American Hotspots According to Non-Americans
Are international house hunters looking for a piece of the American Dream in your city? Most likely if you live in the Sunshine State.
America is often called the land of opportunity, but these days, it might be more accurate to describe us as the land of dirt-cheap real estate. In the past 12 months, American home sellers cut about $24 billion from the homes they’ve listed on Trulia, of which a staggering $3 billion was slashed in Florida. Meanwhile, word on the street is – international buyers spent a whopping $41 billion last year to snap up U.S. homes left and right. Given this fun fact, we thought it’d be pretty fascinating to see where global house hunters are looking. The results will surprise you.
Florida, Not Just For American Retirees and Tourists
Right now, global house hunters make up about 5% of the window shopping that happens on Trulia. Aside from the usual suspects (e.g., Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco), we saw a ton of interest in Florida … hmm?
In fact, 10 out of the 24 most popular American cities that have caught the eye of international homebuyers are in Florida – check it out for yourself. And yes, this list is based on popularity. That’s right, there’s more interest in Cape Coral than in Miami.
# Most Popular Florida Cities 1. Cape Coral, FL 2. Miami, FL 3. Fort Lauderdale, FL 4. Naples, FL 5. Fort Myers, FL 6. Miami Beach, FL 7. Kissimmee, FL 8. Orlando, FL 9. Jacksonville, FL 10. Tampa, FL
Reportedly, Canadians, Europeans and Brazilians spent about $13 billion on homes in Florida last year. But what gives – are the oranges really that good? We can’t say for sure, but what we do know is that the houses in Florida are being sold at a super discount. Oddly, this blue light special is also happening in Arizona, but last time we checked, the interest in Phoenix and Tucson is pretty tiny. Just to throw it out there, but maybe, just maybe, this is because Florida might be perceived as as being friendlier to non-citizens.
So who wants to move to Florida? With the exception of Brazil, let’s just say that most of these global window shoppers hail from the northern hemisphere and/or across the pond (as in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Russia, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands). Judging by our findings, this interest from abroad isn’t slowing down and may be the jolt that revives the Sunshine State’s struggling housing market.
America’s Next Top Expat Community
Now, let’s talk about the usual suspects. Of the 1.4 million global house hunters looking (on Trulia that is) to buy a piece of the American Dream, most are eyeing La La Land aka Los Angeles. Guess when it comes to “California dreamin,” everyone from the British and Australians to the Chinese and the Brazilians want to be part of Hollywood. More specifically, the British and the Australians would especially love a 90210 zip code since Beverly Hills is on each of their top 5 U.S. cities lists.
Another interesting, though hardly shocking, migration trend that we saw was in Mexico. Most of these house hunters currently living south of the border aren’t looking that far beyond the border with El Paso, San Diego and Chula Vista at the top of their list – no further commentary here.
One anomaly that we’re still scratching our heads about is Australia and Detroit. Right now, Detroit is #5 on Australia’s top 5 U.S. cities list. Aussies must really love Robocop (it’s rumored that they’re building a statue in honor of this 80s movie icon) or they must be really into techno (’cause as we all know, Detroit didn’t just give birth to Motown, they also gave us electronic music without words). Another theory that we’re toying with is that it’s also possible that the folks down under just love picking up homes for $40K a pop.
All in all, if our findings are any indication, America’s real estate market may be a driving force in either making us the world’s second home or an even more multicultural community.
In recent years, it’s become easier and easier to publish information about yourself online, through powerful new platforms like social networking sites and photo sharing services. One way to manage your privacy on these sites is to decide who specifically can see this information, determining whether it is visible to just a few friends, family members or everyone on the web. But, another important decision is choosing how you are identified when you post that information. We have worked hard to build various identity options into Google products. For example, while you may want to identify yourself by name when you post an answer to a question in a forum so that readers know the response is reputable, if you upload videos about a controversial cause you may prefer to post under a pseudonym.
However, your online identity is determined not only by what you post, but also by what others post about you -- whether a mention in a blog post, a photo tag or a reply to a public status update. When someone searches for your name on a search engine like Google, the results that appear are a combination of information you’ve posted and information published by others.
Today we’ve released a new tool to help make it easier to monitor your identity on the web and to provide easy access to resources describing ways to control what information is on the web. This tool, Me on the Web, appears as a section of the Google Dashboard right beneath the Account details.
Savvy web users may already have used Google Alerts to set up notifications for mentions of their name or email address in websites and news stories. If you haven’t set up alerts yet, Me on the Web makes it even easier to do so and even automatically suggests some search terms you may want to monitor.
Me on the Web also provides links to resources offering information on how to control what third-party information is posted about you on the web. These include common tips like reaching out to the webmaster of a site to ask for the content to be taken down, or publishing additional information on your own to help make less relevant websites appear farther down in search results.
This is just one of our first steps in continuing to explore ways to help make managing your identity online simpler.
Real estate information marketplace Zillow® today expanded and improved its living database of homes, adding more than 25 million new Zestimate® home valuations and improving Zestimate accuracy nationwide. Zillow now has data, Zestimates and Rent Zestimates on approximately 100 million homes – more than three-quarters of all homes in the United States.
In the past five years, Zillow users have submitted information on more than 28 million homes, adding updates, such as remodel or home fact information, that are not reflected in public records. This gives Zillow an inimitable database of nearly every home in the country, and creates unique home profiles that allow Zillow to calculate more accurate Zestimates on more homes. The new Zestimate algorithms launched today incorporate more of this user-submitted data, among other changes.
The expansion brings Zestimates to homeowners, buyers and sellers in states like Iowa and New Hampshire, where Zestimates were not widely available. The Zestimate median margin of error is now 8.5 percent nationwide, and below 6 percent in major metropolitan areas such as Denver, San Diego and Washington D.C.
"At Zillow, we have an unwavering commitment to give people as much free information about real estate and homes as possible, and Zestimate home valuations are a big part of that," said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. "We've spent six years cultivating our database of nearly all homes, creating a unique and living entity that combines public record data with information submitted by Zillow users on more than 28 million properties. By expanding the Zestimate algorithm to include more data points and new modeling approaches, we have been able to expand Zillow's footprint and improve accuracy. We are thrilled to offer this resource to even more consumers and professionals across the country."
Zillow launched Zillow.com in 2006, with Zestimates on more than 40 million U.S. homes. Since then, Zillow has more than doubled Zestimate coverage nationwide, added 100 million Rent Zestimates, and made significant improvements to the breadth and accuracy of data. Zestimates are a starting point in determining a home's value; together with a home's value range, comparable recent sales, and current listings, Zillow's information helps consumers gain an edge in real estate and make more informed decisions. Zestimates and other home information can also be found on Zillow Mobile, the most popular platform of mobile real estate applications across iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry.
Zillow's Zestimate accuracy is published on its website, and updated every three months. More information is available at http://www.zillow.com/howto/DataCoverageZestimateAccuracy.htm.
It’s not even April 1st in Mountain View, but the April Fool’s Day comedy game is already over and I’m declaring Google the winner. Hiring autocompleters? YouTube 1911? Gmail Motion? Chromercise? Ding, ding, ding and ding. Game over. If you’re planning any big pranks tomorrow, skip it.
Google Hiring Autocompleters
If you search with Google Instant turned on, you’ll see a new link at the bottom of the search suggestions. Google is hiring Autocompleters.
That link leads to a job description with this video introducing “Michael Taylor,” who started out as a spellchecker who typed the “Did you mean?” suggestions and then got a promotion to Autocompleter.
Even better is the video for Gmail Motion, a link that shows up on the Gmail login page.
Then there’s the Richard Simmons-esque video for Chromercise, an exercise program that helps your fingers keep up with Chrome’s speed. And yes, there’s a form to “order” a set of those dorky finger sweatbands. (I have no idea if the form is real; probably not, but I did give my name and address. In the name of journalism, of course. The things I do for our readers.)
And finally … or at least, it’s the last gag we’ve found tonight … there’s YouTube pretending to be 100 years old with a guest blog post from President Taft and a recap of the Top 5 Viral Videos of 1911.
So that one’s kinda weak, but I say Google hit a home run with the first three. Mrs. McGee was in stitches watching them, so Google passes the “regular person” test with flying colors. They win April Fool’s Day 2011. Well played, Google. Well played.
Postscript: Looks like another gag here, as Google “announces” that it will shift to the Comic Sans font across all web properties on April 4th. Riiiiiight.
A couple more have come in via the comments below (thx!), including “new” old-school display ad formats like “Punch the monkey” and “Click here for smileys.”
And Google UK got its April Fool’s mojo on with Google Translate for Animals, an Android app (not really, duh) that tells you what your pets/animals said in human language.