Daily Market Update: Harry Potter's magic helps Florida’s ‘Crime Hills’ recover from housing slump

by MPA13 Apr 2015

Harry Potter helps Florida’s ‘Crime Hills’ recover from housing slump

The Orlando neighborhood of Pine Hills, dubbed “Crime Hills” after it suffered hardship during the recession, is bouncing back, according to local property experts. 


The extension of theme parks has created extra demand for housing and this is being served by a supply of foreclosures that are now emerging from the court system. The 2010 opening of a Harry Potter theme park has boosted tourism to the area post-recession and the other attractions have benefitted along with the wider economy. 


The affordability of property is allowing many of the lower-paid workers from the tourism industry to make the move into property ownership. Mortgage professionals and realtors are reporting an uptick in business in the Orlando region which is helping the likes of Pine Hills to shake off less favorable reputations.


Apartment demand stays strong in this southern city

Local rental websites in Atlanta are reporting record numbers of leads in the first three months of the year. RentPath CEO Charles Stubbs told WABE that millennials are particularly keen on renting rather than committing to a mortgage. "A number of them are less interested in home ownership and want the flexibility and amenities of an apartment community.” 


The company’s websites had 3.1 million leads in the first quarter of this year with employment growth being a driving factor. The firm predicts that this year the vacancy rate in Atlanta will fall to 5.1% from its current level of 6, although that will still be higher than the national average which is expected to drop to 4.6% by year end. 


Rent is expected to average $1,004 by the end of 2015; the national average is expected to hit $1,220.


Lauren Bacall’s former Manhattan home reduced by $2.5M

The former home of acting legend Lauren Bacall has been reduced by $2.5 million by her estate. The New York Daily News reported that the Manhattan three-bedroom apartment at the famous Dakota building on Central Park West, where John Lennon was shot, was originally listed at $26 million but has been discounted to $23.5. 


The 4,000-square-foot residence was the actress’ home for more than 50 years and has retained many of its original pre-war features including hardwood floors, mahogany paneling and 13-foot ceilings. The price Ms. Bacall paid for the home back in 1961? $48,000!


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