A paucity of affordable housing that threatens to inflame a burgeoning homelessness crisis and trigger an exodus of well-paying jobs is forcing local governments to consider creative solutions to this intractable problem. One such solution is to streamline the development of accessory dwelling units, a solution that many believe holds much promise but others warn comes with numerous pitfalls. P1 THE PROMISE AND PITFALLS OF ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS AS AN AFFORDABLE HOUSING PANACEA Civil engineering firm MFKessler is riding the wave of rising infill development, which in the wake of the Great Recession has become the new urban planning, according to company principals Ali Monshizadeh and Mark Fotohabadi, who explain how infill development has returned to downtown areas, outline the mixed acceptance of infill development and ultimately provide a strong case that infill development provides a promising future for markets such as California where every square foot of property counts. P10 MY TAKE: THE RISE OF INFILL DEVELOPMENT The Houston real estate market took a licking in 2017 thanks to Hurricane Harvey, but it’s apparent that housing kept on ticking in the nation’s fifth most-populated metro area. After a sharp drop immediately following the storm and flooding, home sales have held steady, and home prices have continued to post consistent year- over-year gains. Meanwhile moratoriums have so far held back a potential flood of foreclosures, which may be coming in 2018. P14 SPOTLIGHT: A RISING TIDE IN HOUSTON Nearly 35 percent of all homes flipped in 2017 were purchased by the flipper with financing, a nine-year high. While financing flips may be attractive given that — in theory — it allows investors to leverage their capital to get a better return and do more flips, that theory does not quite work out based on the data. P21 BIG DATA SANDBOX: TO FINANCE OR NOT TO FINANCE HOME FLIPS
P22 DATA IN ACTION: MARKETS WITH THE MOST ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARD RISK
ATTOM Data Solutions analyzed 8,665 U.S. zip codes with sufficient housing trend data for risk related to four environmental hazards — superfund sites, brownfields, polluters and poor air quality — to determine which markets have the highest risk and to evaluate housing market trends based on environmental hazard risk. An interactive heat map allows readers to zoom in to their specific market and get that environmental hazard numbers there.
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