CIC Info Bytes


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ISSUE # 87

CIC Info Bytes 03/14/24

CIC Info Bytes are frequent, succinct updates providing educational and engagement opportunities that help your community thrive!  Please forward and share this newsletter with your peers, neighbors and colleagues so they can connect and joinOur goal is to curate content that provides a robust basis for contextual understanding to support practical takeaways for you and your association.  Please consider following us on Twitter and Reddit. 

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CIC Info Bytes Newsletter 03/14/24 - PRINT EDITION



“The loudest journalism often says the least.”


Summing up the state of community association industry and legislative reform:

The deeper you look into these stories, the more flawed you realize things are systemically, but the more you encounter people working incredibly hard to change things.

Like clockwork at some point during a story, I’ll leave my office and go into Tim’s office who I run the show with, and we’ll say “burn it down, just burn everything to the ground,” because it feels things are so bad in a story that only flames are going to purify it.  The hell that we’ve built for ourselves.  

But you do then work through that, much like this sh!tty hot sauce, to realizing that even as you’re waiting for major change that you think might not come, incremental change is possible and valuable.” — John Oliver on First We Feast Hot Ones — February 1, 2024

Historic Legislation

Meetings Page
Board Meetings Survey

Board Meetings Survey

Your responses to the Community Association Board Meetings Survey inform opportunities for advocacy and reform. 

2024 Community Association Board Meetings Survey

Trials and Tribulations of a Volunteer Director - Part XII

PART XII: The Board is In Charge

Your board president is not an executive with authority to act unilaterally, nor does the president have the power to tell other directors, your CAM or anyone else what to do.  While a treasurer might work in certain capacities like a CFO, treasurers likewise have no unilateral authority to make financial decisions.  While a board can delegate support functions to offload certain day-to-day operational decision-making and appoint liaisons to increase efficiency, a board cannot delegate its ultimate responsibility to govern the community.  Court-ordered receivership is the ultimate, costly delegation.

Stock-based corporations employ compensated individuals (a CEO, CFO, CIO, COO, directors, managers, etc.) who report in a hierarchy and ultimately to the board of directors.  Those compensated individuals are tasked with making decisions for the business every day which alleviates the need for the board of directors to get involved in the daily operations.

Principally due to cost and the perception that volunteers are capable of managing the workload, community associations often eschew compensated individuals (employees and vendors) which means that volunteer homeowners serving on a community association board have to get their hands dirty in the “weeds” of the business and tackle a majority of the due diligence, decision-making and execution.  Despite this hands-on approach, individual homeowner volunteers are NOT empowered to make decisions on behalf of the association UNLESS the Board has delegated specific and limited authority.  That’s both confusing and frustrating to many individuals who think “I’m doing the work, why shouldn’t I decide?”  Because only the board makes decisions.


The basic rule is that the board of directors of a company is in charge of the company, and when they are faced with a decision, the directors are supposed to make the choice that they believe is best for the company and all of its shareholders. The shareholders don’t make the decision; the board does…

…Exercising independent judgment is their job. [Reference Director Qualifications]

I cannot promise that every board of directors of every company sees things this way… some directors of [community associations see their job as empowering the status quo] rather than “exercise independent judgment.”...

The Board of Directors Is in Charge | Free 🔗 — Matt Levine | Bloomberg | February 29, 2024

“I regret a lot…never knew that the HOA [assessments] would be increasing faster than inflation.”

Question: What’s the lesson that you learned?  

Answer: From now on when I buy a home no matter how pretty it looks and everything seems exciting and all the security, double-check and learn about HOAs…

VIDEO: Some Houston condo owners fed up with $6,000 in annual HOA fees — Kevin Ozebek and Sarah Rafique | KTRK ABC 13 | February 27, 2024


Multiple media stories continue to focus on community association assessments that pay for maintenance, repair, replacement, insurance, management and more.  Assessments are a symptom of much larger challenges:

HOA, condo fees rising for some Minnesotans — Brett Hoffland | KSTP | March 08, 2024

Study shows Arizona ranks among most expensive HOAs in country — David Caltabiano | Arizona’s Family | February 29, 2024

Just Wrong

We’ve written a homeowner-centric version of the original below.  Read The Property Values Equation to learn more about property values in community associations.

As companies race to build the latest and greatest software for their businesses, they are overloading their tech balance sheets with an oft-ignored kind of debt.

It’s known as “technical debt.” Underneath the shiny and the new, lurking in IT systems where it creates security vulnerabilities and barriers to innovation, is an accumulation of quick fixes and outdated systems never intended for their current use, all of which are badly in need of updating…

…Technical debt has parallels with our national debt, in that it compounds over time, ballooned during the pandemic, and has reached worrisome proportions. It’s also akin to our aging physical infrastructure, because it’s already leading to hazardous conditions in our everyday lives….

The Invisible $1.52 Trillion Problem: Clunky Old Software — Christopher Mims | WSJ | March 01, 2024

A year after ex-Hammocks board members were charged with running a massive fraud, the homeowners association’s receiver accused former HOA vendors of playing an “insider” role in the scheme. 

The lawsuit marks the latest chapter in the Hammocks fiasco. In November 2022, prosecutors charged former board presidents Marglli Gallego and Monica Ghilardi, as well as two other ex-board members, of misappropriating HOA funds by hiring bogus maintenance and other contractors that did no work. When the association paid the vendors, some of the former board members diverted funds to themselves, according to an arrest affidavit. 

Since then, David Gersten, the court-appointed receiver overseeing Hammocks affairs after the charges, has claimed in civil suits that others, aside from those criminally charged, either turned a blind eye or in some way participated in the fraud. In that, the Hammocks became the first major case in which association vendors are accused of wrongdoing. Although claims of mismanagement abound across South Florida communities governed by associations, most take aim at board members…

Hammocks Receiver Sues Ex-HOA Accounting, Security Vendors — Lidia Dinkova | The Real Deal | February 05, 2024

A verbal argument that “became physical” escalated when a resident of a downtown Miami high-rise pulled a rifle on another man, police said.

According to an arrest report, the whole thing stemmed from an “incident” earlier that day involving the building’s homeowners association manager…

Miami high-rise resident pulled rifle on man after ‘incident’ with HOA manager, cops say — Chris Gothner | WPLG Local 10 | March 05, 2024

Scenes from New York City

Typically, condominium owners are responsible for funding repairs to building systems. But in this situation, where there appears to be a construction defect, it could be the responsibility of the sponsor, the entity that offered the new condominiums for sale…

When a New Condo Building Has Problems, Who Pays to Fix Them? — Jill Terreri Ramos | NYT | February 17, 2024

A working intercom isn’t just a convenience when visitors or food deliveries arrive — it’s a legal requirement. Under the state’s multiple dwelling law, buildings built or converted after 1968 with eight or more units must have a two-way voice intercom system linking the front door to each apartment. The city’s housing maintenance code also requires a functioning intercom…

That Broken Intercom in Your Apartment Is Illegal. Here’s What to Do. — Jill Terreri Ramos | NYT | January 20, 2024

Coverage: 1,  2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31


Vast swaths of the United States are at risk of running short of power as electricity-hungry data centers and clean-technology factories proliferate around the country, leaving utilities and regulators grasping for credible plans to expand the nation’s creaking power grid…

Amid explosive demand, America is running out of power — Evan Halper | The Washington Post | March 07, 2024

Amid explosive demand, America is running out of power
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Energy Flow Chart

Planning a long trip in your EV?  It’s gonna cost you.

Superchargers that look like gas stations open as Tesla prices Ford charging 30% higher — Daniel Zlatev | NotebookCheck | March 01, 2024


Solar cells can benefit from “strategic impurities.”

In the interest of improving solar cell efficiency, a research team led by Prof. Wolf Gero Schmidt at the University of Paderborn has been using high-performance computing (HPC) resources at the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) to study how these cells convert light to electricity. Recently, the team has been using HLRS’s Hawk supercomputer to determine how designing certain strategic impurities in solar cells could improve performance.

Hawk Supercomputer Improves Solar Cell Efficiency — CleanTechnica | March 08, 2024

The Cost of Net Zero

Toward the end of the article, the author cites a 2022 CBRE study identifying that “Average rents are 31% higher for buildings certified to conserve energy and meet other environmental standards than those without.”  That’s no recompense for condominiums and co-ops whose current owners are faced with excessive expense and no clear ROI.

A nearly 100-year-old office building in New York City is undergoing a massive retrofitting to slash its emissions. The $35 million project could serve as a blueprint—or warning—for property owners around the country.

The boiler in the basement of the 17-story building will be ripped out, along with the cast-iron radiators that wrap around each floor. In their place, heat pumps as big as oversize refrigerators will warm or cool water that is circulated in the building’s pipes to control temperatures through new radiators. 

The roughly decadelong project is an example of the daunting undertaking facing thousands of building owners across the U.S. By 2030, more than a dozen cities will have laws in place regulating building emissions, according to the carbon accounting company nZero. 

In New York alone, retrofitting some 15,000 properties to comply with a new law capping emissions would cost between $12 billion and $15 billion, according to an analysis by the city in 2023…

The NYC Building Makeover Being Watched Around the Country — Shane Shifflett | WSJ | March 01, 2024


BloombergNEF estimates getting the world’s energy network ready for “net zero” will cost $30 trillion.  VIDEO

BloombergNEF estimates getting the world’s energy network ready for “net zero” will cost $30 trillion.

HB1589 boldly pushes into electrification.  Notably, the provision to prohibit new natural gas distribution was removed, but the sting of costs associated with electrification should not be brushed aside.  Thirty.  Trillion.  Dollars.

Senate passes electrification bill that would dramatically increase costs for ratepayers — Building Industry Association of Washington | March 04, 2024


America's electricity bills have emerged as an unexpected driver of inflation despite energy costs in general moving downwards.

January's inflation data shows the electricity index rose 3.8 percent in the last year - above the 3.1 percent overall figure. 

But a new study by Texas Electricity Ratings reveals how some bills can vary by as much as $2,400 between states…

How much are electricity bills going up in YOUR state? Fascinating study… — Helena Kelly | Daily Mail | March 10, 2024

How much are electricity bills going up in YOUR state? - Daily Mail

The latest appliance?  Expensive ovens and cooktops with built-in LFP batteries that plug into 120V AC.  Boiling water in 40 seconds sounds impressive, but the batteries in these products might only last an hour.  Don’t even consider whole-home backup.  Anyone who wants that should invest in something like a Powerwall.

According to, most electric ovens draw between 2,000 and 5,000 watts an hour and cooktops range from 1,200 to 3,000 watts an hour depending on the size of the burner.  Notably, “There's a big difference in energy consumption between making beef jerky at 170 degrees and self-cleaning your oven at 800 degrees.”

Induction ovens with big batteries solve lots of problems — Seth Weintraub | Electrek | February 29, 2024

How Much Energy Does an Electric Oven and Stove Use? — Direct Energy


There is a solar-powered revolution going on in the fields of India. By 2026, more than 3 million farmers will be raising irrigation water from beneath their fields using solar-powered pumps. With effectively free water available in almost unlimited quantities to grow their crops, their lives could be transformed. Until the water runs out.

The desert state of Rajasthan is the Indian pioneer and has more solar pumps than any other. Over the past decade, the government has given subsidized solar pumps to almost 100,000 farmers. Those pumps now water more than a million acres and have enabled agricultural water use to increase by more than a quarter. But as a result, water tables are falling rapidly. There is little rain to replace the water being pumped to the surface. In places, the underground rocks are now dry down to 400 feet below ground.

Solar-Powered Farming Is Quickly Depleting the World's Groundwater Supply — Fred Pearce | WIRED | March 09, 2024


A handful of startups are trying to reinvent one of the most ubiquitous, but also environmentally destructive, ingredients in our diets: palm oil.

Palm oil is in bread, instant noodles, Girl Scout cookies, lipstick, Nutella and ice cream, to name a few. People around the world use it to cook daily. But to make all of that oil, endless miles of rainforests worldwide — regions along the Equator vital to biodiversity and the fight against climate change — have been flattened and burned and turned into palm oil plantations. That’s had deadly consequences for species like orangutans in Indonesia.

The new companies are taking their tech out of the lab and into real products. The material is made by fermentation (think breweries producing oils rather than beer) and isn’t approved for food yet. But it’s starting to show up in things like cosmetics…

These Startups Want to Make Palm Oil. In a Lab. Without Palm Trees. — Dionne Searcey | The New York Times | March 09, 2024

Housing Affordability & Homelessness

Northwood Presbyterian Church is, in a sense, a kind of home. People have gotten married in the cinder block building. They’ve sat with their kids in the pews and watched the Rev. Chris Deacon deliver sermons beneath the stained-glass cross for years.

But as the 15,000-square-foot church, which sits on seven acres on the edge of Silver Spring, Md., has seen its congregation shrink from 400 at its first service in 1958 to just above 100 in recent years, Deacon and his colleagues believe the church could be used to house people in a more literal way. Church officials have begun talking to developers about whether they can shrink the congregation’s physical space and convert parts of the property into affordable housing…

Church pews are sitting empty. Can they become affordable housing? — Danny Nguyen | The Washington Post | March 09, 2024


The Biden administration announced a program to save homeowners thousands of dollars in closing costs on certain mortgages, bulldozing opposition from an industry that had scuttled a similar plan last year. 

The initiative aims to reduce one of the biggest costs associated with closing on a mortgage: title insurance. Under a pilot program, government-controlled mortgage giant Fannie Mae will waive a requirement for title insurance on mortgage refinancings it purchases from certain lenders. 

The move reignites a fight with the industry over the cost, and necessity, of the insurance, part of the White House’s broader aim to chip away barriers to homeownership. The administration announced the program hours ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address. 

White House Revives Plan to Save Homeowners Money on Closing Costs — Andrew Ackerman | WSJ | March 07, 2024


The Billionaires’ Secret Plan to Solve California’s Housing Crisis — Conor Dougherty | NYT | March 11, 2024


Sydney’s not affordable and the locals are displeased with upzoning.

Sydney Faces Growing Pains as Its Housing Crisis Deepens — Swati Pandey and Emma Partis | Bloomberg | March 13, 2024


One Seattle Plan Draft | Draft Plan Engagement Hub | Draft EIS Engagement

Seattle mayor releases draft plan to upzone for housing across the city  — Staff | KOMO News | March 05 , 2024

Draft Comprehensive Plan Would Increase Housing Less Than Needed to Accommodate 250,000 New Residents — Erica C. Barnett | PubliCola | March 05, 2024

No, you’re not reading the headline incorrectly. If it wasn’t for state Rep. Bateman (D-22, Olympia), who passed pro-housing legislation last year mandating upzones statewide, it’s hard to imagine that Seattle’s actual mayor, Bruce Harrell, would have called for any new density at all in his recently released comprehensive plan update.

“I’m disappointed and underwhelmed with the plan Seattle put forward,” Rep. Bateman told PubliCola. “It barely goes above what new housing production would have been if they did nothing.”

Harrell’s Office of Planning and Community Development, which published the new draft comp plan last week, estimates it will lead to an additional 100,000 new homes in the next 20 years—about 12,000 homes less than the bare minimum Seattle needs to accommodate, according to King County projections…

Thank You, Seattle Mayor Jessica Bateman! — Josh Feit | PubliCola | March 11, 2024


Less is more?

Washington state Rep. Jessica Bateman is concerned that Seattle's proposed growth plan won't do enough to spur housing development and increase supply.

[Seattle’s] plan follows the letter of the law by proposing an increase from the three homes currently allowed in residential neighborhoods to four homes on most lots and six on those near transit. Developers could build six homes anywhere if two of them are considered affordable.

However, those homes would be allotted the same total square footage — 4,500 square feet on most lots — as what’s currently allowed, meaning each individual home would need to be smaller. For Bateman, that could run afoul of language in state law barring burdensome language for smaller scale housing….

…If building four homes, Washington’s Department of Commerce said cities should ideally permit each to be up to 1,500 square feet on a 5,000 square foot lot, accomplished by building up instead of just out.   

Seattle’s plan, however, would limit homes to just over 1,100 square feet when there are four on a lot. Restricting the volume of housing per lot is a way to “regulate the scale of development,” the city said in its draft plan…

WA lawmaker questions validity of Seattle’s housing plan — David Kroman | The Seattle Times | March 06 , 2024


What’s affordable in Seattle?

Emerald City residents need to earn more income to "comfortably afford" a home than locals in any other major metro nationwide outside of California.

Seattle-based Zillow released an affordability report on Thursday, finding there are seven major housing markets where a household’s income must be $200,000 or more "to comfortably afford a typical home." And yes, you guessed it, Seattle made the list.

Seattle residents must make $213,984 annually to "comfortably afford" a home, according to Zillow. The most expensive four U.S. markets are in California: San Jose ($454,296), San Francisco ($339,864), Los Angeles ($279,250) and San Diego ($273,613), Zillow said. Following Seattle are New York City ($213,615) and Boston ($205,253)...

Here's how much you need to make to 'comfortably afford' a Seattle home — Danny Schmidt | KOMO News | February 29, 2024

…Homeowners in the most risky places are now more likely to be covered by state-created, “last resort” insurance programs that provide protection where the private market won’t.

Those plans have more than doubled their market share since 2018, and their liabilities crossed the $1 trillion threshold for the first time in 2022, according to Property Insurance Plans Service Office Inc., a research firm that tracks the programs. The most climate-vulnerable states are the most exposed: As of now, Florida’s plan could suffer $525 billion in losses; In California, it’s at least $290 billion, up sixfold from 2018.

But even as states have assumed more and more risk, they’ve largely dodged a fundamental question: How will they cover claims in the wake of a truly major catastrophe? There are limited options—levies on private insurers or state residents, or more state borrowing—and none of them are good…

…Homeowners don’t understand disaster risk the same way that actuaries do. Moving is a headache under the best of circumstances; for individuals or families, it can seem like a crazy response to a theoretical future disaster. And while humans expect risks in general, we tend to discount the likelihood that any particular bad event will happen to us

US Home Insurance, Real Estate Markets Teeter on Financial Crisis — Leslie Kaufman, Saijel Kishan and Nadia Lopez | Bloomberg | March 05, 2024


Middleton, Connecticut: Peppermill Village condominium association: 12 units damaged by fire and smoke.  One building of six units is a total loss.  No fatalities.  

The biggest question: how long will it take to repair and replace the structures AND will the displaced homeowners and residents’ insurance last long enough to keep them housed?

VIDEO: 10 families displaced after 2nd-alarm fire at condominium complex in Middletown — Courtney Ingalls and Kristina Russo | WTNH | February 29, 2024


West Des Moines, Iowa: A year has passed since a fire destroyed several units and displaced dozens at Stoneridge condominium.  When will the displacement end?  Also see Issue# 83.

…Former residents of the complex expected it would be a couple of months until they could move back in. But a year later, they are still displaced. Now, they're demanding answers.

"We all still have to pay taxes, insurance and we can't live in our homes," said Ana Poole, a former resident of one of the condos in the building.

Poole has a pending lawsuit against the homeowner's association at Stoneridge Condominiums. It was filed in October. Poole requested that the court manage the HOA for a year "until fire repairs, roof repairs, financial and reserves corrected, dues collected and/or liens placed on unpaid properties."...

West Des Moines condo residents gather one year after fire displaces families — Ophelie Jacobson | KCCI | November 17, 2023


Continuing efforts to shrink the state's Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the Florida House on Thursday gave final approval to a bill that could lead to at least some second homes moving from Citizens into the private insurance market…

…While the bill deals with a series of issues related to Citizens, much of the focus has been on a "depopulation" program that is designed to shift policies from Citizens into the private market. Currently, the program involves what are known as "admitted" insurance carriers, which face state regulation on issues such as rates.

The bill would open the depopulation program to "surplus lines" carriers, which are not subject to the same regulations as admitted carriers and often insure risky properties. Under the bill, surplus lines carriers would be able to assume policies from Citizens for residences that do not have homestead property-tax exemptions…

Florida lawmakers pass Citizens Insurance changes — CBS Miami | March 08, 2024


Florida home insurance consumers got a mixed bag from the Florida Legislature this year.  Lawmakers approved a $200 million extension of the My Safe Florida Home program and created a separate program to help condo owners.

But a bill allowing surplus lines carriers to take out second-home policies from state-owned Citizens Property Insurance Corp. was approved, which critics say could subject snowbirds to failures by insurers whose policies are not guaranteed by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association.

The Legislature also failed to approve bills that would allow the Office of Insurance Regulation to increase limits on insurable values eligible for Citizens coverage and prevent cancellation or nonrenewal of policies covering flood-damaged homes.

The Legislature finished its work for the year on Friday and, barring Gov. Ron DeSantis calling a special session, left insurance customers to continue to wait for reforms enacted in 2022 and 2023 to begin stabilizing rates…

Many Florida insurance bills approved by Legislature aim to save homeowners money — Ron Hurtibise | South Florida Sun Sentinel | March 11, 2023


Depopulation from a state insurer of last resort can result in increased premiums.

Moved from Citizens to private insurance, some see rise in premiums — Ted Scouten | CBS Miami | March 11, 2023

Housing Market

If you're waiting for a break in home prices, a new report from Seattle-based Redfin might convince you to get what you can.

According to their data, the U.S. housing market gained $2.4 trillion in value over the last year. The total value now is $47.5 trillion.

That's based on more than 90 million residential properties nationwide. Mortgage rates may drop this year, but buyers still face limited supply…/

US housing market value climbs $2.4 trillion, limits options for homebuyers — Lee Stoll| KOMO News | March 02, 2024


Portable mortgages for the US?!

…The US housing market differs from most because the vast majority of mortgages are not assumable, meaning a buyer can take on a seller's mortgage when they purchase their home. Nor are they portable, which means borrowers can transfer their existing mortgage to another property

Offering portable mortgages would enable hesitant sellers to keep their rock-bottom mortgage rates when they move, potentially boosting overall inventory and transaction volumes.

"The main benefit of introducing a feature like portability is that it could 'unfreeze' housing markets to some extent by allowing homeowners to move without having to give up the low mortgage rates that they've locked in," Julia Fonseca, an assistant professor of finance at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, told Business Insider…

How the Canadian mortgage model could help unfreeze the housing market — Theron Mohamed | Business Insider | March 09, 2024


Smaller is more affordable.  See Issue#86.

After years of prioritizing large homes, the nation’s biggest and most powerful home builders are finally building more smaller ones, driving a shift toward more affordable housing.

The boom in smaller construction has cut median new-home sizes by 4 percent in the past year, to 2,179 square feet, census data shows, the lowest reading since 2010. That’s helped bring down overall costs and contributed to a 6 percent dip in new-home prices in the same period.

Townhouses, in particular, are increasingly popular, accounting for 1 in 5 new homes under construction at the end of 2023, a record high, according to an analysis of census data by the National Association of Home Builders. To cut costs, companies are building smaller and taller, with fewer windows, cabinets and doors…

Less money, less house: How market forces are reshaping the American home — Abha Bhattarai | The Washington Post | March 10, 2024

Less money, less house: How market forces are reshaping the American home

Built Environment

Viewers of Netflix's "Love is Blind" are making harsh comments about the housing development on the show.

One viewer called it the "most terrifying" part of the reality dating show.

The development is a typical Frankenstein of American suburban housing created by zoning constraints.

…There's nothing particularly remarkable about what's named the Blu South development in the town of Pineville — it's typical of many car-dependent American suburbs and exurbs, offering rows of attached single-family townhomes with wide streets and driveways and a bit of green space off a highway…

'Love is Blind' fans are bashing the cookie-cutter Charlotte suburbs featured on the show...

— Juliana Kaplan and Eliza Relman | Business Insider | March 08, 2024


Citing lengthy delays and red tape, developers have been slow to tap a Biden administration program designed to finance office conversions near transit…

…Located about a block from Pittsburgh’s Union Station, Gulf Tower is the exactly the kind of project USDOT had in mind, at least on paper. But Stauber soon discovered that the White House program wouldn’t be workable for him. For one, he said getting approval for funds would take 18 to 24 months. “In a typical real estate financing deal, you’re closing that loan within 60 to 90 days,” he says…

Why a White House Plan to Fund Office-to-Housing Conversions Isn't Working Yet — Kriston Capps | Bloomberg | February 29, 2024


Deferred maintenance draws public scrutiny in Japan:

…An increasing number of condominiums are facing problems nationwide due to aging or poor management, and Ashiya is no exception.  There are 419 condominiums with 10 or more units in the city and 105 of them are over 40 years old.  They are said to have such problems as exterior walls falling off and the corrosion of reinforcing steel.

Alarmed by the situation, the municipal government decided to enact an ordinance requiring the condominiums’ management associations to report repair plans and other information, and aims to bring the mandate into force in July.  Eight local governments across the country have already similar ordinances…

Hyogo: Aging of Condominiums Posing Problem for Ashiya Upscale Residential Area — Keiji Yamamoto and Yomiuri Shimun | The Japan News | March 02, 2024


"Everything is empty…"

…Four years after the pandemic sparked a revolution in work-from-home practices, especially pronounced in the US, the shift is proving hard to reverse - and the consequences no longer possible to ignore.

About 20% of office space around the US was unleased at the end of last year - the highest vacancy rate in more than 40 years, according to Moody's Analytics…

What a $1 deal says about America's office market — Natalie Sherman | BBC | March 09, 2024

Q4 2023 Preliminary Trend Announcement — Thomas Lasalvia, Lu Chen and Nick Luettke | Moody’s Analytics | January 08, 2024


Will 3-D printed homes lead to more affordable housing?

ICON unveils the future of 3D printed architecture at SXSW — Kat Barandy | designboom | March 12, 2024


It would be the tallest building in the United States.  Will the Legends Tower take flight?  Guess what?  It’s sited in Oklahoma City.

Full funding secured for US tallest skyscraper says developer — Ben Dreith | Dezeen | March 11, 2024

Condo Connection's financial coverage is indexed to our Dollar$ and $ense page dedicated to all things CIC finance.

The U.S. national debt is rising by $1 trillion about every 100 days — Michelle Fox | CNBC | March 01, 2024

The U.S. national debt is rising by $1 trillion about every 100 days

US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell suggested the central bank is getting close to the confidence it needs to start lowering interest rates:

“We’re waiting to become more confident that inflation is moving sustainably at 2%,” Powell said Thursday in an appearance before the Senate Banking Committee. “When we do get that confidence—and we’re not far from it—it’ll be appropriate to begin to dial back the level of restriction.”

Ten Metrics for Judging Joe Biden’s Presidency — David Rovella | Bloomberg Evening Briefing | March 07, 2024


Two months of increasing inflation in a row warrants rate caution.

Underlying US inflation topped forecasts for a second month in February as prices jumped for used cars, air travel and clothes, reinforcing the Federal Reserve’s cautious approach to cutting interest rates.

US Core Inflation Tops Forecasts Again, Reinforcing Fed Caution — Augusta Saraiva | Bloomberg | March 12, 2024

US Core Inflation Tops Forecasts Again, Reinforcing Fed Caution

PLEASE watch the following video about the price of money:

…all of these forces combined could push the 10 year yield up to 6%.  Even if borrowing costs don’t rise quite that far, going from a world in which the cost of money is falling, to where it’s rising, will have major consequences for us all.

Why the Price of Money Is About to Start Going Up | Free 🔗

— Tom Orlik, Jamie Rush, and Stephanie Flanders | Bloomberg | January 11, 2024

The Price of Money Is Going Up, and It’s Not Only Because of the Fed

— Jamie Rush, Martin Ademmer, Maeva Cousin, and Tom Orlik | Bloomberg | November 05, 2023

The Price of Money Is Going Up

Editorial: SC is getting more HOA complaints than ever; it should act on them — Post and Courier | March 04, 2024

For years, the Belmont Park Homeowners Association in Coweta County has been sending Roberto Cardenas parking citations for cars parked around his property.

The only problem is, he doesn’t own a car.  Nonetheless, Cardenas paid the fines because he was afraid his local HOA would put a lien on his home…

…At a Belmont Park Homeowners Association meeting last year, residents were told all parking citation fees would be waived and reimbursed. But one year later, Cardenas said he’s still owed $1,700.  While the HOA offered to credit $600 to his account, he said that’s doesn’t come close to refunding the money he’s already paid…

HOA sends him 1 dozen-plus parking tickets, but he doesn't own a car — Rachel Polansky | Atlanta News First | February 27, 2024

Court Held That Deed For Common Area To Homeowners’ Association Did Not Create A Trust For The Members

— Winstead PC via JD Supra | March 07, 2024

BLF LLC v. Landing at Blanco Prop. Owners Ass’n

…The decision by Judge Burke will certainly not be the last word. The Court has permanently enjoined the government from enforcing the CTA against the named plaintiffs and ordered a further hearing on the award of costs of litigation.  As a result, enforcement of the CTA is likely to be paused for now, but only against those plaintiffs…

U.S. District Court in Alabama Rules CTA Unconstitutional — Bruce Zagaris | IELR Blog | March 02, 2024

Judge Rules Against Corporate Transparency Act Disclosure Provision — Kate Kelly | NYT | March 03, 2024

…The Mandarin may sell itself as a place where “every detail has been meticulously crafted” — down to the place mats. Which is what Goodman sees as the problem the lawsuit is poking at and a problem inherent in any luxury-branded listing — where buyers are told that their sky-high expectations will be met. “The quality that’s been promised is so high.”

The Mandarin Oriental Residences Are Having Problems — Adriane Quinlan | Curbed | March 11, 2024

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Florida's unscrupulous HOAs contribute to our high cost of housing — Robert F. Sanchez | Miami Herald Op-Ed | March 02, 2024

Alan Bauman would put solar panels on his Prairie Village home if he could. He’d like to benefit from the savings on his energy bill and have more security when his electric utility suffers power outages.   But his homeowners association restricts his and neighbors’ ability to install solar power…

…Jeff Terhune, an engineer from Wichita, said he and his wife installed solar panels when they had their roof repaired following a hail storm. They thought they had placed them in compliance with homeowners association requirements, only to be forced to move them almost a year and a half later to another side of the roof, where they won’t pick up as much sunlight.

Now, the family owes more than $4,000 in fines and has a lien on their home. The homeowners association is threatening to sue them…

Kansas homeowners urge lawmakers to ban ‘punitive’ rooftop solar restrictions — Allison Kite | Kansas Reflector | February 14, 2024

…Rep. Jon Weber, R-Rexburg, brought HB 657 before the House Business Committee in the hopes of giving homeowners in developments with HOAs earlier control over the boards governing their neighborhoods instead of leaving associations under total control of the developer until the entire project is completed. The project would have created a five-member board with two seats for residents once 75% of a neighborhood is built and sold to homeowners. Ultimate control would go to homeowners once 95% of the neighborhood is completed.

Homebuilders work to stop bill to give earlier control of HOAs to homeowners — Margaret Carmel | BoiseDev | March 04, 2024

Bill To Protect Small Wyoming Home Day Cares From HOAs Moves To Senate — Clair McFarland | Cowboy State Daily | February 29, 2024

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