney's bubble risk have risen since last year. Singapore remains fairly valued, with diminishing risks, while Tokyo has grown more overvalued in 2017.

Superstars take all?

Expectations of long-term rising prices partly explain demand for housing investment in major global cities. Many market participants expect the best locations to reap most value growth in the long run – the superstar model – buoyed by the growth of high-wealth households. Falling mortgage rates over the last decade have also made buying a home vastly more attractive. As long as supply cannot increase rapidly, many buyers see "superstar city" prices decoupling from rents, incomes and national price levels.

The superstar narrative has received additional impetus in the last couple of years from a surge in international demand, especially from China, which has crowded out local buyers. An average price growth of almost 20% in the last three years has confirmed the expectations of even the most optimistic investors.


AFFORDABILITY: Bay Area's red-hot housing market may be cooling off the job market


CAR also reported that the share of homes selling above asking price across the state fell from 31 percent in September 2016 to 29 percent in September 2017. But among homes that sold above asking price, the premium paid over asking climbed from 8 percent to 13 percent.

Pending home sales fell markedly across California in September, with the largest regional drop-off in the Bay Area where an ongoing housing shortage and exorbitant prices appeared to dissuade some potential buyers.

Statewide, the number of pending sales fell 6 percent on a year-over-year basis in September, while they fell 10.8 percent across the Bay Area.

Locally, pending sales were down even more dramatically, falling 23.5 percent in Santa Clara County compared to September 2016 and 22.4 percent in San Mateo County. They rose a modest 2.8 percent in San Francisco. CAR didn’t include East Bay pending home sales in its survey.

“We can’t ignore the role played by the tight supply in the housing market,” said Oscar Wei, senior economist with CAR.

Still, he pointed to additional factors behind September’s dramatic year-over-year drop-off in pending sales. For one, they fell from an unusually high level: Pending sales had surged “abnormally” in September 2016, Wei said, after the Federal Reserve hinted that it would begin to raise interest rates later that year. As a result, buyers rushed to lock in deals to capitalize on low rates.

Other buyers rushed to close deals in September 2016, he said, because of another complication: New federal rules governing mortgage record-keeping were about to take effect in October. Afraid they would become mired in the new bookkeeping procedures, buyers and agents doubled down in their efforts to secure deals.


San Francisco, which was credited for its local restaurants, alternative transportation and diversity, is followed by Seattle, famous for recreation, coffee shops and beer breweries, and San Diego, commended for its youth, recreation, and propensity for electric cars.

New Orleans and Portland round out the top five coolest cities.

However, coolness is at best a nebulous concept.


(Philadelphia is not listed as one of the Top 20 "coolest" cities, but it could creep onto the list - particularly if it wins the bid from Amazon, as its 2nd HQ.

The "city of brotherly love", is between two cool cities, NYC and Washington, and is at least as walkable, and far cheaper.)

Amazon Headquarters Tours : http://www.amazonhqtours.com/

Several years ago, we made a conscious choice to invest in downtown Seattle, even though it would've been cheaper for us to move our headquarters to the ...

September was "the ninth month in a row that Seattle home values have grown faster than anywhere else in the nation."

(No wonder Amazon is now looking for an alternative place, to add new employees.)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

MFL & BSL Maps -  Public Transport cuts through Central City & West Philly


Looking North, below:


Looking West, below:


( replace these blurred & blown up images?)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

" Philadelphia is not listed as one of the Top 20 "coolest" cities, but it could creep onto the list"

And it did !  Whether it gets the nod from Amazon or not, Philly's virtues are being recognized.

Philly is a finalist (Top 20) for Amazon HQ2. What comes next?

Meetings with Amazon and trying to answering a lot of “What if’s?”


Harold Epps, Philadelphia’s Commerce Director who spearheaded the Amazon HQ2 Coalition that put together the city’s official bid. “But I’ve been told that it’s going to be a busy next few weeks.”

Epps said that the city was notified by Amazon via e-mail that it was a finalist, about the same time the e-commerce giant made the public announcement. Philly’s point of contact at Amazon said a conference call will follow to discuss the next steps this week.

Amazon said in its announcement that it will take a deeper dive into the remaining cities’ proposals and likely request more information. It plans to make its final decision this year.

Ahead of forthcoming meetings, Epps said he feels “very confident” about Philly’s chances of landing Amazon’s second headquarters, touting off the city’s talent pool, location, and developable locations. He would not comment specifically on the tax incentives that were offered in the bid, but said they were “aggressive but not irresponsible.”

Of the three spots (Schuylkill Yards, uCity Square, and Navy Yard) that Philly offered for Amazon’s second headquarters, Epps said, “The way I would summarize it is that if they want community, go to West Philadelphia. If they want a campus, choose the Navy Yard.”


Amazon’s shortlist includes 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas—the e-commerce giant received a total of 238 proposals from cities in October. “Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough— all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” said Holly Sullivan of Amazon Public Policy in a statement. “Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year, Amazon (AMZN) announced plans for a second headquarters, which will create as many as 50,000 jobs and cost $5 billion to build. It received 238 proposals for the site and whittled those bids down to 20 finalists. A decision is expected this year.


An artist's rendering of a possible development at the Lincoln Yards in Chicago, which has been proposed as a home for Amazon's second headquarters. Public spaces will include the Lincoln Yards open air market for local farmers and vendors to sell goods.

Amazon's second headquarters search hits crunch time; one group ...

Apr 2, 2018 - SAN FRANCISCO — And you thought cleaning up before the in-laws come over is nerve-racking. The 20 finalist cities in Amazon's second headquarters search are in the midst of a grueling series of visits by company executives as each makes its play for the high-tech jobs bonanza the Seattle company ...
So far, Amazon staff have visited about half, with more trips scheduled for April and beyond. The company plans to make a decision by Dec. 31, barring some huge upset, and once it's made, hiring in the anointed town will begin in 2019.

Philadelphia got a visit, but it's not exactly clear when Amazon came. Mayor Jim Kenney told the Philadelphia Inquirer only that the Seattle team came for about a day and a half, but wouldn't say when or what they did, beyond that they didn't meet directly with him.

The Washington, D.C., area has three separate areas vying for the Amazon headquarters: Washington, D.C., itself, Montgomery County, Md., and Northern Virginia. All three got visits the first week of March.

Both Virginia and Maryland are offering up cities near to D.C. Virginia suggests Alexandria and Arlington, while Maryland has focused on the White Flint area of North Bethesda, which is near a Metro station with a direct link to Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., has been seen as a front-runner in the fight to get Amazon, for several reasons. One is its proximity to the federal government, which would give the Seattle company more of a hometown advantage as it fends off suggestions that the rapidly growing enterprise be tamed by regulation or taxation

Help-wanted ads point to Boston and DC area as top sites for Amazon ...

18 hours ago - Boston and the greater Washington, D.C. metro might be the most likely places for Amazon to build its second headquarters If help-wanted ads are any indication.
Using online ads as a guide, the Conference Board’s economic research group found that Amazon’s listings for those sort of jobs are growing the fastest in the Boston and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas. Amazon has shortlisted not just the District of Columbia but also neighboring Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Md., for the second headquarters.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this