Rising rents correlate with less home improvement spending
News from Housing Wire:

A study by BuildZoom shows that in San Francisco, zip codes in which rents increased more steeply have actually tended to see remodeling and home improvement activity increase less than elsewhere, and in some cases even decline.

“Using data on housing costs from Zillow in conjunction with our building permit data, we estimate that from 2011 to 2013 a 10% increase in rents in a zip code area was accompanied, on average, by a 9.7% decrease in the number of homes undergoing permitted improvement,” says Issi Romem, chief economist for BuildZoom.

The full report can be read here. 

In contrast, Romem found, remodeling and home improvement activity tended to increase more in zip codes with greater increases in home values, as opposed to rents.

“From 2004 to 2013 we estimate that, on average, a 10% increase in home values was associated with a 4.3% increase in the number of homes undergoing improvement,” he says.

Romem concludes that rents are a reliable indication that competition among renters is intense, which enables landlords to mini…………… continues on Housing Wire

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Common Council approves offering home improvement tax exemption
News from Olean Times Herald:

OLEAN — A new city law now gives local property owners some financial relief in making home improvements.

The Olean Common Council approved legislation 4-0 on Wednesday allowing Olean’s participation in the state’s Home Improvement Exemption program. Council President Ann McLaughlin, D-Ward 2, was not present for the meeting, as she resigned her post. Jerry leFeber, D-Ward 1; and Nate Smith, R-Ward 6, were also excused from the meeting.

Through the program, those completing renovations to a residential property would see an eight-year tax abatement from the full value of the improvement. The program is structured so that the owner’s local taxes a residential property would not go up the first year after an improvement is made. Property taxes would then go up each year by 12.5 percent until they reach the full value of the improvement.

Participation in the program requires a property owner to fill out the appropriate paperwork at the city Assessor’s Office before home improvements are made.

“This has been implemented in a number of cities across the state,” said Adam Jester, D-Ward 7, who sponsored the legislation. “This is something that makes sense for Olean … and will hopefully encourage people to fix up their properti…………… continues on Olean Times Herald

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