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Welcome to PRimage

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Bill Gates once said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”

That’s quite an endorsement for the value of PR.

If you want to make 2013 the year that your company or product maximises the value of strategic and results-led PR, we can help.

PRimage offers you fresh ideas and a wealth of experience. Our experience spans most industries – and we offer specialist insights in health, well-being, property and social media.

Our social media marketing services cover daily management of your business Facebook page(s), Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and company blog postings – all strategically structured to work in synergy to increase brand awareness. We maximise our three decades of public relations and marketing experience and our 360-degree deep immersion in social media to help connect ideas, trends, products and people!

New for 2013 is our PR & Marketing Package for Start-ups – aimed at new companies who need to get their budding business and products off to a healthy start.

Download our credentials presentation to learn more about our services and how PRimage create the buzz to help you stand out and get noticed!

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team are sure your business will benefit from our cost-effective services and client-orientated approach.

When you’ve reviewed our presentation and you’re ready to find out more, please contact us for a free consultation.

PRimage PP Credentials

HOUSING – PRimage NEWS BYTES

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Here at PRimage we regularly monitor the trending topics in the housing sector – in the UK and across the pond.  Some recent news and stats that have caught our attention ….

In the States there is a lot of debate on ownership versus rental …. It seems that in 71 percent of the cities in the U.S., owning is now currently cheaper than renting.

In 2011, 1.4 million new households entered the rental market due to foreclosures and demographics — i.e., the 80 million members of Gen Y are at their prime time for starting new careers, getting married and having kids. At the same time, the number of new homes being built has dropped substantially. As a result, the demand for rental properties has skyrocketed.

Bank of America is launching a pilot program that will allow homeowners at risk of foreclosure to hand over deeds to their houses and sign leases that will let them rent the houses back from the bank at a market rate.

A survey released earlier this month from the National Apartment Association and Houston-based J Turner Research gives multifamily owners insight into an important demographic: college students.

http://multifamilyexecutive.com/student-housing/naa–j-turner-survey-gives-multifamily-owners-insight-into-college-age-demographic.aspx

Budget Basics – The Budget 2012: Changes That Will Affect You

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

So …. After all the speculation and hype, George Osborne has finally revealed all. The draw down of Afghan operations has given the Chancellor a £2.4bn bonus.

Tax
Income Tax
  • Personal allowance will rise by an extra £1,100 in April 2013 in addition to the increase to £8,105 already scheduled for this April.
  • This means you’ll be able to earn £9,205 before you pay any tax.
  • The 50% ‘high earner’ tax rate will be lowered to 45% from April 2013.
National Insurance
  • The plan to merge Income Tax & National Insurance is still likely to go ahead.
Tax for pensioners
  • The age-related additional personal allowance will be phased out to leave a single personal allowance that applies to all.
  • This will be rolled out from April 2013 and, according to Osborne, no one receiving a pension will lose out because of it.
VAT
  • Loopholes in the VAT system will be closed to reduce tax avoidance.
  • The current VAT exemptions on food, children’s clothes, books and newspapers will not be affected.
Tax statements
  • Personal tax statements will be sent to all taxpayers.
  • These will set out your average tax rate for the year, how much tax and NI you’ve paid in total and how this has funded both public spending and public debt.
Corporation tax
  • Corporation tax will be cut by 1% today in addition to the 1% reduction scheduled for April – together this will take the UK rate of corporation tax to 24%.
  • Two further cuts are scheduled for next year so by 2014 UK corporation tax will be reduced to 22%.
  • To ensure these cuts don’t benefit the banks the bank levy rate will be increased to 0.105% next January.
Other tax
  • Capital gains tax on residential properties owned by companies will be introduced.
  • A cap on tax relief for high earners will be introduced in April 2013. This means anyone that claims upwards of £50,000 in tax relief will be limited to receive a maximum of 25% of their income.
  • A general tax avoidance rule will be introduced to tackle tax evasion, details of which will be set out next year.
Benefits
Child benefit
  • The child benefit cut for higher rate tax payers will stay but changes have been made.
  • Those earning less than £50,000 will get to keep child benefit.
  • Those earning more than £50,000 will have their child benefit payments reduced by 1% for every £100 they earn over the £50k threshold.
  • Those earning more than £60,000 will not receive child benefit payments.
Housing
Affordable housing
  • The Get Britain Building scheme that extends funding to companies that build new houses will be upgraded to encourage affordable property development.
Stamp duty
  • Individual-owned residential properties worth over £2 million will be liable for 7% stamp duty.
  • The stamp duty rate will increase to 15% for residential properties that are bought by a company.
  • The government will investigate retrospective stamp duty charges for residential properties already owned by companies.
Armed forces
  • An extra £100 million will be used to improve accommodation for those in the armed forces.
  • Members of the armed forces serving overseas will also benefit from 100% council tax relief.
  • This will be funded by a £2.4 billion saving on the cost of operations in Afghanistan.
Planning permission
  • Next week the government will publish an overhaul of planning regulations that should make applications for planning permission far simpler.
Alcohol & Tobacco
Alcohol
  • There will be no change to taxation on alcohol.
Tobacco
  • Duty on all tobacco products will rise by 5% above inflation at 6pm tonight.
  • This will increase the cost of an ‘average’ pack of cigarettes by 37p.
Transport
Fuel
  • There will be no additional changes to fuel duty.
  • The Fair Fuel Stabiliser will still apply so fuel duty will go down when the cost of fuel rises and increase when fuel prices fall.
Road tax
  • Vehicle Excise Duty will increase by inflation only.
Trains
  • Rail links to the North of England will be improved.
  • The London underground and train network will be extended.
Flights
  • Additional airports may be built in the South East of England.
Employment & Education
Employment
  • Local authorities will be given the flexibility to introduce local pay rates for civil servants whose pay freezes end this year.
  • This is to bring public sector pay in line with wages available in the private sector.
  • There will be investment in manufacturing with the aim of doubling UK exports.
  • New Enterprise Zones will be introduced in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Education
  • A scheme that extends Enterprise Loans to young people to start and grow their own businesses will be piloted later this year.
Pensions
State pension
  • A single rate, contribution-based pension that pays a minimum of £140 will be introduced for future pensioners in the next Parliament.
  • Plans for an automatic review of the state pension age will be published this summer.
Entertainment
Sunday trading
  • Sunday trading laws will be relaxed for eight consecutive Sundays from 22nd July to coincide with the Olympics.
Broadband
  • Ultrafast broadband will be rolled out in 10 of the UK’s biggest cities.
  • A number of smaller cities will also benefit from ultrafast broadband speeds.
  • Improvements will be made to broadband connection speeds in rural areas.
Entertainment industry
  • UK companies that produce video games, animation or high end TV programmes will be eligible for tax relief.
  • A new gambling duty on games machines will be introduced.

HAPPY 2012! Love and best wishes from Judy Viitanen and PRimage

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•☆☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆

In 2012….I hope the kindness you’ve given to others returns many times to you.
May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you’re going,
And the insight to know when you’re going too far.
May hope, love, and warmth be in your heart’s possessing,
And may the New Year bring you and yours many blessings.
Happy New Year!

Judy Viitanen

Housing crisis in UK – ‘generation-rent’? PRimage comment

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

PRimage had just been reading a new report released today on the crisis in the UK housing market – which forecasts that home ownership in England will slump to just 63.8% over the next decade.  The National Housing Federation report also forecasts steep rises in the private rental sector and a house price boom. It blames the bleak outlook on an under-supply of homes in the UK.

So, for the UK it looks like we are heading for a ‘generation-rent’ scenario! And market trends will follow those in the US. Certainly many young people now face decades of renting!

PRimage believes the NHF are right to highlight stark statistics which show that last year, the number of new homes built reached the lowest in peacetime since 1923 – and correct in blaming declining home ownership on banks setting too lenient lending criteria and too small deposits.  The Government needs to take immediate action to tackle this crisis and the chronically low supply of homes. From what Judy Viitanen understands, reading the report and comments from industry experts, the difficulties of raising deposits and obtaining mortgages are one side of the problem. The other is housing supply. It is, though, a bit of a catch-22.  The major developers say they are willing and ready to build more homes. But they worry that they won’t be able to sell them, because potential buyers will not be able to raise the finance.  The dilemma for policy makers is how to escape this damaging cycle, of restricted supply leading to high prices, which leads to curtailed demand, resulting in unwillingness to build

  • In England, the proportion of people living in owner-occupied homes will fall from a peak of 72.5% in 2001 to 63.8% in 2021.
  • In London, the majority of people will rent by 2021, with the number of owner-occupiers falling from 51.6% in 2010 to 44% by 2021
  • Average rents for apartments and single family homes in the private sector are forecast to increase by 19.8% over the next five years, fuelled by high demand and a shortage of properties.

 

Real Estate Websites – US Top 10 Ranking

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

The Experian Hitwise infographic data detailed below  is based on US market share of visits as defined by the IAB, which is the percentage of online traffic to the domain or category.

365 Connect publishes second in series of case studies on Online Resident Usage

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

365 Connect, the New Orleans based, award winning online technology platform architect for the multifamily industry, today announced publication of its Two-Year Study of its Multifamily Internet Platforms: The Retreat at Cinco Ranch in Katy, Texas. The second in a series of data compilation and analyses projects, the study tracks two years of usage by market-rate apartment dwellers of Internet-driven leasing and resident platforms. Following activity on 365 Connect’s powerful Online Leasing Centers and Resident Services Portals, the publication delivers more detailed evidence of strong Internet usage by apartment dwellers and provides the best documentation to date in the multifamily housing industry.

The community followed in this Case Study is The Retreat at Cinco Ranch, a market rate, garden style apartment community located in Katy, Texas. With 268 units spread over a unique mix of one-bedroom units ranging in size from 708 square feet to 875 square feet, two-bedroom units from 993 square feet to 1,170 square feet and three-bedroom units at 1,369 square feet, the property appeals to a wide spectrum of professionals and entrepreneurs. With nine-foot ceilings, garden tubs, private entries to a 24-hour fitness center, resort style swimming pool and cyber café, The Retreat at Cinco Ranch sets the standard for creating elegant living in a market-rate community.

The data in this study was collected by 365 Connect, L.L.C., a designer and operator of online marketing, leasing and resident services platforms for multifamily communities. The 365 Connect Multifamily Platforms automatically collect and tabulate an extensive amount of data regarding marketing response, leasing activity and resident interaction. The Retreat at Cinco Ranch data was collected over a full two‐year period from the beginning of 2009 to the end of 2010, representing a statistically significant period of study.

The Case Study revealed that The Retreat at Cinco Ranch’s Online Leasing Platform brought more potential residents to the leasing staff than any other form of marketing, with an astounding 119,355 hits over the two-year period. From this traffic, 2,318 prospect leads were procured through online contact forms and applications. The Case Study further demonstrated that upon the release of 365 Connect’s Marketing Syndication Platform in May 2010, the quality of traffic increased, delivering 1,412 prospect leads in 2010 versus 906 prospect leads in 2009, representing a 58% increase. This data makes a very strong case for the argument that the Marketing Syndication Platform can eliminate the need for traditional third party listing services that are rapidly becoming outdated and redundant.

365 Connect introduced its Mobile Leasing Platform in August of 2010.  Despite the short history, mobile usage appeared to be organic in nature in that the community did not market its mobile website. From August to December 31, 2010, The Retreat at Cinco Ranch’s Mobile Leasing Platform produced an average of over 600 hits per month.  Along with the addition of QR Codes in late November 2010, 365 Connect’s Mobile Platform has proven the value of mobile marketing by driving additional leasing traffic, delivering prospect leads and “Click to Call” interactions to the community.

Data gathered from The Retreat at Cinco Ranch’s Resident Services Platform brought the multifamily industry its long awaited answer to the question – “Are residents really using Resident Services Portals?” With a staggering 108,084 hits over a two-year period, the 365 Connect Resident Services Platform proved to be worth its weight in gold. It delivered 10,616 contacts between management and residents, 4,810 online exchanges between residents on the Be Social Message Boards and 21,871 views of LearnTV videos.

In 2010, The 365 Connect Automated Lease Renewal Notice System generated 884 renewal notices from which 156 leases were renewed at The Retreat at Cinco Ranch, representing approximately $2 Million in annual lease revenue. The new automated graphic card delivery system for holiday, birthday and “Thank You for Renewing your Lease” cards made 2,043 deliveries to the residents, creating important personal touch points with its residents.

The assemblage and publication of the Case Study demonstrates 365 Connect’s commitment to deliver educational information to the multifamily industry and further cements 365 Connect’s role as the leader in creating leading edge, Web-based technology solutions for the multifamily industry.

The complete Case Study is available at: www.365connect.com

About 365 Connect, LLC: Headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, 365 Connect was founded in 2003 by a team of multifamily housing professionals with wide-ranging expertise in real estate development, management and technology. 365 Connect provides web-based technology solutions to the multifamily industry, with a focus on resident and management interaction and doing business in the digital world. Today, 365 Connect is the leader in designing and delivering award winning web-based multifamily technology platforms, with an array of products ranging from online leasing centers and interactive resident platforms to MultifamilyBiz.com, a powerful and robust B2B industry portal. More information on 365 Connect businesses and services is available on the Web at: www.365connect.com

Is the US a renter or home-owning nation? ….

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Mixed messaging and news reports today on the U.S. housing sector …. Latest analyst projections show pent-up demand for rental housing in the wake of the credit crunch. Americans who rented out properties gained $3.3 billion in total income from that endeavour during the month of May, up from $2.9 billion in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

But the latest New York Times/CBS News poll shows that nearly nine in 10 Americans say homeownership is an important part of the American dream – and they are keen on making sure it stays that way, for themselves and everyone else.