What We’re Reading: April 12-18

Credit: The British Library

1 London house = 4 Chicago houses, the real estate potential in Google Glass, and the home-selling powers of St. Joseph

London regularly makes headlines for being one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world.  Ready to exchange your home in Atlanta or Chicago or San Jose for a townhouse with a view of the Thames?  Online magazine Quartz compares London’s home prices with NAR’s metropolitan area home prices, to give you an idea of just how many houses you’d need to sell in order to buy one in the United Kingdom’s largest metropolis.

Here in the U.S., many cities are experiencing population growth in their downtown areas for the first time in decades, driven primarily by millennials and baby boomers.  The April issue of American Banker Magazine takes a look at the trend (access for NAR members only — find the password here).

Were you among the throngs of people attempting to buy a Google Glass earlier this week?  Take a look at how some early adopters in the real estate industry are using the technology to market properties.  (But some discretion might be wise, if you’re among those chosen to actually buy one).

If you haven’t found the time to learn about the issue of high-frequency trading of late, NPR offers an enlightening and informative article and podcast on the topic.  As those of us working in real estate know, investor confidence and trust is  necessary for ensuring stable economic markets.

Recognizing and celebrating small achievements can result in major positive changes, as one small Canadian town’s police force discovered.

Here’s a new way to weed out unhappy employees:  pay them to quit.  Amazon makes this offer annually to employees.  The “Pay to Quit” program, which was announced by CEO Jeff Bezos in a letter to shareholders last week, is an effort to make sure that the Internet retailer’s employees really want to be there.”

This sounds like something out of a spy movie:  identify yourself by scanning  the vein patterns in your hand.  This technology could be used for purchases, unlocking your phone or front door.  Would it be possible to make a fake hand vein pattern?

Every once in a while we see stories about using the power of St. Joseph (“patron saint of real estate”) to help sell a home faster.  Does it really work?  Couldn’t hurt to try….

With spring break in full swing and winter finally beginning to recede, we’re dreaming of getting out and exploring the world a bit, beginning perhaps with this list of amazing endangered places.  Or maybe a round-the-world tour of fascinating libraries?

Frederik Heller

Managing Director of Information Services at the National Association of REALTORS®.

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