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 October 20, 2017

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

It’s been two years since the Gold King Mine blowout that poured contaminants into the Animas River. EPA cleanup crews recently found elevated levels of lead at several mine sites along the river.
Residents in Bridgeton, Missouri, want […]

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 April 21, 2017

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

Lawmakers continue to work on the details of extending the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program as the April 28 deadline draws closer. The program will end unless Congress decided to re-authorize it.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is back on […]

Weekly News Roundup for March 3, 2017

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

Activists in Maryland hope to convince lawmakers to ban hydraulic fracturing in the state. A moratorium on drilling operations ends in October.

More than 150 tons of oil were spilled into the Bay of Bengal, which is much […]

Weekly News Roundup for January 6, 2017

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

The new minimum wage in Seattle took effect at the start of the year with a new rate of $15 an hour.

Australia is using a sovereign wealth fund to lead the way in investing in a tech […]

Weekly News Roundup for October 7, 2016

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

Duke Energy will be removing millions of tons of coal ash from one of its power plants in North Carolina.

Environmental agencies in New York are investigating an oil spill that occurred at the Indian Point Nuclear Power […]

Weekly News Roundup for September 2, 2016

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

Daikin America will pay a $5 million settlement following a lawsuit alleging that the company contaminated the Tennessee River.

The city of West Haven, Connecticut is initiating eminent domain for six properties so the city can move forward […]

Weekly News Roundup for August 26, 2016

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

U.S. shale oil and gas production has dipped significantly as oil prices have fallen. However, some experts believe the industry may have reached bottom and will begin increasing production again soon.

A water treatment plant, set up in […]

Weekly News Roundup for August 5, 2016

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

Oil trains are being utilized less this year. In the first five months of 2016, crude oil train transport is down 45 percent from last year.

Property values in central London are falling at the fastest rates in […]

Weekly News Roundup for July 22, 2016

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

An oil train derailed in Oregon last month, and now a groundwater monitoring station has picked up signs of contamination. A nearby town’s water wells were not contaminated because they are located uphill of the derailment.

Colorado’s minimum […]

Examining the Economic Impacts of a Dairy Operation

Greenfield Advisors Chairman and Co-Managing Director Dr. John Kilpatrick recently spent some time in Hawaii where he worked as a consultant with residents of Maha`ulepu Beach, located on the island of Kauai. Dr. Kilpatrick was there to discuss the negative effects of a proposed concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO).

Dr. […]

Weekly News Roundup for June 17, 2016

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

Property values and taxes are rising quickly in Vancouver.

Texas is launching an effort to sue the Environmental Protection Agency over new methane regulations. Texas is the first state to take these measures.

The Massachusetts Senate is backing […]

Housing Market Firing On All Cylinders

Anyone looking to sell their house will be happy to hear the latest on the housing market, which is picking up speed as the summer buying season arrives. Existing home sales in March were up 1.5 percent from the same time last year, and total sales were a little […]

Weekly News Roundup for April 29, 2016

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

Seattle and San Francisco have recently increased the minimum wage in their municipalities, but making sure all businesses cooperate has not been an easy task.

A new lawsuit filed as a result of the lead contamination crisis in […]

Perception vs. Price: When Sellers Over- or Undervalue Their Homes

For anyone who ever loved to track down baseball cards, comic books, or other collectibles, there was nothing like looking up the value of your most prized possession. For kids, it was often a harsh discovery that the outfielder you spent several dollars on was worth just a fraction […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 15, 2016

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

BP continues to cut its global workforce as oil prices continue to plummet. The price of oil has dropped 75% in the last 18 months, reaching a 12-year low of about $30 a barrel.

Two Kentucky utility companies will spend millions […]

How Small Businesses Make a Big Economic Impact

While big businesses, including the likes of Wal-Mart and Kroger, have a measureable positive effect on the neighborhoods they enter, often the local small businesses have a greater economic impact on their communities. The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) contends that, “Independent retailers return more than three times as […]

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 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 20, 2015

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

According to West Virginia’s latest assessment of properties owned by public utilities, property values fell in counties where coal is mined, whereas property values increased in counties where natural gas is extracted.

North Carolina counties have been passing moratoriums on […]

The Benefits of Brownfield Redevelopment

You’ve probably heard of brownfields—abandoned or underutilized properties with real or perceived contamination. But you may not understand the risks they pose if not properly assessed and remediated, or the opportunities they present if carefully redeveloped. Today we examine the benefits of brownfield remediation and redevelopment, areas where we’ve […]

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 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 […]

Weekly News Roundup for October 2, 2015

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

The Keystone XL pipeline developer is dropping its eminent domain claims in court and is instead reapplying for state approval of its route through the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

A construction defects law is causing a shortened supply of new […]

Weekly News Roundup for September 25, 2015

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

As Congress debates reauthorizing the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program, here is a look at the program from the perspective of Indian investors.

The City of Oakland, California has sued Wells Fargo over predatory lending practices. The suit alleges that […]

Weekly News Roundup for September 18, 2015

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

Evaluating schools and teachers with “value-added” measures and publicly releasing the results doesn’t affect the property values of nearby homes, according to a new study published in the Journal of Urban Economics.

The Ferguson Commission released its report commissioned by […]

Weekly News Roundup for September 11, 2015

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

A new Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Single Family Housing Policy Handbook (HUD Handbook 4000.1) takes effect on September 14. FHA will be hosting a number of trainings and webinars to help lenders, appraisers, and borrowers understand policy changes and […]

Looking Back at Hurricane Katrina

Ten years ago, images of the Superdome, the home of the New Orleans Saints, were on every television channel. It was the end of August, and thousands of New Orleans residents huddled inside waiting out the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

First making landfall in South Florida on the morning of […]

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 31, 2015

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

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced three grants worth a total of $600,000 to two Philadelphia development authorities for the assessment and redevelopment of brownfield sites. Nationally, 147 communities received 243 grants totaling $54.3 million in 2015 for the […]

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 17, 2015

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

Should new homes be treated as special? Researchers studied the premia associated with new construction in Las Vegas before and after the housing bubble burst using hedonic modeling.

Since China has suspended all initial public offerings (IPOs) on its stock […]

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 […]

Market Effects When Appraisers and Homeowners Perceive Different Home Values

With the housing market on the rebound after a rough few years, homeowners are now starting to think more and more about putting their home up for sale. After the economic downturn and the housing bubble collapse, home prices plummeted. Foreclosures skyrocketed and sent the price of comparable homes […]

Weekly News Roundup for July 2, 2015

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

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to overturn a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air pollution rule, saying that the agency didn’t adequately consider the costs. The rule setting limits on mercury, arsenic, and acid gas emissions from coal-fired power […]

The Local Effects of Wind Power Projects

In a previous post, we reviewed data suggesting that much of the growth in the wind power industry has depended on government regulations such as state renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and financial incentives from tax credits. We also considered some of the benefits that the Obama Administration has cited […]

Weekly News Roundup for June 12, 2015

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

June 8 was the deadline to file a claim in the Economic and Property Damages Settlement for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The cost of the oil spill that hit California beaches in May has now reached $69 million. With 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 […]

Animal Operations and Residential Property Values

Animal feeding and processing operations have grown more concentrated, with each facility handling much larger numbers of animals than traditional farms. The larger concentration of animals impacts the quality of surrounding air and water. In addition, the facilities impact the economic conditions of the communities where they are located. All of these factors can potentially affect the value of nearby houses. This article summarizes the current literature on how animal […]

Land Tenure and Valuation in Africa

In March 2011, I visited Liberia (West Africa) to develop relationships with local government officials. After years of civil war, Liberia is starting to emerge out of a severe economic crisis, including improving upon its approximately 80% unemployment rate. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth over the past few years […]

The Keystone XL Pipeline: Pros and Cons from an Economic and Appraisal Perspective

The proposed TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas, comes with many dynamic implications. We will be reviewing the potential positive and negative effects of the pipeline from both an economic and appraisal perspective.
From an economic perspective, the pipeline is seen positively because it […]

Expert Systems and Mass Appraisal

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the usefulness of a heuristic expert system, to show its applicability to real-world valuation problems, and to suggest several avenues for statistical testing. Design/methodology/approach – The expert systems follow a traditional sales adjustment grid format, with sufficient data for non-parametric testing. Findings – The […]

Using Contingent Valuation to Measure Property Value Impacts

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to measure the impact of a proposed biomass facility on prospective property values using the contingent valuation method. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a web-based survey approach to measure respondents’ reactions to two scenarios: one that describes the study area currently and another that […]