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REALTORS and Social Media: Latest RPR Survey Reveals Trends
CHICAGO (April 23, 2019) – Realtors Property Resource, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS, is pleased to announce the results of its 2019 REALTOR® Social and Digital Media Report. The report includes findings from a survey of over 650 REALTORS concerning how they use social and digital media to market themselves and build their businesses. Of 651 REALTORS surveyed, almost 74% indicated that awareness is the main reason they look to social media to boost their marketing tactics. An overwhelming majority of respondents, nearly 65%, plan to commit more time to social and digital media. And just over 62% have more of their marketing budget earmarked towards social media for the coming year. "Social and digital media should play a huge role in any agent's marketing efforts," says Reggie Nicolay, RPR Vice President of Marketing. "Raising awareness of yourself and your services via channels such as Facebook, Instagram and email are the new normal in real estate marketing. It really comes down to fishing where the fish are, and the sea is full of social media users." Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social outlets for REALTORS®. Interestingly, Instagram edged out LinkedIn, which was 2017's second most used platform. Property listings are the most popular form of social media posts for real estate professionals, with local events and buying tips coming in second and third. When it comes to the type of content and format that REALTORS® are posting, photos are the number one choice, followed up by video and other content links. When it comes to digital media, email is far and away the big winner, with over 78% of REALTORS® saying the use it as their digital marketing tool of choice. Texting, videos and eNewsletters rounded out the other top digital media deliverables. Additional 2019 REALTOR®Social and Digital Media Report key findings include: Over 60 percent of respondents said they will commit more time to social and digital media in the coming year 57 percent of REALTORS® spend 1-4 hours per week on their social media presence Almost 58 percent of REALTORS® spend 1-4 hours per week on their digital marketing efforts To read the complete study results, view the PDF.
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Realtors Report Value in Promoting Green Features in Both Residential and Commercial Listings
WASHINGTON (April 19, 2019) - With Earth Day right around the corner, members of the National Association of Realtors® are doubling down on their commitment to promote environmentally friendly home features, adopt green business practices and encourage a culture of sustainability in real estate. With this in mind, NAR is releasing the REALTORS® and Sustainability 2019 Report, which found that consumer demand in real estate continues to trend eco-friendly. The report is in its third iteration and stems from NAR's Sustainability Program. It surveyed Realtors® about sustainability issues in the residential and commercial real estate markets and the preferences they are seeing in consumers in their communities. According to the report, 59% of respondents found that residential consumers were very or somewhat interested in sustainability. Seven in 10 residential and commercial agents and brokers reported that promoting energy efficiency in listings is either somewhat or very valuable. "The state of the environment is important to our members and their business practices, and the report shows that sustainability impacts consumers' home buying decisions as well," said NAR President John Smaby, a second-generation Realtor® from Edina, Minnesota and broker at Edina Realty. "Realtors® remain on the cutting edge of sustainability and continue to lead the conversation about energy efficiency in real estate." A large majority of respondents (83%) said that solar panels were available in their markets, and 36% said that solar panels increased the perceived property value. However, only 8% of those surveyed said that solar panels decreased the perceived amount of time a home spent on the market. Solar panels are most prevalent in Northeast (available in 94% of markets) and respondents in the West were the most likely to report they increase perceived property value (41%). Twenty-five percent of brokers indicated that tiny homes - homes that are 600 square feet or less - are available in their markets, a 2% increase from 2018. Only 13% of respondents said that wind farms were available in their markets. The transportation and commuting features that Realtors® stated are very or somewhat important to their clients include: easy access to highways (82%), short commute times and distance to work (81%) and walkability (51%) - the same as 2018. Forty-one percent of respondents were aware that their Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, has green data fields, compared to only 14% that were unaware. Among those that do have green data fields, 35% of respondents use them to promote green features, 26% use to promote energy information and 14% use to promote green certifications. Realtors® also revealed how comfortable they are answering questions about home performance and efficiency; 39% said they are comfortable or extremely comfortable. Forty percent of respondents say they are confident or extremely confident in their ability to connect clients with green lenders; only 6% responded that they are not at all confident. When asked what they consider as the top market issues and considerations regarding sustainability, agents and brokers named understanding lending options for energy upgrades or solar panels (38%), the lack of information and materials provided to real estate professionals (32%) and improving the energy efficiency of existing housing stock (31%). Respondents were also asked about sustainability in commercial real estate. Seventy percent of agents and brokers indicated that promoting energy efficiency in their commercial listings was very or somewhat valuable. Sixteen percent of respondents reported that their Commercial Information Exchange had green data fields and that those fields promote energy information and green features. The top building features that clients specified as very or somewhat important to their agents or brokers were utility/operation costs (81%), efficient use of lighting (67%) and indoor air quality (64%). NAR initiated the Sustainability Program as a platform for dialogue on sustainability for Realtors®, brokers, allied trade associations, and consumers. The program's efforts focus on coordination and articulation of NAR's existing sustainability resources, while also supporting a growing area of interest for consumers, helping members to assist home buyers and sellers. The REALTOR® Sustainability Program invited a sample of 112,035 active Realtors® to participate in an online survey pertaining to sustainability issues facing consumers and the industry, resulting in 6,047 usable responses. NAR plans to use this report to better benchmark Realtor® understanding of sustainability and create resources to help Realtors® better serve clients surrounding sustainability topics. 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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Spring Home Buyers Eye Homes in Need of Renovation
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U.S. Property Taxes Levied on Single Family Homes in 2018 Increased 4 Percent to More than $304 Billion
Average Property Tax Was $3,498, Up 3 Percent and Effective Tax Rate of 1.16 Percent; Highest Effective Tax Rates in New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, Vermont, Connecticut IRVINE, Calif. – April 4, 2019 — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation's premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), today released its 2018 property tax analysis for more than 87 million U.S. single family homes, which shows that property taxes levied on single family homes in 2018 totaled $304.6 billion, up 4 percent from $293.4 billion in 2017 and an average of $3,498 per home — an effective tax rate of 1.16 percent. The average property taxes of $3,498 for a single-family home in 2018 was up 3 percent from the average property tax of $3,399 in 2017, and the effective property tax rate of 1.16 percent in 2018 was down from the effective property tax rate of 1.17 percent in 2017. View 2018 Property Taxes by County Heat Map The report analyzed property tax data collected from county tax assessor offices nationwide at the state, metro and county levels along with estimated market values of single family homes calculated using an automated valuation model (AVM). The effective tax rate was the average annual property tax expressed as a percentage of the average estimated market value of homes in each geographic area. "Property taxes levied on homeowners rose again in 2018 across most of the country," said Todd Teta, chief product officer for ATTOM Data Solutions. "While many states across the country have imposed caps on how much taxes can go up, which probably contributed to a slower increase in 2018 versus 2017. There are still many factors at play that can contribute to local property tax hikes, and without major changes in the way a community runs public services, tax rates must rise to pay for them." New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, Vermont, Connecticut post highest property tax rates States with the highest effective property tax rates were New Jersey (2.25 percent), Illinois (2.22 percent), Texas (2.18 percent), Vermont (2.16 percent), and Connecticut (2.02 percent). Other states in the top 10 for highest effective property tax rates were New Hampshire (1.99 percent), New York (1.86 percent), Pennsylvania (1.79 percent), Ohio (1.69 percent), and Wisconsin (1.58 percent). Among 219 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest effective property tax rates were Binghamton, New York (3.19 percent); Syracuse, New York (2.89 percent); Rochester, New York (2.88 percent); Rockford, Illinois (2.83 percent); and Atlantic City, New Jersey (2.74 percent). Property taxes increase faster than national average in 58 percent of markets Out of the 219 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report, 120 (55 percent) posted an increase in average property taxes above the national average of 3 percent, including Los Angeles (5 percent increase), Dallas-Fort Worth (8 percent increase), Washington D.C. (4 percent increase), Atlanta (7 percent increase), and San Francisco (7 percent increase). Other major markets posting an increase in average property taxes that was above the national average were Riverside-San Bernardino (up 5 percent), Seattle (up 14 percent), Minneapolis (up 6 percent), San Diego (up 5 percent), and Tampa (up 4 percent). Hawaii, Alabama, Colorado, Nevada, Utah post lowest property tax rates States with the lowest effective property tax rates were Hawaii (0.37 percent), Alabama (0.48 percent), Colorado (0.51 percent), Nevada (0.57 percent), and Utah (0.57 percent). Other states in the top 10 for lowest effective property tax rates were West Virginia (0.58 percent), Delaware (0.61 percent), Arizona (0.64 percent), Tennessee (0.65 percent), and Wyoming (0.66 percent). Among the 219 metro areas analyzed for the report, those with the lowest effective property tax rates were Laredo, Texas (0.35 percent); Honolulu (0.36 percent); Montgomery, Alabama (0.37 percent); Tuscaloosa, Alabama (0.39 percent); and Colorado Springs, Colorado (0.42 percent). 9 counties with average annual property taxes of more than $10,000 Among 1,408 U.S. counties with at least 10,000 single family homes, those with the highest average property taxes on single-family homes were largely located in the greater New York metro area, led by Westchester County, New York ($17,392); Rockland County, New York ($12,925); Marin County, California ($12,242); Essex County, New Jersey ($12,161); and Bergen County, New Jersey ($11,771). 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 introducing the first property data deliver solution, a cloud-based data platform that streamlines data management – Data-as-a-Service (DaaS).
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Gen Xers' Adult Children Influence Their Buying Decisions, Younger Millennials Become Buying Force According to Realtor Report
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Vast Majority Think 2019 First Quarter is Good Time to Buy Home, says Realtor Survey
WASHINGTON (March 20, 2019) – New findings from a National Association of Realtors® survey show that more Americans believe that now is a good time to purchase a home. Consumer opinions about home buying bounced back in the first quarter of 2019, with 37 percent stating that they strongly believe now is a good time to buy, up from 34 percent in the last quarter of 2018 but down from 38 percent one year ago. Only 35 percent of respondents said that now is not a good time to buy a home, compared to 37 percent in 2018's fourth quarter. NAR's first quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey also found that a majority of those polled, 53 percent, said that the economy is improving – down slightly from 59 percent at the end of last year. In 2019, optimism is the greatest among those who earn $100,000 or more and those who reside in rural areas. Fifty percent of Generation X said the economy is improving, while 42 percent of urban area residents reported the same. NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun says several factors are helping to improve the attitudes of potential homebuyers. "First, inventory has been rising, so those buyers interested in making a purchase will not be limited in choices. Additionally, more stable home price trends are leading to more foot traffic at various open house gatherings." Quarter four of 2018 broke the trend for respondents who thought home prices had been steadily increasing over the last 12 months. The first quarter of 2019 followed that trend, as 61 percent of respondents said they think home prices in their communities have increased over the last 12 months; a drop from 63 percent in 2018's fourth quarter. Thirty-one percent said prices within their community had remained the same, unchanged from a year ago. This quarter's survey asked respondents to look ahead regarding local housing prices in the near future. Forty-three percent said they expect prices in their communities to stay the same over the next six months, up 2 percent from last quarter. However, 47 percent believe prices will rise in the coming six months, while 10 percent believe prices will drop in the next six months. Those who live in the Northeast and South, those who earn $50,000 to $100,000, or those who rent are most likely to believe prices will increase in their communities. Yun says the West is experiencing the most variation in expectations surrounding home prices. "A high percentage of the Western population believes that prices increased in the past year, while – possibly for the same reason – a higher segment from the West compared to other regions say prices could fall in the next 12 months," Yun said. "As to the broader economy, the perception is weaker and showing cracks in the Midwest." Amid those polled who do not presently own a home, 27 percent believe it would be very difficult to qualify for a mortgage given their current financial situation; 28 percent said it would be somewhat difficult to qualify. Twenty-four percent of that group said they expect no difficulty at all in qualifying for a mortgage; up significantly from 21 percent last quarter and 19 percent this time last year. Nonetheless, Yun notes that mortgage affordability in 2019's first quarter has been more favorable for would-be homebuyers than it has been in recent quarters. "The Federal Reserve's decision to refrain from any foreseeable rate hikes was beneficial to potential buyers," Yun said. "That move directly contributed to mortgage rates declining in quarter one, which provided a second-chance opportunity to those looking to buy who were priced out last quarter." About NAR's HOME Survey From January through March, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via a random-digit dial, including a mix of cell phones and landlines. The survey was conducted by an established survey research firm, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. Each month approximately 900 qualified households responded to the survey. The data was compiled for this report representing a total of 2,710 household responses. 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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More Than 80 Percent of Realtors Say Staged Houses Help Buyers Visualize Them as Homes
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Contactually's 2018 State of Customer Relationship Management Report Reveals Best Practices for Real Estate Agents
Analysis of user behavior provides guidance on how agents can successfully manage their accounts WASHINGTON D.C., Feb. 5, 2019 -- Contactually, the real estate CRM of choice for many of the country's top real estate brokerages, has released its 2018 CRM Usage Report which details how Contactually users successfully used the platform to manage their networks. "We developed Contactually out of a desire to help people strengthen their business relationships," said Zvi Band, CEO of Contactually. "By looking at 2018 user data and surveying active customers, we can see how our customers used the CRM to build successful connections." Most salespeople and business professionals start using a CRM to get organized and work smarter. A database on its own is simply a collection of names. By dividing a network into segments such as with the Contactually Bucket system, users can better allocate time and resources to focus on the people that are most important to business development. Real estate agents and brokers surveyed reported that 27 percent of their network brings in business and referrals — when using a CRM, you can easily find and prioritize these individuals. On average, real estate agents spend more than 60 percent of their day away from their desks. Because of this, they can find following up with leads and existing customers difficult. While the majority of agents ranked responsiveness as very important, most felt they could be better at follow-up. Current clients require at least two attempts to get a response, while it may take four tries to reach a new lead. This need for effective follow-up is top of mind for brokers and technology managers. Keenly aware that 2019 will present a competitive market environment, these leaders expressed that having agents both develop stronger relationships and also keep up with new prospects are essential for continued success. "Real estate agents are constantly adding to their networks," added Band. "With all of that activity finding technology that doesn't just keep contacts but actively monitors and surfaces relationships in need of attention is critical." To download the complete report, please visit www.contactually.com. About Contactually Contactually provides a SaaS-based intelligent customer relationship management (CRM) platform for real estate agents and brokerages. In simply minutes a day, Contactually's easy-to-use platform enables personal engagement at scale, resulting in more leads, referrals, and increased business. Proudly located in Washington, DC, Contactually employs approximately 70 people and has raised $12 million in capital to date from Grotech Ventures, Rally Ventures, Bull City Venture Partners, Middleland Capital, and others. Contactually has been named to Inc's 5000 Fastest Growing Companies and the HousingWire Tech 100. For more information, please visit us at https://www.contactually.com/.
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Realtors Property Resource Releases the 2018 State of the Listing Presentation
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Homeownership Part of American Dream; Housing Costs Deterrent for Non-Owners
WASHINGTON (January 14, 2019) – Homeowners and non-homeowners both strongly consider homeownership part of the American Dream. That is according to new consumer survey data from the National Association of Realtors®, which revealed that among those polled, approximately 75 percent of non-homeowners believe homeownership is part of their American Dream, while nine in 10 current homeowners said the same. NAR's Aspiring Home Buyers Profile analyzed 2018 quarterly consumer insights from its Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey to capture the housing expectations and sentiments of non-homeowners – both renters and those living with a family member. When non-homeowners were asked for the chief reason why they currently do not own a home, most respondents said it was because they were currently unable to afford a mortgage. Over the last quarter of 2018, 43 percent of non-owners said they did not own a home because they were not in a position to purchase, which was down from the third quarter of 2018, when 49 percent of non-homeowners answered the same. Also in the 4th quarter, 33 percent of non-homeowners said they do not own because current life circumstances are not suitable for ownership, while 16 percent said they need the flexibility of renting. In addition, the survey looked at the main reason why non-homeowners would buy a home in the future. Throughout 2018, 28 to 31 percent of non-owners each quarter said an improvement in their financial situation would be the top reason that would encourage them to buy a home in the future. In each quarter, 26 to 30 percent of non-owners said a change in lifestyle – such as getting married, starting a family or retiring – would be the primary reason they would make a future home purchase. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says unaffordable housing has caused a number of potential buyers to hold off on purchasing a new home. "The lack of affordable and moderately priced homes has forced non-homeowners to delay achieving that part of the American Dream. However, as the survey confirms, significant lifestyle changes like marriage or starting a family often spur non-owners to pursue home-ownership." For this year's survey, homeowners and non-owners were also asked about adult family or friends moving into their homes, the span of time this individual(s) lived within the household, and if they thought about moving to a new home because of the change. According to the survey, 11 percent of homeowners had an adult child move into their residence, while 5 percent of non-owners had an adult move into their home. Of those who had someone move into their home, 44 percent said that the individual intended to live with them for over one year or to stay permanently. Forty-four percent of non-owners reported that the individual planned on living with them for between six months to one year. Eighty-eight percent of those surveyed who had someone move into their home reported that their living situation remained acceptable and therefore did not warrant consideration of moving into a different home. Twelve percent said they did consider moving or ultimately did move due to their home situation changing. "While home sales were slightly down in 2018, there is still a sizable pent-up housing demand. Economic growth, interest rates, and the supply of moderately priced-homes will dictate how well the real estate industry will do this year," said Yun." About NAR's HOME survey In each quarter of 2018, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via random-digit dial, including half via cell phones and the other half via landlines. The survey was conducted by established survey research firm, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. A total of 8,140 household responses are represented. 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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Redfin Survey: Gen-Xers and Older Millennials Believe Stocks Are a Better Investment than Real Estate
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Homeowners Love Their D.I.Y. Remodels, Says Realtor Survey
WASHINGTON (January 3, 2019) – Homeowners looking to add personality and individuality to their home are more likely to undertake a do it yourself remodel than hire a professional, according to the National Association of Realtors®' 2019 Remodeling Impact Report: DIY. The report also shows that cash-strapped millennials are the most likely of any generation to take on a DIY project. The report examines the differences between remodeling when hiring a professional compared to homeowners who pursue "do it yourself" projects. The report also differentiates between projects that were undertaken to benefit the homes of consumers and those that benefit consumers' pets. According to the report, homeowners reported a "Joy Score" of 9.9 for projects done themselves (Joy Scores range from 1 and 10, and higher figures indicate greater joy from the project). That is compared to a score of 9.6 for projects completed by professionals. DIYers also expressed a greater sense of accomplishment with a finished project, with 97 percent of respondents indicating a major or minor sense of accomplishment, compared to 93 percent of those who hired a professional. Respondents indicated that the number one reason for undertaking a project was to increase functionality and/or livability of their home (35 percent for DIYers and 41 percent for those hiring a professional). That is followed by increasing the home's beauty and aesthetics (19 percent and 18 percent, respectively) and adding durable and long lasting materials and appliances (15 percent and 18 percent). Projects which were designed to add personality to a home were twice as popular among DIYers than among those hiring a professional (10 percent and 5 percent). "One of the pleasures of homeownership is the ability to take on projects to customize a house that truly make it your own. With plenty of owners taking on renovation projects as New Year's resolutions, this report is a great place to search for projects others have undertaken successfully," said John Smaby, a second-generation REALTOR® from Edina, Minnesota and broker at Edina Realty. "Specifically, those taking on remodeling projects to get the most bang for their buck on resale should speak to a local Realtor®, as they have unique and instrumental insights into which projects and upgrades bring the most value to homes in your area." Nearly three-fourths of Generation Y and Millennial consumers (73 percent,) over half of Generation X (51 percent) and 50 percent of Younger Boomers choose to DIY home projects. Seventy percent of the Silent Generation indicated that they hired a professional to complete their project – the highest of any generation. Pet Projects When it comes to projects undertaken for the benefit of the consumer's pet, marginally more respondents indicated complete satisfaction when they hired a professional, 65 percent compared to 61 percent. However, consumers are more likely to DIY a project for a pet (56 percent) than a general home project (47 percent). Respondents who hired a professional to complete a remodeling project for their pet indicated a Joy Score of 9.3, while DIYer's reported a Joy Score of 9.4. The most popular animal-driven renovations were fence and laminate floor installation, along with the additions of dog doors, with fences earning the highest Joy Score (9.4 for professional, 9.5 for D.I.Y.). 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.
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Majority Feel 2018 Fourth Quarter is Good Time to Buy Home, says Realtor Survey
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Technology, Realtor Use: Both Large Part of Home Buyer Process
WASHINGTON (December 12, 2018) – Consumers retain the internet as a critical tool during their home buying process, while buyers continue to utilize the knowledge and expertise of a real estate agent, according to the National Association of Realtors®' Real Estate in a Digital Age report. The report examines the process home buyers go through in the initial online search and the role Realtors® play connecting with customers in the digital space. "Consumers have the ability to do more home buying research online than ever before. Still, Realtors® present tremendous value to buyers from every generation and every background. While consumers have more technological tools at their fingertips, Realtors® continue to be a large part of the home buying and selling equation," said John Smaby, a second-generation REALTOR® from Edina, Minnesota and broker at Edina Realty. The report found that finding the right property was ranked as the most difficult step in the home buying process. Since the internet is now the first place many people go for information, it is not surprising that 44 percent of buyers looked for properties online as a first step in the home buying process (the same as 2017). However, 87 percent of buyers in 2018 purchased their home with assistance from a real estate agent, a share that grows higher for millennials at 90 percent. While 99 percent of millennials and 90 percent of older boomers used online websites in their home search, only 70 percent of the silent generation - those ages 69 to 89 years - did the same. Older boomers used a mobile device at over half the rate of millennials (21 percent compared to 58 percent). When it comes to website listing features, photos and online property information were more important to millennials, while virtual tours and direct contact with a real estate agent were more important to baby boomers. Despite visual content growing in popularity and importance, older home buyers found virtual tours more useful than younger buyers. All buyers typically spent 10 weeks looking for a home, whereas millennials, members of generation X and the silent generations typically spent 8 weeks looking for a home. Younger and older boomers typically searched for 10 weeks. The Real Estate in a Digital Age report also found greater technology use by Realtors® and real estate firms to serve the needs of clients. Realtors® prefer to communicate with their clients via email (93 percent) as well as text messages (92 percent) and instant messaging (37 percent). Over 90 percent of Realtors® are also using e-mail, laptops/desktop computers, and smartphones daily. "Realtors® continue to find ways to make home buying and selling more efficient and accessible for their clients. As technology use continues to transform and modernize the real estate industry, Realtors® are focused on adapting to and remaining at the forefront of this change," said Smaby. Social media continues to be popular with Realtors®, with 76 percent of females active on social media compared to 72 percent of males. Facebook and LinkedIn are the most utilized social media platforms among Realtors® (at 97 percent and 59 percent, respectively) compared to Instagram at 39 percent. The top technology tools that provide the highest quality of leads are social media (47 percent), MLS suite (32 percent), a brokerage's website (29 percent) and a listing aggregator site (29 percent), according to the report. Realtors® found that the three most valuable technology tools used in their business, excluding email and cell phones, were local MLS websites/apps (64 percent), lockbox/smart key devices (39 percent), and social media platforms (28 percent). Nearly 50 percent of all real estate firms cited keeping up with technology as one of the biggest challenges they face in the next two years. For commercial firms, 46 percent cite keeping up with technology as a challenge, while 51 percent of firms with three or more offices said the same. The report looked at the use of drones in real estate and found that 5 percent of Realtors® personally use drones, while 23 percent hire a professional, and 17 percent said that someone in their office uses drones. 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.
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Realtors More Likely to Donate Annually than Most Americans, According to Survey
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Single Females Remain a Force in Market, While First-time Buyers Continue to Struggle, According to Realtor 2018 Buyer and Seller Survey
WASHINGTON (October 29, 2018) – Single female buyers continue to be a powerful force in the market, while low inventory, rising interest rates and increasing home prices remain, holding back first-time buyers despite notable interest in buying a home. This is according to the National Association of Realtors®' 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which also identifies numerous current consumer and housing trends, including mounting student debt balances; the impact of pets on home buying decisions; increases in down payments for all buyers; the rising age of repeat buyers; and the fact that a vast number of respondents use a real estate agent to buy or sell a home, which kept for-sale-by-owner transactions at an all-time low. "With the lower end of the housing market – smaller, moderately priced homes – seeing the worst of the inventory shortage, first-time home buyers who want to enter the market are having difficulty finding a home they can afford," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Homes were selling in a median of three weeks and multiple offers were a common occurrence, further pushing up home prices. These factors contributed to the low number of first-time buyers and the struggles of would-be buyers dreaming of joining the ranks of homeownership." Here are some additional key trends of buyers and sellers detailed in this year's 150-page report. Single Female Buyers continue to be a strong force in the market For the second year in a row, single female buyers accounted for 18 percent of all buyers. The group was the second most common household buyer type behind married couples (63 percent). Single male buyers came in third and accounted for half the number of buyers as their female counterparts (9 percent). However, single males tended to purchase more expensive homes, with a median price of $215,000, compared to single females with a median price of $189,000 (the lowest of all household buyer types). Share of first-time buyers continues to fall The share of first-time home buyers continued a three-year decline, falling 33 percent (34 percent last year). This number has not been 40 percent or higher since the first-time home buyers credit ended in 2010. "Low inventory, rising interest rates and student loan debt are all factors contributing to the suppression of first-time home buyers," said Yun. "However, existing home sales data shows inventory has been rising slowly on a year-over-year basis in recent months, which may encourage more would-be buyers who were previously convinced they could not find a home to enter the market." Buyers continue to rely on agents and the internet to find the right home For the third year in a row, 95 percent of buyers used the internet at some point during their home search process, and 50 percent said that they found the home they eventually purchased online. Eighty-six percent of buyers used a real estate agent in their home search, and repeat buyers were more likely to use an agent than first-timers (87 percent to 86). Overall, 87 percent of buyers ended up purchasing their home through a real estate agent (the same as 2017), as finding the right home and negotiating terms of sale were the top factors buyers desired from their agent. Ninety percent of respondents said they would definitely or probably use their agent again or recommend them to someone else. "With inventory so low, buyers are relying on their agent's knowledge of markets and neighborhoods to find listings, rather than relying only on online searches," said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. "A Realtor® has years of experience, generating insight and expertise that can help buyers navigate a tight market where buyers are forced to move fast and make competitive bids in order to get their dream home." Student loan debt continues to be an issue Once again, student loan debt stands out as a challenge keeping would-be buyers out of the market. Among the 13 percent of buyers who said saving for a down payment was the most difficult part of the buying process, 50 percent reported that student loan debt had inhibited their ability to save for a home purchase or down payment. Twenty-four percent of all buyers indicated that they have student loan debt, at a median of $28,000, and 40 percent of first-time buyers indicated that they have student loan debt at a median of $30,000. "Even with a thriving economy and an abundance of job opportunities in many markets, monthly student loan payments coupled with sky-high rents and rising home prices make it exceedingly difficult for potential buyers to put aside savings for a down payment," said Yun. Down payments higher for all buyers Overall, buyers paid a median 13 percent down payment, up from 10 percent last year and the highest since 2005. First-time buyers paid a median 7 percent down payment, up from 5 percent last year and the highest since 1997 (9 percent), while repeat buyers paid a median 16 percent, up from last year's 14 percent and the highest since 2010. A majority of buyers ranked their personal savings as the primary source of their down payment (58 percent). Repeat buyers were most likely to use the proceeds from the sale of the previous primary residence (56 percent), while first-time buyers were the most likely to use a gift from a friend or relative (24 percent). Nearly all buyers choose a single-family home A majority of buyers continue to choose a detached, single-family home (82 percent) as opposed to a townhouse or row house (8 percent) or a condo/duplex/apartment unit (4 percent). Median age of repeat home buyers skyrockets; stays flat for first-time buyers For the third straight year, the median age of first-time home buyers was 32 years old. A majority of first-time buyers were married couples (54 percent), followed by single females (18 percent). Their median income was the same as last year's at $75,000, and they spent a median of $203,700 on a home. These buyers were more likely to purchase smaller homes than repeat buyers, with a median size of 1600 square feet. The age of repeat buyers increased to an all-time high of 55 years old (up from 54 last year). A majority of repeat buyers were also married couples (57 percent), followed by single females (18 percent). Their median income increased from $97,500 last year to $100,000 and they spent a median of $280,000 on a home. The median home size remained the same as last year, at 2000 square feet. Pets Influencing Home Buying Decisions Fifteen percent of all buyers said that convenience to vets and/or outdoor space for their pet was a critical factor in determining where they wanted to purchase their home. That number rises to 20 percent, or one-fifth of buyers, for unmarried couples. "NAR conducted a survey on the important role pets play in our home buying decisions and the unique considerations that pet owners face," said Mendenhall. "Realtors® understand that when someone buys a home, they are buying it with the needs of their whole family in mind. And any pet owner will tell you that their animals are an important and beloved part of their family." Downsizing not a trend Only 9 percent of buyers listed downsizing as a factor in their decision to move. In fact, 73 percent of buyers purchased a home that was either larger or similar in size to what they previously owned. "Homeowners that may be looking to downsize tend to be competing for the same homes as first-time buyers, and we are experiencing a scarcity of inventory in those smaller sized, moderately priced homes," said Yun. "These buyers, not finding the smaller home they are looking for, may decide to purchase an equivalently sized home or simply stay put in their current home." FSBOs at record low For-Sale-By-Owner sales accounted for 7 percent of all sales – the lowest number recorded in this survey's history. This number has been steadily declining since a high of 15 percent in 1981, with more and more owners relying on the expertise of an agent to help navigate the complicated process and intricacies of a home sale. NAR mailed a 129-question survey in July 2018 using a random sample weighted to be representative of sales on a geographic basis to 155,250 recent home buyers. Respondents had the option to fill out the survey via hard copy or online; the online survey was available in English and Spanish. A total of 7,191 responses were received from primary residence buyers. After accounting for undeliverable questionnaires, the survey had an adjusted response rate of 4.6 percent. The sample at the 95 percent confidence level has a confidence interval of plus-or-minus 1.15 percent. Recent home buyers had to have purchased a home between July 2017 and June 2018. All information is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2018 with the exception of income data, which are for 2017. 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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Three out of Four People Believe They Have Good Neighbors
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Realtors View Technology as Increasingly Valuable for Business, Competition
WASHINGTON (September 18, 2018) — As technology continues to transform and modernize the real estate industry, Realtors®, members of the National Association of Realtors®, are focused on adapting to and remaining at the forefront of this change. Last month, NAR kicked-off the inaugural Innovation, Opportunity & Investment Summit in San Francisco, where Realtors® joined real estate technology companies and the investment community to discuss evolutions in real estate technology and strategies for Realtors® to keep up with these trends. "During the iOi Summit, Realtors® collaborated with leading technology firms to identify Realtor®-friendly technology tools and resources. The summit is a part of an ongoing process of creating a dynamic, competitive real estate market that will help NAR advance our members-first mission for years to come," said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. Following the iOi Summit, NAR developed a survey focused on Realtors® day-to-day use of technology and analyzed ways technology continues to change how Realtors® and real estate businesses operate. According to the 2018 REALTOR® Technology Survey, Realtors® have spent countless hours and millions of dollars advancing real estate technologies and keeping up with the latest trends in order to further their business. "The iOi Summit and the Realtor® Technology Survey are both initiatives that help us better understand Realtors® use of technology, embrace change and identify the business technology tools of the future. Both are part of my vision as CEO, advocating for technologies that are Realtor®-centric and ensure a competitive market for consumers throughout the real estate transaction," said Goldberg. According to the survey, Realtors® continue to find the most value in current technology tools that increase efficiency and enhance remote work capabilities. The three most valuable technology tools Realtors® used in their businesses, excluding email and cell phones, were local MLS websites/apps (64 percent), lockbox/smart key devices (39 percent), and social media platforms (28 percent). As the real estate market becomes more dynamic and competitive with advances like smart technology, Realtors® are becoming more familiar with smart home and Internet connected devices. Realtors® always stay in touch with the latest trends buyers want in their homes. The survey found that Realtors® are most familiar with security devices (19 percent), home-connected wearable devices (12 percent), and home comfort devices (12 percent). While the majority of agents are satisfied with the technology tools provided by their broker, they do want some additional tools. When asked what additional technology tools Realtors® would like to see their broker provide in the future, respondents most wanted to see predictive analytics (36 percent), CRM tools (35 percent), and transaction management software (25 percent). According to the survey, 41 percent of Realtors® were somewhat satisfied with MLS-provided technology and nearly 29 percent were extremely satisfied with their MLS's technology offerings. Only two percent of respondents do not use any of the technology tools or services that their MLS offers. The tech tools that have given respondents or their agents the highest number of quality business leads in the last year were social media (47 percent), their MLS site (32 percent), their brokerage's website (29 percent), and listing aggregator sites (29 percent). The 2018 Realtor® Technology Survey was based on data collected in March 2018. The survey was e-mailed to NAR members, including Realtor® brokers, managers and agents, and generated 2,525 usable responses. The survey is available at https://www.nar.realtor/reports/realtor-technology-survey. 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.
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Realtors Help Families Navigate Back-to-School Home Shopping
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Home Buyers Forego Garages for School Districts
SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 24, 2018 -- Today's seller's market is forcing buyers to make compromises, but new survey data from realtor.com®, The Home of Home Search, shows buyers remain steadfast in their desire for their preferred school districts. In fact, they are willing to give up two of their most desired home features -- a garage and updated kitchen -- to get into the school district they want. "Most buyers understand that they may not be able to find a home that covers every single item on their wish list," said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com®. "But our survey shows that school districts are an area where many buyers aren't willing to compromise. For many buyers, 'location, location, location,' means 'schools, schools, schools.'"   The online survey was conducted earlier this month by Harris Research of more than 1,000 people who closed on a home in 2018. Three-quarters of respondents indicated schools were important in their search The majority of successful buyers surveyed, 73 percent, indicated school boundaries were important to their search, with 39 percent indicating very important and 34 percent important. Only 18 percent said they were unimportant or very unimportant, and 9 percent of buyers were neutral on the question. The desire for particular schools varied significantly by life stage and age. Ninety-one percent of buyers with children said that school boundaries were important or very important, compared to 34 percent of those without children. Similarly, younger buyers were more likely to say that schools were important. Eighty-four percent of those 35-54 years old and 86 percent of those 18-34 years old indicated they were important, compared to 37 percent of buyers 55-plus. More than half of older buyers 55-plus said school boundaries were unimportant or very unimportant. Buyers compromise on their top home features for good schools Seventy-eight percent of buyers for whom schools were important and who were able to get into their preferred district said they had to compromise on home features; 22 percent did not. The features they most commonly reported giving up were a garage (19 percent), a large backyard (18 percent), an updated kitchen (17 percent), desired number of bedrooms (17 percent), and an outdoor living area (16 percent). According to realtor.com's spring home buyer survey a garage was the No. 1 feature home buyers were looking for this year, followed by an updated kitchen, and an open floor plan. Older buyers were less likely to say they had to compromise with 42 percent of buyers 55-plus reporting they made no compromises, compared to 21 percent of 35-54 year-old buyers and 17 percent of buyers aged 18-34. Buyers define good schools by test scores and accelerated programs Test scores were the factor most often selected by buyers as a hallmark of a good school (59 percent), followed by having accelerated programs (53 percent), arts and music (49 percent), diversity (43 percent), and before- and after-school programs (41 percent). Younger buyers were more likely than older buyers to cite diversity as a factor that makes for a good school -- 49 percent for 18-34 year-olds, compared to 37 percent for 55-plus. More older buyers placed importance on whether a school has accelerated programs -- 62 percent for 55-plus vs. 50 percent for buyers under 55. Buyers looking for homes in a specific district or school boundary, can search specifically within these parameters on realtor.com.® Buyers simply enter the name of a school or district into the search box on the realtor.com® home page. Homes within the area are then presented on a map with a "pin" showing the school name and location. For more information about the survey, please visit: https://www.realtor.com/research/home-buyers-forego-garages-for-school-districts About realtor.com® Realtor.com®, The Home of Home SearchSM, offers the most comprehensive source of for-sale MLS-listed properties, among competing national sites, and access to 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 is the trusted resource for home buyers, sellers and dreamers by making 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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Realtors Survey Shows Rising Membership, Younger Agents Joining Industry
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The Marketing Divide: 2018 Real Estate Marketing Analysis
Adwerx and REAL Trends Survey Reveals Brokers and Agents Differ On Primary Marketing Priorities DURHAM, N.C., June 6, 2018 -- Real estate agents and brokers both know that marketing is essential to the success of their business. A new study from Adwerx, the leaders in real estate advertising, shows that a divide exists in what marketing tactics these two groups see as most valuable. The study, commissioned by Adwerx and administered by REAL Trends, a real estate consulting and publishing company based in Colorado, revealed that while brokers are often focused on long-term growth and invest their dollars in branding and community awareness, agents prioritize the need to drive commissions on an individual level. "When looking at the long term trends and new challengers to the industry, it's clear we are in the beginning stages of an industry-wide change in how brokers support their agents," said Jed Carlson, CEO of Adwerx. When it comes to investing in their brand, both agents and broker/owners spend on websites, social media, yard signs and listing portals. Agents see open houses and direct mail as representing additional opportunities to gather leads, while brokerages are more likely to prioritize efforts that build brand awareness, such as print advertising and community involvement. The top three marketing channels agents are likely to spend their money on include listing portal leads; social media, and direct mail indicating a focus on generating leads. Broker/owners by comparison looked to print advertising, outdoor signage, and radio, with an eye toward building long-term awareness. Brokers often take on the expense of branding through a company website and yard signs while agents shoulder the costs for activities that generate immediate business. One thing both agents and broker owners prioritize is social media. Social networking is affordable, easy to set-up, and provides immediate, easy to measure audience reaction. "This research points at some differences between agent and broker priorities but also shows opportunities where agents and brokers can work together on shared goals," added Carlson. "Alignment on branding standards and strategies that deliver both short-term and long-term results are key." To download the complete report, please visit www.adwerx.com/2018marketinganalysis. About Adwerx One of the fastest growing companies in real estate technology, Adwerx automates digital advertising for brokerages to delight the seller and increase agent satisfaction. Adwerx helps individual agents promote themselves and their listings online, working with over 100,000 real estate customers across the US, Canada and Australia. Adwerx is comprised of a team of savvy marketers, experienced software developers, and advertising veterans who are bound together by the simple belief that online marketing should work for everyone. For more information, visit www.adwerx.com.
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Consumer Interest Trends Towards Sustainability, say Realtors
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Millennial Buyers Feel the Brunt of Rate and Price Hikes
Debt and smaller down payments leave millennials vulnerable to an already challenging market SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 4, 2018 -- As interest rates and home prices continue to rise, millennial home buyers are more likely than older buyers to adjust what they are shopping for, according to a new survey released today from realtor.com®, a leading online real estate destination. Two factors contributing to this market sensitivity are millennials' likelihood to carry more student loan and other debt and put less down than other buyers. According to the online survey of more than 1,000 active buyers conducted in March by Toluna Research, 79 percent and 83 percent of respondents of all ages, respectively, said rising interest rates and home prices will impact their home search. That rises to 92 and 93 percent for buyers ages 18 to 34 years old. Only 17 percent and 21 percent of all buyers indicated prices and rates would have no impact. "Existing debt and lower down payments leave younger shoppers more exposed than others to the impact of rising mortgage rates and record-high home prices," said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com®. "These obstacles won't prevent millennials from finding and buying homes, but most will have to adapt to these challenging market conditions by adjusting their home search." Rising prices and interest rates impact the majority of buyers When asked how their search would be impacted by rising prices, 41 percent indicated they have to buy a smaller home, 35 percent need to look for a less expensive home, 34 percent have to look in a different neighborhood, 33 percent need to put down a larger down payment, and 31 percent have to increase their monthly mortgage budget. Survey data also shows rising rates have a greater impact on millennials than on buyers 55 years or older. As a result of rising rates, 37 percent of millennials said that they have to look for a less expensive home, compared to 24 percent of buyers 55 and older. Thirty-five percent of millennials have to look in a different neighborhood, compared to 18 percent of those 55+. Thirty-three percent of millennials have to look for a smaller home, compared to 23 percent of boomers. Millennial buyers carry more debt than others Millennial buyers are also more likely to report carrying each of the seven categories of debt realtor.com® inquired about – often by a significant margin. Of those between the ages of 18 and 34 years old, 78 percent have credit card debt, 68 percent have a car loan, 62 percent have a personal loan, 62 percent have mortgage debt, 57 percent have home equity loans, and 61 percent have student loans. This is notably higher than 35-54 years old who reported: 72 percent credit card debt, 59 percent car loan, 55 percent have a personal loan, 60 percent mortgage debt, 49 percent home equity loan, and 49 percent student loans. Or those 55+ who indicated: 45 percent credit card debt, 30 percent car loan, 12 percent personal loan, 32 percent mortgage debt, 11 percent home equity loans and 9 percent student loans. Millennials put the least amount down When all respondents were asked how much cash they are planning to put down on their purchase, 32 percent indicated they are putting down less than 10 percent of their purchase price. Seventeen percent said 16 to 20 percent of the price and 15 percent indicated 11 to 15 percent of the purchase price. A down payment of less than 10 percent was most common for the millennial generation with 37 percent of buyers aged 18-34 reporting this. They were followed by 34 percent of 35-54 year-olds and 20 percent of those 55 years or older. Millennials were also the least likely to put more than 20 percent of their purchase price down with roughly one in four among 18 to 34 year-olds putting more than 20 percent down, followed by one in three among 35 to 54 year-olds, and one in two among 55+ buyers. Full results are available here. Realtor.com® also recently surveyed house hunters about what they are looking for in a home. It also surveyed buyers about the hotly competitive spring buying season. 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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Rising Rents Push Millennials to Become Homeowners
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HOME Survey: Housing and Economic Sentiment on Divergent Paths in Early 2018
WASHINGTON (March 26, 2018) — New consumer findings from the National Association of Realtors® surprisingly show that while a growing share of households in the first three months of the year feel more confident about the economy and their financial situation, those positive feelings are not translating to positive views that now is a good time to buy a home. That's according to NAR's first quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, which also found that homeowners are increasingly positive about selling, and non-homeowners have anxieties about saving for a down payment and qualifying for a mortgage. Heading into the busy spring buying season, optimism that now is a good time to buy a home is at its lowest share in the past two years (68 percent; 72 percent last quarter). Among renters, feelings about buying are further diminished (55 percent; 60 percent last quarter). Conversely, those most optimistic about buying are homeowners, older respondents and those living in the more affordable Midwest and South regions. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says extremely challenging market conditions to start the year are chipping away at homebuyer optimism. "The critical shortage of listings in most markets continues to spark a hike in home prices that is not easy for many buyers – and especially first-time buyers – to overcome," he said. "Adding more fuel to the affordability fire is the fact that mortgage rates have shot up to a four-year high in just a few months. Many house hunters are telling Realtors® that they are dispirited by the stiff competition for the short number of listings they can afford." Amidst the ongoing climb in home prices in most markets, the share of homeowners who believe now is a good time to sell increased to 77 percent in the first quarter (76 percent last quarter), which is second only to last year's third quarter (80 percent) as the highest overall share since the HOME survey began in December 2015. A year ago, 69 percent of homeowners thought it was a good time to sell. "There's no question that a majority of homeowners have amassed considerable equity gains since the downturn. Home prices have grown a cumulative 48 percent since 2011 and are up 5.9 percent through the first two months of this year," said Yun. "Supply conditions would improve measurably, and ultimately lead to more sales, if a growing number of homeowners finally decide that this spring is the time to list their home for sale." Consumers feeling more upbeat about the economy and their financial situation Although optimism was a tad higher a year ago (62 percent), more households in the first quarter of this year (60 percent) believe the economy is improving compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 (52 percent). Homeowners, residents from the South and those from rural areas were the most optimistic about the direction of the economy. Stronger economic confidence this quarter also led to households having improved feelings about their financial situation. The HOME survey's monthly Personal Financial Outlook Index, showing respondents' confidence that their financial situation will be better in six months, rose from 59.1 in December to 62.0 in March. A year ago, the index was slightly higher (62.6). "The jump in optimism to start the year can be attributed to the robust job creation in most of the country, as well as the larger paychecks households are enjoying because of faster wage growth and the recent tax cuts," said Yun. "These three positives should further ignite buyer demand. However, several metro areas with the healthiest labor markets also have the most severe supply and affordability pressures. This troublesome reality is what's dampening moods and keeping many would-be buyers at bay." Income, debt and anxiety hold back some non-homeowners from buying In this quarter's survey, non-homeowners were also asked about the barriers preventing them from saving for a down payment. Limited income (47 percent), student loan debt (30 percent), and rising rents (28 percent) were the top three obstacles cited, followed by health and medical costs (14 percent). Only 14 percent also said that nothing was holding them back from saving for a down payment. Non-homeowners were also asked for the potential reasons why qualifying for a mortgage would be difficult. Income uncertainty (45 percent), a low credit score (34 percent) and too much debt (26 percent) were mentioned the most. Twenty-nine percent said they lacked the financial knowledge or did not know the first step needed to qualify. "It's never too early for those wanting to own a home in the future to sit down with a lender to discuss their current financial situation," said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. "Homeownership could be a more attainable goal once an interested buyer finds out how much they can afford to buy, as well as what steps, if any, are needed to improve their chances of obtaining a mortgage." About NAR's HOME survey In January through early March, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via random-digit dial, including a mix of cell phones and land lines. The survey was conducted by an established survey research firm, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. Each month approximately 900 qualified households responded to the survey. The data was compiled for this report and a total of 2,702 household responses are represented. 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.
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[VIDEO] Rachel Adams Lee on realtor.com's Teams Study
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CoreLogic Special Report: Evaluating the Housing Market Since the Great Recession
A Review of the United States Real Estate Economy from 2006-2017 CoreLogic®, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released "Evaluating the Housing Market Since the Great Recession." This report details the remarkable 11-year economic cycle surrounding the last U.S. housing market downturn, examining the boom and bust years between 2006 and 2011 and the ensuing recovery, with data through December 2017. Residential home prices began to peak in some parts of the country as early as 2005 (Figure 1). Home prices collapsed in 2007 (Figure 2), when Wall Street began to back out of residential mortgage-backed securities. After falling 33 percent during the recession, prices in most markets have returned to peak levels, growing 51 percent nationally since bottoming out in March 2011. The average home price is now 1 percent higher than it was at the peak in 2006, and the average year-over-year home equity gain was $14,888 in the third quarter of 2017*. This indicates the housing market has widely recovered. While the nation's average home price has stabilized, not all of the 50 states are back to their pre-recession price levels. Nevada suffered the biggest drop during the recession, with a 60 percent peak-to-trough decline in home prices (Figure 3). Even after experiencing a 93 percent increase from its trough-to-current home price level, Nevada home prices are still 23 percent below the pre-recession peak, and 9 percent of mortgaged properties remained underwater in the third quarter of 2017. Some states faired relatively well through the national housing downturn, with 10 posting peak-to-trough declines of less than 10 percent. North Dakota's peak-to-trough declinewas the smallest at 2 percent. Due in part to the energy boom, North Dakota home prices have risen 48 percent above the prior peak in July 2008. Similarly, Nebraska and Iowa home prices both dropped by 5 percent during the recession. Nebraska now stands 27 percent higher than its lowest home price level during the recession, and Iowa is now 15 percent above its prior peak in 2006. "Homeowners in the United States experienced a run-up in prices from the early 2000s to 2006, and then saw the trend reverse with steady declines through 2011," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "After reaching bottom in 2011, our national price index is up more than 50 percent. West Coast states, such as California, Washington and Oregon are seeing some of largest trough-to-current growth rates in home prices. Greater demand and lower supply ­– as well as booming job markets – have given some of the hardest-hit housing markets a boost in home prices. Yet, many are still not back to pre-crash levels." Local job market dynamics and other factors helped determine the severity of the housing downturn at the regional level. Las Vegas, Miami and Chicago each arrived at their respective peaks at different times during the boom and experienced significant peak-to-trough home price declines during the recession. These markets have been slower to recover and their home prices are below their pre-recession peaks. Other metro areas such as San Francisco and Denver, which both have technology sectors and low unemployment, have experienced consistent home price growth. In the third quarter of 2017, the average year-over-year equity gain in San Francisco and Denver was $73,217, and $22,102, respectively, and only 1 percent of homes in those markets remained underwater. *December 2017 equity data was revised. Revisions are standard, and to ensure accuracy CoreLogic incorporates newly released data to provide updated results. About CoreLogic CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider. The company's combined data from public, contributory and proprietary sources includes over 4.5 billion records spanning more than 50 years and providing detailed coverage of property, mortgages and other encumbrances, consumer credit, tenancy, location, hazard risk and related performance information. The markets CoreLogic serves include real estate and mortgage finance, insurance, capital markets, and the public sector. CoreLogic delivers value to clients through unique data, analytics, workflow technology, advisory and managed services. Clients rely on CoreLogic to help identify and manage growth opportunities, improve performance and mitigate risk. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., CoreLogic operates in North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit www.corelogic.com.
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Redfin Survey: 35% of Recent Homebuyers Bid on a Home Before Seeing it in Person
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Redfin Survey: Just 6% of Homebuyers Would Cancel Plans to Buy if Mortgage Rates Surpassed 5%
27% Would Slow Their Home Search; 25% Said the Rate Increase Would Have No Impact on their Home-buying Plans SEATTLE, Feb. 12, 2018 -- Just 6 percent of prospective homebuyers would halt their home search if mortgage rates rose above 5 percent, according to a late-2017 survey commissioned by Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage. This represents a modest one-point increase in the portion of buyers who responded this way to a similar survey question in May, revealing that buyers remain unfazed by the prospect of rising mortgage rates. After hovering below 4 percent at the end of 2017, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate surpassed 4 percent in January and has been steadily rising, reaching 4.32 percent at the time of this report's publication. Mortgage rates are expected to continue to rise in the coming year. Twenty-seven percent of respondents who plan to buy a home in the coming year said that a 5 percent mortgage rate would cause them to slow their plans to buy, down two points from May. A quarter said such a hike would have no impact on their plans, consistent with the May survey findings. Among prospective buyers responding to the late-2017 survey, 21 percent said a rate bump to 5 percent would cause them to increase their urgency to buy, while another 21 percent said they would instead look in more affordable areas or buy a smaller home. The second in a series of three reports on a November/December survey of more than 4,000 people who bought or sold a home last year, attempted to do so, or planned to do so soon revealed the following key findings related to the housing market and the economy: The tax reform debate may have fueled anxiety as high taxes were the most common economic concern, cited by 38% of respondents. Respondents in California , where residents pay among the highest state, local and property taxes in the country, were even more likely to name high taxes as a top concern, with more than 40 percent of respondents in San Francisco , San Diego and Sacramento citing it. However, less than one-third of Los Angeles -based respondents cited high taxes as a top concern, though it was still the most common response. By contrast, affordable housing was the most frequently cited economic concern among respondents in other parts of the country including Seattle (45%) and Portland (44%), where the income gap between the rich and poor ranked second and high taxes ranked third. Affordable housing also ranked highest among Denver -based respondents (46%), with high taxes following behind (30%). 77% of respondents said they expect home prices in their area to rise in the next year. The vast majority of respondents agreed that home prices will continue to rise in 2018. Only 6 percent of respondents said they expect any decline in prices, and only 1 percent said they expect prices to fall significantly. Most respondents (52%) said they expect prices to rise slightly, while another 25 percent said they expect a significant increase in prices and 17 percent said they expect no change at all. "Tight credit, lack of inventory and high demand are the major factors that tell us there's no housing bubble, despite rapid price increases," said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. "There are still many more buyers than the current housing supply can support, with no major relief in sight. Strict lending regulations make it much harder to buy a house you can't afford than during the housing boom a decade ago. Finally, still-low interest rates somewhat offset high prices for some buyers." To read the full report, complete with data, charts and a full methodology, please click here.
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Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Releases Annual Review of Luxury Real Estate in 2017
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Most Renters Want to Own a Home; Lifestyle Changes Are Top Motivation to Buy
WASHINGTON (February 7, 2018) — Despite weakening optimism from non-homeowners at the end of last year that now is a good time to buy, an overwhelming majority said they do want to own a home in the future and believe homeownership is part of their American Dream. That is according to new consumer survey data from the National Association of Realtors®, which additionally found that non-homeowners' lifestyle changes and improvements in their financial situation outweigh seeing their rent increase as the main motivators for deciding to buy a home. NAR's Aspiring Home Buyers Profile analyzed 2017 quarterly consumer insights from its Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey to capture the housing expectations and sentiment of non-homeowners – both renters and those living with a family member. When asked for the primary reason non-homeowners currently do not own, an increasing share of them over the past year said it was because they are unable to afford it. Over half of non-owners indicated they could not afford to buy a home each quarter, with the share feeling this way reaching its highest in the last three months of the year (56 percent). The swift price growth and painfully low supply levels in much of the country in 2017 also appeared to have dealt a blow to the confidence among non-owners that now is a good time to buy. After reaching a high of 62 percent in the third quarter, the share of non-owners who believed now is a good time to buy slipped to 58 percent at the end of the year. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says severe inventory shortages are making homebuying less affordable and are dimming optimism among many renters who desire to be homeowners. "A tug-of-war continues to take place in many markets throughout the country, where consistently solid job creation is fueling demand, but the lack of supply is creating affordability constraints that are ultimately pulling aspiring buyers further away from owning," he said. "These extremely frustrating conditions continue to be most apparent at the lower end of the market, which is why the overall share of first-time buyers remains well below where it should be given the strength of the job market and economy." Even with the dip in morale about buying over the past year, respondents' views about homeownership are still overwhelmingly positive. Roughly three-quarters of non-owners each quarter said that they eventually want to own a home and also believe that owning a home is part of their American Dream. Shifts in lifestyle, finances exceed rent hikes as deciding factor to buy As for the main reasons non-owners would buy a home in the future, a change in lifestyle such as getting married, starting a family or retiring was the top choice (24 to 32 percent each quarter), followed by an improvement in their financial situation (26 to 30 percent each quarter) and the desire to settle down in one location (12 to 16 percent each quarter). According to the survey, roughly half of current renters expect their rent to increase this year (51 percent). If in fact their rent does increase, most indicated that they would resign their lease (42 percent) or move to a cheaper rental (25 percent). Only 15 percent of renters said they would consider purchasing a home. "Housing demand in 2018 will be fueled by more millennials finally deciding to marry and have kids and the expectations that solid job growth and the strengthening economy will push incomes higher," said Yun. "However, with prices and mortgage rates also expected to increase, affordability pressures will persist. That is why it is critical for much of the country to start seeing a significant hike in new and existing housing supply. Otherwise, many would-be first-time buyers will be forced to continue renting and not reach their dream of being a homeowner." About NAR's HOME survey In each quarter of 2017, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via random-digit dial, including half via cell phones and the other half via landlines. The survey was conducted by an established survey research firm, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. A total of 10,823 household responses are represented. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Teams: Why they form, what's working and how they succeed
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Why teams are flourishing and what the top ones do differently
If you are in a team, or teams are a big force in your market, this is worth your attention. We are sharing information with hundreds of teams, their agents and those who compete with teams. The focus is on how they outpaced other segments in growth and the impact on the real estate profession. We'll be sharing what we learn on new team structures, systems and geographic expansion. We'll also unpack what is making teams thrive - and the best strategies to compete with teams, join one or grow one. Take the MVP team quiz today, and get the findings, attend a private webinar and receive a discount coupon from realtor.com!
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New consumer research from Realsuite resets the bar for real estate agents
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What Drives Double Digit Team Growth -- and How This Affects You
If you are in a team, or teams are a big force in your market, this is worth your attention. We are sharing information with hundreds of teams, their agents and those who compete with teams. The focus is on how they outpaced other segments in growth and the impact on the real estate profession. We'll be sharing what we learn on new team structures, systems and geographic expansion. We'll also unpack what is making teams thrive - and the best strategies to compete with teams, join one or grow one. Take the MVP team quiz today, and get the findings, attend a private webinar and receive a discount coupon from realtor.com!
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Impact of Teams: Join One, Start One or Compete Like One
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American Homebuyers are Ready to Embrace Virtual Reality, According to Coldwell Banker Real Estate Survey
Smart home technology continues to grow in popularity and could change the way consumers buy and sell homes MADISON, N.J., Jan. 8, 2018 -- Technology has made the process of home buying and selling simpler, smarter and faster. As smart home and virtual reality (VR) technology continues to become more mainstream and sought after, consumers are now expecting high-tech experiences before even stepping foot in a prospective listing. A new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, conducted online by Harris Poll among over 3,000 U.S. adults, suggests VR is poised to become the next big thing in real estate. Americans appear to be ready to embrace VR as a resource to visualize what is normally left to the home buyer's imagination. In fact, the desire for VR house tours is almost on par with traditional video tours. For those considering a home purchase in the future, 84 percent of respondents would like to see video footage, while 77 percent would like the ability to be able to take VR house tours before actually visiting prospective homes. Furthermore, the survey found that if they were considering purchasing a new home in the future: Americans also see additional applications of VR, with over two-thirds (68 percent) saying that they would love the ability to utilize VR to see how their current furniture would fit in a prospective home. 62 percent of Americans would be more likely to choose a real estate sales associate who offered VR house tour capabilities as a service for their clients that prospective buyers could view on their computer or smartphone over one that did not. Smart Home Preferences: VR is just the beginning when it comes to being smart about technology and real estate. If there's anything the past few years have proven, it's that smart home technology is here to stay. The Coldwell Banker survey also asked consumers about their smart home preferences, with the following key takeaways: This year, 32 percent of Americans report having smart home products in their homes, up from 24 percent in 2016, revealing a 33 percent year-over-year increase If selling a home this year, nearly half (42 percent) of Americans agreed that they would look to their sales agent to provide suggestions about how staging their home with smart home products/technology could impact the sale of their home It's up to real estate professionals to counsel sellers on how to make their listings stand out by having pre-installed smart home technology in their home and provide insight on smart home technology's value to prospective buyers. So what smart products would potential homebuyers most prefer to have already installed? Smart thermostat (77 percent) Smart fire detector (75 percent) Smart carbon monoxide detector (70 percent) Smart camera (66 percent) Smart lock (63 percent) Smart lighting system (63 percent) "Our consumer findings underscore the need for industry-wide smart home education for real estate sales agents," Charlie Young, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. "As the smart home leader in real estate, Coldwell Banker is at the forefront of this trend. We were the first to offer a smart home certification and definition of a smart home which positions our network of brokers and agents to deliver a competitive advantage for their customers in an ever-changing market." "It's crucial that the real estate industry stays on the cutting edge of technology. From virtual reality to smart home tech, consumers are now interacting with these technologies in different capacities and expect the same when working with a real estate professional," said David Marine, senior vice president of marketing of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. "Coldwell Banker Real Estate is committed to connecting our independent affiliated agents with the best technology to better serve and counsel home buyers and sellers." For the full results of the Coldwell Banker Real Estate Smart Home Marketplace consumer survey, including detailed breakdowns by smart home products, please visit this link. Methodology The 2017 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Coldwell Banker Real Estate from December 5-7, 2017 among 3,129 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, and the 2016 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Coldwell Banker Real Estate from November 14-16 and November 18-22, 2016 among 4,108 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For ease of respondents' understanding, in the survey, the term 'realtor' was used when defining 'real estate sales associates.' About Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate brokerage services. Coldwell Banker Real Estate is the oldest national real estate brand and franchisor in the United States, and today has a global network of 3,000 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 47 countries and territories with more than 91,000 affiliated sales professionals. The Coldwell Banker brand is known for creating innovative consumer services as recently seen by taking a leadership role in the smart home space, being the first national real estate brand with an iPad app, the first to augment its website www.coldwellbanker.com for smart phones, the first to create an iPhone application with international listings, the first to develop an iPad application (CBx) to easily bring big data into home listing presentations, and the first to fully harness the power of video in real estate listings, news and information through its Coldwell Banker On Location YouTube channel.
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Millennials and Silent Generation Drive Desire for Walkable Communities, Say Realtors
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HOME Survey: Housing and Economic Optimism Cools at Year's End
WASHINGTON (December 18, 2017) — Despite steady job creation, record stock market gains and faster economic growth in recent months, new consumer findings from the National Association of Realtors® surprisingly show that a smaller share of households believe that now is a good time to buy or sell a home. That's according to NAR's fourth quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, which also found that households are also less confident about the economy and their financial situation. With 2017 coming to a close, optimism among renters about buying a home appears to be slightly softening. After rising to 62 percent last quarter, the share of renters who believe now is a good time to buy dipped to 60 percent (57 percent a year ago). Overall, among the most optimistic about buying are current homeowners (79 percent; 80 percent last quarter), households with incomes above $100,000 and those living in the more affordable Midwest and South regions. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says this fall's pitiful supply levels and weaker affordability conditions are likely casting doubt that now is a good time to buy. "The trifecta of faster economic expansion, robust hiring and low mortgage rates should be generating a surge in optimism and home sales as 2017 winds down," he said. "Sadly, this is not the case. While overall demand remains high, it is not translating to meaningful sales gains. Too many prospective first-time buyers see few options within their budget and home prices that are rising much faster than their incomes." Added Yun, "Until we start seeing a steady increase in new and existing inventory, sales will fail to deliver on their full potential and many would-be first-time buyers will be forced to continue renting." Despite highly favorable sellers' markets across the country, the share of homeowners who believe now is a good time to sell a home decreased this quarter to 76 percent (80 percent last quarter); although it still remains much higher than a year ago (62 percent). Similar to previous quarters, households in the West continue to be the most optimistic about selling a home and the least optimistic about buying. "The good news for possible inventory gains heading into 2018 is the fact that a much larger share of homeowners compared to a year ago think it's a good time to sell," added Yun. "However, the decline in the latest quarter is worth monitoring. Realtors® say the lack of new home construction in their markets is giving many potential trade-up buyers hesitation about putting their home on the market out of fear they won't find another property to buy. This indecisiveness only exacerbates tight inventory conditions and slows housing turnover." Even with the economy expanding above 3 percent the last two quarters, as well as another year of solid job gains, fewer households in the final quarter of 2017 (52 percent) believe the economy is improving compared to the third quarter (57 percent) and a year ago (54 percent). For the fourth straight quarter, economic optimism from respondents living in rural and suburban areas outpaced those residing in urban areas. Slightly lower economic confidence this quarter also led to households having slightly diminished feelings about their financial situation. The HOME survey's monthly Personal Financial Outlook Index, showing respondents' confidence that their financial situation will be better in six months, fell from 62.0 in September to 59.1 in December. A year ago, the index was 59.8. "The significant rise in home values and the stock market at record highs are why a majority of homeowners, as well as those with incomes above $100,000, are more optimistic about the economy than renters and those with lower incomes," added Yun. "The overall job market and economy are very healthy. If housing supply improves enough next year to boost the nation's homeownership rate, it's very likely more households will feel upbeat about their future." About NAR's HOME survey In October through early December, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via random-digit dial, including a mix of cell phones and land lines. The survey was conducted by an established survey research firm, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. Each month approximately 900 qualified households responded to the survey. The data was compiled for this report and a total of 2,705 household responses are represented. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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[Infographic] Homeowners Say Changing Homeownership's Tax Incentives Restricts Mobility, Causes Financial Strain
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Redfin Predicts Homebuyers Will Leave High-Tax States in 2018 If SALT Deductions Are Eliminated
Fewer Homeowners Expected to Sell Due to Longer Residency Requirements in Tax Reform Bills SEATTLE--(Dec. 11, 2017)—The 2018 housing market is expected to be shaped by continued demand for homeownership, tax reform's effect on affordability and low inventory. This is according to Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage, in its predictions for the 2018 housing market. Redfin chief economist, Dr. Nela Richardson, expects the 2018 housing market to be the fastest on record, with 30 percent of homes that sell next year going under contract within two weeks, up from 25 percent in 2017. Redfin's Predictions for 2018: Prediction #1: Homebuyers Will Leave High-Tax States If state and local tax (SALT) deductions are eliminated in high-tax states like California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois, some people will leave these states for places where they can get more home for less money. In a survey of 900 homebuyers, a third of respondents said that they would consider moving to another state if they could no longer deduct state and local taxes. Redfin migration data on its website users' search activity reveals that people are looking to leave expensive coastal cities for more affordable mid-tier cities like Sacramento, Phoenix and Atlanta. The trend has already started, and tax reform, if passed, will just intensify it. Prediction #2: Fewer Homeowners Will Sell Due to New Residency Requirements in Tax Reform Bills Under current law, single homeowners can exclude $250,000 of sale proceeds from capital gains taxes as long as they've lived in the home for two out of the previous five years. Couples can exclude up to $500,000. However, a new tax-reform proposal increases the number of years to five of the previous eight years in order to deduct gains. This change will incentivize some homeowners to stay in their homes longer. Prediction #3: Wealthier Millennials Will Popularize "Urban Suburbs" Certain high-income millennials are driving the formation of a new kind of neighborhood—the urban suburb. "We're not talking about the Baby Boomer McMansions with huge yards, where you have to drive a couple of miles for a cup of coffee," said Redfin Kansas City agent Wayne Gray. "We're talking about neighborhoods outside the city, but still relatively densely populated, with walkable amenities and bikeable commutes." West Chester, Penn., Arlington, Mass. and East Meadow, NY top Redfin's list of urban suburbs expected to see an increase in demand from millennials in 2018. Prediction #4: Homes will Sell Faster than Ever, Up to 30% Within Two Weeks The 2017 housing market was fast, with 25 percent of homes selling in two weeks or less during the peak of the buying season, and nearly 1 in five homes (19%) off-market in less than a week. We expect 2018 to be even faster. Prediction #5: Mortgage Payments Will Increase at the Highest Rate in a Decade A combination of rising home prices and increasing interest rates is likely to push monthly mortgage payments up even further next year. Prediction #6: No Price Bubbles--Even in the Hottest Markets Redfin analysts do not expect a bubble anywhere in 2018 for two main reasons: Buyers and sellers remain on the same page when it comes to price, with a sale-to-list ratio at 100 percent or above in the most expensive West Coast markets this year. In West Coast metros where prices have now surpassed their 2006 peak, homebuyer debt has declined. Prediction #7: The 'Golden Girls' and 'Friends' Return Roommates accounted for or 6.6 percent of all households (8,330,000 households total) in 2017, according to Census data. Redfin analysts believe the trend of more people living with roommates will accelerate in 2018 due to the lack of affordability combined with new startups aimed at solving the problem. "Inventory is expected to be the major factor shaping the 2018 housing market, but that's nothing new," said Dr. Richardson. "For the third year in a row, the nationwide inventory shortage is likely to continue to hinder sales and increase prices. We expect small increases in inventory at the high-end of the market by year-end. Starter-home inventory has not increased meaningfully since 2011, and we don't expect it to increase at all next year. Exacerbating the problem is high rents and vacation home rental platforms that make it both easy and lucrative to own more than one home." To read the full report, complete with data and additional insights, 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 country's #1 brokerage website 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 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $50 billion in home sales.
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CoreLogic Reports Homeowner Equity Increased by Almost $871 Billion in Q3 2017
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Experts Highlight Mix of Challenges, Bright Spots for Homeownership at Realtors, S&P Global Joint Event
WASHINGTON (December 6, 2017) – While America's homeownership rate continues to hover around a 50-year low, experts gathered at the National Association of Realtors® Washington, D.C. location today said there is a clear path to improving the landscape for homeownership. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) opened the event with a full-throated defense of the role that homeownership plays in American society. "Homeownership is not a loophole," said Heitkamp. "When there is no hope for owning real property, we are taking a huge step backwards for the future of our country." Senator Heitkamp specifically singled out tax reform legislation passed in the U.S. Senate, calling the bill a "systematic dismantling" of the incentive structure for homeownership. Heitkamp also spoke to the need to reform the government-sponsored enterprises, as well as the importance of protecting and preserving the 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) of the House Financial Services Committee also addressed attendees, offering reminders of why sustainable homeownership is so important to protecting both taxpayers and the overall economy. Hensarling cited what he called the "unsustainable housing finance rollercoaster" that caused the Great Recession. He said this "lost decade" represented 10 years of lost economic growth and should guide policymakers looking to improve financial and mortgage systems in the years ahead. "The lesson is clear: Housing unsustainability doesn't just create unaffordability," he said. "It can create economic catastrophe." Nobel Prize winning economist Dr. Robert Shiller echoed those reminders as he offered the event's keynote address. Citing data on public perceptions of home price appreciation, Dr. Shiller noted the measurable rise in exuberance for real estate investment that led up to the 2007 housing crash. "People saw that they had this opportunity of a lifetime to borrow at 6 percent and invest at 12 percent," Shiller said. "But where did this expectation come from?" Dr. Shiller also cited home sales prices as an important market indicator. He noted that when homes are appreciating they tend to sell above the asking price more often than when home values are in decline. But even more interestingly, Shiller said that homes selling above the asking price is a recent phenomenon that offers clues about exuberance in the market. In addition, Dr. Shiller said that general impressions about the inherent risk of buying a home can indicate the presence of a bubble. He shared data showing that over the past decade, the public sentiment about the inherent risks of buying a home peaked in 2006. Separately, however, Shiller noted the return of what he called the "buyer's panic," where potential buyers fear that they will be priced out if they don't purchase a home soon. Shiller said he shared this information as a reminder of the complexity of overall housing markets. "It's not just interest rates and tax law that drive prices in speculative markets," Shiller said. Following Dr. Shiller's remarks, Politico's financial reporter Lorraine Woellert moderated a panel of experts. These included Dr. Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P Global Ratings; Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research and communication at NAR; and Layla Zaidane, chief operating officer of the Millennial Action Project. The panel spoke to ongoing concerns that student debt is contributing to the challenges facing young homebuyers. Asked if the low rates of homeownership among young adults will solve itself, Bovino said "eventually, time will start to soften the impact of those high student loans. Jobs are coming around, wages are picking up." But for now, the experts agreed that the issue is having a real impact on the market. "When we look at the spectrum of those who have student loan debt, only 55 percent of them are making their payments on time," Lautz said. For many of these individuals, she said, homeownership is simply not an option. But even among those who are currently making their payments, Lautz said homeownership is still largely out of reach. "Among millennial student loan borrowers who are current on their payments, 80 percent are not homeowners," said Lautz. When they are buying, she added, they tend to buy in the suburbs where homes are most affordable. In a separate panel, Dr. Lawrence Yun of NAR, Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute, and Boyd Campbell of Century 21 addressed affordability concerns in a discussion on supply and demand issues facing the current housing market. Noting a 4-month supply of homes nationwide, Yun said, "Prices have risen roughly 40 percent in the past five years, while people's income has risen at a much slower rate. This rise in prices forces an affordability concern." Yun said that puts homeownership out of reach for many buyers, and added that this isn't simply a real estate concern, but also a labor market concern as college-educated workers leave areas where the job market is strong but home prices are relatively high. Earlier this year, at the 2017 Realtors® Conference & Expo, Yun forecasted that single-family housing starts will jump 9.4 percent to 950,000 in 2018, well below the 50-year average of around 1.2 million starts. "Prospective homebuyers face headwinds from the market, in the halls of Congress and in their own family's budgets," said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. "We can't solve them all, but we know more can be done to smooth the way for creditworthy borrowers who want to own a home. I'm pleased we could assemble such a diverse pool of experts to offer their insights as we chart a path to improving America's homeownership landscape." The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. S&P Global is a leading provider of transparent and independent ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets worldwide. The Company's divisions include S&P Global Ratings, S&P Global Market Intelligence, S&P Dow Jones Indices and S&P Global Platts. S&P Global has approximately 20,000 employees in 31 countries. For more information, visit www.spglobal.com.
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zavvie Releases First HyperLocal Real Estate Survey Results
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First-time Buyers Stifled by Low Supply, Affordability: 2017 Buyer and Seller Survey
WASHINGTON (October 30, 2017) — Despite solid interest in buying a home – sparked by steady job gains, record low mortgage rates and higher rents – the severe drought in housing supply in much of the country over the past year accelerated price growth and kept many first-time buyers out of the market. This is according to the National Association of Realtors®' 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which also identified numerous current consumer and housing trends, including: mounting student debt balances and smaller down payments; increases in single female and trade-up buyers; the growing occurrence of buyers paying the list price or higher; and the fact that nearly all respondents use a real estate agent to buy or sell a home, which kept for-sale-by-owner transactions at an all-time low of 8 percent for the third straight year. In this year's survey, the share of sales to first-time home buyers inched backward to 34 percent (35 percent in 2016), which is the fourth lowest share since 1981. In the 36-year history of NAR's survey, the long-term average of first-time buyer transactions is 39 percent. "The dreams of many aspiring first-time buyers were unfortunately dimmed over the past year by persistent inventory shortages, which undercut their ability to become homeowners," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "With the lower end of the market seeing the worst of the supply crunch, house hunters faced mounting odds in finding their first home. Multiple offers were a common occurrence, investors paying in cash had the upper hand, and prices kept climbing, which yanked homeownership out of reach for countless would-be buyers." Added Yun, "Solid economic conditions and millennials in their prime buying years should be translating to a lot more sales to first-timers, but the unfortunate reality is that the nation's homeownership rate will remain suppressed until entry-level supply conditions increase enough to improve overall affordability." Other key findings and notable trends of buyers and sellers in this year's 144-page survey include: Student debt balances continue to grow Highlighting the additional challenges imposed on consumers trying to reach the market, 41 percent of first-time buyers indicated they have student debt (40 percent in 2016). The typical debt balance also increased ($29,000 from $26,000 in 2016), and over half owe at least $25,000. Additionally, of the 25 percent who said saving for a down payment was the most difficult task in the buying process, 55 percent said student debt delayed saving for their home purchase. "NAR survey findings on student debt released earlier this fall revealed that an overwhelming majority of millennials with student debt believe it's delaying their ability to buy a home, and typically for seven years," added Yun. "Even in markets with a plethora of job opportunities and higher pay, steep rents and home prices make it extremely difficult to put savings aside for a down payment." Single females make up larger share of sales Solid job prospects, higher incomes and improving credit conditions translated to continued momentum in the growing share of single female buyers. At 18 percent (matches highest since 2011), single women were the second most common household buyer type behind married couples (65 percent). Furthermore, single women purchased slightly more expensive homes than single men despite earning less. The overall share of single male buyers (7 percent) remained below unmarried couples (8 percent) for the second straight year. Down payment amounts decrease for first-timers, rise for repeat buyers The ongoing climb in home prices pulled the typical down payment for first-timers to 5 percent this year (6 percent in 2016), which matches the lowest since 2013. Meanwhile, higher home values likely gave more sellers the wherewithal to use the cash from their recent sale to make a bigger down payment on their new home purchase (14 percent; 11 percent in 2016). Repeat buyers' sales proceeds from their previous purchase (55 percent) surpassed their own personal savings (50 percent) this year as a larger source of their down payment. Personal savings ranked first for first-time buyers as the primary source of their down payment, followed by a gift from a friend or relative (25 percent; 24 percent in 2016). Over a half of first-timers said it took a year or more to save for a down payment, and 25 percent said saving was the most difficult task in the entire buying process. Age of first-timers stays flat; climbs to new survey high for repeat buyers For the second straight year, the median age of first-time buyers was 32 years old. First-time buyers had a higher household income ($75,000) than a year ago ($72,000) and purchased a slightly smaller home (1,640-square-feet; 1,650-square-feet in 2016) that was more expensive ($190,000; $182,500 in 2016). Fewer first-time buyers purchased a home in an urban area (17 percent; 20 percent in 2016). The age of repeat buyers increased to an all-time survey high this year (54 years old; 52 years old in 2016) as older households, perhaps with plans to stay in the workforce longer but with an eye towards retirement, felt more comfortable about buying. Overall, repeat buyers had roughly the same household income than last year ($97,500; $98,000 in 2016) and purchased a 2,000-square-foot home (unchanged from last year) costing $266,500 ($250,000 in 2016). Supply scarcity leads to increase in buyers paying list price or higher Underscoring the supply and demand imbalances prevalent in many parts of the country, 42 percent of buyers paid the list price or higher for their home, which is up from a year ago (40 percent) and a new survey high since tracking began in 2007. Buyers in the West were the most likely (51 percent) to pay at or above list price. "Many of those in the market to buy a home this year had little room to negotiate," said Yun. "Listings in the affordable price range drew immediate interest, and the winning offer often times had to waive some contingencies or come in at or above asking price to close the deal." Buyers report less difficulty obtaining a mortgage The improving financial health of borrowers and a slight ease in credit standards are leading to a smoother process in obtaining a mortgage. Fewer buyers (34 percent) compared to a year ago (37 percent) indicated that the mortgage application and approval process was somewhat or much more difficult than they expected. Fifty-eight percent of buyers financed their purchase with a conventional mortgage, and 34 percent of first-time buyers took out a low-down payment Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgage, which is up from 33 percent last year but down from 46 percent five years ago. Nearly all buyers choose a single-family home in a suburban location A majority of buyers continue to choose a home in a suburb, small town or rural area (85 percent) as opposed to an urban one (13 percent; 14 percent in 2016). Eighty-three percent of buyers purchased a detached single-family home, which for the third straight year remains the highest share since 2004 (87 percent). Purchases of multi-family homes, including townhouses and condos, were at 11 percent. Most buyers search for homes online...and use a real estate agent This year's survey data continues to show that the internet (95 percent) and real estate agents (89 percent) remain the top two information sources used during buyers' home search. Overall, 87 percent of buyers ended up purchasing their home through a real estate agent (88 percent in 2016), and finding the right property to buy and help negotiating the terms of the sale were the top two things buyers wanted most from their agent. Even for those who found the home they purchased online, nearly all still closed on it with the help of an agent (88 percent). "It's no surprise a majority of first-time buyers indicated that the top benefits received from their agent were help understanding the buying process (83 percent), pointing out unnoticed property features or faults (60 percent), and negotiating better sales terms (51 percent)," said President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. "Realtors® over the past year have helped buyers – and especially first-timers – navigate extremely competitive market conditions where the need to be prepared and act quickly has been paramount to the success of purchasing a home." Homeowner tenure at all-time high; equity and share of repeat buyers climbs The typical seller over the past year was 55 years old, had a higher household income ($103,300) than last year ($100,700) and was in the home for 10 years before selling – matching the all-time high set both in 2014 and a year ago. Prior to 2009, sellers consistently lived in their home for a median of six years before selling. With home values steadily rising over the past several years, sellers realized a median equity gain of $47,500 ($43,100 in 2016) – a 26 percent increase (24 percent last year) over the original purchase price. Homes sold after 21 years of ownership had the largest equity gain (104 percent), while those who purchased six or seven years ago saw a larger return (27 percent) than those who purchased between eight and 15 years ago (14 percent to 18 percent). The percent share of buyers trading up increased for the third straight year, rising to 52 percent from 46 percent in 2016. In 2014, 40 percent of buyers purchased a bigger home. "The decline in first-time buyers and uptick in repeat buyers trading up to a larger home reflects the more favorable conditions for home shoppers at the upper end of the market, where listings are more plentiful and sales have been consistently higher over the past year," said Yun. Seller use of an agent remains at all-time high; FSBOs at record low Sellers' use of a real estate agent this year remained at an all-time high of 89 percent. This in turn – for the third straight year – held for-sale-by-owner sales to their lowest share (8 percent) in the survey's history. An overwhelming majority of sellers were satisfied with the selling process (88 percent), with most also indicating that they would definitely or probably use their agent again or recommend him or her to others (85 percent). "Homeowners understand the value, and seek the expertise and guidance Realtors® bring to the table when it's time to sell their home," said Brown. "Despite incredibly favorable market conditions for sellers – where finding interested buyers was not a problem – nearly all turned to a Realtor® to help assist them through the intricacies of listing their home on the market, accepting offers, negotiating the sales price and closing the deal." NAR mailed a 131-question survey in July 2017 using a random sample weighted to be representative of sales on a geographic basis to 145,800 recent home buyers. Respondents had the option to fill out the survey via hard copy or online; the online survey was available in English and Spanish. A total of 7,866 responses were received from primary residence buyers. After accounting for undeliverable questionnaires, the survey had an adjusted response rate of 5.6 percent. The sample at the 95 percent confidence level has a confidence interval of plus-or-minus 1.10 percent. The recent home buyers had to have purchased a home between July 2016 and June 2017. All information is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2017 with the exception of income data, which are for 2016. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," 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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70 Percent of Realtors® Self-initiated Real Estate Career, Identify People Skills as Most Important
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Realtor.com Survey Indicates Haunted Homes Don't Always Have to be a Deal Breaker
Forty percent of respondents willing to accept a few bumps in the night for a lower home price SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 11, 2017 -- Many people are open to living with ghosts year-round, especially when a few bumps in the night lead to more home for their money or the chance to live in a better neighborhood, according to the results of a Haunted Real Estate survey released today by realtor.com®, a leading online real estate destination operated by News Corp., subsidiary Move, Inc. The survey, which queried more than 1,000 online respondents in late September, revealed 33 percent of respondents are open to living in a haunted house, 25 percent might be, and 42 percent are not open to the idea. When asked about the factors that may sway their decision: 40 percent of respondents indicated that they need a price reduction in order to choose a haunted home over a non-haunted home, 35 percent require a better neighborhood, 32 percent need larger square footage, and 29 percent would do so if more bedrooms are involved. Only 8 percent of respondents said they require no additional perks to purchase a haunted home. In contrast, 47 percent of those surveyed indicate they would live in a home where someone died, 27 percent said they might, and 26 percent said they would not. "Haunted houses are a popular attraction this time of year, but we wanted to see how many people would actually live in one," said Sarah Staley, housing expert. "What we found may be a sign of today's tight housing market, or for many living in a haunted house doesn't have to be a deal breaker." The survey also revealed that people prefer some paranormal activities over others. For instance, 48 percent of respondents open to living in a haunted house indicated they could tolerate cold or hot spots in their home. The next most acceptable activity was strange noises, at 45 percent, followed by strange feelings in certain rooms at 39 percent, and unexplained shadows at 35 percent. The least tolerable happenings included levitating objects and the feeling of being touched, both of which are acceptable to 20 percent of respondents. Living in a haunted home is not out of the ordinary for many people. According to the survey, 28 percent of respondents believe they have lived in a haunted home, 14 percent think they may have and 58 percent indicate have never lived in one. When asked what made them think the home was haunted, 58 percent cited strange noises, 51 percent revealed strange feelings in certain rooms, and 40 percent indicated objects moving or disappearing. For more information about the survey, please visit: http://www.realtor.com/homemade/haunted-house-survey/ 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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Homeowners Who Remodel Gain Equity and Enjoyment, Say Realtors
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Consumers are Navigating Tides of the U.S. Real Estate Market in New Homeowner Sentiment Survey
Homeownership remains a priority as people adjust to inventory and price conditions; Boomers and others share why they're holding on to their homes; buyers are getting creative to stand apart from the competition IRVINE, Calif.--Homeownership remains a priority for younger consumers despite tight housing inventory and stiff competition for homes – conditions that are driving up prices in many markets. In Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices' latest Homeowner Sentiment Survey released today, a full 71% of prospective homeowners – a demographic composed largely of Millennials – believe now is a good time to buy a home and 63% remain steadfast in their ideal preferences for a home. Not surprisingly, consumers are gaining a deeper understanding of market conditions: 72% of prospective homebuyers acknowledge that homebuying has become increasingly competitive with a shortage of listings in many markets across the U.S.; 76% of prospective Millennial buyers expressed concern of overpaying for a home; and 76% said finding a competitively priced home is a challenge. Several factors have contributed to the current housing shortage in many markets. For starters, new construction ground to a halt during the Great Recession while population growth and household formation continue to blossom. Builders are increasingly hitting stride on new construction projects in a wider range of price points but demand still outstrips supply in markets such as Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The vast Baby Boomer generation has contributed to the shortage as many are reluctant to sell. In the survey, 73% of Boomers said they hesitate to list their homes because home values are rising. Another factor reflects convenience. Four out of five Boomers said they would rather not shop for a new property at the moment. "The world seems to be waiting on Millennials to make a move in all facets of their lives," said Gino Blefari, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. "Our data suggests younger generations remain very positive about homeownership and remain in the game in markets where competition for good, reasonably priced homes can be tough." Blefari said rising home prices likely will move more Boomers off the fence as they retire, downsize and move to other markets. "Home values have mostly recovered from the downturn and homeowners may have more equity than they're aware," he explained. "Equity gives people latitude to make important changes in their lives." Buyers Stand Apart with Creativity Increased competition has sparked creativity among consumers looking to stand apart in the market. 45% of prospective homeowners say they are willing to cover closing costs. 36% of Millennial buyers will send a personal letter to sellers. 58% of Millennials said they would plunk down more of an earnest deposit to show their commitment to sellers. 31% of Millennials indicated they would offer above asking price to secure their home. "Sure, it can be competitive to secure a good, reasonably priced home," Blefari said. "To win, consumers must work with a skilled agent who understands the market and will recommend the best ways to secure a home at a fair price." Fueling Optimism Overall, consumer favorability toward real estate and its prospects remains high, as lower mortgage rates and the prospects of rising home values continue to buoy enthusiasm. A full 72% of current homeowners expressed a favorable feeling toward the real estate market, with 51% pointing to low mortgage rates and 44% citing price appreciation for their optimism. Respondents also showed a greater understanding of mortgage rates with 61% of prospective buyers and 63% of current homeowners expressing confidence in their knowledge of current rate levels, jumps of 2 and 4 percentage points, respectively, from the spring Homeowner Sentiment Survey. "Historically low mortgage rates continue making homeownership achievable for many Americans," said Blefari. "We believe mortgage rates will remain within a range of current low levels for the foreseeable future." Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homeowner Sentiment Survey Methodology Interviews with 2,518 respondents were conducted online by Edelman Intelligence in July 2017. Respondents captured were either current homeowners (individuals who currently own a home as a primary residence) or prospective homeowners (individuals who do not currently own a home and are likely to buy a home as their primary residence in the next six months). The margin of error is +/-2.18% for current homeowners and +/- 4.38% for prospective homeowners. The full survey details are available upon request. About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, based in Irvine, CA, is a real estate brokerage network built for a new era in real estate. The network, among the few organizations entrusted to use the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway name, brings to the real estate market a definitive mark of trust, integrity, stability and longevity. Visit berkshirehathawayhs.com.
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HOME Survey: Economic and Financial Outlook, Attitudes About Home Buying and Selling on the Rise
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Student Debt Delaying Millennial Homeownership by 7 Years
WASHINGTON (September 18, 2017) – Despite being in the prime years to buy their first home, an overwhelming majority of millennials with student debt currently do not own a home and believe this debt is to blame for what they typically expect to be a seven-year delay from buying. This is according to a new joint study on millennial student loan debt released today by the National Association of Realtors® and nonprofit American Student Assistance®. The survey additionally revealed that student debt is holding back millennials from financial decisions and personal milestones, such as adequately saving for retirement, changing careers, continuing their education, marrying and having children. NAR and ASA's new study found that only 20 percent of millennial respondents currently own a home, and that they are typically carrying a student debt load ($41,200) that surpasses their annual income ($38,800). Most respondents borrowed money to finance their education at a four-year college (79 percent), and slightly over half (51 percent) are repaying a balance of over $40,000. Among the 80 percent of millennials in the survey who said they do not own a home, 83 percent believe their student loan debt has affected their ability to buy. The median amount of time these millennials expect to be delayed from buying a home is seven years, and overall, 84 percent expect to postpone buying by at least three years. "The tens of thousands of dollars many millennials needed to borrow to earn a college degree have come at a financial and emotional cost that's influencing millennials' housing choices and other major life decisions," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Sales to first-time buyers have been underwhelming for several years now, and this survey indicates student debt is a big part of the blame. Even a large majority of older millennials and those with higher incomes say they're being forced to delay homeownership because they can't save for a down payment and don't feel financially secure enough to buy." According to Yun, the housing market's lifecycle is being disrupted by the $1.4 trillion of student debt U.S. households are currently carrying. In addition to softer demand at the entry-level portion of the market, a quarter of current millennial homeowners said their student debt is preventing them from selling their home to buy a new one, either because it's too expensive to move and upgrade, or because their loans have impacted their credit for a future mortgage. "Millennial homeowners who can't afford to trade up because of their student debt end up staying put, which slows the turnover in the housing market and exacerbates the low supply levels and affordability pressures for those trying to buy their first home," added Yun. Repaying student debt is influencing career choices, life milestones and retirement savings In addition to postponing a home purchase, the survey found that student debt is forcing millennials to put aside several additional life choices and financial decisions that contribute to the economy and their overall happiness. Eighty-six percent have made sacrifices in their professional career, including taking a second job, remaining in a position in which they were unhappy, or taking one outside their field. Furthermore, more than half say they are delayed in continuing their education and starting a family, and 41 percent would like to marry but are stalling because of their debt. Even more concerning, according to Yun, is that it appears many millennials are putting saving for retirement on the backburner because of their student debt. Sixty-one percent of respondents at times have not been able to make a contribution to their retirement, and nearly a third (32 percent) said they were at times able to contribute but with a reduced amount. "Being unable to adequately save for retirement on top of not experiencing the wealth building benefits of owning a home is an unfortunate situation that could have long-term consequences to the financial well-being of these millennials," said Yun. "A scenario where only those with minimal or no student debt can afford to buy a home and save for retirement is not an ideal situation and is one that weakens the economy and contributes to widening inequality." A better understanding of college costs is needed The financial pressures many millennials with student debt are now experiencing appear to somewhat come from not having a complete understanding of the expenses needed to pay for college. Only one-in-five borrowers indicated in the survey that they understood all of the costs, including tuition, fees and housing. "Student debt is a reality for the majority of students attending colleges and universities across our country. We cannot allow educational debt to hold back whole generations from the financial milestones that underpin the American Dream, like home ownership," said Jean Eddy, president and CEO at ASA. "The results of this study reinforce the need for solutions that both reduce education debt levels for future students, and enable current borrowers to make that debt manageable, so they don't have to put the rest of their financial goals on hold." "Realtors® are actively working with consumers and policy leaders to address the growing burden student debt is having on homeownership," President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. "We support efforts that promote education and simplify the student borrowing process, as well as underwriting measures that make it easier for homebuyers carrying student loan debt to qualify for a mortgage." In April 2017, ASA distributed a 41 question survey co-written with NAR to 92,419 student loan borrowers (ages 22 to 35) who are current in repayment. A total of 2,203 student loan borrowers completed the survey. All information is characteristic of April 2017, with the exception of income data, which is reflective of 2016. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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New Think Tank Group Identifies Solutions to Evolve the MLS
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New Survey from Cartus Shows Employee Relocation Trends are Changing Shape
DANBURY, Conn., Aug. 24, 2017 -- The U.S. workforce is changing and, with it, so are the ways in which employees are being relocated for companies across the United States. Cartus Corporation, a leading provider of global relocation services, recently released its 2017 Domestic U.S. Relocation Policy and Practices Survey results, a report that examines the responses of 141 mobility managers representing more than 10 million employees. While the overall survey explores trends in how companies are supporting home sale for transferring employees, responding to a growing rental population, and developing intern programs, the primary finding is the identification of a changing pattern in employee relocation, in which an increasing demand for flexibility is translating into different types of work transfers. What's Driving U.S. Relocation Programs? U.S. relocation programs have always been a reflection of the larger business and economic picture. As companies seek to make sure they have the right people in the right places to meet organizational goals, they have traditionally been balancing demands for cost effectiveness with the need to recruit, retain, and develop their talent. Today, companies are adding a third element to the juggling act: employees' growing expectations for a positive experience that translates into greater engagement and productivity. That combination of demands is leading to a new catalyst trend: the push for more flexibility in how employees move for work, and what kinds of support they are provided. Juggling Act: Balancing the Challenges Driving U.S. Relocation Cost: 65 percent of survey respondents cited cost as a significant challenge facing their companies' relocation programs today – up 13 percentage points in the last eight years. Talent Management: 52 percent of respondents said that talent shortages had increased somewhat, or significantly; this leads to "talent pressure" and a need to overcome those shortages. Employee Engagement: With the stagnation of salaries in U.S. corporations, there is a need to ensure that all aspects of the workplace provide a positive experience for employees. This has been cited consistently among Cartus clients of all sizes as a rising issue. These pressures are leading to a need for more flexibility, as evidenced by the 78% percent of survey respondents who stated that changing employee needs or expectations were driving the need for flexibility. In the domestic U.S. relocation arena, this has resulted in offering more flexibility in policies, as well as a growth in short-term assignments and other temporary transfer forms for ongoing business needs. In fact, 75 percent of responding companies cited utilizing these short-term assignments to provide knowledge or skills transfer or training, while 72 percent use them to address specific project work. As managers of U.S. relocation programs continue to explore ways to meet their companies' changing needs, it is likely that the need to balance a superior employee experience, cost control, and talent development will drive a continued focus on flexible approaches. How companies choose to meet this pressure will always depend on their organization's move patterns, culture, and demographics. If you are responsible for your company's domestic relocation program, we encourage you to review a copy of Cartus' 2017 Domestic U.S. Relocation Policy and Practices Survey findings for more information on trends, challenges and policy approaches. About Cartus For more than 60 years, Cartus has provided trusted guidance to organizations of all types and sizes that require global relocation solutions. Providing the full spectrum of relocation services, including language and intercultural training, Cartus serves more than half of the Fortune 50 and has moved employees into and out of 185 countries. Cartus is part of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. To find out how our greater experience, reach, and hands-on guidance can help your company, visit www.cartus.com, or click www.realogy.com for more information.
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Technology, Inventory and Competition Among Firms' Top Challenges: Realtors® Survey
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Survey Finds REALTORS® Plan to Spend More Time, Money on Digital Marketing Initiatives
CHICAGO (August 14, 2017) – Realtors Property Resource® (RPR), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS®, announces the results of its 2017 REALTOR® Social and Digital Media Report. The report includes findings from a survey of 265 REALTORS® about the way they use digital and social media to build their businesses. Of REALTORS® surveyed, 74 percent cited awareness as the main outcome of their social media efforts. Looking ahead to next year, 64 percent of respondents plan to commit more time to social media and 60 percent plan to commit more money. "Social media has become the new norm for reaching out and staying connected with friends, family, clients, and prospects," said Reggie Nicolay, RPR Vice President of Marketing. "Not only do sites like Facebook and LinkedIn provide REALTORS® with an easy way to stay top of mind, but they now offer highly targeted advertising options with tremendous reach and analytical tracking." Facebook and LinkedIn are the most popular social media platforms for marketing among REALTORS®, with 94 percent of respondents reporting Facebook as most effective at building their businesses followed by LinkedIn at 57 percent. Listings are the most common type of content REALTORS® post to social media, closely followed by buying and home improvement tips. Yet of REALTORS® surveyed that use social media, almost half (48 percent) of those users reported achieving measurable results. "Listings are the default post for many REALTORS®," one respondent said. "If REALTORS really want to engage their followers, they need to post less about listings and become a true local area resource. If their clients see them as an expert, their sphere of influence will grow." Additional 2017 REALTOR® Social and Digital Media Report key findings include: 76 percent of respondents cite email as the the most effective form of digital media 65 percent of digital media section respondents plan to dedicate more time to digital media in the future 60 percent of digital media section respondents plan to spend more money on digital media marketing next year REALTORS® surveyed indicated that market activity receives the the best engagement on social media, followed by listings and home improvement tips. School information sees the least amount of engagement.
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Redfin Migration Report: Home Affordability Continued to Shape Migration Currents as Homebuyers Looked to Leave Expensive Coastal Cities in the Second Quarter
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Realtor.com® Survey Provides Insight into Underlying Causes of Inventory Shortage
Data suggests overall satisfaction with homes and boomers' desire to stay put as top reasons for the lack of homes on the market SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 10, 2017 -- The U.S. real estate market is currently experiencing the worst inventory deficiency in 20 years, which new data from the realtor.com® Housing Shortage Study, released today, suggests can be attributed to two primary reasons – boomers' reluctance to sell and homes fitting current family needs. Realtor.com® is a leading online real estate destination operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc. The findings are part of an online survey of 1,054 randomly selected homeowners across the U.S. conducted on behalf of realtor.com® between July 6 and 13. The respondents were asked a series of questions aimed at examining the root causes of the current national inventory shortage. Millennials plan to sell next year According to the results, approximately 59 percent of respondents are not planning to sell their home in the next year, with nearly 35 percent planning to sell, and nearly 6 percent unsure. Taking a look at age segments of those with plans to sell next year reveals 60 percent of these potential sellers are millennials who are selling to move to a larger home (25 percent), or one with nicer features (24 percent). Millennials with plans to sell could mean good news for buyers, as starter homes remain the most sought after price point in today's market. In fact, the supply of starter homes in the market is down 17 percent year over year, as compared to medium sized home inventory which is down 10 percent, and larger size home supply which is down 5 percent year over year. "The housing shortage forced many first time home buyers to consider smaller homes and condos as a way to literally get their foot in the door," said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com.® "Our survey data reveals that we may see more of these homes hitting the market in the next year, but whether these owners actually list will depend on whether they can find another home." While baby boomers plan to stay put Breaking down those not planning to sell by age points toward one significant contributor to the housing shortage – 85 percent of baby boomers surveyed indicated they are not planning to sell their home in the next year. Homeownership among boomers, at 78 percent, is nearly twice as high as millennials, at 41 percent. As boomers decide to stay put so are approximately 33 million properties, many of which are urban condos or suburban single-family homes – the most popular choices for millennials. "Boomers indeed hold the key to those homes the market desperately needs, both in the urban condo and the detached suburban home segment," said Hale. "But with a strong economy and rising home prices, there's really no reason for established homeowners to sell in the short term. Although down-sizing might be on the minds of boomers, they face the same inventory shortages and price increases plaguing millennials." Historically, older age groups have moved about four times less than younger age groups, and while that ratio has somewhat remained stable over time, the population mix has not. The share of the population between the ages of 55 and 74 years old has increased by 30 percent in the last 30 years from 16 percent in 1985 to 21 percent in 2015. Overall top reasons for not selling When those with no plans to sell were asked why they wanted to stay put, approximately 63 percent indicated their current home meets the needs of their family. The other most popular reasons include low interest rates (16 percent), recently purchasing their home (15 percent), needing to make home improvements and low property taxes (each cited by approximately 13 percent of respondents). "Life events drive real estate transactions," added Hale. "When the majority of home owners feel their family needs are being met by their current home, there is nothing compelling them to put their home on the market." Top reasons for not selling by generation According to the survey's findings, the reasons for staying put differ significantly by age. For instance, 72 percent of baby boomers indicated their current home fits the needs of their family. This is followed by low interest rates (16 percent), concerns about financial security (13 percent), and the need to make some home improvements (12 percent). A majority of millennials, 52 percent, also indicated that their top reason for not selling is their home fits their family needs. This was followed by 27 percent recently purchasing their home and approximately 16 percent citing low interest rates. For gen Y, the top reasons not to sell include: home meeting family needs (65 percent), low interest rates (16 percent), and low property taxes (16 percent). A key reason for homeowners staying put for a longer period, according to the National Association of Realtors®, is because of inadequate levels of new home construction over the past decade. To read more about the study, please visit: https://research.realtor.com/housing-shortage-boomers/. 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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Responsive Relationship, Effective Marketing Crucial for Home Buyer-Seller Satisfaction, J.D. Power Finds
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Realtors® Report Finds 11 Percent Increase in Commercial Member Income, 19 Percent Increase in Sales Transaction Volume
WASHINGTON (August 2, 2017) – Commercial real estate markets continue to improve, with Realtors® specializing in commercial real estate reporting both an increase in member's gross income and sales volume, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2017 Commercial Member Profile. The annual study's results represent Realtors®, members of NAR, who conduct all or part of their business in commercial sales, leasing, brokerage and development for land, office and industrial space, multifamily and retail buildings, as well as property management. "There has been an uptick in Realtor® members who choose to specialize in commercial real estate at the same time as commercial professionals report improvements in the market and their business activity," said 2017 NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. "A stronger commercial market is a good indicator of a growing economy, so the outlook is positive for commercial members in the year ahead." The median gross annual income for commercial members in 2016 was $120,800, an increase from $108,800 in 2015. Brokers and appraisers tend to report the highest median annual incomes, while sales agents report the lowest among licensees. Those with less than two years of experience reported a median annual income of $31,500 in 2016, down from $43,400 in 2015; members with more than 26 years of experience reported a median annual income of $162,200 in 2016, down from $165,400 in 2015. Commercial members completed a median of eight sales transactions in 2016, a decrease of one since 2015. A quarter of commercial members reported having one to four transactions, and 27 percent reported having more than 20 transactions. While the number of transactions decreased slightly in 2016, the sales volume increased again this year. The median sales transaction volume in 2016 among members who had a transaction was $3,500,000, an increase from $2,931,000 in 2015. Only 7 percent of commercial members reported not having a transaction at all, which decreased from 8 percent in 2015. The median years of experience in real estate increased to 24 years in 2017, up from 20 years in 2016, as did the median years of experience of members in commercial real estate – up from 15 years in 2016 to 19 years in 2017. Forty-seven percent of NAR's commercial members are brokers, and 30 percent are licensed sales agents, consistent with last year. Seventeen percent of commercial members have a broker-associate license while appraisal license holders account for 5 percent, also consistent with last year. The median age of commercial members remained the same as last year, at 60 years old. Almost three out of four commercial members are male, identical to last year's results. Men reported being active in any real estate capacity for a median of 25 years and in commercial real estate for a median of 20 years, the same as last year. Women have been active in real estate for a median of 19 years (up from 14 years last year) and in commercial real estate for a median of 15 years (up from 11 years last year). Commercial members who manage properties typically managed 82,000 total square feet, representing 15 total spaces, up from 50,000 square feet and 17 spaces in 2015. Those who manage offices typically managed 25,000 total office square feet, representing seven total offices, up from 20,000 office square feet and five offices last year. Thirty-three percent of commercial members were involved in international transactions in 2016, down 2 percent from 2015. Eighteen percent of commercial members reported an increase in international transactions, while only 1 percent had a decrease. Sixty-five percent (up from 60 percent in 2016) of respondents are members of any of several commercial affiliated institutes, councils, or societies. These commercial organizations include the CCIM Institute, the Institute of Real Estate Management, the Counselors of Real Estate, the Realtors® Land Institute and the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors®. In June 2017, NAR invited a random sample of 64,147 Realtors® with an interest in commercial real estate to fill out an on-line survey. A total of 1,926 responses were received for an overall response rate of 3.0 percent. All information in this report is representative of member characteristics in 2017 while sales and lease transaction values and income are characteristic of calendar year 2016. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Realtor.com® Appoints Danielle Hale as Chief Economist
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Chase, Google Track Down Where Buyers Start Their House Hunt
Affordability is the key, Chase reveals in 'Search for Home Snapshot,' as it hosts the Scott Brothers at Google's NYC HQ NEW YORK--Chase Home Lending today announced, in partnership with Google, insights that show consumers are clicking their way to finding their first home and figuring out how much they can afford. Chase Home Lending today revealed the "Search for Home Snapshot" at the Google New York City headquarters, along with TV personalities, entrepreneurs and authors, Drew and Jonathan Scott, who shared tips on homebuying and home makeovers. The Chase + Google collaboration examined how and what people are searching to find more information about homeownership. The data shows search activity for first-time homebuying mortgages are at an all-time high, and affordability continues to reign as the top priority for perspective buyers. The bank's "Search for Home Snapshot" also found Southerners are Googling mortgage information more than consumers in other regions, and fixed-rate mortgages are still the preferred product for many searchers. "We teamed up with Google to help us better understand what customers are searching for and how the home buying landscape is evolving," said Mike Weinbach, Chief Executive Officer of Chase Home Lending. "We found that millennials and first-time homebuyers are making a big splash in the market, and affordability remains top of mind." "For many people, the homebuying process is filled with research. For Millennials and first-time homebuyers, we know it's particularly complex and they often turn to Google for answers to their questions about financing, for example," Suzie Reider, Managing Director of Financial Services, Google. "There's an opportunity to make that process easier by bringing attention to the key questions and issues homebuyers have today, which is why we're thrilled to partner with Chase on its Search for Home Snapshot." "There are so many paths to homeownership, but the most important thing is to find a good financial partner to act as your trusted advisor throughout the process," said Drew and Jonathan Scott. "When you surround yourself with the right partners like Chase, you will be successful." Chase Home Lending's "Search for Home Snapshot" Buying a home remains a key life milestone, but trends have shifted significantly in the last decade. Key findings from the Chase Home Lending "Search for Home Snapshot" include: First-Timers Step Up the Pace: Searches around first-time homebuying topics keep climbing. In 2017, 44% of searches in the mortgage category are for first-time buyer mortgages, up 11% from last year. That also reflects what Chase has seen in its mortgage business. Customers under age 35 accounted for 36% of Chase's new mortgages in 2016, up 16% from a year earlier. It's All about Affordability: Homebuyers are more concerned about what they can afford and are crunching the numbers. Last year, consumers made 34% more searches around affordability than the year before. The South's On the Move: Consumers in the South checked out mortgage info more than everybody else. In the last three years, the South generated 37% of mortgage searches, compared to 26% in the West, 19% in the Northeast and 18% in the Midwest. Looking to Lock In: Florida searchers checked out fixed-rate mortgages 30% more this year than last, compared to increases of 18% in New York, 9% in Illinois and 6% in California. About Chase Home Lending Chase is the second-largest originator of U.S. mortgages, originating $30 billion in new and refinanced mortgages in the fourth quarter of 2016. It services over 5.4 million home loans, and has prevented close to 1.2 million foreclosures since 2009. The business's mission is to create lifelong relationships with customers by being the most trusted provider of mortgage services that helps individuals and families realize their homeownership goals. To learn more, click HERE.
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Foreign U.S. Home Sales Dollar Volume Surges 49 Percent to Record $153 Billion
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Home Staging Decreases Time on the Market, Finds Realtors® Report
WASHINGTON (July 6, 2017) — Sixty-two percent of sellers' agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2017 Profile of Home Staging. "Realtors® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR's most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers," said NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties. "While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are will to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value." According to the report, which is in its second iteration, nearly two-thirds of sellers' agents said that staging a home decreases the amount of time the home spends on the market, with 39 percent saying that it greatly decreases the time and 23 percent saying it slightly decreases the time. Sixteen percent of sellers' agents believe that staging either greatly or slightly increases a home's time on the market, while 8 percent believe that it has no impact. Seventy-seven percent of buyers' agents said that staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home, and 40 percent are more willing to walk through a staged home they first saw online. However, 38 percent of buyers' agents said that staging positively affects a home's value if the home is decorated to the buyer's taste, meaning that a home's staging should be designed to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers. Forty-nine percent of buyers' agents said that staging has an effect on most buyers. Another 48 percent stated that staging has an effect on some buyers' opinion of a home, but not always, and only 4 percent said that it has no impact on buyers. Realtors® representing both buyers and sellers agreed that the living room is the most important room in a home to stage, followed by the master bedroom, the kitchen, and then the yard or outdoor space. The guest bedroom is considered the least important room to stage. The highest share of buyers' agents, 31 percent, reported that staging a home increases its dollar value by 1 to 5 percent. Thirteen percent said that staging increases the dollar value 6 to 10 percent, while 25 percent stated it has no impact on dollar value. Only 1 percent of buyers' agents felt that staging has a negative impact on a home's dollar value. Sellers' agents report even more value is added from staging: 29 percent reported an increase of one to five percent in dollar value offered by buyers, 21 percent reporting an increase of 8 to 10 percent, and 5 percent reported an increase of 11 to 15 percent. No sellers' agents reported a negative impact. When deciding which homes to stage, 38 percent of sellers' agents said that they stage all of their sellers' homes before listing them, 14 percent will stage only homes that are difficult to sell, and 7 percent stage only homes in higher price brackets. Thirty-seven percent of sellers' agents said they do not stage homes before listing them, but they recommend sellers declutter their homes and fix any faults with the property. When it comes to paying for home staging, 25 percent of the time the seller pays before listing the home. Twenty-one percent of sellers' agents will personally provide funds to stage the home, while 14 percent of agents will offer home staging services to sellers. Beyond staging, agents also named the most common home improvement projects they recommend to sellers: Ninety-three percent recommend decluttering the home, 89 percent recommend an entire home cleaning, and 81 percent recommend carpet cleaning. Other pre-sale projects include depersonalizing the home, removing pets during showings and making minor repairs. In March 2017, NAR invited a random sample of 53,760 active Realtor® members to fill out an online survey. A total of 1,894 useable responses were received for an overall response rate of 3.5 percent. At the 95 percent confidence level the margin of error is plus-or-minus 2.25 percent. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Survey: 1 in 3 Recent Homebuyers Made an Offer Sight-Unseen, Up From Nearly 1 in 5 a Year Ago
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71 Percent of Homeowners Believe It's a Good Time to Sell; Economic and Financial Confidence Dips: Realtors® HOME Survey
WASHINGTON (June 26, 2017) — Existing housing inventory has declined year over year each month for two straight years, but new consumer findings from the National Association of Realtors® offer hope that the growing number of homeowners who think now is a good time to sell will eventually lead to more listings. That's according to NAR's quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, which also found that fewer renters think it's a good time to buy a home, and respondents are less confident about the economy and their financial situation than earlier this year despite continuous job gains. One trend gaining steam in the HOME survey is an increased share of homeowners who believe now is a good time to sell their home. This quarter, 71 percent of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, which is up from last quarter (69 percent) and considerably more than a year ago (61 percent). Respondents in the Midwest (76 percent) surpassed the West (72 percent) for the first time this quarter to be the most likely to think now is a good time to sell. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says it's apparent there's a mismatch between homeowners' confidence in selling and actually following through and listing their home for sale. "There are just not enough homeowners deciding to sell because they're either content where they are, holding off until they build more equity, or hesitant seeing as it will be difficult to find an affordable home to buy," he said. "As a result, inventory conditions have worsened and are restricting sales from breaking out while contributing to price appreciation that remains far above income growth." Added Yun, "Perhaps this notable uptick in seller confidence will translate to more added inventory later this year. Low housing turnover is one of the roots of the ongoing supply and affordability problems plaguing many markets." On the decline: renter morale about buying a home and financial and economic optimism Confidence among renters that now is a good time to buy a home continues to retreat. Fifty-two percent of renters think now is a good time to buy, which is down both from last quarter (56 percent) and a year ago (62 percent). Conversely, 80 percent of homeowners (unchanged from last quarter and a year ago) think now is a good time to make a home purchase. Younger households, and those living in urban areas and in the costlier West region are the least optimistic. The surge in economic optimism seen in the first quarter of the year appears to be short lived. The share of households believing the economy is improving fell to 54 percent in the second quarter after soaring to a survey high of 62 percent last quarter. Homeowners, and those living in the Midwest and in rural and suburban areas are the most optimistic about the economy. Only 42 percent of urban respondents believe the economy is improving, which is a drastic decrease from the 58 percent a year ago. Dimming confidence about the economy's direction is also leading households to not have as strong feelings about their financial situation. The HOME survey's monthly Personal Financial Outlook Index showing respondents' confidence that their financial situation will be better in six months fell to 57.2 in June after jumping in March to its highest reading in the survey. A year ago, the index was 57.7. "It should come as little surprise that the confidence reading among renters has fallen every month since January (64.8) and currently sits at its lowest level (53.8) since tracking began in March 2015 (65.7)," said Yun. "Paying more in rent each year and seeing home prices outpace their incomes is discouraging, and it's unfortunately pushing home ownership further away — especially for those living in expensive metro areas on the East and West Coast." Under half of respondents believe homes are affordable for most buyers; one in five would consider moving In this quarter's survey, respondents were also asked about the affordability of homes in their communities. Overall, only 42 percent of respondents believe they are affordable for almost all buyers, with those living in the Midwest being the most likely to believe homes are affordable (55 percent) — and not surprisingly — West respondents (29 percent) being least likely to think homes are affordable. Additionally, 20 percent of respondents would consider moving to another more affordable community. Those earning under $50,000 annually (27 percent) and those age 34 and under (29 percent) were the most likely to indicate they would consider moving. "Areas with strong job markets but high home prices risk a migration of middle-class households to other parts of the country if rising housing costs in those areas are not contained through a significant ramp-up in new home construction," said Yun. About NAR's HOME survey In April through early June, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via random-digit dial, including a mix of cell phones and land lines. The survey was conducted by an established survey research firm, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. Each month approximately 900 qualified households responded to the survey. The data was compiled for this report and a total of 2,711 household responses are represented. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Redfin Study: Middle-Class African-American and Hispanic Families Virtually Priced Out of Homeownership in Hot West Coast Markets
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Utilities Add 25 Percent to U.S. Homeownership Costs According to New Research from ATTOM Data Solutions and UtilityScore
Utility Costs Require 7 Percent of Wages on Average Nationwide; California Home Seller Profits More Than Double with Solar Installed IRVINE, Calif. – June 6, 2017 — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation's largest multi-sourced property database, and UtilityScore, a software provider that helps solar and home improvement companies acquire customers, today released a joint white paper titled "Power Conversion" that analyzes the impact of utility costs on overall housing costs, home affordability and home seller profits. "Utility costs are a significant, quantifiable factor contributing to the overall costs and risks involved with owning or renting a home," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. "On the other hand, reducing utility costs — specifically energy costs through the installation of solar — can amplify the wealth-building potential of homeownership." Data-based analyses provide the foundation for five practical strategies outlined in the white paper for businesses to target and engage real estate consumers and homeowners with utility cost data. "There is a massive untapped opportunity to target, engage and convert customers using data-driven sales and marketing tools based on utility costs," said Brian Gitt, founder and CEO at UtilityScore. Utilities add 25 percent to homeownership costs, 21 percent to renter housing costs Leveraging proprietary utility cost data from UtilityScore along with public record real estate data from ATTOM Data Solutions, the white paper includes new zip-level research showing that utility costs (electricity, natural gas, water and sewer) add 25 percent to monthly housing costs for homeowners and 21 percent to housing costs for renters on average nationwide. Housing costs for homeowners heat map by zip Housing costs for renters heat map by zip "We are impressed by UtilityScore's comprehensive nationwide data set, covering both energy and water costs," said Maria Seredina with Zillow Group corporate development. "Coupled with information on our platform, this data adds further transparency to the housing search process, helping buyers and renters assess the true out-of-pocket costs of a home beyond monthly mortgage or rent payments." 35 percent of markets not affordable for average wage earners with utility costs included Monthly utility costs require 7.0 percent of average wages on average across 931 U.S. counties analyzed for the white paper. When utility costs are included, buying a median-priced home requires more than the 43 percent of income recommended by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) in 323 of the 931 counties (35 percent). That's 122 more counties exceeding the CFPB affordability threshold than when utility costs are not included. "The risk to homeowners and lenders is great," said Jacob Corvida, manager at the Rocky Mountain Institute, an independent, U.S.-based nonprofit organization focused on driving the efficient and restorative use of resources. "The antidote is to understand utility costs and include them in underwriting assessments." California home seller profits more than double with solar building permit between sales The white paper also includes results from an analysis of the impact of solar installation on home seller profits in California between 2010 and 2017. Utilizing data from more than 83,000 single family home sales and more than 400,000 solar-related building permits, the analysis found that California home sellers with a solar system installed between their original purchase and their sale of the home realized average profits that were more than double the average profits realized by home sellers who did not have a solar system installed. "As solar technology becomes more turnkey, reliable and cost effective, we are seeing a huge increase in homeowner adoption," said Holly Tachovsky, CEO at Buildfax, which provided the solar-related building permit data for the analysis. Download White Paper About ATTOM Data SolutionsATTOM 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. About UtilityScoreUtilityScore builds software to help solar and home improvement companies get more customers. UtilityScore identifies the best customers to target, provides personalized content that boosts engagement, and increases word-of-mouth customer referrals. UtilityScore then showcases the results of these home upgrades in real estate listings to help users understand the total cost of owning a home. UtilityScore is redefining the way we value energy and water while helping people lower utility bills and increase home value. To learn more, go to www.MyUtilityScore.com.
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Realtors® Survey: Led By China, Foreign Investment in U.S. Commercial Real Estate on the Rise
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5 Root Causes for U.S.'s Depressed Homeownership Rate: New Study
BERKELEY, Calif., (June 9, 2017) – Despite steadily improving local job markets and historically low mortgage rates, the U.S. homeownership rate is stuck near a 50-year low because of a perverse mix of affordability challenges, student loan debt, tight credit conditions and housing supply shortages. That's according to findings of a new white paper titled, "Hurdles to Homeownership: Understanding the Barriers" released today in recognition of National Homeownership Month at the National Association of Realtors® Sustainable Homeownership Conference at University of California, Berkeley. Led by a group of prominent experts, including NAR 2017 President William E. Brown, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun and Berkeley Hass Real Estate Group Chair Ken Rosen, today's conference addresses the dip and idleness in the homeownership rate, its drag on the economy and what can be done to ensure more creditworthy households have the opportunity to buy a home. "The decline and stagnation in the homeownership rate is a trend that’s pointing in the wrong direction, and must be reversed given the many benefits of homeownership to individuals, communities and the nation’s economy," said Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. "Those who are financially capable and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream." One of Brown’s main objectives as president of NAR is identifying ways to boost the homeownership rate in a safe and responsible way. The research, which was commissioned by NAR, prepared by Rosen Consulting Group, or RCG, and jointly released by the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business, identifies five main barriers that have prevented a significant number of households from purchasing a home. They are: Post-foreclosure stress disorder: There are long-lasting psychological changes in financial decision-making, including housing tenure choice, for the 9 million homeowners who experienced foreclosure, the 8.7 million people who lost their jobs, and some young adults who witnessed the hardships of their family and friends. While most Americans still have positive feelings about homeownership, targeted programs and workshops about financial literacy and mortgage debt could help return-buyers and those who may have negative biases about owning. Mortgage availability: Credit standards have not normalized following the Great Recession. Borrowers with good-to-excellent credit scores are not getting approved at the rate they were in 2003, prior to the period of excessively lax lending standards. Safely restoring lending requirements to accessible standards is key to helping creditworthy households purchase homes. The growing burden of student loan debt: Young households are repaying an increasing level of student loan debt that makes it extremely difficult to save for a down payment, qualify for a mortgage and afford a mortgage payment, especially in areas with high rents and home prices. As NAR found in a survey released last year, student loan debt is delaying purchases from millennials and over half expect to be delayed by at least five years. Policy changes need to be enacted that address soaring tuition costs and make repayment less burdensome. Single-family housing affordability: Lack of inventory, higher rents and home prices, difficulty saving for a down payment and investors weighing on supply levels by scooping up single-family homes have all lead to many markets experiencing decaying affordability conditions. Unless these challenges subside, RCG forecasts that affordability will fall by an average of nearly 9 percentage points across all 75 major markets between 2016 and 2019, with approximately 5 million fewer households able to afford the local median-priced home by 2019. Declining affordability needs to be addressed with policies enacted that ensure creditworthy young households and minority groups have the opportunity to own a home. Single-family housing supply shortages: “Single-family home construction plummeted after the recession and is still failing to keep up with demand as cities see increased migration and population as the result of faster job growth,” said Rosen. “The insufficient level of homebuilding has created a cumulative deficit of nearly 3.7 million new homes over the last eight years.” Fewer property lots at higher prices, difficulty finding skilled labor and higher construction costs are among the reasons cited by RCG for why housing starts are not ramping up to meet the growing demand for new supply. A concentrated effort to combat these obstacles is needed to increase building, alleviate supply shortages and preserve affordability for prospective buyers. “Low mortgage rates and a healthy job market for college-educated adults should have translated to more home sales and upward movement in the homeownership rate in recent years,” said Yun. “Sadly, this has not been the case. Obtaining a mortgage has been tough for those with good credit, savings for a down payment are instead going towards steeper rents and student loans, and first-time buyers are finding that listings in their price range are severely inadequate.” Added Rosen, “A healthy housing market is critical to the overall success of the U.S. economy. Too many would-be buyers have been locked out of the market by the factors found in this study, and it’s also one of the biggest reasons why economic growth has been subpar in the current recovery.” Today’s homeownership event in Berkeley brings together leading housing economists, policy experts, real estate practitioners and public officials to discuss current market conditions, housing policy, improving access to credit, affordable housing options and inequality. Along with Brown, Yun and Rosen, the notable list of speakers are: Katherine Baker, California State Assembly, 16th district; Matt Regan, senior vice president of public policy, Bay Area Council; Chuck Reed, former San Jose Mayor and special counsel, Hopkins & Carley; David Bank, senior vice president, Rosen Consulting Group; and Jim Gaines, chief economist, Texas A&M University Real Estate Center; Additional speakers are Joel Singer, CEO and state secretary, California Association of Realtors®; Nancy Wallace, co-chair, Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics and professor, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business; Laurie Goodman, co-director, Housing Finance Policy Center, Urban Institute; Carol Galante, I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor of Affordable Housing and Urban Policy; faculty director, Terner Center for Housing Innovation; Co-Chair of Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics; and former FHA Commissioner; John C. Weicher, director, Center for Housing and Financial Markets at the Hudson Institute, and former FHA Commissioner. “Hurdles to Homeownership: Understanding the Barriers” is the second of three papers scheduled for release in 2017 by RCG. Among the findings of the first white paper, “Homeownership in Crisis: Where Are We Now?,” released earlier this year, RCG estimated that more than $300 billion would have been added to the economy in 2016, representing a 1.8 percent bump to GDP, if homebuilding returned to a more normalized level consistent with the historical trend. The third paper – published later this year – will highlight a series of creative policy ideas to promote safe, affordable and sustainable homeownership opportunities. View an infographic highlighting the five hurdles to buying a home. The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Consumers Show Preference for Independent Real Estate Brands
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Walk Score Ranks the Most Walkable Cities of 2017
New York remains the most walkable; Miami overtakes Philadelphia for fourth place SEATTLE--Walk Score®, a Redfin company, today released its 2017 ranking of the most walkable U.S. cities with populations over 300,000. New York, San Francisco and Boston remain the top three most walkable cities in the nation, while Miami leapfrogged Philadelphia to become the fourth most walkable city since last year's ranking. Walk Score measures the walkability of a location based on its distance from amenities, density of population, block length and pedestrian friendliness. As in previous years, all of the top 10 cities saw an increase in their respective Walk Score ratings, indicating that the nation's most walkable cities are becoming even more walkable. Of the top 50 most walkable cities only one, Omaha, Nebraska, saw its Walk Score decline. Miami's steady increase in walkability can be attributed to builders and city officials embracing the idea of densely populated neighborhoods. "Developers are seeing an overall trend in people who desire to live, work and play within the same neighborhood," said Aaron Drucker, a Redfin real estate agent in Miami. "Developers have focused on popular, urban neighborhoods like Wynwood, Midtown, Brickell, South Beach and Coconut Grove, constructing high-rises, multi-family homes and condominiums. This has increased population, creating density that didn't exist in Miami years ago." Despite being edged out of the fourth spot by Miami, Philadelphia continues to improve walkability. Last year, the Pennsylvania hub held a healthy score of 78.3 compared to this year's score of 79.0. To read the full report, complete with a ranking of the 50 most walkable U.S. cities, 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 country's #1 brokerage website 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. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $40 billion in home sales through 2016.
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Survey Reports 12 Percent Jump in REALTOR® Business Activity
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Report Reveals Insights from the Emerging Luxury Consumer
Madison, N.J. 05-02-2017 — Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that it has released "Global Affluence: The Emerging Luxury Consumer," a report examining the confidence, spending habits and purchasing interests of emerging luxury consumers from around the world, defined as those with $250,000 USD to $1 million USD in investable assets.The report, which is based on a survey that focused on luxury consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, India, United Arab Emirates and China, found that this emerging luxury consumer demographic is confident when it comes to their personal economy and the economy of their respective countries. The complete Sotheby's International Realty® "Global Affluence: The Emerging Luxury Consumer" report features a breakdown of data by country surveyed as well as supplemental search data from sothebysrealty.com. Click here to download the full report. Key findings from the Sotheby's International Realty "Global Affluence: The Emerging Luxury Consumer" report include: 85% of emerging luxury consumers are confident in the housing market in their respective countries and are ready to purchase a home within the next three years. 93% of emerging luxury consumers are looking to purchase homes with luxury components. Emerging luxury consumers are interested in waterfront, metropolitan and historic homes. "The luxury residential real estate market is ever evolving," said Philip White, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC. "As a global leader in this arena, the Sotheby's International Realty brand commissioned this research survey to unveil emerging trends with luxury residential real estate consumers around the world. We are always looking to the future and our focus is to keep a pulse on the state of the real estate market and the homebuyers of tomorrow." "The luxury market has been redefined in recent years due in large part to the impact of the new emerging luxury consumer," said Kevin Thompson, chief marketing officer of Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC. "These individuals have a luxury sensibility and an affinity for exclusive brands, proving that luxury transcends income levels – it is about quality, uniqueness, and ultimately achieving a certain lifestyle. The Sotheby's International Realty brand has its eye on the future and is perfectly positioned to unite these extraordinary lives with extraordinary lifestyles." The Sotheby's International Realty network currently has more than 20,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in approximately 850 offices in 66 countries and territories worldwide. In 2016, the brand achieved a record global sales volume of $95 billion USD. Sotheby's International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm's brokers and clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby's auction house and worldwide Sotheby's International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated. Methodological Notes:The Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 200 US emerging luxury consumers, and 100 emerging luxury consumers in the UK, China, UAE and India, between November 17th and December 15th, 2016, using an email invitation and an online survey. The margin of error for this study is +/- 6.9 percentage points in the US, and +/- 9.8 percentage points in the UK, China, UAE and India at the 95% confidence level. Base sizes under 100 are directional findings only. Data from sothebysrealty.com: Google Website Analytics, sothebysrealty.com, April – December 2015 vs. April – December 2016. About Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLCFounded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby's International Realty network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates 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. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby's, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby's International Realty name and the development of a full franchise system. Affiliations in the system are granted only to brokerages and individuals meeting strict qualifications. Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC supports its affiliates with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby's auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.
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Redfin Survey: One in Four Home Sellers Report Having No Concerns About Selling
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RPR Releases 2017 REALTOR® Mobile Usage Report
  CHICAGO (April 17, 2017) – Realtors Property Resource® (RPR® ), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS®, announces the results of its recent 2017 REALTOR® Mobile Usage Report. The report includes findings from a survey of almost 200 REALTORS® about the way they use mobile devices in their everyday businesses. Client communication and housing research top the list of mobile activities REALTORS® rely on most throughout the course of each workday, according to the study. Those tasks are made possible through the growing availability of mobile technologies in the real estate marketplace, which include apps offered by RPR, Supra eKEY, Homesnap, ShowingTime, and a variety of MLS apps. "Consumers appreciate experiences that are convenient, quick, and personalized," said RPR Vice President of Marketing Reggie Nicolay. "With a smartphone and the right app, REALTORS® are empowered to adapt their communication strategies to meet those consumer needs." Mobile access to property data, and the ability to instantly communicate that information to consumers, has transformed the way REALTORS® conduct business. RPR's app, for example, enables more than 1.2 million REALTORS® to view data on nearly any U.S. property and then immediately convert it to a customized report, sent directly from the app to the client by way of text or email. 2017 REALTOR® Mobile Usage Report key findings include: An overwhelming majority (96 percent) of REALTORS® agree, using a mobile device to access housing data saves valuable time during the work day. 89 percent of all REALTORS® surveyed indicated that they often use a mobile device to communicate with clients. Other popular activities included researching housing data (72 percent), financial calculations (44 percent), prospecting (34 percent), and client presentations/home showings (26 percent). 87 percent of REALTORS® agree that clients prefer to receive new housing alerts, market activity reports and more sent directly to their mobile device. View the full report About Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®)Realtors Property Resource®, LLC (RPR®), a wholly owned subsidiary of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, is an exclusive online real estate database created to support the core competence of its members. The parcel centric database, covering more than 160 million residential and commercial U.S. properties, provides REALTORS® with the analytical power to help clients make informed decisions while increasing efficiency in the marketplace. For more on RPR, visit blog.narrpr.com.
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Realtor.com® Consumer Survey Identifies Home Shoppers' Preferences in 2017
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Affordability, Tight Supply Cause Vacation Home Sales to Plummet in 2016; Investment Sales Climb 4.5%
  WASHINGTON (April 11, 2017) — Last year's strongest pace of home sales in a decade included a sizeable drop in activity from vacation buyers and a jump from individual investors, according to an annual second-home survey released today by the National Association of Realtors®. The survey additionally found that vacation and investment buyers in 2016 were more likely to take out a mortgage and use their property as a short-term rental. NAR's 2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, covering existing- and new-home transactions in 2016, revealed that vacation home purchases last year descended to an estimated 721,000, down 21.6 percent from 2015 (920,000) and the lowest since 2013 (717,000). Investment-home sales in 2016 rose 4.5 percent to 1.14 million from 1.09 million in 2015. Owner-occupied purchases jumped 12.5 percent to 4.21 million last year from 3.74 million in 2015 – the highest level since 2006 (4.82 million). Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says vacation sales in 2016 tumbled for the second consecutive year and have fallen 36 percent from their recent peak high in 2014 (1.13 million). "In several markets in the South and West – the two most popular destinations for vacation buyers – home prices have soared in recent years because substantial buyer demand from strong job growth continues to outstrip the supply of homes for sale," he said. "With fewer bargain-priced properties to choose from and a growing number of traditional buyers, finding a home for vacation purposes became more difficult and less affordable last year." Added Yun, "The volatility seen in the financial markets in late 2015 through the early part of last year also put a dent in sales as some affluent households with money in stocks likely refrained from buying or delayed plans until after the election." Tight inventory conditions pushed the median sales price of both vacation and investment homes last year to levels not seen in roughly a decade. The median vacation home price was $200,000, up 4.2 percent from 2015 ($192,000) and the highest since 2006 (also $200,000). The median investment-home sales price was $155,000, up 8.0 percent from 2015 ($143,500) and the highest since 2005 ($183,500). With home prices steadily rising, an increasing share of second-home buyers financed their purchase last year. The share of vacation buyers who paid fully in cash diminished to 28 percent (38 percent in 2015), while cash purchases by investors decreased to 35 percent from 39 percent in 2015 and 41 percent in 2014. "Sales to individual investors reached their highest level since 2012 (1.20 million) as investors took advantage of record low mortgage rates and recognized the sizeable demand for renting in their market as renters struggle to become homeowners," said Yun. "The ability to generate rental income or remodel a home to put back on a market with tight inventory is giving investors increased confidence in their ability to see strong returns in their home purchase." Vacation sales accounted for 12 percent of all transactions in 2016, which was the lowest share since 2012 (11 percent) and down from 16 percent in 2015. The portion of investment sales remained unchanged for the third consecutive year at 19 percent, and owner-occupied purchases increased to 70 percent (65 percent in 2015). Greater interest in short-term rentals; South most popular destination Given the rising popularity of short-term rentals in locales throughout the country, it's no surprise there were slightly more investment and vacation buyers renting their property for less than 30 days. Forty-four percent of investors (42 percent in 2015) and 29 percent of vacation buyers (24 percent in 2015) did or tried to rent their property last year and plan to do so in 2017. Twenty-one percent of investment buyers and 15 percent of vacation buyers did not rent their home for short-term purposes last year but plan to try it in 2017. Vacation buyers' typically earned $89,900 ($103,700 in 2015), while investment buyers had a household income of $82,000 ($95,800 in 2015). Both were most likely to purchase a single-family home in the South, with vacation buyers preferring a beach location and investors choosing a suburban area. The top two reasons for buying a vacation home were to use for vacations or as a family retreat (42 percent) and for future retirement (18 percent), while investors mostly bought to generate income through renting (42 percent) and for potential price appreciation (16 percent). NAR's 2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, conducted in March 2017, surveyed a sample of households that had purchased any type of residential real estate during 2016. The survey sample was drawn from an online panel of U.S. adults monitored and maintained by an established survey research firm. A total of 2,099 qualified adults responded to the survey. The 2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey can be ordered by calling 800-874-6500, or online at www.nar.realtor/prodser.nsf/Research. 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 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Redfin Quantifies the Effect of Public Transportation Access on Home Prices
SEATTLE--One Transit Score? point can increase the price of a home by an average of $2,040 or 0.6 percent, according to the latest analysis by Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage. To estimate the value of public transportation access when buying or selling a home, Redfin looked at the sale prices and Transit Score ratings of more than one million homes sold between January 2014 and April 2016 across 14 major metro areas. Transit Score measures the usefulness and convenience of public transportation (bus, subway, light rail, ferry, etc.) routes near a given location. Of the 14 metro areas included in the analysis, one Transit Score point is worth the most, as a percentage of the median sale price, in Atlanta. There, one Transit Score point is worth $1,901, or 1.13 percent, on average. After Atlanta, a point of Transit Score carries the highest value in Boston (1.10%) and Washington, D.C. (0.96%). "Transit is an important building block to economic mobility," said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. "The more that cities invest in good transit, the bigger financial impact for homeowners and the better access families of all incomes have to jobs and public amenities. Transit is an economic win-win for communities." To read the full report, complete with data, charts and more insights, please 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 country's #1 brokerage website 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. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $40 billion in home sales through 2016.
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Survey: Most Home Sellers Tried To Negotiate Real Estate Agent Commissions Last Year
SEATTLE — Mar. 15, 2017 — A majority of sellers last year tried to negotiate their listing agent's commission to a lower price, according to a survey of 3,352 homebuyers and sellers across 11 major metropolitan markets conducted in December 2016 by SurveyGizmo and commissioned by Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage. Fifty-seven percent of sellers last year attempted to negotiate their agent's commission, up from 52 percent in June 2016. The trend was partly driven by Millennial sellers, 66 percent of whom said in December they had attempted to negotiate with their agent. Savings were prevalent among homebuyers, too. Nearly half (49 percent) said they got a refund, closing-cost contribution or other consideration from their agent worth $100 or more, up from 46 percent who said the same in June. Following are six major findings: Most sellers are negotiating for lower commissions. Nearly three out of four sellers checked their online home-value estimates at least weekly before deciding to list their home for sale. One in five checked daily or near daily. Rising mortgage interest rates haven't deterred most homebuyers. The top economic concerns are income inequality and affordable housing. Many homebuyers, especially Millennials, are hesitant to move to an area where people tend to have different political views from their own. Nearly half of minority homebuyers felt potential discrimination because of their race. "Millennials are more data savvy than previous generations and naturally comfortable taking advantage of the relatively recent data transparency and technological innovations in the industry," said Nela Richardson, Redfin chief economist. "This makes them more informed than any cohort the housing market has ever seen, and partly because of that, more willing to negotiate fees.  Millennials' hesitance to move to places where people have different political views suggests that our already deeply divided nation could become even more geographically segregated by ideology. As Millennials age into peak home-buying years, we will continue to see their preferences reflected not only in how homes are bought and sold, but also the makeup of cities and neighborhoods across the country. This carries big implications for the future of our political parties and electoral outcomes." For the full report including more findings, charts and a detailed methodology, visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2017/03/survey-most-home-sellers-tried-to-negotiate-commissions-last-year.html. About RedfinRedfin 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 country's #1 brokerage website 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. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $40 billion in home sales through 2016. For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com.
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NAR HOME Survey: Economic, Financial Optimism Surges; Renters Lukewarm About Buying
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NAR Survey Finds Gen X on the Mend; More Children Living with Millennials and Boomers
  WASHINGTON (March 7, 2017) — An improving economy, multiple years of strong job growth and the notable increase in home values in most markets fueled a greater share of purchases from Generation X households over the past year. This is according to the National Association of Realtors® 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluates the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers. The survey additionally found that a growing number of millennials and younger boomer buyers have children living at home; student debt is common among Gen X and boomer households; more millennials are buying outside the city; and younger generations are more likely to use a real estate agent. Much of the spotlight in recent years has focused on the several challenges millennials are enduring on their journey to homeownership. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, lost in this discussion are the numerous Generation X households who bought their first home, started a family and entered the middle part of their careers only to be rattled by job losses, falling home values and overall economic uncertainty during and after the Great Recession. This year's survey reveals that debt and little or no equity in their home slowed many Gen X households from buying sooner. Recent Gen X buyers delayed buying longer than millennials because of debt, were the most likely generation to have previously sold a distressed property and were the generation most likely to want to sell earlier but couldn't because their home was worth less than their mortgage. Furthermore, Gen X buyers indicated they had the most student loan debt ($30,000). "Gen X sellers' median tenure in their previous home was 10 years, which puts many of them selling a property they bought right around the time home values were on the precipice of declining," said Yun. "Fortunately, the much stronger job market and 41 percent cumulative rise in home prices since 2011 have helped a growing number build enough equity to finally sell and trade up to a larger home. More Gen X sellers are expected this year and are definitely needed to ease the inventory shortages in much of the country." The uptick in purchases from Gen X buyers this year (28 percent) was the highest since 2014 and up from 26 percent in 2016. Millennials were the largest group of recent buyers for the fourth consecutive year (34 percent), but their overall share was down slightly from a year ago (35 percent). Baby boomers were 30 percent of buyers, and the Silent Generation made up 8 percent. Younger boomers increasingly consider adult children when buying This year's survey also brought to light how the soaring cost of rent in many areas is likely influencing the decision of middle-aged parents to buy a home with their young adult children in mind. Younger boomers were the most likely to purchase a multi-generational home (20 percent; 16 percent in 2016), and the top reason for doing so was that children over 18 years old either moved back home or never left (30 percent; 27 percent in 2016). "The job market is very healthy for young adults with a college education, but repaying student debt and dealing with ever-increasing rents on an entry-level salary are forcing many to either shack-up with several roommates or move back home," said Yun. "This growing trend of delayed household formation is one of the main contributors to the nation's low homeownership rate." Student debt is not just a millennial problem Debt, particularly from student loans, appears to be a portion of the household budget of buyers in every generation. While millennials were the most likely to have student debt (46 percent), their typical balance ($25,000) was lower than Gen X buyers ($30,000). A combined 16 percent of younger and older boomer buyers also had student debt, with a median balance of over $10,000 for each group. Among the share of buyers who said saving for a down payment was the most difficult task, millennials were most likely to cite student loans as the debt that delayed saving (55 percent), followed by Gen X (29 percent) and younger boomers (9 percent). "Repaying student debt also appears to be slowing some current homeowners who went to graduate school and now can no longer afford to sell and trade up because of their loans," added Yun. "Nearly a third of homeowners in a NAR survey released last year said student debt is preventing them from selling a home to buy a new one." More millennials moving to the suburbs...with their kids Similar to previous years, roughly two-thirds of millennial buyers are married. One aspect of their household that has changed is the number of children in them. In this year's survey, 49 percent of millennial buyers had at least one child, which is up from 45 percent last year and 43 percent two years ago. With more kids in tow, the need for more space at an affordable price is increasingly pushing millennial buyers outside the city. Only 15 percent of millennial buyers bought in an urban area, which is down from 17 percent last year and 21 percent two years ago. "Millennial buyers, at 85 percent, were the most likely generation to view their home purchase as a good financial investment," added Yun. "These strong feelings bode well for even greater demand in the future as more millennials settle down and begin raising families. A significant boost in new and existing inventory will go a long way to ensuring the opportunity is there for more of them to reach the market." Millennial buyers and sellers overwhelmingly go online and use a real estate agent Regardless of age, buyers and sellers continue to see real estate agents as an integral part of a real estate transaction. In this year's survey, nearly 90 percent of respondents said they worked with a real estate agent to buy or sell a home. This kept for-sale-by-owner transactions down at their lowest share ever (8 percent). Not surprisingly, online and digital technology usage during the home search has increased in recent years. Although millennials and Gen X buyers were the most likely to go online during their search, they were also the most likely to buy their home using a real estate agent (92 percent and 88 percent, respectively). On the seller side, millennials were the most likely to use an agent (90 percent), followed closely by Gen X and younger boomer sellers (each at 89 percent). "Online and mobile technology is increasingly giving consumers a glut of real estate data at their disposal," said NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. "However, at the end of the day, buyers and sellers of all ages — but especially younger and often DIY-minded consumers — seek and value a Realtors®' ability to dissect this information and use their expertise and market insights to coach buyers and sellers through the complexities of a real estate transaction." NAR mailed a 132-question survey in July 2016 using a random sample weighted to be representative of sales on a geographic basis to 93,171 recent homebuyers. Respondents had the option to fill out the survey via hard copy or online; the online survey was available in English and Spanish. A total of 5,465 responses were received from primary residence buyers. After accounting for undeliverable questionnaires, the survey had an adjusted response rate of 5.9 percent. The sample at the 95 percent confidence level has a confidence interval of plus-or-minus 1.32 percent. The recent homebuyers had to have purchased a home between July of 2015 and June of 2016. All information is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2016 with the exception of income data, which are for 2015. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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NAR, Realtor.com® Identify Growing Rift Between Housing Availability and Affordability
  WASHINGTON (February 16, 2017) — Existing-home sales are forecast to expand 1.7 percent in 2017, but a new housing affordability model created jointly by the National Association of Realtors® and realtor.com®, a leading online real estate destination, operated by operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc., suggests homebuyers at many income levels could see an inadequate amount of listings on the market within their price range in coming months. Using data on mortgages, state-level income and listings on realtor.com®, the Realtors® Affordability Distribution Curve and Score is NAR and realtor.com®'s new ongoing monthly research designed to examine affordability conditions at different income percentiles for all active inventory on the market. The Affordability Distribution Curve examines how many listings are affordable to those in a particular income percentile. The Affordability Score — varying between zero and two — is a calculation that is equal to twice the area below the Affordability Distribution Curve on a graph. A score of one or higher generally suggests a market where homes for sale are more affordable to households in proportion to their income distribution. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says a top complaint Realtors® have been hearing from clients is a notable imbalance between what they can afford and what is listed for sale. "Home prices have ascended far past wage growth in much of the country in recent years because not enough homeowners are selling and homebuilders have not boosted production enough to meet rising demand," he said. "NAR and realtor.com®'s new affordability measure confirms that buyers aren't exaggerating about the imbalance. Amidst higher home prices and now mortgage rates, households with lower incomes have been able to afford less of all homes on the market last year and so far in 2017." Reflecting a growing shortage of accessible inventory for most income groups, the entire Affordability Distribution Curve in January was below the equality line and the gap was generally wider at lower incomes, which indicates even tighter supply conditions. A household in the 35th percentile could afford 28 percent of all listings, a median income household (50th percentile) could afford 46 percent of listings and a household in the 75thpercentile was able to afford 74 percent of active listings. "Consistently strong job gains and a growing share of millennials entering their prime buying years is laying the foundation for robust buyer demand in 2017," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com®, a leading online real estate destination. "However, buyers with a lower maximum affordable price are seeing heavy competition for the fewer listings they can afford. At a time of higher borrowing costs, this situation could affect affordability even more as buyers battle for a smaller pool of homes and bid prices upward." Calculating last month's Affordability Score — two times the area under the Affordability Distribution Curve — further highlights the disjointed rate of accessible supply on the market across the U.S. Swift price growth and higher mortgage rates caused January's Affordability Score (0.92) to shrink nationally from a year ago (0.97) and also in many states. Only 19 states had a score above one (conditions that are more favorable) and a meager three — North Dakota, Alaska and Wyoming — saw year-over-year gains in their score. "Heading into the beginning of the spring buying season, available supply is more reachable for aspiring buyers in the upper end of the market and specifically in nearly all Midwestern states," said Smoke. "Meanwhile, many states in the West and South have seen deteriorating supply levels over the past year. Buyers in these areas should know that it may take longer to find the right home at a price they can afford." The states last month with the highest Affordability Score were Indiana (1.23), Ohio (1.22), Iowa (1.18), Kansas (1.17), and Michigan and Missouri (both at 1.14). The states with the lowest Affordability Score were Hawaii (0.52), California (0.60), District of Columbia (0.65), and Montana and Oregon (both at 0.67). "This shortfall of inventory at a time of healthy job gains in most states is one of the biggest reasons for the depressed share of first-time buyers and the inability for the homeownership rate to rise above its near-record low," added Yun. "The only prescription to reversing this adverse situation is to build more entry-level and mid-market housing that aligns with current household incomes." The new Realtors® Affordability Distribution Curve and Score was created to be a valuable resource for Realtors® and consumers to assess the affordability of markets in different income groups. The research may eventually include metro-level data and will be updated on an ongoing basis at https://www.nar.realtor/topics/realtors-affordability-distribution-curve-and-score. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. 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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Redfin Names the Best Cities for Living Without a Car
SEATTLE--Proximity to restaurants, grocery stores, parks and jobs are some of the key perks of urban living, especially if those destinations are accessible without a car. Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage, compiled the latest Walk Score rankings to see which U.S. cities with populations greater than 300,000 have the highest composite Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score rankings. These are places where you could forgo having a car and still be able to get around town in a variety of ways, whether it be by foot, bike or public transit. And while not all cities are created equal, each of these 10 cities has infrastructure to support a car-free lifestyle. Even though San Francisco takes second place in every category (walking, biking and transit) its overall score is the highest in the nation. This isn't a surprise to Redfin agents. "It's true that most people in San Francisco don't own cars. It's said that if you want to own a home that has parking, plan on adding about $300,000 to the cost of your home," said Redfin real estate agent Mia Simon. "The good news is that nearly every neighborhood in San Francisco is walkable and the BART and MUNI can basically get you anywhere you need to go. It's very common for prospective buyers to schedule a series of home tours and travel between tours on foot and via public transit to get a feel for what life would be like at their new home without a car. Here's the full ranking of the 10 best cities for living without a car: 1. San Francisco, California2. New York, New York3. Boston, Massachusetts4. Washington, D.C.5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania6. Chicago, Illinois7. Minneapolis, Minnesota8. Miami, Florida9. Seattle, Washington10. Oakland, California To read the full report, complete with more information on each city, click here. About Redfin CorporationRedfin 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 country's #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the highly accurate automated home-value estimate. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $31 billion in home sales and saved customers more than $335 million in fees through 2015.
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NAR Finds Real and Imaginary Barriers Holding Back Prospective Homebuyers
  WASHINGTON (February 1, 2017) — Existing-home sales increased 3.8 percent to a 10-year high in 2016, but affordability pressures, student debt and possible confusion about down payment requirements prevented many aspiring homeowners from reaching the market, according to recent consumer insight from the National Association of Realtors®. NAR's Aspiring Home Buyer Profile analyzed 2016 quarterly survey data from its Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey to capture movements in the housing expectations and sentiment of homeowners and non-homeowners — both renters and those living with a family member. According to the findings, respondents last year maintained a favorable view about homeownership, with over 90 percent of homeowners and roughly eight out of 10 non-homeowners each quarter indicating that owning a home is part of their American Dream. However, despite these positive feelings, optimism about it being a good time to buy diminished among non-owners. The percent share who believed it was a good time to buy declined from 63 percent in the first quarter to 55 percent in the fourth quarter. The share of homeowners who thought it was a good time to buy also dipped as the year went on but hovered at a much higher rate of around 80 percent each quarter. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the desire to own a home and the ability to do so are not on the same wavelengths for many households. "Nearly all non-homeowners said they want to own a home in the future (87 percent), but it's evident that higher rents and home prices — up 41 percent in the past five years — along with limited entry-level supply and repaying student debt have combined to make buying a challenging goal," he said. "It's also little surprise that non-owners in the West — where price appreciation has been the strongest — were the least optimistic about buying." Affordability and student debt presenting an uphill climb Being unable to afford to buy a home was the number one reason non-owners cited as to why they don't own. For the entire year, over half of non-owners indicated they could not afford to buy, while roughly one-fifth of respondents said they needed the flexibility of renting. It's also apparent from NAR's analysis that carrying student debt is causing many non-owners to delay purchasing a home. Of the 39 percent of non-owners in the second quarter survey who said they have student debt, a majority indicated they are not very or not at all comfortable taking on a mortgage (59 percent). Yun says these findings align with a separate NAR study from last year that revealed that nearly three-quarters of non-homeowners who are employed and repaying their student loans on time believe their debt is stymieing their ability to purchase a home, with slightly over half of borrowers expecting to be delayed by five or more years. "In addition to having to postpone important milestones such as getting married and starting a family, many young adults are financially falling behind previous generations in part because of having to prioritize repaying their sizeable student loans over buying a home and saving for retirement," said Yun. Unrealistic expectations about down payments muddle views about getting a mortgage Apparent confusion about down payment requirements may also be behind non-owners' lagging confidence about buying. NAR's Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers has shown that the median down payment for first-time buyers has been 6 percent for three straight years and 14 percent for repeat buyers in three of the past four years. However, when asked about the amount of a down payment needed to purchase a home, a remarkable 87 percent of non-owners indicated that a down payment of 10 percent or more is necessary. "Current non-owners' ultimate goal of owning a home may not be as far-fetched as they believe," said NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. "There are mortgage options available for creditworthy borrowers with manageable levels of debt and smaller down payments. Those interested in buying their first home in 2017 should review their finances, sit down with a lender to see if they qualify for a mortgage and find a Realtor® to help them get started on their home search." About NAR's HOME survey In each quarter of 2016, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via random-digit dial, including half via cell phones and the other half via landlines. The survey was conducted by an established survey research firm, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. A total of 11,035 household responses are represented. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Among Top Home Buyer Challenges for 2017, Rising Mortgage Rates Are Dampening First-Time Buyer Plans for Spring
  SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 19, 2017 -- New data from realtor.com®, a leading online real estate destination operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc., suggests that the share of first-time buyers planning to buy in spring 2017 fell sharply when mortgage rates began to rise at the end of last year, dropping by as much as 10 percent since last October. At the same time, record low inventory levels, higher prices and heavy buyer competition is creating more urgency for active home buyers. "Last fall, we saw a large jump in the number of first timers planning home purchases, which was very encouraging because their market share is still well below pre-recession levels," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®. "But, as evidenced by their decline in share, first-time buyers are really dependent on financing and affordability is one of their largest barriers to home ownership. This number could continue to decline with anticipated increases in interest rates and home prices." According to realtor.com®'s January survey of active home buyers, 44 percent of buyers planning to buy in spring 2017 are first-time home buyers. This has dropped significantly since the survey was conducted in October, when 55 percent of buyers of planning a spring purchase indicated they were looking for their first home. The average 30-year conforming rate rose to more than 4.2 percent by the end of December 2016 from 3.4 percent at the end of September 2016. With average rates today about half a percentage point higher than they were in 2016, a median-priced home financed with 20 percent down would cost an additional $720 per year in added interest.  That equals more than 1 percent of the median household's income. Survey data collected by realtor.com® found that first-time buyers were nearly five times more likely than repeat buyers to say they faced challenges qualifying for a mortgage, with affordability ranking highly among first-time buyer concerns. First-time buyers comprised 32 percent of all buyers in November, according to the National Association of Realtors®. "The rise in rates is associated with an anticipation of stronger economic and wage growth, both of which favor buyers," added Smoke. "At the same time, higher rates make qualifying for a mortgage and finding affordable inventory more challenging. The decline in the share of first-time buyers since October suggests that the move up in rates is discouraging new home buyers already." To date, rising interest rates appear to be having the opposite impact on repeat home buyers. Even with the current increases, interest rates remain historically low, and the movement in rates hasn't yet tipped overall buyer demand down. It has actually sparked demand from experienced buyers trying to close before rates increase further, as evidenced by increased realtor.com® listings views and decreased inventory. In the short term, the rate movement seems to have encouraged rather than dampened overall demand. In addition to likely additional mortgage rate increases, prospective buyers should be aware of the following aspects of the housing market realtor.com® expects to see at play over the coming year. Other Significant Challenges for Home Buyers in 2017 There Aren't Enough Homes for Sale. Even after 51 straight months of a below-normal supply of homes for sale, 2017 is expected to be even more challenging. Active inventory in December on realtor.com® was down 11 percent compared to December 2015. As a result, the year has started with the lowest inventory of homes for sale at least since the recession, and possibly in decades. Inventory was a challenge all year but a stronger offseason in the fall depleted the available homes for sale even more than is typical. Prices Remain at Record Highs. Asking prices usually decrease in the fall, but this year the median list price in December, was the same as in July at $250,000. That represents a record price for December and a year over year gain of 9 percent, the highest monthly year-over-year gain in 2016. Rising Rates Have Made Demand Even More Intense. With fewer homes on the market, average listing views were up 40 to 80 percent in the last three weeks of December, compared to the same time in 2015. Multiple potential buyers seem to be interested in virtually every home on the market even though we are in the slowest time of the year for sales. 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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Survey Finds Voice Control Next Big Thing in Smart Home Technology
MADISON, N.J. 01-04-2017 — Your kids may not always listen to you but soon your smart home will. A new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC and Vivint Smart Home found Americans are ready to embrace using voice control, with an increasing number already using the feature. According to the survey, 72 percent of Americans who have smart home products – controlled remotely by a smartphone, tablet, computer or by a separate automatic system within the home itself – want voice control. And of that group, 81 percent of parents who have smart home products desire to control smart home products with voice activation. The survey also found that 48 percent of Americans with smart home products currently have voice control capability. So what do consumers want to control using their voice? Entertainment is the clear winner. More than half (57 percent) of Americans who own smart home products with voice control use the feature to control smart entertainment, such as playing music, or controlling smart TVs and speaker systems. In addition to entertainment, the next three most popular functions being controlled by voice activation for smart home product owners are: lighting, security products and shopping (all tied at 33 percent). "We're not surprised that so many Americans want to be able to use their voice to control smart home products because it makes for a much more intuitive user experience," said Sean Blankenship, chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. "As the smart home leader in real estate, Coldwell Banker is at the forefront of smart home trends and we're hearing directly from our agents that their clients are demanding voice control to make their smart home experience more seamless." "Last year we announced our integration with Amazon Echo and we've been blown away with how consumers are unlocking the full potential of a voice-controlled smart home," said Jeff Lyman, chief marketing officer for Vivint Smart Home. "By simply saying aloud what they want to happen with their locks, lights, thermostats and security system, customers spend more time living and less time managing. The experience is pretty magical." For the full results of the Coldwell Banker Real Estate / Vivint Smart Home consumer survey including demographic breakdowns of Americans with smart home products, please visit here. MethodologyThis survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Coldwell Banker Real Estate and Vivint Smart Home from November 14-16 and from November 18-22, 2016 among 4,108 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among which 923 have any smart home products. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please visit here. About Vivint Smart HomeVivint Smart Home is the largest smart home services provider in North America. The company combines innovative products and services to offer homeowners the best smart home experience. As the only vertically integrated smart home company, Vivint delivers its integrated platform and products with in-home consultation, professional installation and support delivered by its Smart Home Pros, as well as 24-7 customer care and monitoring. Dedicated to redefining the home experience with intelligent products and services, Vivint serves more than one million customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.vivint.com. About Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLCSince 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate brokerage services. Coldwell Banker Real Estate is the oldest national real estate brand and franchisor in the United States, and today has a global network of 3,000 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 48 countries and territories with more than 89,000 affiliated sales professionals. The Coldwell Banker brand is known for creating innovative consumer services as recently seen by taking a leadership role in the smart home space, being the first national real estate brand with an iPad app, the first to augment its website www.coldwellbanker.com for smart phones, the first to create an iPhone application with international listings, the first to develop an iPad application (CBx) to easily bring big data into home listing presentations, and the first to fully harness the power of video in real estate listings, news and information through its Coldwell Banker On LocationSM YouTube channel. Coldwell Banker is a leader in niche markets such as resort, new homes and luxury properties through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program delivering exceptional experiences for all consumers served.
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Home Sales Expected to Expand Modestly in 2017 as Affordability Pressures Temper Buyer Enthusiasm
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Interest Rates Are on the Minds of Consumers in Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Latest Homeowner Sentiment Survey
IRVINE, Calif.--Current and prospective homeowners – particularly Millennials — remain optimistic about the state of the U.S. real estate market yet they expressed concern over the prospects of rising interest rates in Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices' latest Homeowner Sentiment Survey released today. Overall, 66% of current homeowners and 63% of prospective homeowners view the U.S. real estate market favorably – a sentiment that has remained steady throughout 2016. Notably, Millennials (defined in the survey as people ages 18-34) were the most optimistic generation, with 74% reporting a favorable view, representing a 15-percentage point jump since the same time last year1. Two-thirds of Gen-Xers (ages 35-50) also expressed a favorable view – an 8-percentage point increase from last year. While respondents showed overall confidence in the market, compared with last year, they expressed greater concern about how an increase in the Federal Reserve's benchmark interest rate may affect their ability to buy a home. Many economists expect a rate increase in December, which may exert upward pressure on mortgage rates. In fact, 76% of current homeowners and 79% of prospective homeowners cite increasing interest rates as a challenge impacting the real estate market today. These figures represent 16- and 8-percentage point jumps, respectively, from the same time last year – just before the Fed raised its benchmark rate for the first time in nearly a decade. Similarly, 44% of current homeowners and 70% of prospective buyers said they would feel anxious if mortgage rates were to go up, representing 11- and 8-percentage point jumps from last year, respectively. "People feel good about real estate because housing is doing well in many markets across America," said Gino Blefari, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. "Although the idea of a rate hike can grab headlines and initially create some unease, it's important to remember rate increases are often the mark of an improving, healthy U.S. economy. That is the case today." A majority of respondents acknowledged that higher mortgage rates would make it more difficult for them to buy a home. Yet, when it comes to perception of current mortgage rates, less than half of current homeowners and only 17% of prospective homeowners described them as "low." "Mortgage rates remain near historic lows, although it may not seem that way to recent, first-time buyers and those considering a home purchase," said Stephen Phillips, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. "Mortgage rates ticked up following the presidential election, and we may see rates rise a little more in response to anticipated Fed action. Still, I expect mortgage rates to remain low for the foreseeable future." A conforming, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage carried a rate of 4.125% in early December, up from 3.75% during the same period a year ago. Phillips believes conforming rates will remain below 5% for the next 2-3 years. "I anticipate moderate, steady growth for the U.S. over the next few years as Baby Boomers (ages 50-65) move into new phases of their lives and Millennials come into their own as consumers. All things considered, this is a formula for continued lower mortgage rates." Millennials Look Past 'Starter' Homes In the survey, Millennial enthusiasm was expressed in an openness to enter the real estate market. Six in 10 showed interest in purchasing a starter home. When asked about the advantages of starter homes – ones requiring TLC to be fixed over time -- Millennials recognize affordability and the opportunity to build credit and become a homeowner sooner. The top reason keeping Millennial renters on the fence -- they are saving to buy their dream home. Of those who said they're waiting for their dream home, half cited the desire to go through the home-buying process only once and 37% said they don't want the hassles of renovating an older home. "Starter homes can provide first-time buyers with independence and an attainable investment," said Blefari. "The process of buying one – while never easy – may not be as difficult as it's perceived it to be. Of course, a trusted real estate agent will be an ally to help any new buyer get a foot in the door on their way toward accomplishing longer-term real estate goals." Homeowner Sentiment on Real Estate Technology When it comes to emerging technologies in real estate, 50% of current homeowners and 49% of prospective homeowners said they were most excited about virtual reality tours as a home-buying tool. About one-quarter of prospective homeowners labeled mortgage rate calculators as "confusing," suggesting that agents can provide value in helping clients understand the mortgage process. Despite technology's growing role, nearly all current and prospective homeowners (85% and 83%, respectively) agree real estate professionals remain essential to the home-buying process for their negotiation skills, property assessments and home tours, among other services. Respondents indicated an eagerness to participate directly in the process, as six in 10 said they prefer to harness the power of a real estate agent along with respondents' own online searches and use of other available real estate tools and resources. The full survey details are available upon request. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homeowner Sentiment Survey Methodology Interviews with 2,509 respondents were conducted online by Edelman Intelligence in October and November 2016. Respondents captured were either current homeowners (individuals who currently own a home as a primary residence) or prospective homeowners (individuals who do not currently own a home and are likely to buy a home as their primary residence in the next six months). The margin of error is +/-2.19% for current homeowners and +/- 4.38% for prospective homeowners. About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and HSF Affiliates LLC Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, based in Irvine, CA, is a real estate brokerage network built for a new era in residential real estate. The network, among the few organizations entrusted to use the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway name, brings to the real estate market a definitive mark of trust, integrity, stability and longevity. Visit www.berkshirehathawayhs.com. Irvine, CA-based HSF Affiliates LLC operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. The company is a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation's second-largest, full-service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. HomeServices of America is an affiliate of world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, and are used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. 1Statistics from last year refer to data included in the third wave of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices' Homeowner Sentiment Survey, released in December 2015
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Real Trends Releases 2016 Brokerage Performance Study
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Survey: Nearly 50 Percent of Homeowners Do Not Have a 'Go-To' Real Estate Agent
TAMPA, FL--(Dec 7, 2016) - Happy Grasshopper, the leader in email marketing for real estate professionals, today announces the results of its 2016 Homeowners Survey to determine how current homeowners find a real estate agent and what type of relationship they prefer to have with them. The survey found almost half, 49 percent, of homeowners do not have a "go-to" real estate agent. The survey also revealed homebuyers are using word of mouth to find an agent, with 51 percent of buyers connecting with their real estate agents on a referral basis, while only 10 percent of homebuyers were contacted first by an agent. Moreover, 70 percent of homeowners said they did "very little" or "some" research before choosing an agent. "The study shows a large percentage of the market is up for grabs, not only because many homeowners do not have a preferred agent, but also the fact that most homeowners aren't doing heavy research before hiring one," said Dan Stewart, CEO and co-founder of Happy Grasshopper. "This suggests communication initiated by an agent might be enough to turn a lead into a sale, even if it takes years before the client is ready to buy or sell. Agents are missing opportunities to cultivate relationships with past and potential clients so when it is time to move, they know who to call." The study found 36 percent of homeowners find it beneficial to receive communication from an agent, such as market listings and open houses in their neighborhoods, even when the homeowner isn't looking to buy or sell. Additionally, nearly 40 percent of homeowners are in favor of receiving more than just information on the housing market, including home upkeep topics and happenings in a neighborhood. At the same time, only 19 percent of homeowners say they actually receive that communication. It also found the preferred method of communication is email. Homeowners overwhelmingly said they preferred email over text message, phone and social media communication. "Staying in touch is possibly the most underrated and underused tactic that I see from my colleagues in the industry, despite the fact that it's as easy as sending an email," said Matt Bohanon, Team Leader of Keller Williams Select in Sarasota, Florida. "Keeping frequent communication, even with the people who seem like they'll never buy or sell, will eventually pay off, maybe not through a transaction, but they'll most likely refer you to their friends." For more information about Happy Grasshopper, visit www.happygrasshopper.com. MethodologyHappy Grasshopper launched the study via SurveyMonkey and surveyed 300 U.S. homeowners. Respondents ranged from ages 18-65 and were split between 53 percent female respondents and 47 percent male respondents. The study asked questions across a variety of topics, including how the respondents found their real estate agents and what type of relationship they have with their agents.
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Consumers and Realtors Show Greater Interest in Smart Home Technologies, Certifications
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New CoreLogic Analysis Shows the Number of Homes Damaged by a Large Earthquake Impacting Northern and Southern California Simultaneously Could More than Double
  November 15, 2016, Irvine, Calif. – According to new data analysis from CoreLogic, a large earthquake along the San Andreas fault impacting both Northern and Southern California simultaneously – once considered impossible – could cause up to 126 percent more residential property damage than previously thought, putting more homes at risk and increasing loss estimates in a state already at high risk for earthquake damage. The CoreLogic analysis is based on revised earthquake risk science from the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, Version 3 (UCERF3), which has concluded that a single large earthquake could now rupture simultaneously in both Northern and Southern California, and that earthquakes of magnitude 8.0 and higher will affect a larger land area and greater number of people. In particular, the San Andreas fault has always been viewed as two independent segments with earthquake ruptures on the northern and southern San Andreas faults deemed mutually exclusive of one another. Based on the revised UCERF3 hazard data, CoreLogic has produced new earthquake risk analysis that illustrates the higher conditional probability of losses for an earthquake impacting both regions simultaneously. Figures 1-4 show four earthquake scenarios in California and the resulting increase in both the number of single-family homes that could be damaged and the accompanying reconstruction cost value (RCV). The CoreLogic analysis shows that an earthquake of magnitude 8.3 along the San Andreas fault, that previously was thought to only occur along the northern segment of the fault line, could result in a full rupture and increase the number of homes damaged by 126 percent, from 1.6 to 3.5 million homes, and increase RCV by 79 percent, from $161 billion to $289 billion. A similar scenario that expands earthquake risk from just the southern San Andreas fault to a full rupture increases the number of homes damaged by 54 percent, from 2.3 million to 3.5 million, and increases RCV by 111 percent, from $137 billion to $289 billion. For a magnitude 8.2 or 8.0 earthquake scenario, the rupture, while smaller, would still impact both regions of the fault and much of the geography of the state, as well as increase the number of homes damaged and the RCV (Figures 3 and 4). The estimated number of homes damaged includes those that sustain damage of 5 percent or more of the total reconstruction cost value of the property. Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 For more information on the CoreLogic revised earthquake risk analysis, visit http://arcg.is/2daBeYs. About CoreLogic CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider. The company's combined data from public, contributory and proprietary sources includes over 4.5 billion records spanning more than 50 years, providing detailed coverage of property, mortgages and other encumbrances, consumer credit, tenancy, location, hazard risk and related performance information. The markets CoreLogic serves include real estate and mortgage finance, insurance, capital markets, and the public sector. CoreLogic delivers value to clients through unique data, analytics, workflow technology, advisory and managed services. Clients rely on CoreLogic to help identify and manage growth opportunities, improve performance and mitigate risk. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., CoreLogic operates in North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit www.corelogic.com.
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