742,000 acres offshore Massachusetts will be offered for commercial wind energy development in a January 29, 2015, competitive lease sale.
According to an analysis prepared by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, if fully developed, the area being offered could support between 4 and 5 GW of commercial wind generation, enough electricity to power over 1.4 million homes. (more…)
Growing US competitive advantage
This Financial Times article Cheap energy is the new cheap labour highlights the growing competitive advantage of the US over Europe as a result of the shale boom (the US is forecast to become the world’s largest oil producer in 2015.)
Oil price slump hurts country budgets
OPEC decided this week not to cut production as a way of trying to halt the slump in oil prices, down some 30% in recent months to about $70 per barrel. (more…)
In 5 MA Counties – Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk – conforming loan limits for mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2015 will increase from $470,350 to $517,500 “because those counties experienced increases in local home values”, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
This increase is good news for borrowers as it means the starting point for jumbo loans will increase in those Counties. (more…)
According to the Boston Globe Want to live like Tom and Gisele? the biggest decision for a renter is whether to pay $40,000 a month unfurnished or step up to $42,500 furnished. I think I’ll take it furnished. Saves schlepping my IKEA furniture. (more…)
From MLS data I learn that Jon Lester listed his house in Newton on September 28 and sold it on November 5 for the asking price of $1.85 million. So what does that mean for the Red Sox’s chances of re-signing Lester? (more…)
Fannie Mae this week cut its forecast for the average mortgage rate for 2015 from 4.5% to 4.3%, which compares with the current national average of around 4.1%.
It is worth bearing in mind that a year ago the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) forecast that the 30 year mortgage rate would reach 5.1% by the end of this year.
That, of course is one of the biggest problem with forecasts – they have to be made about the future, which contains so much uncertainty. If only we could just stick to making “forecasts” about the past, life would be so much easier! (more…)
While I was away in London, the property tax rate in Marblehead for 2015 was approved at $11.08, down just a penny from 2014’s $11.09.
Remember that assessed values for FY2015 (July 2014-June 2015) are based upon values in 2013, so the strong market in 2014 will be reflected in the tax rate for FY2016, when I expect to see a larger drop. (more…)
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) reported this week that accepted offers in October for Single Family Homes (SFHs) increased 23.5% from October 2013, and for condos increased 14% year on year. These numbers represent the 20th consecutive month of year on year gains.
MAR also reports monthly changes in median prices – just under 2% year on year for both SFHs and condos. For many reasons I pay little attention to – and never report – monthly movements in prices, but I agree with the general thesis that prices have stabilized as they have returned to prior peak levels. (more…)
Sales of Marblehead homes over a Million Dollars have hit a new record in 2014. The previous peak was 36 in 2005, and this year we already have 38 closed sales with a further 5 scheduled to close before year end for a total of 43.