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OJO Labs Raises $45 Million in Series C Funding to Accelerate Product Development and Fuel Expansion
Powerful technology offers the best home buying, selling experience for millions of consumers AUSTIN, Texas, March 19, 2019 -- OJO Labs, which empowers consumers to make better decisions by providing the AI-based personal assistant "OJO," has raised $45 million in Series C funding to accelerate its development and market expansion. The company will further increase its market-leading position with significant hiring in its data science, engineering, product and design teams. The round is funded by a group of participants deeply committed to both consumers and real estate industry professionals, including LiveOak Venture Partners, Realogy Holdings Corporation, Royal Bank of Canada and Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures. OJO is a leading-edge virtual assistant that engages home buyers and sellers through natural conversations using mobile messaging and innovative web experiences that reimagine the home search and transaction experience. OJO Labs noted the new financing was made possible due to massive traction the company has been gaining with both consumers and partners. Its product has been live in 12 U.S. markets and Toronto, Canada, and is now being rolled out at a large scale nationwide. "We have utilized a unique combination of AI technology and human operations to solve some very hard technical challenges," said John Berkowitz, CEO of OJO Labs. "Our early investments and willingness to be first to market with this type of product gave us a significant head start in building our now-patented technology. We have been incorporating valuable learnings into our product. Doubling down on our investments now will further accelerate our competitive edge and, more importantly, will enable us to deliver a truly incredible experience for millions of consumers." OJO is the only AI-based digital assistant that can understand a home buyer's or seller's needs, preferences and goals, giving it the ability to create a personalized experience during the entire process. Partnering with real estate agents and brokerages, OJO is available for consumers 24/7 to help with listing information, home discovery, neighborhood selection, budget or financing guidance, and education surrounding one of the largest purchases consumers make. When consumers are ready, OJO matches them with highly qualified agents who can best serve their needs. By providing both parties with a foundation of information through a warm hand off, OJO helps to establish trust between the agent and the consumer from the start. OJO's ability to engage consumers with a conversational interface in tandem with rich visual experiences powered by photo-recognition technology, data analytics and personalized insights makes it the most relevant and engaging home shopping platform available. Behind the scenes, OJO is supported by an extensive network of industry experts who supplement the platform's data with knowledge. Continuous data training improves the OJO platform to be smarter and more effective with every interaction. This patented combination of machine learning and human interaction is unlike any other industry technology. According to Berkowitz, the firm's revenue is ramping up fast. They are quickly expanding teams in each of their three offices - Austin, where OJO Labs is based; Minneapolis-St. Paul, where last fall, OJO Labs joined forces with leading real estate data services provider WolfNet; and St Lucia, where they operate their AI training and customer service teams. OJO Labs and WolfNet expect to add more than 50 new jobs in the two U.S. markets in the coming months. OJO Labs Executive Vice President of Engineering Qingqing Ouyang says she is looking to rapidly grow their data science, engineering, product and design operations. "We're hiring exceptional individuals who are energized by collaborating with talented peers, motivated by solving hard technical challenges and committed to providing the best experience for our customers," said Ouyang. "This is an exciting time for the OJO team. We are wholeheartedly embracing the challenges of using AI to help our customers to make one of the most important decisions of their lives." About OJO Labs Inc. OJO Labs is on a mission to empower people to make better decisions through the fusion of machine and human intelligence. The company's unique, patented AI technology products can conduct text conversations with consumers at scale. By combining natural language understanding with data and personalization, the products allow consumers to deeply engage in a purchase process before interacting with a salesperson. OJO Labs is backed by the two most active VC firms in Texas, leaders in real estate and financing industries, as well as key industry executives. OJO Labs has been recognized as a Best Places to Work in Austin by the Austin Business Journal, an Austin A-List and 50 On Fire winner, recognized in Comparably's 2018 Best Company Culture Awards, named a Built In Austin 2019 Best Company to Work For and is a 2019 Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards recipient. The OJO team has decades of combined success scaling businesses and deep experience in data science, engineering, product marketing and operations.
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Second Century Ventures Launches REach Commercial Accelerator
WASHINGTON (February 19, 2019) — Second Century Ventures, the National Association of Realtors®' strategic investment arm, has launched REach® Commercial, its first commercial real estate technology accelerator. Applications for the 2019 REach® Commercial class will be accepted through March 31, 2019, at narreach.com/apply. "Expanding the REach® accelerator program will further NAR’s vision outlined last summer at the iOi conference in San Francisco, creating a dynamic, competitive real estate market that will help NAR advance our members-first mission for years to come," said Bob Goldberg, CEO of the National Association of Realtors®, and President of Second Century Ventures. "REach® Commercial will continue to leverage an exceptional network of real estate industry professionals, strategic partners, investors, and mentors to increase the depth of the commercial real estate field." With the foundation of the REach® Accelerator curriculum, which has graduated 48 companies that have collectively raised over $350M in financing during or after program acceptance, and the recent acquisition of select Elmspring accelerator assets, REach® Commercial will offer its 2019 class unparalleled access to the commercial real estate industry. Co-founded by Elmdale Partners' Adam Freeman and Tom Bretz, the Elmspring accelerator was uniquely incepted to drive innovative concepts in housing, smart home automation, multifamily, hospitality, space arbitrage, smart office planning, construction and more. "Venture capital is flowing into real estate technology at an exponential rate, driving innovation in every corner of the industry," said Mark Birschbach, NAR's Senior Vice President of Strategic Business, Innovation & Technology. "REach® Commercial enables us to invest in the entrepreneurs and companies that are revolutionizing the commercial real estate landscape while positioning Realtors® to be the first to embrace these changing technologies." REach® Commercial will offer its 2019 class a robust curriculum including: Mentorship from a roster of commercial and housing industry professionals, investors and strategic partners; Access to NAR's Insight Panel, a group of more than 50,000 real estate professionals who provide feedback on user experience, product viability and pricing; Education on how to navigate the multi-trillion dollar commercial real estate marketplace with the backing of the nation’s largest trade association and a $5 billion brand; Networking opportunities at local, national and international industry events; and Significant Exposure through NAR’s marketing and communication channels. Applications for the 2019 REach® Commercial class will be accepted through March 31, 2019, at www.narreach.com/apply. Selected companies will be announced at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 13-18, 2019, in Washington, D.C. REach® is a unique real estate technology accelerator created by Second Century Ventures, a strategic technology investment fund backed by NAR to leverage the association’s more than 1.3 million members and its unparalleled network of executives within real estate and adjacent industries. The REach® Accelerator is a nine month program designed to help technology firms launch into the real estate vertical and its adjacent markets by providing education, mentorship and market exposure to one of the world’s largest industries. For more on REach®, visit www.narreach.com. The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Moderne Ventures Announces Its Newest Passport Class
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Redfin Survey: Gen-Xers and Older Millennials Believe Stocks Are a Better Investment than Real Estate
35-44 year olds were hit hardest by the housing bust just as they reached prime first-time homebuying age SEATTLE, Jan. 7, 2019 -- Less than half of homebuyers and sellers between the ages of 35 and 44 believe that real estate is a better long-term investment than the stock market, according to a survey from Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage. In December 2018, Redfin surveyed more than 2,600 people nationwide who at the time bought or sold a home in the last year, attempted to do so, or had plans to buy or sell in the near future. Buyers who reached the median first-time homebuyer age of 31 years old between 2008 and 2012 during the Great Recession and housing market collapse are now 37 to 41 years old. Redfin's survey results show that this was the only age group that has less confidence in real estate as an investment than the stock market. Just 48 percent of homebuyers and sellers in this age group believe that real estate is a better long-term investment than the stock market. "The oldest Millennials and youngest Gen-Xers entered their late twenties or early thirties during the housing crash, which explains why they are more skeptical about investing in real-estate," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "This generation experienced a major setback during the housing bust, which hit just as they were most likely to be getting married, starting a family, and becoming a first time homeowner. Looking into the future, we expect to see homeownership increase as Millennials enter prime home-buying age. This is because Millennials have a more favorable opinion of real estate as an investment than Gen-Xers, and Millennials are a larger group than Gen-Xers." In every other age group, buyers and sellers who believe that real estate is a better long-term investment outnumbered those who believe the stock market is better. Younger Baby Boomers, respondents aged 55 to 64, were the most optimistic about real estate as an investment. For the complete report and methodology, click here. About Redfin Redfin is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer's favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the #1 brokerage website in the United States and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry's lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 85 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $60 billion in home sales.
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Second Century Ventures Acquires Assets from Elmspring, Expands REach® Accelerator Program
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REach Technology Accelerator Named Among Best in Nation for Second Consecutive Year; Now Accepting Applications for 2019 Class
CHICAGO (December 13, 2018) – For the second consecutive year, ​​​​​REach®, the growth technology accelerator operated by the National Association of Realtors®' strategic investment arm, Second Century Ventures, was named among the top accelerators in the U.S. by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project, or SARP. Now in its sixth year, SARP is compiled by researchers from the MIT Innovation Initiative Lab for Innovation Science, Rice University and the University of Richmond. It aims to provide transparency around performance so that entrepreneurs can make educated decisions when choosing from the hundreds of programs that market themselves as accelerators. "The growth and innovative strategy of the ​​REach®​ program has allowed NAR and its members to stay ahead of the constant technological changes in the real estate market. For the REach®​ program to be recognized as one of the top accelerators in the country for a second straight year is an honor and we look forward to growing the program further to benefit Realtors®​ and their businesses," said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. This year, SARP reviewed performance metrics and solicited feedback from alumni of over 150 startup accelerators; the top companies were ranked in four categories: platinum plus, platinum, gold and silver. "It is an honor to once again be recognized by SARP, alongside 25 other elite accelerators across the country. We see a huge potential for success for all ​REach® companies, and being honored by SARP for the second year in-a-row shows just how valuable REach®​​​​​​​​ companies are to NAR's members and the industry at-large," said Mark Birschbach, Senior Vice President, Strategic Business, Innovation & Technology at NAR. REach®​​​​​​​​ differs from other accelerators in both its vertical focus within the real estate and related industries, and in its early-to-mid growth stage at which most companies enter the program. Previous classes have found great success within the accelerator program and have on average doubled their customer base and collectively raised over $300 million in financing both during and after the program. Applications for the 2019 class can be submitted at narreach.com/apply. "We are excited to have the opportunity to invest our time and resources into the companies chosen to be a part of the ​​​​​​​REach®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ program and look forward to welcoming a new class in 2019 and propelling them into the real estate industry," said Goldberg. Applications for the 2019 ​​​​​​​REach®​​​​​​​ program will be accepted through January 31, 2019. Selected companies will be announced in March 2019; the nine-month program kicks off at the end of March and runs through November 2019. The ​​​​​​​REach®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ accelerator program offers education, mentorship and exposure for technology companies to enter into the real estate industry, advance their businesses and expand into adjacent markets such as insurance, mortgage and financial services. REach®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ provides a unique opportunity for technology companies to get exposure to an industry that represents more than $1 trillion in revenue, consists of more than 100,000 small- and medium-sized businesses and generates more than $12.5 billion in annual advertising spend in the U.S. Companies that have participated in REach®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ show impressive results: In aggregate, the companies have raised more than $300 million of follow-on financing. Revenue, customer and/or user growth rates from 50 percent to 2,000 percent. Key partnerships with major companies, including DocuSign, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX, RealtyOne, zipLogix, Google, and Facebook. For more information about REach®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ or to submit an application, visit narreach.com/apply. SARP rankings and selection criteria can be found at seedrankings.com. Second Century Ventures is an early-stage technology fund, backed by the National Association of Realtors®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ that leverages the association's 1.3 million members and an unparalleled network of executives within real estate and adjacent industries. SCV systematically launches its portfolio companies into the world's largest industries including real estate, financial services, banking, home services, and insurance. SCV seeks to define and deliver the future of the world's largest industries by serving as a catalyst for new technologies, new opportunities and new talent. The National Association of Realtors®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ is America's largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. <p>CHICAGO (December 13, 2018) – For the second consecutive year, ​​​​​REach®, the growth technology accelerator operated by the National Association of Realtors®' strategic investment arm, Second Century Ventures, was named among the top accelerators in the U.S. by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project, or SARP.</p> <p>Now in its sixth year, SARP is compiled by researchers from the MIT Innovation Initiative Lab for Innovation Science, Rice University and the University of Richmond. It aims to provide transparency around performance so that entrepreneurs can make educated decisions when choosing from the hundreds of programs that market themselves as accelerators.</p> <p>"The growth and innovative strategy of the ​​REach®​ program has allowed NAR and its members to stay ahead of the constant technological changes in the real estate market. For the REach®​ program to be recognized as one of the top accelerators in the country for a second straight year is an honor and we look forward to growing the program further to benefit Realtors®​ and their businesses," said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.</p> <p>This year, SARP reviewed performance metrics and solicited feedback from alumni of over 150 startup accelerators; the top companies were ranked in four categories: platinum plus, platinum, gold and silver.</p> <p>"It is an honor to once again be recognized by SARP, alongside 25 other elite accelerators across the country. We see a huge potential for success for all ​REach® companies, and being honored by SARP for the second year in-a-row shows just how valuable REach®​​​​​​​​ companies are to NAR's members and the industry at-large," said Mark Birschbach, Senior Vice President, Strategic Business, Innovation &amp; Technology at NAR.</p> <p>REach®​​​​​​​​ differs from other accelerators in both its vertical focus within the real estate and related industries, and in its early-to-mid growth stage at which most companies enter the program. Previous classes have found great success within the accelerator program and have on average doubled their customer base and collectively raised over $300 million in financing both during and after the program. Applications for the 2019 class can be submitted at <a href="http://www.narreach.com/apply" target="_blank">narreach.com/apply</a>.</p> <p>"We are excited to have the opportunity to invest our time and resources into the companies chosen to be a part of the ​​​​​​​REach®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ program and look forward to welcoming a new class in 2019 and propelling them into the real estate industry," said Goldberg.</p> <p>Applications for the 2019 ​​​​​​​REach®​​​​​​​ program will be accepted through January 31, 2019. Selected companies will be announced in March 2019; the nine-month program kicks off at the end of March and runs through November 2019.</p> <p>The ​​​​​​​REach®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ accelerator program offers education, mentorship and exposure for technology companies to enter into the real estate industry, advance their businesses and expand into adjacent markets such as insurance, mortgage and financial services. REach®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ provides a unique opportunity for technology companies to get exposure to an industry that represents more than $1 trillion in revenue, consists of more than 100,000 small- and medium-sized businesses and generates more than $12.5 billion in annual advertising spend in the U.S.</p> <p>Companies that have participated in REach®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ show impressive results:</p> <ul> <li>In aggregate, the companies have raised more than $300 million of follow-on financing.</li> <li>Revenue, customer and/or user growth rates from 50 percent to 2,000 percent.</li> <li>Key partnerships with major companies, including DocuSign, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX, RealtyOne, zipLogix, Google, and Facebook.</li> </ul> <p>For more information about REach®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ or to submit an application, visit <a href="http://narreach.com/apply" target="_blank">narreach.com/apply</a>. SARP rankings and selection criteria can be found at <a href="http://www.seedrankings.com/" target="_blank">seedrankings.com</a>.</p> <p>Second Century Ventures is an early-stage technology fund, backed by the National Association of Realtors®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ that leverages the association's 1.3 million members and an unparalleled network of executives within real estate and adjacent industries.</p> <p>SCV systematically launches its portfolio companies into the world's largest industries including real estate, financial services, banking, home services, and insurance. SCV seeks to define and deliver the future of the world's largest industries by serving as a catalyst for new technologies, new opportunities and new talent.</p> <p>The National Association of Realtors®​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ is America's largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.</p>
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Leading iBuyers Selling Nearly One in 10 Homes to Institutional Investors According to New ATTOM Data Solutions Analysis
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Opportunity Zones Offer Favorable Real Estate Investing Options in Amazon HQ2 Markets According to ATTOM Analysis
OZ Home Prices 30 to 67 Percent Lower Than Surrounding Market Prices;OZ 5-Year Home Price Appreciation Consistently Outpacing Surrounding Market HPA; IRVINE, Calif. — Nov. 15, 2018 — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation's premier property database, today released an analysis of Opportunity Zones in the three markets selected for some portion of Amazon's second headquarters, dubbed HQ2: New York, Washington, D.C., and Nashville. The analysis found that homes located in Opportunity Zones nationwide and in each of these three markets consistently were sold at a discount but also have appreciated in value more quickly over the past five years compared to homes outside of Opportunity Zones. "The new Opportunity Zones created by the tax reform legislation passed in December 2017 provide real estate investors with prime, tax-incentivized investing opportunities, particularly if they can find zones that are in the path of progress," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. "The newly announced Amazon HQ2 markets certainly qualify as being in the path of progress." The ATTOM analysis looked at housing characteristics, home values and price appreciation for 7.4 million residential properties and 259,000 home sales in more than 3,000 Opportunity Zones. Specifically in the Amazon HQ2 headquarter markets, ATTOM analyzed 80 Opportunity Zones in the Washington, D.C. metro area with a total of 263,889 single family homes and condos and a total of 3,031 home sales in 2018 year-to-date; 65 Opportunity Zones in the New York metro area with a total of 129,826 single family homes and condos and a total of 1,442 home sales YTD in 2018; and 5 Opportunity Zones in the Nashville metro area with a total of 28,381 single family homes and condos and 367 home sales YTD in 2018. New York Opportunity Zone Heat Map Washington, D.C., Opportunity Zone Heat Map The Opportunity Zone Discount The analysis found that the average home price in Opportunity Zones so far in 2018 through September is $163,746, 43 percent below the average home price of $287,150 outside of Opportunity Zones. This trend plays out in the local Amazon HQ2 markets, illustrating that real estate investors who buy in these zones are realizing a substantial discount below home prices in surrounding areas of the market. The Opportunity Zone Advantage Even though homes in Opportunity Zones are selling at a discount, they have been appreciating faster over the last five years. Nationwide, prices for homes in Opportunity Zones are up 72 percent over the last five years compared to 46 percent appreciation for homes outside of Opportunity Zones during the same period. This trend also holds true in the local Amazon HQ2 markets, suggesting that real estate investors in these areas have been able to have their cake and eat it too. Higher Share of Nonowner-Occupied Homes ATTOM also looked at the share of nonowner-occupied homes in Opportunity Zones since that provides insight into what real estate investing strategy may be most appropriate — home flipping or buying single family rentals. Nationwide, 37 percent of single family homes and condos in Opportunity Zones are nonowner-occupied, compared to 24 percent outside of Opportunity Zones. The numbers varied within the three local markets selected for some slice of Amazon HQ2 (see chart below). Lower Property Taxes Lastly, ATTOM analyzed average property taxes for home inside and outside Opportunity Zones. Property taxes are typically the second highest cost of home ownership — behind the actual sales price of the home — and as such should be factored into any real estate investing decisions. Nationwide, the average property tax for single family homes and condos in Opportunity Zones is $1,918, 41 percent below the average property tax of $3,248 for single family homes and condos not in Opportunity Zones. Average property taxes for homes inside Opportunity Zones were substantially lower than average property taxes for homes outside of Opportunity Zones in each of the three Amazon HQ2 markets. About ATTOM Data Solutions ATTOM Data Solutions provides premium property data to power products that improve transparency, innovation, efficiency and disruption in a data-driven economy. ATTOM multi-sources property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard, and neighborhood data for more than 155 million U.S. residential and commercial properties covering 99 percent of the nation's population. A rigorous data management process involving more than 20 steps validates, standardizes and enhances the data collected by ATTOM, assigning each property record with a persistent, unique ID — the ATTOM ID. The 9TB ATTOM Data Warehouse fuels innovation in many industries including mortgage, real estate, insurance, marketing, government and more through flexible data delivery solutions that include bulk file licenses, APIs, market trends, marketing lists, match & append and more.
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Moderne Ventures Announces Its New Class of Seven Passport Companies
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Best Neighborhoods for Real Estate Buying and Investing
More Than 10,000 Neighborhoods Ranked and Assigned Letter Grades from A to F; Report Also Provides Aggregate Housing Characteristics and Trends by Neighborhood Grade IRVINE, Calif. – August 2, 2018 — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation's premier property database, today released its 2018 Neighborhood Housing Index, which uses new neighborhood boundary data to rank more than 10,000 neighborhood housing markets nationwide based on six factors impacting the hyperlocal housing market: affordability, home price appreciation, school scores, crime rates, unemployment rates and property taxes (see more in the methodology enclosed below). The top five U.S. neighborhood housing markets based on the index were the Pine Ridge neighborhood in the Naples, Florida, metro ($632,871 median price); Westlake neighborhood in the Mobile, Alabama, metro ($196,179); Union neighborhood in the San Jose, California, metro ($795,000); Westmoreland neighborhood in the Charlotte, North Carolina metro ($326,000); and Hunters Hill neighborhood in the Denver, Colorado, metro ($271,000). "While home prices are typically higher in higher-ranked neighborhoods with better schools and lower crime, there are still many top-notch neighborhoods with more reasonably priced homes," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. "The top five neighborhoods in this ranking represent a diverse set of markets across the country, illustrating that great neighborhoods come in many different forms." Housing trends by neighborhood grade ATTOM divided the 10,950 ranked neighborhoods into quintiles, assigning each of the five groups a letter grade from A to F, and then analyzed housing characteristics and trends by group. *Rental rates and returns, and home flipping returns are calculated at the zip code level based on the zip code in which each neighborhood is located. "It's somewhat surprising that the worst affordability is in neighborhoods with an F grade, even though those markets also posted the lowest home prices and negative price appreciation," Blomquist noted. "Meanwhile, rents are rising the fastest in these neighborhoods, illustrating why the path to homeownership can be so difficult in these areas." A-rated neighborhoods with home prices of $100,000 or less There were 136 neighborhoods with an A rating and with median home prices of $100,000 or less, led by the Devonshire neighborhood in the Mobile, Alabama, metro ($78,038 median price); the Park Central neighborhood in the Orlando Florida, metro ($91,750); the East English Village neighborhood in the Detroit, Michigan, metro area ($66,750); the Cypress Shores neighborhood in the Mobile, Alabama, metro ($85,000); and the Hathaway Manor neighborhood in the St. Louis, Missouri, metro ($69,190). About ATTOM Data Solutions ATTOM Data Solutions provides premium property data to power products that improve transparency, innovation, efficiency and disruption in a data-driven economy. ATTOM multi-sources property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard, and neighborhood data for more than 155 million U.S. residential and commercial properties covering 99 percent of the nation's population. A rigorous data management process involving more than 20 steps validates, standardizes and enhances the data collected by ATTOM, assigning each property record with a persistent, unique ID — the ATTOM ID. The 9TB ATTOM Data Warehouse fuels innovation in many industries including mortgage, real estate, insurance, marketing, government and more through flexible data delivery solutions that include bulk file licenses, APIs, market trends, marketing lists, match & append and more.
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W+R Studios Announces Cloud Investor Connect
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Foreign Investment in U.S. Commercial Real Estate Remains Strong, China and Mexico Top Investors
WASHINGTON (June 28, 2018) — Nearly one-fifth of Realtors® practicing in commercial real estate closed a sale with an international client in 2017, and 35 percent said they have experienced an increase in the number of international clients in the past five years, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors®. NAR's 2018 Commercial Real Estate International Business Trends report analyzed cross-border commercial real estate transactions made by Realtors® during 2017. The study found that most Realtors® who specialize in commercial real estate reside in smaller commercial markets where the typical deal is less than $2.5 million. "The profile of smaller commercial markets is continuing to rise as many foreign investors are attracted to smaller-sized properties in secondary and tertiary markets, bringing Realtors® confidence that increased sales and leasing activity will continue to occur in 2018," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Since 2016, world economies have regained their footing and have pressed toward higher ground. Global economic output increased in 2017, and commercial real estate continues to be a healthy investment for global investors," Yun added. Of the 59 percent of Realtors® who indicated they completed a commercial real estate transaction last year (69 percent in 2016), 18 percent reported closing a deal for an international client (20 percent in 2016). Among survey respondents who closed an international transaction, 46 percent closed a buyer-side transaction, 13 percent a seller-side transaction and the remainder closed both types of transactions. Over 60 percent of buyer-side sales were transactions with foreign buyers who primarily reside abroad. Most seller-side transactions (57 percent) were of properties sold by clients who were temporarily residing in the U.S. on non-immigrant visas. Nineteen percent of Realtors® said they completed a lease agreement on behalf of a foreign client, down from 22 percent in 2016. The median gross lease value for international lease transactions was $200,000 ($105,000 in 2016) with most space typically under 2,500 square feet. The top countries of origin for buyers were China (20 percent), Mexico (11 percent), Canada (8 percent) and the United Kingdom (6 percent). While sellers were typically from Mexico (20 percent), China (15 percent), and Brazil and Israel (both at 10 percent). Florida and Texas were the top two states where foreigners purchased and sold commercial property last year, with California being the third most popular buyer and seller destination. International commercial buyer and seller transactions typically tend to be at the higher end of the market. Last year, the median international buyer-side transaction was $975,000 and a median seller-side transaction was $1 million, while the median commercial transaction was $625,000. "Realtors®' international clients found U.S. commercial real estate markets to be a good value in 2017. About seven in 10 respondents reported that international clients view U.S. prices to be about the same or less expensive than prices in their home country," Yun stated. The survey also found that foreign buyers of commercial property typically bring more cash to the table than those purchasing residential real estate. Seventy percent of international transactions were closed with cash, while NAR's 2017 residential survey found that half of buyers paid in cash. For those not using all cash, 25 percent of commercial deals involved debt financing from U.S. sources. A majority of buyers purchased commercial space for rental property (39 percent) or for business investment purposes (34 percent). NAR's commercial community includes commercial members, real estate boards, committees, advisory boards and forums; and NAR commercial affiliate organizations – CCIM Institute, Institute of Real Estate Management, Realtors® Land Institute, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors®, and Counselors of Real Estate. Approximately 80,000 NAR members specialize in commercial real estate brokerage and related services including property management, land counseling and appraisal. In addition, more than 200,000 members are involved in commercial transactions as a secondary business. The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Prominent Real Estate Company Invests in Moxi Works Technology
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Matterport's Innovative 3D Reality Capture Technology Helps Protect Valuable Property Investments
Matterport Drives Transparency Resulting in Fair and Fast Payout for Property Owners Attempting to Get Lives and Businesses Back on Track SUNNYVALE, Calif., Dec. 14, 2017 -- Emerging 3D reality capture technology is helping property owners protect against insurance losses, both before and after disaster strikes. Matterport, the immersive 3D media technology company based in Silicon Valley, is being called a "game changer" by professionals in the property claims market. After disasters, property owners, public adjusters, contractors, and attorneys face substantial obstacles when assessing structures for repair. Damage must be precisely documented, which can't be done comprehensively with 2D photos or video. In addition, the claims process can take months, during a time which a building's condition can change, further complicating the claims and rebuilding process. This provides a real issue for owners who have to complete repairs as quickly as possible, sometimes before the insurance claim is sorted. Owners need to proactively "freeze" (or capture) their properties in time, so they can easily proceed with repairs and the claims process in the event of loss. While photography and videos are both tools that can be used, they don't provide nuance, which is why many property owners today have turned to Matterport's immersive 3D and virtual reality (VR) platform to record their spaces in pre-and-post-damage condition. "We are pleased to see homeowners, claims adjusters and insurance professionals adopting our 3D reality capture technology to document their property," said Matterport CEO Bill Brown. "As seen with the recent devastation wrought by natural disasters across the United States, Matterport's ability to capture an exact replica of a property helps to provide the fairest outcomes, cuts time and expense for insurance professionals and expedites the insurance claims and rebuilding process for property owners. Matterport technology is not only cost effective and simple to use but also produces results that are far superior to 2D photography." Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based WriteLoss, a business that documents property damage, started using Matterport cameras and cloud-based services over 18 months ago, in over 500 cases across 36 states. "The Matterport technology precisely captures a property's condition at a specific moment in time in a way that's game-changing," said David Herring, CEO of WriteLoss. "The immersive nature of the technology provides visceral, detailed views of a property and what is needed to fix it. A decision-maker can be located thousands of miles away and yet feel like she is walking through the property at her own pace, while deciding what to see." "Anyone who lives in a hurricane, flood, fire or earthquake zone should really consider getting a 3D model of their property in case disaster hits," added Herring. "But the same goes for business or homeowners anywhere. It's an inexpensive way to ensure you are financially protected should you experience a loss as regular as, say, overhead water damage. We tell people to hold on to receipts, but insurance companies want to see photo documentation because that's what changes the outcome and makes it better for people, and I can't think of a better way to document that than Matterport." Founded in 2011, Matterport gives people the freedom to experience any place at any time and from anywhere. There are numerous applications across industries beyond property recovery, including real estate, hospitality, travel, entertainment, construction, and others. Matterport's easy-to-use platform captures immersive 3D tours, virtual reality experiences, Google Street View inside view tours, 3D floor plans, guided tours and more. The all-in-one technology requires little to no training to operate, and a 2,000-square-foot space can be captured in under an hour. About Matterport Headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, Matterport is an immersive media technology company that delivers an end-to-end system for creating, modifying, distributing, and navigating immersive 3D and virtual reality (VR) versions of real-world spaces on Web, mobile devices, and VR headsets. The Matterport Pro Camera and Cloud Services make it quick and easy to turn real-world places into immersive virtual experiences. More information about Matterport is available at www.matterport.com. To learn more about becoming a Matterport Service Provider, visit our Service Provider Program.
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Realtor.com® Introduces "My Home" to Help Homeowners Manage Their Home Like an Investment
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U.S. Home Sellers Realized Average Price Gain of $51,000 in Second Quarter of 2017, Highest in 10 Years
Average Homeownership Tenure Increases to New Record High of 8.05 Years; Cash Sales Share of Home Sales Increases Annually For First Time in Four Years; Institutional Investor Share of Sales Up in Memphis, Charlotte, Nashville, Baltimore, Raleigh IRVINE, Calif. – July 27, 2017 — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s largest multi-sourced property database, today released its Q2 2017 U.S. Home Sales Report, which shows that homeowners who sold in the second quarter realized an average price gain of $51,000 since purchase — the highest average price gain for home sellers since Q2 2007, when it was $57,000. The average home seller price gain of $51,000 in Q2 2017 represented an average return of 26 percent on the previous purchase price of the home, the highest average home seller return since Q3 2007, when it was 27 percent. The report also shows that homeowners who sold in the second quarter had owned an average of 8.05 years, up from 7.85 years in the previous quarter and up from 7.59 years in Q2 2016 to the longest average homeownership tenure as far back as data is available, Q1 2000. “Potential home sellers in today’s market are caught in a Catch-22. While it’s the most profitable time to sell in a decade, it’s also extremely difficult to find another home to purchase, which is helping to keep homeowners in their homes longer before selling,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “And the market is becoming even more competitive, with the share of cash buyers in the second quarter increasing annually for the first time in four years.” Cash sales share increases annually for first time since Q1 2013 All-cash sales represented 28.9 percent of all single family and condo sales in Q2 2017, down from 31.3 percent of all sales in the first quarter, but up from 27.3 percent of all sales in Q2 2016 — the first annual increase in the share of cash sales since Q1 2013. Among major metropolitan areas with a population of at least 1 million, those with the highest share of all-cash sales in Q2 2017 were Raleigh, North Carolina (57.4 percent); Miami (46.2 percent); Detroit (45.2 percent); Oklahoma City (44.6 percent); and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida (43.2 percent). Institutional investor sales share down nationwide, up in 26 percent of local markets The share of U.S. single family home and condo sales sold to institutional investors (entities buying at least 10 properties in a calendar year) was 2.1 percent in the second quarter, up from 1.8 percent in the first quarter but down from 2.6 percent a year ago. Among 73 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000 and at least 40 institutional investor sales in Q2 2017, those with the highest share of institutional investor sales in the second quarter were; Macon, Georgia (8.9 percent); Memphis, Tennessee (8.6 percent); Killeen-Temple, Texas (8.3 percent); Clarksville, Tennessee (7.8 percent); and Birmingham, Alabama (7.4 percent). Counter to the national trend, 19 of the 73 metro areas (26 percent) posted year-over-year increases in the share of institutional investor purchases, including Memphis, Tennessee (up 6 percent); Charlotte, North Carolina (up 6 percent); Nashville, Tennessee (up 37 percent); Baltimore, Maryland (up 3 percent); and Raleigh, North Carolina (up 42 percent). Highest average home seller returns in Northern California, Seattle and Denver Among 118 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 1,000 home sales in Q2 2017 with previous sale information available, those with the highest average home seller returns were San Jose, California (75 percent); San Francisco, California (65 percent); Seattle, Washington (63 percent); Modesto, California (62 percent); and Denver, Colorado (62 percent). “An ongoing issue in the greater Seattle area is a lack of supply which is aggressively driving up home prices,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, covering the Seattle market. “The only short-term solution is to build more homes, but thanks to land constraints and construction costs, this simply is not happening at a rate that you would normally expect in a market like this. Unfortunately I do not expect this trend to change until zoning and regulation costs change, which is unlikely in the current political climate.” Average homeownership tenure down in Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, DC and Detroit Counter to the national trend, the average homeownership tenure in Q2 2017 decreased from a year ago in 25 of 89 metro areas analyzed in the report (28 percent), including Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Detroit. Among major metropolitan areas with a population of at least 1 million, those with the longest average homeownership tenure for home sellers who sold in the second quarter were Boston, Massachusetts (11.91 years); Hartford, Connecticut (11.90 years); Providence, Rhode Island (10.28 years); San Francisco, California (9.87 years); and San Jose, California (9.71 years). “Across Southern California we are witnessing concerns over housing affordability keeping homeowners in current homes for longer tenure, and keeping available home inventories low in supply.” said Michael Mahon, president at First Team Real Estate covering the Southern California market, where the average homeownership tenure reached a new all-time high of 9.55 years in Q2 2017. Distressed sale share drops to lowest level since Q3 2007 Total distressed sales — bank-owned (REO) sales, third-party foreclosure auction sales, and short sales — accounted for 13.4 percent of all single family and condo sales in Q2 2017, down from 17.1 percent in the first quarter and down from 15.2 percent in Q2 2016 to the lowest level since Q3 2007. Among 141 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000 and at least 100 total distressed sales in Q2 2017, those with the highest share of total distressed sales were Atlantic City, New Jersey (40.2 percent); Canton, Ohio (31.0 percent); Columbus, Georgia (27.8 percent); Trenton, New Jersey (27.7 percent); and Akron, Ohio (27.5 percent). Counter to the national trend, 39 of the 141 metro areas (28 percent) posted year-over-year increases in share of distressed sales, including New York, New York (up 13 percent); Denver, Colorado (up 3 percent); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (up 31 percent); Cincinnati, Ohio (up 19 percent); and Cleveland, Ohio (up 5 percent). FHA buyer share drops to lowest level in more than two years Sales to FHA buyers (typically first time homebuyers or other buyers with a low down payment) represented 14.3 percent of all U.S. single family and condo sales in Q2 2017, down from 14.4 percent of all sales in the first quarter and down from 16.0 percent in Q2 2016 to the lowest level since Q1 2015. Among metro areas with a population of at least 1 million, those with the highest share of sales to FHA buyers were Kansas City (25.0 percent); Salt Lake City (24.5 percent); Indianapolis (24.5 percent); Houston (23.9 percent); and San Antonio (23.6 percent). Report methodology The ATTOM Data Solutions U.S. Home Sales Report provides percentages of distressed sales and all sales that are sold to investors, institutional investors and cash buyers, a state and metropolitan statistical area. Data is also available at the county and zip code level upon request. The data is derived from recorded sales deeds, foreclosure filings and loan data. Statistics for previous quarters are revised when each new report is issued as more deed data becomes available. About ATTOM Data Solutions ATTOM Data Solutions is the curator of the ATTOM Data Warehouse, a multi-sourced national property database that blends property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard, health hazards, neighborhood characteristics and other property characteristic data for more than 150 million U.S. residential and commercial properties. The ATTOM Data Warehouse delivers actionable data to businesses, consumers, government agencies, universities, policymakers and the media in multiple ways, including bulk file licenses, APIs and customized reports. ATTOM Data Solutions also powers consumer websites designed to promote real estate transparency: RealtyTrac.com is a property search and research portal for foreclosures and other off-market properties; Homefacts.com is a neighborhood research portal providing hyperlocal risks and amenities information; HomeDisclosure.com produces detailed property pre-diligence reports.
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Moderne Ventures Closes $33 Million Early Stage Venture Fund
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Realtor.com® Names 2017 Hottest College Investment Towns Ahead of National College Decision Day
  SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 26, 2017 -- Realtor.com®, a leading online real estate destination operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc., today announced its top picks for college towns in the U.S. where it is less expensive to buy versus rent as high school seniors and their parents around the country gear up for National Decision Day on May 1. To compile the list, realtor.com® compared average monthly rental costs to the average monthly home payment (mortgage, property taxes and insurance) in markets surrounding notable colleges and universities. Baltimore, home of Johns Hopkins University, ranked as the top market to buy versus rent with an average monthly homeownership cost of $775, in comparison to a $1,443 monthly rental cost. "College tuition in the U.S. has increased more than 60 percent over the last 10 years," said Javier Vivas, manager of economic research for realtor.com®. "Assuming you can afford the down payment, owning a home that your child can live in while at school can help cut the high costs of off campus living. It also makes a great future investment as a steady flow of students into the town continues to drive demand." Realtor.com®'s Top College Towns It takes an average of 21 percent of local median household income to purchase a home in these counties, compared to 28 percent for the U.S. overall. Yet, renting in these markets is more expensive, taking an average 27 percent of income compared to 25 percent for the U.S. These markets have strong local economies and healthy real estate fundamentals to support at least average home price appreciation. Of these markets, all but Baltimore and Champaign are seeing the median age of inventory decline, while Champaign and Swarthmore see median age of inventory longer than the U.S. These markets represent strong millennial buying trends as well, with an average market share of 41 percent for people under 35, compared to 38 percent to the U.S. overall. Only Champaign, West Lafayette, and College Park see under a 38 percent share for millennials. Methodology:Realtor.com defined college towns as counties with at least one four-year college and sizable student housing population. Areas were then ranked based on monthly money saved from owning instead of renting. Monthly mortgage rates were calculated based on the median listed homes on realtor.com (assuming a 20 percent down payment) and the median rent for the county. Facts About Realtor.com®'s Top College Towns 1. Johns Hopkins University - BaltimoreHome ownership cost: $775Rent payment: $1,443 Local housing market: The median price for a home in Baltimore County is $131,400, well below the national median of $260,000, and has an average of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Charles Village, a small neighborhood located south east of campus, is popular for students. Another great area for investors is in and around the recently revitalized East Baltimore Development Inc. project. 2. University of Notre Dame – South BendHome ownership cost: $470Rental payment: $856 Local housing market: With a median home price of $89,900, the area surrounding University of Notre Dame offers the most affordable home prices on the list. When comparing the average ownership cost and rental payment, parent investors could potentially save $386 a month, which does not account for their student living with roommates. South Bend is a popular student neighborhood around Notre Dame where housing stretches the dollar and offers multiple bedrooms with affordable prices. 3. Purdue University – West LafayetteHome ownership cost: $666Rent payment: $970 Local housing market: Homes near Purdue University have an average price of $131,000 and offer an average of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Parents looking to invest may want to consider the Chauncey Hill area, which is popular with students due to its close proximity to campus and overall walkability. 4. Michigan State University – East LansingHome ownership cost: $628Rent payment: $930 Local housing market: The median price for a home in Ingham County is $107,225 and has an average of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Downtown East Lansing is popular among younger undergraduate students who want to be close to campus, as well as bars and restaurants. Parents of graduate students may want to consider the Groeseck neighborhood, which is better for those looking for a quieter, more relaxed environment. 5. University of Pennsylvania – PhiladelphiaHome ownership cost: $964Rent payment: $1,252 Local housing market: The average home surrounding University of Pennsylvania is $167,950, well below the national median, and offers three bedrooms and two bathrooms. With an average monthly rent of more than $1,200, parents looking to invest in real estate have the potential for significant income. Point Breeze and Passyunk are popular neighborhoods for undergraduate students because of their proximity to campus, as well as their general walkability. 6. University of Maryland – College ParkHome ownership cost: $1,699Rent payment: $1,971 Local housing market: University of Maryland has the highest average home price on the list, with a median of $300,447, as well as the highest average monthly rent of $1,971. While more costly, the average home has four bedrooms and three bathrooms, which gives parents more opportunities for rental income. Parent investors should consider buying in popular student areas of College Park Woods and Hollywood on the Hill. 7. Case Western Reserve University – ClevelandHome ownership cost: $677Rent payment: $866 Local housing market: Homes in Cuyahoga County have a median price of $120,574, well below the national average, and offer an average of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Coventry, North Coventry, and Cedar-Fairmount are popular neighborhoods among students because of their easy access to shopping and grocery stores as well as nightlife. 8. Swarthmore College – SwarthmoreHome ownership cost: $1,128Rent payment: $1,252 Popular student neighborhoods: The median price home in Delaware County is $189,125 and offers three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Parents of students attending Swathmore College may want to consider an investment in the revitalized downtown that is attracting large groups of students or the nearby borough of Media, which offers larger homes with a little more peace and quiet. 9. Marquette University – MilwaukeeHome ownership cost: $856Rent payment: $954 Local housing market: Parents considering an investment around Marquette University will pay an average of $135,450 for three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Beerline, a small neighborhood that borders the north side of the Milwaukee River is home to many new developments ready for investors, while the Lower East Side neighborhood offers single-family homes, high-rise apartment complexes and everything in between. 10. University of Illinois – ChampaignHome ownership cost: $875Rent payment: $956 Local housing market: The median priced home in Champaign County is $149,075 with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. To the west of campus lies "Senior Land," which is highly popular with students as well as anything on Green Street between Neil Street and Lincoln Avenue. Downtown Champaign has been revitalized with a vibrant live music scene and a host of bars and restaurants to please just about anyone. About realtor.com®Realtor.com® is the trusted resource for home buyers, sellers and dreamers, offering the most comprehensive source of for-sale properties, among competing national sites, and the information, tools and professional expertise to help people move confidently through every step of their home journey. It pioneered the world of digital real estate 20 years ago, and today helps make all things home simple, efficient and enjoyable. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of REALTORS®. For more information, visit realtor.com.
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Affordability, Tight Supply Cause Vacation Home Sales to Plummet in 2016; Investment Sales Climb 4.5%
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89% of U.S. Investors Interested in Putting Their Money into Real Estate
10-04-2016 — Could real estate be the hottest trend in investing? While the concept itself isn't new, confidence and intrigue in this investment strategy are high according to recent findings from a national survey of U.S. investors by Better Homes and Gardens®Real Estate, which found 89 percent of U.S. investors surveyed are interested in incorporating real estate into their investment strategies. The results also revealed that 80 percent of U.S. investors surveyed believe a real estate portfolio is one of the best financial legacies they could leave for their family, so what could this mean for the real estate industry? Real Estate Investors of Today and Tomorrow Nearly all (96%) of U.S. investors surveyed who have invested in real estate believe their decision has helped them achieve some form of financial success: 52% greater overall financial stability 51% greater long-term net worth 45% greater monthly cash flow 94% percent of those who have invested in real estate are interested in making a future investment of this kind 84% who have invested in real estate indicated that they will make another real estate investment 2 in 5 planning to do so in less than a year 80% of investors surveyed who have never previously invested in real estate expressed an interest in making this financial commitment: 96% of Millennial investors are interested in making a real estate investment, showing greater interest than their Boomer counterparts (83%) Millennials are more drawn to personal real estate investments (79%) than commercial (49%) Family Motivations Behind Real Estate Investment Despite capturing the public's fascination through reality TV, only a small portion of respondents (29%) view property flipping as a beneficial real estate investment. Rather, research revealed that family is a driving motivation behind real estate investments. 79% of investor respondents feel it is important to invest in a property that they could use for themselves or a family member at some point. 83% of parents who invest would consider buying a property for or with their child or grandchild to: Co-manage and profit from together (40%) Manage and profit from it themselves (39%) Have their children or grandchildren live in the home during college (35%) Fund college tuition in the future (35%) Investing More than Money Unlike many other investments that can be made with the click of a button, real estate investments are often complex and require careful consideration. In fact, 89 percent of investors who have made a real estate investment in the last five years feel it is important for a real estate investment property to be geographically close, so that they could either manage or use it themselves. For non-investors, this commitment can be a deterrent. Eighty-nine percent of non-real estate investors surveyed who cited concerns about jumping in on an investment property, the top reason was that they don't know enough about investing in real estate (42%), followed by it requires too much time (41%), demands too much starting capital (35%) and that it is "risky" (28%). There is a clear need for real estate professionals and their insights – 30 percent would be more likely to invest if they had access to a real estate investment professional for advice, or resources to explain how to get started. This need translates into a set of expectations. Approximately 53 percent of respondents expect a real estate agent to advise on managing the investment, as well as provide guidance on terms (49%) and down payment advice (47%). "To see consumer confidence of this magnitude is very promising," said Sherry Chris, President and CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. "Through this research, we've discovered that a majority of investors, including Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, believe real estate is the best way to diversify an investment portfolio. What's fascinating is that even when it comes to real estate investments, for many, there are still emotional drivers that accompany this type of transaction. Consumers are starting to look forward and see real estate as a viable investment strategy, and as an industry, we need to help educate and guide these individuals on the right path to achieve this goal. "The aspiration to invest in real estate is there, yet it is up to real estate professionals to explain the fundamentals and help to serve as strategic sources throughout the process. Our hope is that this research empowers our industry to provide the resources and develop the necessary information to accelerate this opportunity for both current and future real estate investors." About the Survey The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Investors Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research, among 1,000 U.S. investors, between June 30 and July 12, 2016, using an email invitation and an online survey.Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interview and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. About Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC is a dynamic real estate brand that offers a full range of services to brokers, sales associates and home buyers and sellers. Using innovative technology, sophisticated business systems and the broad appeal of a lifestyle brand, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC embodies the future of the real estate industry while remaining grounded in the tradition of home. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. The growing Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate network includes more than 10,000 affiliated sales associates and approximately 300 offices serving home buyers and sellers across the United States, Canada and the Bahamas. Better Homes and Gardens® is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC and used with permission. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate Franchise is independently owned and operated. For more information, visit www.BHGRealEstate.com.
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Investors shift to niche properties; fewer paying all cash, C.A.R. survey finds
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Vacation Home Sales Retreat, Investment Sales Leap in 2015
  WASHINGTON (April 6, 2016) — Vacation home sales cooled off in 2015 but remained at the second highest amount in nearly a decade, while investment purchases increased for the first time in five years, according to an annual survey of residential homebuyers released today by the National Association of Realtors®. Mirroring the strong price growth seen throughout the U.S., the median sales price of both vacation and investment homes surged in 2015. NAR's 2016 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey,covering existing- and new-home transactions in 2015, found that vacation-home sales last year declined to an estimated 920,000, down 18.5 percent from their most recent peak level of 1.13 million in 2014. Investment-home sales in 2015 jumped 7.0 percent to an estimated 1.09 million from 1.02 million in 2014. Owner-occupied purchases jumped 15.9 percent to 3.74 million last year from 3.23 million in 2014 — the highest level since 2007 (3.93 million). Sales estimates are based on a national online survey including responses from over 2,000 U.S. adults who purchased a residential property in 2015, and exclude institutional investment activity. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says vacation sales took a sizeable step back in 2015, but still came in at the second highest amount since 2006 (1.07 million). "Baby boomers at or near retirement continue to propel the demand for second homes, although headwinds softened the overall volume of vacation sales last year," he said. "The expanding pool of buyers amidst a dwindling number of bargain-priced properties led to tighter supply and fewer sales and caused the price of vacation homes to rise. Furthermore, the turbulence that hit the financial markets the second half of the year likely seized some would-be buyers' available cash." The median sales price of both vacation and investment homes soared in 2015. The median vacation home price was $192,000, up 28.0 percent from $150,000 in 2014. The median investment-home sales price was $143,500, up 15.3 percent from $124,500 a year ago. According to Yun, many of the metro areas with the strongest price appreciation in 2015 were in the South — the most popular destination for vacation buyers - and particularly in several Florida markets. While increased buyer demand contributed to the run-up in prices, it also likely squeezed less affluent households looking to purchase vacation properties. Vacation-home sales accounted for 16 percent of all transactions in 2015 — down from 2014 (21 percent), but still the second highest share since the survey was first conducted in 2003. The portion of investment sales remained unchanged from a year ago at 19 percent, and owner-occupied purchases increased to 65 percent (60 percent in 2014). "Despite a smaller share of distressed properties coming onto the market, investment purchases reversed course in 2015 after declining for four straight years," says Yun. "Steadily increasing home prices and strong rental demand appear to be giving more individual investors assurance that purchasing real estate will diversify their portfolios and generate additional income if they decide to rent out the home." This year's survey found that in addition to longer-term rentals, investors are most likely to attempt to and rent their properties for less than 30 days. Among investors, 42 percent did or tried to rent their property in 2015 and plan to rent their property in 2016. Twenty-four percent of vacation buyers did or tried to rent their property in 2015 and plan to rent their property this year. Vacation buyers are more likely to use a property manager or social media to rent their property, while investors are more likely to use a traditional real estate agency. The share of vacation buyers who paid in cash jumped to 38 percent from 30 percent in 2014, while cash purchases by investors decreased to 39 percent from 41 percent a year ago. Of buyers who financed their purchase with a mortgage, over half (52 percent) of vacation buyers and 44 percent of investors financed less than 70 percent of the purchase price. The overall trend of fewer distressed properties (short sale or foreclosure) on the market resulted in vacation buyers and investors purchasing less of them in 2015. Thirty-six percent of vacation buyers (45 percent in 2014) and 39 percent of investors (44 percent in 2014) purchased a distressed property a year ago. Characteristics of Vacation-Home Purchases Vacation-home buyers in 2015 had a higher median household income ($103,700) than those in 2014 ($94,380) and purchased a property that was a median distance of 200 miles away from their primary residence (unchanged from a year ago). Buyers plan to own their property for a median of 7 years, an increase from 6 years in 2014. With more vacation buyers purchasing single-family homes (58 percent) compared to a year ago (54 percent), the share of those buying a condo (25 percent) or a townhouse or row house (13 percent) decreased in this year's survey. Forty-percent of vacation buyers purchased in a beach area, 19 percent purchased in the mountains or at a lakefront and 16 percent purchased a vacation home in the country. Nearly half of all vacation homes bought last year were in the South (47 percent; 41 percent in 2014), 25 percent were in the West (unchanged from a year ago), 15 percent in the Northeast (unchanged from a year ago) and 13 percent in the Midwest (14 percent in 2014). Over one-third of vacation buyers plan to use their property for vacations or as a family retreat (37 percent), 16 percent bought for future retirement plans and only 7 percent purchased to generate income through renting the property, a decrease from 11 percent in 2014. Characteristics of Investment-Home Purchases The typical investment-home buyer in 2015 had a median household income of $95,800 ($87,680 in 2014) and bought a detached single-family home (62 percent) that was a median distance of 22 miles from their primary residence (24 miles in 2014). Investment buyers last year purchased property for a variety of reasons, with an increasing share from 2014 citing rental income as the primary reason (42 percent; 37 percent in 2014), followed by low prices and the buyer found a good deal (16 percent), and for potential price appreciation (14 percent). Likely reflecting growing demand towards renting in the city, investment purchases in urban areas increased to 29 percent (26 percent in 2014). Purchased properties from investment buyers were more likely to be in the South (37 percent) and in a suburban area (41 percent). Perhaps encouraged by rising housing demand and home prices, over 80 percent of both vacation buyers and investment buyers believe that now is a good time to purchase real estate. NAR's 2016 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, conducted in March 2016, surveyed a sample of households that had purchased any type of residential real estate during 2015. The survey sample was drawn from a representative panel of U.S. adults monitored and maintained by an established survey research firm. A total of 2,053 qualified adults responded to the survey. Respondents were sampled to meet age and income quotas representative of all home buyers drawn from the NAR 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. The 2016 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey can be ordered by calling 800-874-6500, or online. The report is free to NAR members and accredited media and costs $149.95 for non-members. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Interactive Investment Analysis Made Easy with Valuate from RPR
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Home Flipping Increases in 75 Percent of U.S. Markets in 2015
IRVINE, CA (March 03, 2016) — RealtyTrac®, the nation's leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its Year-End and Q4 2015 U.S. Home Flipping Report, which shows that 179,778 U.S. single family homes and condos were flipped in 2015, 5.5 percent of all single family home and condo sales during the year. The 5.5 percent share of U.S. home flips in 2015 was up from a 5.3 percent share in 2014, marking the first annual increase in the share of homes flipped following four consecutive years of decreases. The share of homes flipped in 2015 increased from the previous year in 83 of 110 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas nationwide analyzed for the report (75 percent). For the report, a home flip is defined as a property that is sold in an arms-length sale for the second time within a 12-month period based on publicly recorded sales deed data collected by RealtyTrac in more than 950 counties accounting for more than 80 percent of the U.S. population (see full methodology below). "As confidence in the housing recovery spreads, more real estate investors and would-be real estate investors are hopping on the home flipping bandwagon," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. "Not only is the share of home flips on the rise again, but we also see the flipping trend trickling down to smaller investors who are completing fewer flips per year. The total number of investors who completed at least one flip in 2015 was at the highest level since 2007, and the number of flips per investor was at the lowest level since 2008." There were 110,008 investors or entities that completed at least one home flip in 2015, the highest number of home flippers since 2007, when there were 130,603 home flippers. The peak in the number of active home flippers was in 2005, with 259,192. There were 1.63 home flips per investor in 2015, the lowest ratio of flips per investor since 2008. "More inexperienced home flippers with a smaller financial cushion could be a sign of an over-speculative market, but the data indicates that flippers in 2015 continued to operate within relatively conservative margins," Blomquist continued. "Homes flipped in 2015 were on average purchased at a 26 percent discount below estimated market value and re-sold by the flipper at a 5 percent premium above estimated market value." Share of homes flipped in 2015 above 2005 levels in 11 percent of markets The 5.5 percent share of U.S. homes flipped in 2015 was still well below the peak of 8.2 percent of U.S. homes flipped in 2005. Counter to the national trend, the share of homes flipped in 2015 was above 2005 levels in 12 of the 110 metro areas (11 percent) analyzed in the report, including Pittsburgh (19 percent above 2005 levels); Memphis (18 percent above 2005 levels); Buffalo, New York (12 percent above 2005 levels); San Diego (4 percent above 2005 levels); Seattle (4 percent above 2005 levels); Birmingham, Alabama (4 percent above 2005 levels); and Cleveland (3 percent above 2005 levels). "When home flipping numbers go up, it is usually an indication that the housing market is in trouble," said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, covering the Seattle market, where the share of homes flipped in 2015 was down from 2014 despite being above 2005 levels. "The problem with a rise in home flipping is that these sales artificially inflate home prices, making housing even less affordable for buyers and increasing the risk of a bubble. I'm happy to see that the percentage of home flipping sales in Seattle does not exceed the national average and that they're down from a year ago. This makes sense given our affordability constraints and lower potential for profits for home flippers." Metro areas with the biggest year-over-year increase in share of flips were Lakeland, Florida (up 50 percent); New Haven, Connecticut (up 45 percent); Jacksonville, Florida (up 41 percent); Homosassa Springs, Florida (up 40 percent); and Akron, Ohio (up 37 percent). "We continue to see distressed properties funnel through the pipeline in South Florida, which makes it ripe for investors to profit in a strong selling market," said Mike Pappas, CEO and president at the Keyes Company, covering the South Florida market. "There are always sellers that will discount for a quick cash sale and open the door for astute investors to make a good return by repositioning the property." The Miami metro area had the most homes flipped of any market nationwide in 2015, with 10,658, representing 8.6 percent of all Miami-area home sales for the year and up 4 percent as a share of all sales from 2014. Average gross flipping profit at a 10-year high in 2015 Homes flipped in 2015 yielded an average gross profit of $55,000 nationwide, the highest average gross profit for homes flipped nationwide since 2005, when the average gross profit on flipped homes was $58,750. The average gross flipping profit is the difference between the purchase price and the flipped price (not including rehab costs and other expenses incurred, which flipping experts estimate typically run between 20 percent and 33 percent of the property's after repair value). The average gross flipping profit of $55,000 in 2015 represented an average gross return on investment (ROI) of 45.8 percent, up from 44.2 percent in 2014 and up from a 35.3 percent in 2005. The annual peak in average gross flipping ROI was 2013 at 46.0 percent. The average gross ROI is the gross profit expressed as a percentage of the original purchase price. Markets with highest average gross flipping profits, ROI and increase in ROI Among 110 metro areas with at least 250 flips in 2015, those with the highest average gross flipping profit in dollars in 2015 were San Francisco ($145,000); San Jose, California ($145,000); New York ($120,000); Los Angeles ($115,000); and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California (110,000). Markets with the highest average gross ROI on homes flipped in 2015 were Pittsburgh (129.5 percent); New Orleans (99.2 percent); Philadelphia (98.4 percent); Cincinnati (89.7 percent); and New Haven, Connecticut (89.6 percent). Markets with the biggest increase in average flipping gross ROI in 2015 compared to 2014 were Boise, Idaho (85 percent increase); Hartford, Connecticut (51 percent increase); Ocala, Florida (49 percent increase); Homosassa Springs, Florida (41 percent increase); and Huntsville, Alabama (39 percent increase). Highest share of home flips in Nevada, Florida, Alabama, Arizona and Tennessee States with the highest share of flips in 2015 were Nevada (8.8 percent); Florida (8.0 percent); Alabama (7.4 percent); Arizona (7.1 percent); and Tennessee (6.9 percent). Among states with at least 1,000 single family homes flipped in 2015, those with the biggest year-over-year increase in share of flips were Connecticut (up 23 percent); Oregon (up 21 percent); Maryland (up 19 percent); Illinois (up 18 percent); and New Jersey (up 17 percent). Among 110 metro areas with at least 250 flips in 2015, those with the highest share of flipping as a percentage of all single family home sales were Memphis (11.1 percent); Fresno, California (9.2 percent); Las Vegas (9.2 percent); Tampa (9.2 percent); and Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida (9.1 percent). Report methodology RealtyTrac analyzed sales deed data and automated valuation data for this report. A single family home or condo flip was any transaction that occurred in the second quarter where a previous sale on the same property had occurred within the last 12 months. Average gross profit was calculated by subtracting the average price for the first sale (purchase) from the average price of the second sale (flip). Average gross return on investment was calculated by dividing the average gross profit by the first sale (purchase) price. About RealtyTrac RealtyTrac is a leading provider of comprehensive U.S. housing and property data, including nationwide parcel-level records for more than 130 million U.S. properties. Detailed data attributes include property characteristics, tax assessor data, sales and mortgage deed records, distressed data, including default, foreclosure and auctions status, and Automated Valuation Models (AVMs). Sourced from RealtyTrac subsidiary Homefacts.com, the company's proprietary national neighborhood-level database includes more than 50 key local and neighborhood level dynamics for residential properties, providing unrivaled pre-diligence capabilities and a parcel risk database for portfolio analysis. RealtyTrac's data is widely viewed as the industry standard and, as such, is relied upon by real estate professionals and service providers, marketers and financial institutions, as well as the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, state housing and banking departments, investment funds and tens of millions of consumers.
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That marked the 12th consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines, according to the fourth quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Reports[ii]. Despite home value declines seen across most of the country throughout 2009, some markets experienced what appeared to be a bottom in home value declines, or even increases in home values during the year. However, the fourth quarter of the year brought signs that the fledgling recovery of home values in many of these markets is slowing again. If the declines are sustained, the result will be a “double dip[iii]” in home values, defined as two periods of sustained declines in home values separated by a brief period of stabilization or recovery. One in five, or 29 of the 143 markets tracked by Zillow, showed at least five consecutive month-over-month increases in home values during 2009 before beginning to flatten or fall again in the second part of the year. These markets include the Boston metropolitan statistical area (MSA), the Atlanta MSA and the San Diego MSA. Home values in an additional 29 markets, including the Los Angeles and New York MSAs, increased on a month-over-month basis each month throughout the fourth quarter. However, the rate of increase slowed from November to December in 21 of those markets, and several appear likely to experience several months of sustained decline in early 2010. The percent of single family homes with mortgages in negative equity was essentially flat from the third to the fourth quarter, changing from 21 percent in Q3 to 21.4 percent in Q4. This comes after a decrease in negative equity from the second quarter’s 23 percent. The number of homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure[iv] across the country reached a peak in December, with more than one in every thousand homes being foreclosed—a number not reached since Zillow began recording national foreclosure data in 2000. “While we have seen strong stabilization in home values during 2009, there are clear signs that they will turn more negative in the near-term,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “What we saw in mid-2009 was a brief respite from a larger market correction that has not yet run its course. The good news is that, for those markets that will see a double dip in home values before reaching a definitive bottom, this second dip will not be a return to the magnitude of depreciation seen earlier, but rather will look more like a modest aftershock of the earlier downturn. “The recent stabilization owed a lot to policy support in the form of tax credits, lower interest rates and increased Federal Housing Administration lending. The remaining correction in home values we’ll see in the first half of this year is a function of market fundamentals, such as the increasing flow of foreclosures, high levels of inventory in the market and a probable decrease in demand as the impact of the tax credit wanes and mortgage rates rise. While the next few months are likely to bring further home value declines in most markets, we do expect to see a national bottom in home prices by the middle of this year. Thereafter, home values are likely to bounce along the bottom with real appreciation remaining negligible for some time.” Foreclosure resales[v] across the country remained high, making up more than one-fifth (20.3 percent) of all U.S. home sales in December. Foreclosure resales also made up the majority of sales in several MSAs, including the Merced, CA MSA (68.3 percent), the Las Vegas MSA (64 percent) and the Modesto, CA MSA (62 percent). Additionally, 28.5 percent of home sales nationwide sold for less than what the seller originally paid. Several markets across the country showed positive longer-term appreciation. Home values increased year-over-year in 27 of 143 markets and remained flat in 15. The Boston MSA was the largest area with year-over-year appreciation, despite its more recent downturn in home values. The area’s Zillow Home Value Index rose 1.9 percent in 2009. Home values in the Boston area rose for eight months in 2009, which outweighed the recent declines. To view the original press release from Zillow News, please click here.  
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Tech and Real Estate May Lead the Way
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