Before I get started here, I would like to draw your attention to something you might enjoy.

Back in October, I wrote about Post Bros.' remake of Presidential City on City Avenue in Philadelphia.

The buildings at the vast apartment complex, as you may recall, are named for U.S. presidents.

Well, the developers gave digital producer Chris Valori carte blanche on television ads. One of them is embedded above this article.

OK, back to today's business. Video is involved here, too, as it happens.

The folks from foreclosure-search website RealtyTrac, who provide me with tons of data, have come up with something I found fascinating, and in which you might be interested, especially if you're searching for a house to buy or rent and are not sure about the location.

RealtyTrac describes it as a "Carfax for homes." What offers besides the usual property information are details about sex offenders, meth labs, and environmental and natural hazards in a neighborhood.

The report is "mobile-friendly," meaning that someone sitting in the car next to you can use it, and is available on nearly 120 million homes across the country (90 percent of all properties). Check out the video here.

This is something I could have used for my first apartment search in Philadelphia 36 years ago - the building with no mailboxes, where the guy in the next flat threw his roommate out of the window one night.

Fortunately, it was a ground-floor apartment.

Data points

Construction spending seemed to have lost its momentum nationally in fourth-quarter 2015.

After two quarters of what housing economist Patrick Newport, of IHS Global Insight, calls "solid growth," core construction - single-family, multifamily, state and local government, and private nonresidential construction - "was about flat."

S. Clark Kendus, of D. Patrick Welsh Real Estate in Swarthmore, does home statistics like few others, and the look he recently provided on 2015 in Wallingford, Delaware County, was one by which we might measure other areas of the region. has described 2015 as a banner year in terms of unit sales, and the best since the final year of the housing boom, in 2006.

Kendus' data show that Wallingford's sales for 2015 actually surpassed it. In 2006, 208 Wallingford homes sold, while 2015 recorded 214 sales.

"However, prices are still below that national record year," Kendus said.

The average selling price in 2006 was $326,432 versus $308,403 in 2015 - a 5.5 percent decrease and "signaling that the recovery is still not complete," he said.

If you consider unit sales, Kendus said, Wallingford was a seller's market in 2015.

January brought seven sales in Wallingford, compared with 11 in the same month of 2015, he said, but there was a strong increase in average selling price - from $269,255 last year to $350,714 this year.

Average days on market fell dramatically, from 92 for all of 2015 to 33 in January 2016, he said.

A lower average days-on-market figure "to me represents two factors: homes being correctly priced to the market and strong buyer demand."

Wallingford sales increased from 208 units in 2014 to 214 in 2015, and average prices there rose 2.4 percent to $308,403, which Kendus said represents steady but not exploding growth.

The latter, recent real estate market experience shows, most of us don't favor.

215-854-2472 @alheavens