Posts Tagged 'homes'

Floating house debuts in New Orleans

The Float House, which debuts this week in  New Orleans, marks a fascinating innovation in manufactured housing in the wake of a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina. It is designed to survive up to 12-foot floodwaters and be mass produced.

This innovative base, or “chassis,” integrates all mechanical, electrical, plumbing and sustainable systems, and securely floats in case of flooding. Inspired by GM’s skateboard chassis, which is engineered to support several car body types, the FLOAT House’s chassis is designed to support a variety of customizable house configurations.

Via architects

The house was designed as part of the charitable “Make it Right” eco-friendly building organization of Hollywood movie star Brad Pitt. The Christian Science Monitor has an excellent feature here on the Float House.

Although the Float House doesn’t have much use in the mountains of Western North Carolina, it does make you wonder if someone could design and produce a “slide” house — one that might survive a tumble down the ridge line.

Float House by Morphopedia

Float House by Morphopedia


Is Asheville buyer’s market for homes slowing?

New data on shows about a third of the homes for sale in Asheville were listed with price cuts in August.


Asheville listings with price cuts

That’s a 0.4% improvement from July, and an indication that the buyer’s market for homes may be easing in Asheville. But the median price cut was slightly higher than July (about 6%) and the median list price per square foot declined again.

The Zillow blog promised more details next week, but it noted that homebuyers nationwide lost a bit of negotiating power in August.

New Zillow data from surrounding metro areas may provide some perspective.

Greensboro shows the largest percentage price reductions in North Carolina at an average of 5.3%. Over a quarter of the homes in that market had recent list-price reductions. Greensboro’s home value index is 4.4% lower than a year ago.

The Tri-Cities Tennesse area, known as the Johnson City MSA, came in at an average 4.1% price reductions. Its Zillow Home Value Index year-over-year is down almost 9%, which is closer to the housing value trend Asheville has been experiencing. We reported last month that the buyer’s market for real estate was raging on in Asheville.

Charleston leads South Carolina in declining home prices, according to the data. Spartanburg and Greenville rank in the middle of the list of 144 metro areas, with average price reductions in the 3.5% range.

Average days on the market are over 100 days in each of the metro areas mentioned above – sometimes well over 100 days. Zillow reports Asheville’s days-on-market in August as 110.

The biggest house price declines are in Florida. Zillow reported that 14 of the top 20 metro areas had the biggest discounts in list prices.

The good news for sellers is that the first-time buyers credit is helping stretch the traditionally strong summer home-selling season this year. Video from is below:

Housing prices falling in Asheville but not like Atlanta ‘zombies’

Biltmore Forest home prices

The impact of falling housing prices is illustrated in this chart showing plunging home values in Biltmore Forest. Asheville seems to be holding together comparatively well, however, and Zillow reports some North Carolina communities such as Fayetteville are actually seeing housing appreciation.

In the South, nothing may be as bad as Atlanta, where failed housing developments and failed banks have left “zombie” subdivisions forming a “ring of death” around the city, according to the local newspaper.

To say the market has been sluggish would be an understatement. The main problem is sheer volume – a staggering 150,000 vacant housing lots across metro Atlanta are available, more than a decade’s supply at current absorption rates.

via Volume of ‘subdivision’ vacant lots overwhelms banks |

There are reports that Reality TV star Lisa Wu Hartwell and husband, former Oakland Raiders linebacker Edgerton Hartwell, have lost their home to foreclosure in Atlanta.

Experts say the bottom in housing prices may still be a long way off. Analysts at Deutsche Bank in New York are saying that 48 percent of mortgaged properties will eventually be underwater as they expect prices to drop through the first quarter of 2011.

We haven’t seen a bottom in home prices, and it could take into 2011 before we see equilibrium in the market,” said Michelle Meyer, an economist at Barclays Capital in New York.

via Underwater Mortgages May Reach 30% |

The good news is for first-time home buyers and investors with liquidity. Now is probably as good a time as any to look for housing deals.

Update: Data in distressed areas is showing that most housing sales indeed involve first-time home buyers using government assistance programs and investors using cash.

North Asheville shows biggest decline in home values

North Asheville zip 28804 — home to expensive developments such as Reynolds Mountain — shows the biggest decline in average home values, while south Asheville zip 28704 shows one of the smallest declines, according to Zillow.

The real estate site has revamped its real estate market reports and home value pages to allow users to drill down to the local level and build charts like the one below.

It’s now easy to compare different regions. Just check the regions you want to compare and we’ll show you the difference. At the neighborhood level, this is great for home buyers. At the higher levels, it’s just plain fun to play with.

via Data Junkies, Get Your Mice Ready! | Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News.

The Zillow Home Value Index takes the mid-point of “Zestimate” valuations for zip codes — half the Zestimates are above the number and half are below it.

Zillow updates the numbers twice a month and the data is even available for download.

For the latest homes for sale, check out the Castles & Coves section of or at your local newstand.

Asheville home value comparison via

Positive forces at work in housing market

The CEO of one of the nation’s largest homebuilders has a positive feeling, even though Hovnanian stock fell yesterday as reports showed mortgage applications dropped last week as interest rates rose.

When you look at the MLS data for many markets today you see two positive forces at work. First you see absolute sales numbers have picked up and second you see inventory levels have come down. In some markets you could almost make the case that the month’s supply has corrected too much. Believe it or not, by normal standards there is actually a shortage of homes based on the current sales pace in certain markets including some of the markets that were the most over supplied not long ago.

via Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. F2Q09 (Qtr End 04/30/09) Earnings Call Transcript — Seeking Alpha.

You can get a good feel for housing market changes by following our Castles & Coves section on

Lawns and too much water

Rainy weather may be great for growing better lawns, but it has its downside, too.  Buncombe County has posted this warning under its “June Garden Chores” heading:

Regular rainy weather will produce good conditions for brown patch, a fungus disease. If brown patches begin to occur in the lawn do not irrigate and do not mow the lawn when wet.

via Buncombe County News.

If you’re looking for bargains in lawn and garden material, equipment or products, check out Iwanna’s lawn and garden pages.

Asheville among least affordable home markets

Home Affordability in the South

Even though home affordability is the highest in decades, a new report shows Asheville is still among the least affordable housing markets in the South.

Nearly 73% of all homes sold in the United States during the first three months of 2009 were considered affordable. That was the highest percentage ever reported by the 18-year-old Housing Opportunity Index, an analysis of markets compiled quarterly by the National Association of Homebuilders and Wells Fargo Bank.

via The nation’s most affordable housing market – May. 18, 2009.

Asheville’s affordability index was 62.3, as compared to Greenville which was 81.1.  Sherman-Denison in Texas had the best affordability in the South at 94.9, meaning that about 95% of families making the median national income of $64,000 would be able to buy property there and devote no more than 28% of their income toward housing costs.

You can get complete access to the data here.

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July 2019
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