Sales of Luxury Homes Soar as Low Rates, Stay-at-Home Shoppers Fuel Market

Sales of high-end homes climbed 41.5% year over year in the third quarter, according to online real estate broker Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN), the largest year-over-year jump since at least 2013.

In a news release Monday, Redfin said that sales of luxury homes, defined as the top 5% of market values, as well as sales of second- and third-tier houses climbed year over year, while sales in the bottom two buckets fell by 4% each. The median sale price of a top-tier luxury home in the U.S. in the quarter was $862,700, up 6.5% year over year, while the median price of a house in the bottom tier was $90,000.

A for sale sign in front of a house.

Image source: Getty Images.

In a typical downturn, it is the luxury market that takes the biggest hit, but as Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather noted, “This isn’t a normal recession.” Changes in behavior driven by the coronavirus pandemic are

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Washington Real Estate Investment Trust: DC Metro Stability And Redevelopments Will Fuel Long-Term Growth (NYSE:WRE)

Thesis

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRE) (“WashREIT”) has exposure to an extremely stable market in the Washington DC metro area. Its properties cover ground in downtown DC, northern Virginia, and Maryland suburbs. The diversified REIT boasts multifamily, office, and retail holdings.

Management has de-risked its portfolio by transitioning to lower-cap rate, lower-risk, and higher-growth suburban multifamily properties. Capital recycling from high-cap rate to lower-cap rate properties has resulted in a short-term decrease in core funds from operations per share and an underperforming stock price. However, the company is well-positioned for the long term with a suburban multifamily focus.

The sector and market focus position the company to benefit from population and employment migration to the region, as well as a continued housing shortage. WashREIT is undervalued due to its diversified nature and recent core FFO per share declines. Suburban office is stable, and retail makes a small portion of

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Urban wildfire: When homes are the fuel for a runaway blaze, how do you rebuild a safer community?

TALENT, Oregon — Late morning on Sept. 8, forest scientist Dominick DellaSala sat at the desk in his home office to do a final edit on a newspaper opinion piece. The topic: The need to better prepare for catastrophic wildfires — or “black swan events” — that can rampage through neighborhoods.

His computer screen went dark. The power had gone out.

He went outside to investigate the outage. Looking south, he spotted a dense cloud of smoke.

“This was totally black. It was huge. And it was heading in our direction,” DellaSala recalls.

DellaSala spent the next few hours up on his roof, cleaning out gutters and hosing down the asphalt shingles before evacuating. His home was spared as the fire veered away from his street, but more than 2,800 structures and three people were killed in one of the most destructive wildfires in Northwest history.

https://www.seattletimes.com/Forest scientist Dominick DellaSala surveys the field near  a dog park that was the ignition point for the Almeda Fire, one of the most destructive in Oregon’s history. (Hal Bernton / The Seattle Times)
Forest scientist Dominick DellaSala
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