Sunday, October 24News That Matters

Tag: Real Estate and Housing (Residential)

China Evergrande Makes Payment to Dodge Default, Media Says

China Evergrande Makes Payment to Dodge Default, Media Says

Business
HONG KONG — China Evergrande, the troubled property giant that is teetering on the edge of collapse, appears to have bought itself a little more time.On Friday, the world’s most indebted property developer made an $83.5 million interest payment to bondholders, according to Securities Times, an official newspaper. The outlet, which is backed by People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, didn’t offer further details.The payment came with just one day left on a 30-day grace period to avoid a default. The company gripped global financial markets a month ago when it skipped a payment to foreign bondholders, raising the prospect that it could leave global investors with billions of dollars in losses and cause ripples within China’s property market, a key component of the country’s...
House Hunting in France: In Brittany, a Medieval Makeover for $1.2 Million

House Hunting in France: In Brittany, a Medieval Makeover for $1.2 Million

Travel
Market OverviewBrittany, a peninsular region in western France with dramatic coastlines and ancient megaliths, has remained popular with foreign home buyers and is now seeing an influx of French buyers from larger cities, said Gilles Durin, the regional commercial director in Brittany for Patrice Besse.“The interest in Brittany has not changed for foreign buyers, particularly the English, who have always appreciated it,” he said. “On the other hand, Brittany is attracting more and more French people. This one of the areas where prices have increased the most.”A July report issued by the Notaires de France showed the median price per square meter of older apartments in Rennes, the capital of Brittany, increased by 8.7 percent in the first quarter of 2021 over the previous year, to 3,360 eur...
Take a Walk in the Garden, Before It’s Too Late

Take a Walk in the Garden, Before It’s Too Late

LifeStyle
For David L. Culp, the walk is a daily practice, not for its exercise value, but in pursuit of insight. The familiar route he has taken most days, over some 30 growing seasons, is around his two-acre garden in Downingtown, Pa., along the paths he created.He walks the sloping site in search of ideas for possible refinements, bringing to life the opposite of what he calls a “big-bang garden,” the kind with just one riotous spring or summer moment.Fall walks are especially precious, said Mr. Culp, a longtime garden designer, instructor and author. Try to catch the garden before its visual cues degrade, leaving us vulnerable to the tough combination of winter’s deprivation and that pile of tempting catalogs arriving at our low point.Right now: Go out, look around and listen.“Read your garden, ...
The Austin Bungalow Had Charm. But It ‘Needed Everything.’

The Austin Bungalow Had Charm. But It ‘Needed Everything.’

LifeStyle
Ricardo and Daphny Ainslie happened upon the house that would become their home while strolling the North University neighborhood of Austin, Texas, in 2009 and noticing a dejected-looking man outside a compact 1920s bungalow.“There was a realtor sitting, literally with head in hand, on the front steps,” said Mr. Ainslie, 72, a psychology professor at University of Texas at Austin who is also a writer, filmmaker and musician.After striking up a conversation, the agent told them that a prospective buyer had just canceled a contract to buy the house. “The reason ended up being that they found so many problems,” Mr. Ainslie said, including issues with the foundation, plumbing and wiring.“It needed everything,” said Ms. Ainslie, 42, a forensic psychologist.Nevertheless, the couple was looking f...
China Evergrande Gets Soft Treatment in Chinese Media

China Evergrande Gets Soft Treatment in Chinese Media

Business
As China Evergrande Group teeters on the edge of collapse, videos of protesting home buyers have flooded social media. Online government message boards teem with complaints and pleas for intervention to save the huge property developer. The hashtag “What does Evergrande mean for the real estate market?” has been viewed more than 160 million times on one platform.But if trouble threatens for China’s economy, you wouldn’t know it from reading the country’s front pages.The name “Evergrande” has barely been mentioned by top state-run news outlets in recent weeks, even as the company’s uncertain fate has rattled global financial markets. Coverage of its recent troubles has been concentrated in a handful of business publications.Only on Friday did the country’s central bank comment on the compan...

Shopping for Swing-Arm Lamps

LifeStyle
Swing-arm sconces put light exactly where you need it. And they’re especially helpful in spaces where you don’t have wiring for a ceiling fixture or a place for a free-standing lamp.“I do love a swing-arm,” said Heidi Caillier, an interior designer based in Seattle. “They’re really great for directed reading light, and feel more discreet than a decorative lamp that takes up real estate.”Ms. Caillier frequently mounts a pair of small ones on either side of the headboard in a bedroom, or installs a single, large one in living and media rooms.But whatever the space, a big part of the swing-arm lamp’s appeal is its ability to move.“You can tuck it away and then pull it out when you need it,” she said. And if you have children, she added, a swing-arm sconce eliminates “lamps on tables that kids...

Today’s Must-Have Amenity? A Little Green Space.

LifeStyle
RockFarmer Properties put a similar emphasis on weaving landscaping into the heart of its new building, the Rowan, a 46-unit condo at 21-21 31st Street in Astoria, Queens, designed by the architecture firm DXA Studio, with the horticultural designer Patrick Cullina. There, residents returning home will pass through a street-side garden to a green-roofed, glass-walled lobby with a private courtyard garden. About half of the apartments have private outdoor space, and about half of those outdoor spaces are sizable, said John Petras, a founder of RockFarmer Properties — “anywhere from 500 to, in some cases, 1,500 square feet.”When the pandemic stuck soon after sales started last year, the developers worried. “But after about a month, I was just shocked,” Mr. Petras said. “We were selling units...
Home Buyers Who Went All In on Evergrande Now Want Out

Home Buyers Who Went All In on Evergrande Now Want Out

Business
China is trying to cool its costly and dangerously debt-ridden housing market, where high prices and go-go levels of borrowing and spending are increasingly seen as a national threat.But as the troubles of a major property developer and its $300 billion mountain of debt drive a government effort to contain the peril, Beijing risks hurting a major driver of its crucial economic growth engine: home buyers like He Qiang.Mr. He was so optimistic about property in China that he bought an apartment from that property developer, China Evergrande Group, then became a real estate agent himself, selling the company’s apartments to hundreds of other families. “It was the peak of Evergrande’s glory,” Mr. He said.He is much more pessimistic these days. Mr. He, who is from the southern city of Yueyang, ...
High-End Design Comes to the Fish Tank

High-End Design Comes to the Fish Tank

LifeStyle
The boom in high-end tank demand has coincided with a shortage in key aquarium building materials like acrylic, said Mr. Tiemens. Grocery stores, restaurants, salons and many other businesses around the globe were using acrylic in massive quantities for sneeze guards during the height of the Covid crisis. Mr. Calabrese said the worst of the delays have passed, but supplies in general are still backed up. The time it takes to build an aquarium has doubled, from roughly three months to six months, he said.Sourcing the fish has also become a challenge. Some remote tropical islands have cut off or have limited trade, said Mr. Calabrese, making some tropical fish difficult to come by. Yellow tangs, the brightly colored saltwater aquarium staple native to Hawaii have shot up in price and gotten ...
As Big Tech Grows in the Pandemic, Seattle Grows With It

As Big Tech Grows in the Pandemic, Seattle Grows With It

Technology
There is also a “desire to improve diversity,” he said, by establishing a presence in cities, like Atlanta, Miami and Washington, that have large populations of Black and Hispanic people, who are underrepresented in technology. For example, Chicago had few tech jobs, and college students who wanted to work in the industry had to move to other cities after graduation, Mr. Yasukochi said. But that is changing; Google, Facebook and Amazon now have offices there.Tech companies are going to where the talent is, rather than “making people move to a handful of cities,” said Dianne Crocker, the principal analyst of LightBox, which provides data and software for the real estate industry.Still, the Seattle area, home to Amazon, Expedia, Microsoft and Zillow, has been the biggest beneficiary. Most of...