Survey: Plainfield is small city with lowest poverty rate in U.S.

Plainfield News - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 17:05
A survey found Plainfield to be among the best small cities in the country with the lowest percentage of population in poverty.

Plainfield ranked in the 96th percentile among the best small cities in America in a survey by WalletHub. Plainfield also ranked 12th in affordability, 48th in safety and 180th in education and health.

In terms of percentage of population in poverty, Plainfield ranks ahead of cities like Trumbull, Connecticut, second, Northbrook, third, and McLean, Virginia, and Holly Springs, North Carolina, tied for fourth.

The survey compared 1,268 cities across five key dimensions: affordability, economic health, education and health, quality of life, and safety. The sample included cities with population sizes between 25,000 and 100,000.

According to U.S. census data, Plainfield has over 40,000 residents

U.S. budget deficit up sharply to $63.2 billion in October

Plainfield News - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 16:56
WASHINGTON – The federal government began its new budget year with an October deficit of $63.2 billion, up sharply from a year ago.

The Treasury Department reported Monday that the October deficit was 37.9 percent higher than the $45.8 billion deficit recorded in October 2016.

Both government receipts and spending were up for the month, with receipts climbing 14.3 percent to $235.3 billion, a record for the month of October. The larger spending figure was up a sizable 11.6 percent to $298.6 billion.

The deficit for the 2017 budget year, which ended on Sept. 30, totaled $666 billion, up 13.7 percent from a 2016 deficit of $586 billion.

Many forecasters believe the deficit will rise higher in the current budget year, reflecting the impact of proposed tax cuts Congress is considering and hurricane relief.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated in June that the deficit for the current budget year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, would fall to $563 billion. However, that estimate did not include money for a tax cut being pushed by the Trump administration and GOP lawmakers. It also did not include increased spending to deal with three devastating hurricanes that have hit the U.S. mainland and territories.

Taking those developments into account, economists at JPMorgan Chase estimate that the deficit in the current budget year could climb to $675 billion, with the deficit in 2019 rising even higher to $909 billion.

Lawmakers passed a budget resolution that would provide for $1.5 trillion in additional deficits over the next decade to reflect the lost revenue from the pending tax cuts. The Trump administration contends the tax cuts will end up generating increased economic activity and will not be that expensive.

For October, the 11.2 percent rise in spending reflected an increase of $4 billion in spending by the Department of Homeland Security, with outlays rising from $4 billion in October 2016 to $8 billion last month, a jump that was attributed to higher spending for hurricane relief.

The 14.3 percent increase in revenues included a $12 billion increase in individual taxes, including payroll taxes for Social Security, compared to October 2016.

The government has run deficits in October for each of the past 64 years.

Renters: Close Living: Two College Friends, One Bedroom

They couldn’t afford a two-bedroom, so they opted for the next best thing: a one-bedroom with room for a loft bed — right next to the sofa.

Spot Trading cuts headcount amid industry troubles

Chicago Real Estate - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 16:19
Spot had as many as 150 workers at its height, but it's now down to less than 50 after employee buyouts, exits and layoffs, sources say.

Home Prices Rapidly Rise: Is History Repeating Itself?

Real Estate News - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 16:12

‘Rapid Price Increases Will Not Last Forever’

The current growth in home prices is echoing the lead-up to the recession. Is history repeating itself?

The answer is likely not, according to a recently released® report. Building is lacking in many markets—one hallmark 10 years ago was over-construction—and credit standards are more stringent, says Danielle Hale, chief economist of

“As we compare today’s market dynamics to those of a decade ago, it’s important to remember rising prices didn’t cause the housing crash,” Hale says. “It was rising prices stoked by subprime and low documentation mortgages, as well as people looking for short-term gains—versus today’s truer market vitality—that created the environment for the crash.”

In 2016, home prices (the national median home sales price) were 2 percent higher than they were in 2006, the report reveals. Pre-recession prices have returned in 31 of the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

In contrast with 2006, however, are today’s credit conditions. Currently, the median FICO score for a mortgage is 734; the median in 2006 was 700.

Builds and flips are also different from 2006—starkly. The credit environment, among other factors, is keeping a lid on unfettered flipping and over-construction. In 2006, one household formation generally equaled 1.4 single-family housing starts; in 2016, that number shrank to 0.7 single-family starts. Flips accounted for 5 percent of sales in 2016; in 2006, they comprised 8.6 percent.

“Lending standards are critical to the health of the market,” says Hale. “Unlike today, the boom’s under-regulated lending environment allowed borrowing beyond repayable amounts and atypical mortgage products, which pushed up home prices without the backing of income and equity.”

Additionally, economic indicators point elsewhere. Employment was healthy then and is now, but inventory is limited more today—at a 20-year low. Presently, the average months supply is 4.2; in 2007, the average months supply was 6.4.

“The healthy economy is creating more jobs and households, but not giving these people enough places to live,” Hale says. “Rapid price increases will not last forever. We expect a gradual tapering as buyers are priced out of the market—not a market correction, but an easing of demand and price growth as renting or adding roommates becomes a more affordable alternative.”

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Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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New Study: Where Self-Directed Real Estate Investors Are Buying Property

Real Estate News - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 16:04

Perhaps the biggest advantage self-directed IRAs offer is the ability to invest in what you know. For many Entrust clients, that means real estate. More Entrust clients invest in real estate than in any other asset.

Their reasons for investing in real estate include the desire to diversify their investment portfolios; benefit from long-term, tax-advantaged market value growth; and generate an ongoing revenue stream while they own the asset.

Every year, Entrust produces a report that describes trends and activity among their real estate investors. This article highlights their 2016 real estate purchases.

Where Entrust Clients Bought Real Estate
California, Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Arizona are the top five states where clients bought property in 2016. This has been consistent for several years.

Looking at the list of 12 states where Entrust clients bought real estate, purchases in Missouri increased nearly 4 percent over 2015. And for the first time, clients bought property in Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, and Washington. California, however, remained the top choice, with one-quarter of all purchases made there.

Taking a broader look at the regional level, purchases in the West actually declined by 7 percent. It may have been that higher prices discouraged investors from buying there. The decline in purchases in the West was more than made up for in increases in the Midwest (up 4 percent) and South (up 5 percent). This may have been the result of investors seeking property in other, less-expensive regional markets.

Where clients buy is closely related to where they live. Floridians and Arizonans, for example, maintained their solid, 100 percent preference for local real estate, and Coloradans increased their in-state purchases by 8 percent, from 72 percent in 2015 to 80 percent in 2016.

Californians (57 percent) and Texans (88 percent) were more willing to buy out of state in 2016 than in 2015. This may have to do with the hot property markets in those two states, with investors looking for better deals a bit farther afield.

What Investors Paid for Real Estate in 2016
A glance at the stock market, unemployment figures, or the business news shows that the U.S. economy is picking up steam. In general, the real estate market is heating up, as well. As a result, Entrust clients paid more in 2016, when the average purchase price was $192,563, compared to 2015 ($177,777 average purchase price).

But not all regions benefited equally from higher prices. See the top five states average purchase prices price fluctuation in the full report here.

What Kind of Property Investors Bought
Historically, investors have preferred single-family residences, and that held true in 2016. The number of single-family houses bought increased 7 percent over 2015, from 44 percent to 51 percent. Multi-family residence accounted for just over a quarter (27 percent) of purchases. The big change came in clients buying vacant land; that number increased from 12 percent to 18 percent year-over-year. Commercial real estate purchases declined from 3 percent to 1 percent in 2016.

Learn More
The complete 2017 Real Estate Investor Market Research Report, including information on the U.S. rental market, is available on The Entrust Group website. The Real Estate IRA Center also provides comprehensive information on how to invest in real estate using your self-directed IRA.

Download the latest Real Estate Investor Market Research Report here.

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Roskam wants Roy Moore to step down after all

Chicago Real Estate - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 16:01
After refusing to comment about the Alabama Senate nominee in response to questions from Crain's editorial board, Peter Roskam says Moore is "a distraction" and ought to step aside.

Straight Talk With 2018 NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall

Real Estate News - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 15:51

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Power Broker Roundtable this month discuss broker challenges and opportunities with NAR 2018 President Elizabeth Mendenhall.

Moderator: Robert Bailey, Broker/Owner, Bailey Properties, Santa Cruz, Calif.; Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations, NAR

Panelist: Elizabeth Mendenhall, 2018 NAR President; CEO, RE/MAX Boone Realty

Robert Bailey:
A 20-year, sixth-generation REALTOR® from Columbia, Mo., the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2018 President, Elizabeth Mendenhall, will be bringing a fresh perspective and important agenda to her tenure at the helm of the membership in 2018. She was kind enough to join me this month to share some thoughts on what lies ahead for the broker community next year. First off, Elizabeth, congratulations on your appointment as president! Secondly, in your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing brokers right now, and how do you hope to address those challenges as president?

Elizabeth Mendenhall:
Thank you, Robert! I’m very honored and excited to take on this important role. As far as broker challenges, I think market conditions top the list right now. We hope that our brokers can be more involved in taking a stake in their communities in order to be leaders in their own market issues. When they’re involved, they can help mobilize programs and development.

Brokers are also trying to tackle recruiting and profitability. While NAR doesn’t advocate one business model over another, we do advocate that REALTORS® are essential to consumers in the transaction, and we advocate for property ownership. We’re going to spend the next year advocating for our role in the profession, and why it’s critical to have a REALTOR® in the transaction.

RB: Where do the greatest growth opportunities lie for brokers?
Technology and partnering. The fastest way to profitability is to use what you already have. There can be big cost savings in scaling. If NAR can help facilitate that, or if your state or local association can help facilitate that by providing brokers with tools to help them with their business, that’s an advantage. An enthusiasm for adopting new tools is critical for long-term success.

RB: What should brokers focus on in terms of recruiting and retaining agents?
Just like with consumers, agents are exposed to a lot of information, and as a broker, you have to distinguish what makes you and your office stand out. What’s your culture? Your specific model? When agents go on listing presentations, they have to have confidence and know why they’re the best choice. The broker has to have that same confidence when it comes to recruiting agents. They have to know what makes them different. I teach a class called “Broker on a Budget,” and sometimes it’s just a really cool, inexpensive thing that can make your firm different or improve the overall office culture. You have to look at all those little ways that touch an agent and that build connections. Sometimes it’s the little things that make you stand out.

RB: How can brokers evolve their firms to best serve their agents and consumers?
Stay involved in their association. And I think they need to constantly make sure their firm reflects the market. Are we diverse enough? Do we have enough younger agents? Enough experienced agents? Do we have teams? If we want to continue to evolve, brokers also have to spend time on themselves in terms of education and training. And then they need to involve their team and their staff members. If you want to see change in your office, take your staff members to the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo, invest in their training. It’s amazing what they’ll bring back and what ideas they’ll share.

RB: What trends should brokers pay close attention to?
For starters, the fact that we’re closer and closer to an electronic transaction—they need to start preparing themselves now. Brokers also need to be aware of security breaches and cyber attacks. You need to know how to protect your data and how data is being used. You also have to pay attention to changing consumer demographics. All of this is overwhelming, but this is where NAR plays a role as a valuable resource.

RB: How can brokers best lead in today’s challenging environment?
When we hired Bob Goldberg as CEO, we learned that people follow people—they don’t follow organizations. People are looking to their leader and wondering, what are their passions? Are they fun? Are they approachable? They also want to know their broker is available or that they’ve built a team to handle that type of connectivity with their agents. Brokers have to understand that their clients are their agents, so are they coaching and leading? Are they demonstrating how to be a good customer, a good volunteer? Are brokers mimicking the things they appreciate in their mentors? The best leaders are those who know they’re watched, but also don’t care that they’re being watched, because they’re going to do what’s right, no matter what. They’re not afraid to make changes, not afraid to let people see them fail. They’re going to own it, no matter what.

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'Hannity' fans smash Keurig brewers over pulled ads

Plainfield News - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 15:32
NEW YORK – Supporters of conservative host Sean Hannity's Fox News Channel show are responding to a decision by Keurig to stop advertising on the show by smashing Keurig coffee makers.

The company announced Saturday it had pulled advertising from "Hannity" after several Twitter users questioned the company's support for the host, citing Hannity's coverage of sexual misconduct allegations against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. Moore is accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl four decades ago when he was in his 30s.

It's unclear when Keurig stopped advertising on "Hannity." The Waterbury, Vermont, company didn't respond to a request for further comment Monday.

The move prompted several people to destroy Keurig products in protest and post videos to social media. Blogger Angelo John Gage promoted what he called the "Keurig Smash Challenge" while posting a video of himself taking a hammer to his brewer.

Another user posted a video of a Keurig brewer being tossed to the ground from the second story of a building. Hannity commented "love it" while retweeting one video of a man teeing off on a coffee maker with a golf club.

Liberal media watchdog group Media Matters for America has been putting public pressure on Hannity's advertisers for months. The group's president, Angelo Carusone, told The Associated Press it again called for companies to stop supporting Hannity's program after the Moore allegations came to light Thursday in a Washington Post story.

Carusone said that while he feels bad for Keurig, Hannity's encouragement of the protest against the company "demonstrates to other advertisers to run for the hills."

Several other brands, including DNA testing company 23 and Me , women's clothing label ELOQUII , food delivery service Hello Fresh and natural supplement maker Nature's Bounty also said they don't advertise on "Hannity."

Nature's Bounty said it hasn't advertised on the show since the summer but declined to give a reason. Hello Fresh said it last advertised on "Hannity" in August and added that it doesn't advertise on certain shows "for a variety of reasons." It's unclear if 23 and Me and ELOQUII previously advertised on "Hannity," and the companies didn't immediately return requests for comment. posted on Twitter on Saturday that it doesn't run ads on "Hannity" and wouldn't do so in the future. That tweet was later deleted, and the company posted a statement on its website Sunday stating it would "continue to place ads across a broad range of networks, including Fox News and its top shows." declined comment on the reason for the change. and Fox News are both owned by News Corp.

Fox News didn't immediately return a request for comment Monday.

Sign up for the Will/Grundy politics newsletter

Plainfield News - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 15:11
Want to get the latest on politics in Will and Grundy counties? The Herald-News has you covered with our latest newsletter. This weekly newsletter will give you an inside look what what local politicians are up to and how it affects you.

Brookfield's GGP bid threatens values in struggling mall sector

Chicago Real Estate - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 15:06
And GGP is in an awkward bargaining position after publicly announcing a strategic-review process in May, only to scrap it three months later.

Chris Kennedy finally releases first TV ad

Chicago Real Estate - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 14:42
After months of letting Democratic rival J.B. Pritzker own the airwaves, Kennedy responds with a spot focusing on his family and gun violence.

Union chief demands City Colleges changes

Chicago Real Estate - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 13:42
The top teachers union official also chastised Chancellor Juan Salgado for his "dismissive" response to a Better Government Association investigation into how the system awards degrees.

Red Robin tests delivery-only concept here

Chicago Real Estate - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 13:36
No storefront needed: The burger chain will try a first-of-its-kind effort downtown.

Preckwinkle picks up a re-election foe

Chicago Real Estate - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 13:17
Former 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti says the pop tax revealed much about the county under its current management, and it's time for a change.

Tour an eccentric modernist Old Town home priced at $1.7 million

Chicago Real Estate - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 13:03
The unusual house on Eugenie Street is in a cluster of modernist homes surrounded by the 18th- and 19th-century buildings of the neighborhood's landmark district.

No quick win in Outcome Health investor suit

Chicago Real Estate - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 13:00
Goldman Sachs and other investors were thwarted today in their effort to get a judge to freeze $225 million given to the co-founders of the beleaguered health marketing firm.

Dealmakers go mall shopping, even if you don't

Chicago Real Estate - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 13:00
Two of the nation's biggest mall owners—GGP and Macerich—could feasibly be acquired in the near future. Here's what's driving consolidation.

Transcript: Roskam talks to Crain's editorial board

Chicago Real Estate - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 11:15
Here's a partial transcript of Crain's conversation today with Peter Roskam, with the times from Facebook Live listed for each quote.


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