Cousins Buys Terminus Complex

Terminus

Cousins Properties, Inc., an Atlanta, Ga.-based real estate company, acquired Post Oak Central, a Class A office complex in the Galleria submarket of Houston, Texas, for $232.6 million from institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The company also formed a joint venture with institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management to purchase both Terminus 100 and Terminus 200, neighboring Class AA office towers in Atlanta’s Buckhead submarket, and acquired the remaining 80 percent interest in Terminus 200 from a fund managed by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing.

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Looking for Real Estate Networking in Atlanta?

REConnect

This is the event to be at for all real estate related professionals. Networking with like-minded people eager to expand their business opportunities and prospects. Contact me for any further information.

A Fresh Fall Landscape Can Attract Buyers

Improving you curb appeal is easier than you think.

By C. Mark Willix

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This week we welcomed my second favorite season when autumn arrived over the weekend. While spring remains my favorite time of year, autumn brings with it a hearty helping of fall festivals, county fairs and of course delicious holiday food.

Autumn also brings buyers to the local real estate market and with them an opportunity to help your property stand out as the most attractive in your neighborhood. This is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year as buyers are looking for great deals after the summer rush season and still want to be in their new home for the holidays. Inventory is still low for our area and it is a great time for sellers to entice buyers, but that doesn’t mean sellers can ignore their property condition.

Even if you don’t want to go to a lot of trouble or expense, you can still make your home attractive by making sure to keep the falling leaves raked and prune any end-of-season dying blooms on your bushes, shrubs and trees. While keeping the landscape tidy is sufficient, a few simple improvements can be done with a modicum of effort and expense.

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Pending home sales dip in August due to supply shortage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes slipped in August due to a shortage of lower priced inventory in most of the country, an industry group said on Thursday.

The National Association of Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in August, fell 2.6 percent to 99.2, but was 10.7 percent higher than last year.

July’s reading was revised up to 101.9, the highest level since April 2010, when buyers were racing to use the home-buyer tax credit before the deadline, the group said.

“The performance in month-to-month contract signings has been uneven with ongoing shortages of lower priced inventory in much of the country,” the association’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

Did Freddie Mac bet against homeowners seeking to refinance?

By Elliot Njus, The Oregonian

Taxpayers bailed out Freddie Mac and its sister mortgage giant Fannie Mae to the tune of about $185 billion, so naturally a January report suggesting Freddie may have conspired against homeowners seeking to refinance raised hackles. But a government watchdog reported Wednesday the problematic investments it cited were simply a prudent hedge.

Investigative journalism nonprofit ProPublica and NPR alleged in a joint report Freddie was investing in a derivative that would pay off more if mortgageholders kept paying high rates. At the same time, it was making it more difficult for borrowers to refinance into lower rates.

On Wednesday, the watchdog said there was no evidence of collusion. Some reports suggested Freddie had been cleared of all charges, but the report does admits the investments may have created an incentive for Freddie to keep borrowers in their current loans. From The Wall Street Journal developments blog:

The report explained that Freddie had retained the inverse floater positions because there was stronger demand for other securities. …

While Freddie Mac’s trading unit could, in theory, misuse internal data and interfere with refinancing, the inspector general found “no evidence of collusion” between those sides of Freddie Mac’s operations. [more]

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Real Estate Recovery: See it, Believe it… and Then Invest in It!

Submitted by Wall St. Daily as part of our Contributors Program

A smart investor recognizes that the market is a forward-looking beast. He also knows that the market regularly scales “walls of worry,” and that prices rise before everyone realizes a recovery is imminent.

The average investor? Well, he sits on the sidelines and, in turn, misses out on significant profits.

Don’t believe me? Look no further than the real estate sector for proof…

Be Greedy When Others Are Fearful

Back in February , when I predicted the real estate market hit rock bottom, my inbox overflowed with venom for making such a preposterous claim. Hundreds of readers unsubscribed, too.

Of course, homebuilding stocks were already telegraphing a recovery. But nobody wanted to believe it because home prices were still falling across the country. They let the “wall of worry” blind them from the opportunity.

As I wrote at the time, though, “prices are going to be the last thing to bottom out.” Well, they just officially did.

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Housing Recovery Continues to Blossom

This is great news and should not be surprising. New construction is exploding all over the country, especially here in Atlanta. Commercial and residential developments continue to pop all over the city, especially high end custom homes.

Builders started on new homes at an annual rate of 750,000 in August, up 29.1% compared to a year ago. If sales keep growing, it may help end the economic doldrums.

By Les Christie @CNNMoney

The U.S. housing industry — crucial to any jobs recovery — showed more signs of strength, according to two reports issued Wednesday.

The Census Bureau said housing starts and permits rose substantially in August. Separately, sales of previously occupied homes climbed 7.8% from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Builders started on new homes at an annual rate of 750,000, up 29.1% compared with a year earlier. They applied to build another 803,000 new homes on an annual basis, a 24.5% jump compared with August 2011.

Home builders have become increasingly bullish — a confidence index from the National Association of Home Builders reached its highest level since June 2006.

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5 Reasons to Buy a Home Now

by The KCM Crew

Based on prices, mortgage rates and soaring rents, there may have never been a better time in real estate history to purchase a home than right now. Here are five major reasons purchasers should consider buying:

Supply Is Shrinking

With inventory declining in many regions, finding a home of your dreams may become more difficult going forward. There are buyers in more and more markets surprised that there is no longer a large assortment of houses to choose from. The best homes in the best locations sell first. Don’t miss the opportunity to get that ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ buy.

Price Increases Are on the Horizon

Prices will bounce along the bottom this winter. However, projections call for appreciation after that. Several studies and surveys call for price increases over the next few years starting in 2013. One such survey shows that prices will increase over 10% by 2016.

Rents Are Skyrocketing

Rents historically increase by 3.2% on an annual basis. A study issued earlier this year projects rent increases of 4% for the next two years. Trulia recently reported that rents this year have actually shot up by 5.4%.

Interest Rates Are at Historic Lows

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has kept interest rates low in an effort to stimulate a lethargic economy. He understands that low rates will help housing and housing is a key to bringing back the economy. As the economy approves, the need to keep rates low will no longer exist. The 30-year-mortgage rate before the financial crisis was 6.57% (August 2007).

Buy Low, Sell High

We would all agree that, when investing, we want to buy at the lowest price possible and hope to sell at the highest price. Housing can create family wealth as long as we follow this simple principle. Today, real estate is selling ‘low’. It’s time to buy.

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Chinese Real Estate Debt Draws Investor Attention

A worker walks past a development at a construction site in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012.

By Isabella Steger

Heavy investor interest in bonds issued recently by China’s recovering real estate sector suggests that the worst could be over for developers.

Despite concerns at the beginning of this year that some developers were at risk of defaulting as a result of government tightening on the real estate sector, things have begun to look up. There has been a surge of interest in high-yield issuances by small to midsize Chinese developers in recent weeks, including bonds by Guangzhou R&F, and Road King Infrastructure and Kaisa Group.

For example, Kaisa Group’s $250 million offering, priced this week, received $3.9 billion of offers, with institutional investors taking up three-quarters of the bonds.

“Given that fixed income investors are traditionally more risk-averse than equity investors, the success of the recent bond issues suggests that the fundamentals of the China property sector are solid,” wrote Citigroup C +0.73% in a note.

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