Mecklenburg County Announces Improved Plan Review Process in 2015

Meck Permitting

New Mineral, Oil and Gas Rights Disclosure Required on All Residential Transactions Starting January 1

Effective January 1, 2015, sellers of most improved residential properties will be required to provide a separate Mineral, Oil and Gas Rights Mandatory Disclosure Statement to prospective buyers no later than the time they make an offer.

The disclosure must be provided by sellers whose properties are already on the market on January 1st (unless it is under contract as of that date) or that go on the market on or after January 1, 2015.  It is therefore important for Realtors® to begin getting the disclosure statement completed by their sellers! 

You can download a copy of the form from the NC Real Estate Commission website HERE.

The new law will apply to all sellers who are required to provide a Residential Property and Owners Association Disclosure Statement. In addition, it will apply to new construction sales, leases with options to purchase and sales where the parties agree not to complete a Residential Property and Owners Association Disclosure Statement.

Need more insight into this new disclosure?  Check out this helpful Q&A from the North Carolina Association of Realtors®.

Source: North Carolina Association of Realtors®

U.S. Senate Adjournment Means Mixed Results for Real Estate Sector

The U.S. Senate adjourned its business for the year on Tuesday night, leaving behind a decidedly mixed bag for the real estate industry.

Homeowners and Realtors® will benefit from the Senate’s passage of the “Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act,” which was included in a package of Tax Extenders now headed to the President’s desk for signature. When signed into law, this bill will extend through 2014 an income tax exemption on mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale or a workout for principal residences.

For commercial property owners and brokers, the bill also extends through 2014 the 15-year straight-line cost recovery period for qualified leasehold improvements, qualified restaurant buildings and improvements, and qualified retail improvements. Extended tax credits and deductions for energy-efficient new homes and commercial buildings are also included in the legislation.

A number of real estate industry trade groups, including the National Association of REALTORS® and NAIOP, have long advocated for the passage of these tax extensions, and applauded the Senate’s passage of the bill. You can read a detailed summary of the bill’s tax provisions HERE.

However, the Senate failed to pass another critical piece of legislation sought by commercial property owners: a six-year reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) that passed the U.S House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support. The failure to extend TRIA could have the very real impact of stalling commercial real estate development around the country, as it allows the federal government’s reinsurance backstop program for terrorism insurance to expire on December 31st of this year.

While both chambers of Congress widely supported a TRIA extension, an objection raised by GOP Senator Tom Coburn (OK) over the lack of a state op-out provision kept the bill from coming to the floor for a vote. Senate Democratic leaders were also opposed to an unrelated provision added to the bill by House Republicans that would have weakened the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

The Terrorism Risk Insurance program was created a little more than a year after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and enabled the federal government to pay for most losses above $100 million suffered by businesses in any terrorist attacks. Without the backstop, most insurance companies are unlikely to offer terrorism risk coverage, seriously jeopardizing the lending environment for commercial real estate.

Congress is expected to take up new legislation to reauthorize TRIA when it reconvenes in January.

Consultant Recommends Structural Overhaul of City/County Development Review & Building Permit Process

A report released this week on the development review and construction permitting by Gartner Consulting is recommending substantive changes in the governance structure, which is currently split between the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

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House Passes Legislation Extending Critical Real Estate Tax Provisions Through 2014

Last night the United States House of Representatives passed legislation extending through 2014 a number of tax breaks critical to the residential and commercial real estate industries. The United States Senate has not yet scheduled a vote on the measure.

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National Association of REALTORS®: 4 Predictions for the Commercial Market

Expect a bright year ahead in 2015 for the U.S. commercial real estate market: The National Association of REALTORS® projects rent increases and tighter vacancy rates.

“Solid economic growth in the third quarter proved that the second quarter wasn’t an anomaly, as business spending increased, commercial construction rose, and the labor market continued to make positive strides,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Job growth is the catalyst to improved demand for commercial real estate leasing and new construction projects.”

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Piedmont Public Policy Institute and UNC Charlotte Release Research Paper on Form-Based Zoning

Circle Morehead

Circle Morehead Apartments, a 296-unit multifamily project located being developed by Crescent Resources under the Form-Based PED Overlay in Dilworth.

A new research paper by an urban design scholar at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte provides some important insights on a controversial approach to zoning and land use, and how its use can help or hinder economic development.

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