In Business: Madison magazine has a great section called “The Business Report.” It’s a bunch of bullet points with various economical and business notes – mostly locally related. Here are the best real estate related notes from the November magazine issue:
- The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) will soon be able to make mortgage loans again to low and middle income homebuyers, thanks to a US Treasury announcement of a new bond purchase program. More than a year ago, WHEDA suspended its practice of lending to potential homebuyers when the bond markets froze.
- Nationwide, construction spending increased 0.8% in August, compared to July, though the August figure of $941.9 billion was 11.6% lower than August of 2008. Single-family home construction rose by 4.5%, but multifamily construction dropped by the same amount. On the flip side, current estimates show over one million construction workers remain out of work.
- Apex Enterprises, one of Madison’s largest owners and managers of rental properties, is proposing a $30 to $50 million retail and housing development on East Mifflin St in downtown Madison that could affect homes in its path, including one built in 1903 by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The developer has offered several options for the tract of land, including building around or moving the Wright property, but is facing opposition from neighborhood and historical preservation groups. Apex is working with local plan-design firm, Iconica, on the proposals, which include a 12-14 story tower with lower-level retail and between 110-120 condominiums that could first be rented as apartments. Apex already has a $100 million mixed-use and hotel project proposed for the Lake Monona-Monona Terrace area.
- Preliminary site plans for a Target store to fill the gaping hole next to Hilldale Mall (left vacant after plans for a Whole Foods fell through) were to be presented to Madison’s Urban Design Commission in late October. A neighborhood meeting about the proposed store attracted 300 in October.
- Wisconsin foreclosures increased again in September. With 4,159 properties now in foreclosure, the state had the 19th highest foreclosure rate in the country, with an increase of 4.8% over August, up 169% over last year, according to RealtyTrac Inc. Nevada leads the list, as it has for almost three years, with one in every 23 homes in foreclosure. Two-thirds of nationwide foreclosures are occorring in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, and Michigan.