Weekly News Roundup for November 3, 2017

Here are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Attorneys for a county in North Carolina filed a lawsuit against DuPont and Chemours, alleging the two companies poured toxic chemicals into the Cape Fear River.
Residents in one New York county hope a lawsuit they filed will […]

Weekly News Roundup for September 8, 2017

Here are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Residents in Rapid City, South Dakota, are about to be paying more in property taxes after the city council approved a one percent increase.
A landfill in Michigan has high levels of methane, and officials fear the gas […]

Weekly News Rounup for August 18, 2017

Here are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Norway boasts a sovereign wealth fund of nearly $1 trillion. The country is now trying to decide how best to manage the fund, which up until now has relied on avoiding risks.
A town in Slovakia is once […]

Weekly News Roundup for July 14, 2017

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Construction is underway on the Vista Tower, which will be one of the largest buildings in Chicago once it is complete. The skyscraper will be built partially with funds secured through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
Senators from […]

Weekly News Roundup for April 28, 2017

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

• Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is well below its risk limit. The $940 billion fund is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.

• Property values in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are up from last year by 4.5 percent. Property values […]

Weekly News Roundup for March 10, 2017

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Airbnb, the popular rent-sharing company, recently raised $1 billion. Airbnb is now valued at $31 billion.

One of the pioneers of the rails-to-trails program passed away at the age of 69. David Burwell was the first president of […]

Weekly News Roundup for October 28, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

A former movie theater in the South Fayette Township in Pennsylvania that is for sale will be under contract for a while longer as the potential buyer decides on a course of action to make sure the property […]

Greenfield Advisors Named to Inc. Magazine’s List of 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies

Greenfield Advisors is honored to be listed on the Inc. 5000, which is Inc. Magazine’s annual list of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. The real estate and financial analysis firm was ranked #2,800 in its first appearance on the list.

Greenfield Advisors had a busy 2015 as it […]

Weekly News Roundup for August 12, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Students at a school in Chicago are being moved to a different location. The school is located on an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site, and housing in the area was found to be built on land with high […]

A Year Later: Looking Back at the Animas River Contamination

Last August, workers with the federal Environmental Protection Agency were at the Gold King Mine in Colorado to clean up pollutants. However, a leak was created that spilled three million gallons of water polluted with heavy metals and other contaminants into the nearby Animas River.

The spill affected home owners […]

Weekly News Roundup for July 15, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

A proposed railway line in Illinois would keep oil and other freight trains from traveling through more populated areas.
Natural gas is expected to have a bright future as part of the United States’ energy portfolio. However, the […]

Weekly News Roundup for June 3, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Hopeful EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program applicants are seeing their applications delayed while potential EB-5 projects are investigated over allegations of fraud.

Old gas and oil wells may be buried underground, and they can be dangerous to builders, who […]

Weekly News Roundup for May 20, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

China’s investments in the U.S. real estate market have added 200,000 jobs to the U.S. economy. China is the top participant in the EB-5 Immigration Investor Program, which provides visas to overseas investors and their families in exchange […]

Weekly News Roundup for April 8, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

The City of Miami has filed multiple lawsuits alleging that various banks violated the Fair Housing Act by targeting minorities for loans with predatory terms, which cost the city money. Wells Fargo has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to […]

Weekly News Roundup for March 25, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Commercial property sales dropped sharply in February. Economic uncertainty and volatile financial markets may have weakened demand, and prices have started to drop in some sectors.

Foreign investors have been putting a lot of money into buying U.S. real estate. […]

Weekly News Roundup for March 18, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Oil prices are once again increasing, but the hydraulic fracturing industry may not be able to recover quickly enough to take advantage. When oil prices dropped, fracking became less profitable, and companies shut down many of their fracking operations. […]

Weekly News Roundup for March 11, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently signed the $30 million Flint Water Relief Bill to assist Flint residents with water bill debt for water they couldn’t safely use. City officials have had to suspend water bills for Flint residents until credits […]

Weekly News Roundup for March 4, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

A study conducted by Integra Realty Resources for the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) Foundation found that natural gas pipelines didn’t affect property values or insurability in the locations studied.

A Superior Court Judge upheld a Georgia transportation […]

What’s Happening in Construction Defects Litigation?

One of the many types of real estate litigation that Greenfield Advisors consults on is cases involving construction defects. While statutory definitions vary by state, generally speaking, a construction defect is a deficiency or flaw in the materials, design, or construction of a building or structure that fails to […]

Weekly News Roundup for February 26, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Last year acid mine drainage from the Gold King Mine rushed into the nearby Animas River, contaminating it with heavy metals. The mine is one of 46 mines that could soon be designated as Superfund sites to be cleaned […]

Weekly News Roundup for February 19, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Residents of Flint, Michigan affected by the lead-contaminated water are considering joining lawsuits that could reach a billion dollars in claims and damages.

The Sierra Club filed a lawsuit to reduce wastewater injection from hydraulic fracturing in Oklahoma. The non-profit […]

Weekly News Roundup for February 12, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

During her testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that although the Fed hasn’t ruled out a March rate increase, it might wait to act. The Fed is also investigating the viability of implementing […]

Weekly News Roundup for February 5, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

The tax assessor for Porter Ranch is looking into tax relief for the thousands of property owners affected by the methane leak that was discovered in October.

The methane gas leak near Porter Ranch, California has made headlines. However, it […]

How Technology Is Changing the Landscape of Environmental Contamination

Environmental contamination continues to be a hot-button issue in the United States. From the closing statements in the Democratic Presidential Debate in Charleston, South Carolina to the trending Michigan State of the State Address, water contamination in Flint, Michigan is making the news daily. So are updates on the […]

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Weekly News Roundup for January 29, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

A new study published in American Economic Review examined how hydraulic fracturing can negatively affect property values of nearby homes.

A new study will look at whether recent earthquakes in Texas are caused by fracking-related wastewater injection wells. Texas is […]

Weekly News Roundup for January 22, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

This three-dimensional map of the methane levels around Porter Ranch, California gives a new perspective on the extent of the leak.

Class action lawsuits continue to be filed in the wake of the water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan.

The California […]

Weekly News Roundup for January 8, 2016

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles after more than 10 weeks of methane gas leakage has forced thousands from their homes. The leak could take months to fix.

Michigan Governor Rick […]

Weekly News Roundup for December 18, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) unanimously voted to raise the target federal funds rate 0.25%, the first time the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates in almost a decade.

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program will likely be extended […]

Weekly News Roundup for December 11, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has found additional private properties near Coldwater Creek in Missouri that have radioactive contamination from old nuclear processing waste storage sites.

Environmentalists and residents living near fracking sites have been criticizing the conclusions of […]

Weekly News Roundup for December 4, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

There has been another major setback for Newhall Ranch, a proposed master-planned community on almost 12,000 acres along the Santa Clara River in Los Angeles County. The California Supreme Court rejected the project’s environmental impact report.

An Illinois pipeline is closer […]

Weekly News Roundup for November 13, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Railroad bridges across the country are not receiving necessary repairs, and this could become a big problem as more oil trains roll across the country.

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is asking Congress to add oil train safety provisions in the […]

Weekly News Roundup for November 6, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

President Obama rejected TransCanada’s application for a presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, citing concerns about the project’s contribution to climate change.

For-profit schools have been under attack by government agencies for predatory lending practices. Now the focus is […]

Weekly News Roundup for October 30, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

The Gold King Mine owner spoke to reporters for the first time since the leak that sent contaminants into the Animas River in August, discussing his interactions with the U.S. EPA and his concerns about the source of the […]

Weekly News Roundup for October 23, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Global investment in commercial real estate reached $407 billion in the first half of 2015, its highest level since 2007. New York City accounted for almost 10% ($40.1 billion) of that global investment, followed by London ($19.4 billion) and Los Angeles ($19.3 billion).

The Blackstone […]

More Links Between Fracking Operations and Earthquakes, Few Solutions

Hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, has been a boon to the oil industry in the United States. The technique pumps water and sand, along with some chemicals, into the ground to break up rock and free natural gas deposits.

In recent years, scientists have found those very chemicals in […]

Weekly News Roundup for October 16, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Private equity firm Blackstone Group LP recently announced that it would pay $8 billion to acquire Biomed Realty Trust in one of the largest real estate investment trust (REIT) privatizations planned so far this year.

The House passed a bill 261-159 […]

Weekly News Roundup for October 9, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is turning excess or underutilized land into affordable housing for low-income district employees.

Property values in Detroit are on the rise, thanks to the city’s work to demolish blighted buildings that are near single-family […]

Fallout from the Mine Wastewater Spill into the Animas River

One moment the Animas River looked like most other rivers in the San Juan Mountains: a torrent of dark water rushing downstream. Then a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accident sent millions of gallons of acid mine drainage into the river, turning it yellow.

On August 5, EPA workers entered […]

Weekly News Roundup for August 28, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

A New Jersey State Superior Court Judge has approved the state’s controversial $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil to resolve natural resource damage claims related to two oil refineries, industrial facilities, and gas stations.

Airbnb recently announced its partnership with two Chinese […]

Weekly News Roundup for August 21, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

A Texas lender has sued a number of Tampa Bay appraisers for damages associated with foreclosure losses, claiming that the appraisers violated appraisal standards and overevaluated homes before 2008.

The United States’ oil transportation and refining infrastructure is aging and […]

Weekly News Roundup for August 14, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Mortgage credit availability is increasing. The latest Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) increased to 125.5 in July, its highest level in years.

It’s a different type of credit check. Facebook has acquired a patent […]

Weekly News Roundup for August 7, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Since the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is up for renewal on September 30, Congress has been considering reforms in the EB-5 visa process. One proposed bill would expand the program, adding a new category of visa called EB-6.

Canadian scientists […]

Weekly News Roundup for July 24, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

The House approved a bill to weaken the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent coal ash disposal rules, which we wrote about earlier this year. However, President Obama is threatening a veto.

Adding the right pool to a home can significantly […]

Weekly News Roundup for July 10, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

A federal judge heard arguments in a water pollution lawsuit in Kentucky.

University of Colorado researched fracking contaminants and investigated how certain compounds could end up contaminating nearby groundwater.

Greene County in Alabama has experienced more than a dozen earthquakes so […]

Weekly News Roundup for June 26, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Bi-partisan bills have been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate to renew and reform the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program currently set to expire in September.

Commercial trophy property owners in Europe are looking to Chinese buyers, thanks […]

Weekly News Roundup for June 19, 2015

These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

The City Council of Denton, Texas voted to repeal its ban on hydraulic fracturing after the state legislature passed a bill prohibiting fracking bans by local governments. The repeal is seen as a strategic move to reduce court costs […]

Weekly News Roundup for May 22, 2015

Here are some of the stories we have been following this week.

The pipeline operator behind the recent Santa Barbara oil spill has a history of safety violations.

Five big banks pleaded guilty and will pay $5.4 billion for rigging currencies by manipulating global foreign-exchange markets.

The Supreme Court vacated a ruling […]

Weekly News Roundup for May 15, 2015

Here are some of the stories we have been following this week.

New York State recently granted the first banking trust charter for a bitcoin exchange in the United States.

The District of Columbia has sued a homeowner for operating an unlicensed business because he repeatedly used Airbnb to rent out […]

Weekly News Roundup for May 8, 2015

Here are a few of the stories we have been following this week.

Trophy properties had a great year last year. More properties valued over $100 million were listed in 2014 than in any previous year. You can learn more about trophy properties by reading our previous posts on the topic.

A Pennsylvania […]

Weekly News Roundup for May 1, 2015

Here are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Airports all over the world use special chemicals to melt the snow and ice off airplane wings. However, a new study shows those chemicals are contaminating the soil around the airports.

A bill that would have banned fracking in the […]

New Developments in the Defective Drywall Situation

We’ve already discussed the scope of the defective drywall situation as well as the financial effects and some of the attempts to help affected homeowners in previous posts. In this post, we’ll discuss new developments in defective drywall litigation and the resulting settlements, as well as an update on […]

Weekly News Roundup for April 17, 2015

Here are some of the top stories we followed this week:

The federal government is working on a disaster plan in the event of an urban oil train wreck. As we’ve discussed before, oil trains are increasingly being utilized by energy companies, and a wreck could cause significant damage, especially […]

Derailed Oil Train Explodes in West Virginia, Burning Home

On February 16, 2015, a train carrying about 70,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota’s shale fields to an oil shipping depot in Yorktown, Virginia derailed in Mount Carbon, West Virginia. Almost two dozen tanker cars full of crude oil caught fire, some exploding into huge fireballs […]

BNSF Railway’s Massive Cleanup of Released Oil in Skykomish, Washington

Skykomish is a small town with about 200 residents in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in the northeastern corner of King County, Washington. For much of its history, Skykomish was a maintenance and fueling station for the Great Northern Railway, which eventually became part of what is now known […]

Coal Ash Agreement in North Carolina

On August 20, the North Carolina House and Senate found a compromise on the contentious coal ash issue and passed the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014, which will shut down the state’s coal ash ponds within 15 years. While the bill is the first of its kind in […]

Settlement Finalized in TVA Coal Ash Spill Class Action

Coal ash has been in the news quite a bit this year, and it’s a topic we follow closely because we consulted on some of the lawsuits included in the class action litigation regarding the December 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston fly ash spill, the largest coal ash […]

New Efforts Needed to Stop Natural Gas Leaks Across the Nation

Across the United States, approximately 2.5 million miles of pipeline move roughly 55 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day. Anyone who has ever had a leaky pipe in their home knows the damage that can be caused when a pipe fails; even so, outdated and improperly maintained […]

North Carolina Struggling to Pass Coal Ash Bill

When elections are just around the corner, controversial bills are often left until after the election. This may be the fate of a much-discussed coal ash bill being debated by the North Carolina legislature. Earlier this month, North Carolina lawmakers left for a two-week recess without passing a bill […]

Oil Spill on the Streets of an L.A. Neighborhood

Residents in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles woke up on May 15 to a foul odor and streets covered in oil. An estimated 10,000 gallons of oil stretched across a half-mile area, with reports of oil knee-deep in some areas.
The spill was caused by a pipe bursting […]

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments Regarding Discovery of Hazardous Pollutants

Imagine finding out that the water your family has been drinking or the land your children have been playing on has been contaminated. For years. It’s a fear of parents everywhere, and right now the United States Supreme Court is hearing a case that could affect the ability of […]

Financial Repercussions and Remedies of Defective Drywall

In a previous post, we mentioned that Congress had asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review methods of providing relief from damages associated with defective drywall, and GAO released a report summarizing their results on July 31, 2013. In this post, we’ll discuss GAO’s findings regarding the financial […]

An Update on the Chinese Drywall Situation

Congress asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to “review alternative methods of providing relief from damage associated with defective drywall.”[1] On July 31, 2013, GAO released a report providing an overview of the problem, summarizing available data about reimbursements that affected homeowners have received and considering other efforts undertaken […]

Do Survey Results Systematically Differ From Hedonic Regression Results? Evidence From a Residential Property Meta-Analysis

In this paper, we evaluate the effect of environmental contamination situations on residential property values. Using the meta-analysis technique, conclusions are drawn about the effect of location, type of study conducted, empirical technique used, and economic conditions on various outcomes. Using observations extracted from 40 peer-reviewed articles, meta-regression analysis […]

Kellogg, Idaho – Turning a Polluted Town into a Prosperous Community (Part 3 of 3)

In my last two posts we looked at how a century of mining turned the beautiful Coeur d’Alene basin and the town of Kellogg into one of the most polluted communities in the country, and then how the federal government and community came together to clean up their community. In this […]

Kellogg, Idaho – Turning a Polluted Town into a Prosperous Community (Part 2 of 3)

In my previous post, I discussed how a century of mining turned the beautiful Coeur d’Alene basin and the town of Kellogg into one of the most polluted communities in the country. In this post, I’ll review the remediation and recovery process.

With the announcement of the plant closing in […]

Kellogg, Idaho – Turning a Polluted Town into a Prosperous Community (Part 1 of 3)

Many small towns across America fall on hard economic times; in turn, prosperity suffers and populations dwindle. This can be caused by a myriad of factors, whether it’s the major local employer that shuts down, or an industrial pollution hot spot that drives people away. Many small towns find […]

An Example of Survey Use in Valuation

To give readers a better idea of how survey methodology can be used in a real estate valuation context, we thought it would be a good idea to share some of the survey results we’ve found in the past. There have been several cases where we have been able […]

Ask an Expert: The Effects of Fracking on Easements

Welcome to the first edition of our new feature, Ask an Expert. If you have a question about real estate valuation, markets, or economics that you would like us to address, please send it to questions@greenfieldadvisors.com.
Q: Dear Dr. Lipscomb, I am a student at Vermont Law School writing about the effects […]

Valuation of Impaired Land: Greenfield Advisors Experience with Contaminated Sites

This paper reviews issues related to estimating property value effects from contaminated sites. Industrial economies release millions of chemicals into air, soil, and water with adverse effects on human health, other species, future community economic development, and private property values. Hundreds of thousands of parcels are damaged by contamination […]

Application of Repeat Sales Analysis to Determine the Impact of a Contamination Event

Prior studies of environmental contamination examine the cross-sectional impacts, either through a sales-comparison-type model or hedonic pricing. Neither model is robust at analyzing the impact of an event, such as a contamination announcement. Longer term longitudinal studies may not control for exogenous impacts, such as changes in house quality. […]