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The Year Residential Real Estate Brokerage Changes Forever
The 2020 Swanepoel Trends Report analyzes why and how iBuying and other top trends are reshaping real estate from the ground up SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIF. (DECEMBER 02, 2019) -- T3 Sixty, the residential real estate brokerage industry's leading management consulting and research firm, has released its 15th annual examination of real estate's top trends for 2020 in its annual Swanepoel Trends Report. In over 200 pages, the book analyzes how iBuying, modern brokerage finances, venture capital and much more are shaking the industry to its core, and creating a new way consumers will buy and sell real estate. After fundamentally altering other industries, venture capital and technology are now rocking the residential real estate brokerage industry. By fueling new models, consolidation and ways of delivering services, these powerful forces are changing the way consumers buy and sell real estate forever. "The way consumers buy and sell homes is radically changing, and 2020 will be the year that more will recognize these fundamental shifts happening within real estate," said Stefan Swanepoel, chairman and CEO of T3 Sixty and the report's editor-in-chief. "The industry is changing more and faster now than it has in decades, something that becomes abundantly clear when reading this study." The Report identifies iBuying as the #1 trend in 2020. In this controversial and powerful new real estate model used by Zillow, Redfin, Opendoor and a growing list of other companies every day, consumers can sell or buy a new home in as soon as three days with all cash and choose their closing date. The model brings transparency, simplicity and certainty to a transaction that historically has been lengthy, confusing and complicated. The report outlines how the trend has evolved from a seller-focused model to one that serves buyers, and, increasingly, synchronous sellers – those sellers who are also buying a home. New companies are offering an increasing number of twists on the model, which the report thoroughly reviews. This year the study decoded to also analyze three companies who have made huge bets on the future by essentially pushing all of their chips to the center of the table with aggressive, company-changing moves. T3 Sixty provide the reasoning behind the moves by these companies – Zillow Group, Compass and Keller Williams Realty -- from the inside-out so as to give the industry and understanding not previously available or understood. The Report also covers the significant challenges currently facing MLSs and their industry constituents, a deep analysis of how venture capital works in real estate, a review of what to expect from the industry's class-action antitrust lawsuits, the new ability for brokerages to easily support consumers after the transaction and the largest security threats that brokerages overlook. About T3 Sixty Exclusively serving the residential real estate brokerage industry, T3 Sixty provides real estate CEOs, business leaders, association and MLS executives, brokers and high-performance teams the knowledge, best practices and support to grow their businesses. The company does this through management consulting, training and in-depth research and quality publications, such as its hallmark Swanepoel Trends Report, an annual analysis of the top trends shaping the industry for the next 18 to 24 months. The firm's consulting divisions include brokerage, technology, mergers and acquisitions, and associations and MLSs. Find out more here.
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Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Releases The Report: State of Luxury Real Estate 2019
"The Report" Profiles 65 Power Markets in Luxury Real Estate and Spotlights Domestic and Global Markets to Watch MADISON, N.J., Feb. 12, 2019 -- Today, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program released "The Report: State of Luxury 2019," which profiles 65 "Power Markets" where the wealthiest and most powerful players tend to own property. See the full list of Power Markets at blog.coldwellbankerluxury.com/TheReport2019. "Power Markets" include both well-established and unexpected luxury markets offering a range of lifestyle amenities, cultural experiences and educational opportunities. Key indicators of "power" status include airport accessibility, ease of doing business, a prestige brand presence and a housing stock that prioritizes privacy, views and exclusivity. To narrow down the top ten Power Markets for Buyers and Sellers in 2018, as well as other key trends for affluent investors, the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program collaborated with The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing to analyze the top 5 percent and 10 percent of active and sold listings in 2018.* 2018 Top 5 Luxury Buyer "Power Markets" in Review Maui, Hawaii Palm Beach, Fla. Washington, D.C. Kauai, Hawaii Brooklyn, N.Y. 2018 Top 5 Luxury Seller "Power Markets" in Review LA Valley, Calif. Detroit, Mich. Las Vegas, Nev. Boulder, Colo. Raleigh, N.C. Based on the median prices for the top 10 percent of homes sold in the Power Markets, key findings include: Shortest Days on Market: Raleigh-Durham, N.C. boasted the shortest median days on market - three days - for single family homes. For condos, Silicon Valley had the shortest median days on market at nine days. Most Affordable (Price per Square Foot): Collin County, Texas and Ft. Worth, Texas were tied for the most affordable luxury markets for single family homes, where the median price per square foot was $165. For condos, Orlando, Fla. had the lowest median price per square foot at $156. Most Expensive (Price per Square Foot): On the flip side, the most expensive market is the Los Angeles-Beach area, which includes coastal cities such as Santa Monica, Malibu and Manhattan Beach, where the median price per square foot was $1,398. Vail, Colo. took the top spot for condos at $1,629 median price per square foot. Evolving Market: Staten Island, N.Y. stands out as an Evolving Market for its striking value compared to the other four boroughs of New York City, as the proximity to Manhattan and Brooklyn appeals to many buyers who work or own businesses in these surrounding boroughs. 2018 saw impressive sold prices of single-family homes – 134 of the 139 homes closed above $1 million, four of which closed above $2 million. "There are hotbeds of luxury home sales at the million-dollar price point and higher across the North American luxury market, and The Report provides high-level data on the markets to watch," said Charlie Young, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. "While there was a moderation in the pace of luxury home sales in 2018, luxury market prices have held their ground since the housing boom began in 2013. When you take the long view, the luxury real estate picture is steady and stable." "Now in its second year, The Report is an all-encompassing, timely resource for Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Property Specialists to prepare for the year ahead in luxury real estate," said Craig Hogan, vice president of luxury for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. "Our data confirms that wealthy individuals' preferences are shifting, but demand for high-end properties remains high. Luxury home prices fluctuated month to month in 2018, but from a long-term perspective, sales were strong and stable." About The Report Designed to be a definitive guide for international high-end property buying and selling, The Report adds insider intelligence to strong industry research by combining anecdotal insights from local market experts affiliated with the Coldwell Banker® brand, as well as The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Wealth-X, Unique Homes and other leading luxury insiders. More information on the following can be found in the full report. Significant trends from the Power Markets 2018 landmark listings and sales Trends driving the ultra-high-net-worth population Top luxury property must-haves Domestic and global spotlights About Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® Launched in early 2017, the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program legacy traces its roots to Coldwell Banker Previews International® and the Previews® program, a world leader in luxury real estate since 1933. Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Property Specialists are an exclusive group within the Coldwell Banker organization, making up under ten percent of independent sales associates affiliated with the brand worldwide. Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Property Specialists conducted approximately 30,700 transactions of homes priced at $1 million or more in 2018, with an average sales price of $1.9 million. On average in 2018, the Coldwell Banker brand sells approximately $161.8 million in $1 million or more luxury homes every day. Coldwell Banker®, the Coldwell Banker logo, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated.
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REAL Trends and Inside Real Estate Release Study on Flawlessly Executing a New Tech Platform
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Redfin to Host Symposium on Race and Real Estate in Seattle on September 6
Author and Professor Elizabeth Korver-Glenn to Headline Keynote Discussion with Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman Based on New Research from Korver-Glenn SEATTLE, Aug. 24, 2018 -- Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage, is hosting a symposium about race and real estate, exploring how the real estate industry can support fair access to housing. The event will take place in Seattle on Thursday, September 6 from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm PST, at the Redfin Seattle headquarters at 1099 Stewart Street. The event is free to the public, but space is limited. Sign up here to be added to the waitlist. Press are invited to attend in person. The event will also be livestreamed on Redfin's blog and by Inman News. Professor Elizabeth Korver-Glenn, author of ground-breaking studies on race and the real estate industry, will discuss what she learned following ten Houston real estate agents for a year. She will share insights from her study, Brokering Ties and Inequality: How White Real Estate Agents Recreate Advantage and Exclusion in Urban Housing Markets. The symposium will also feature panel discussions with homebuyers and agents about their real estate experiences as people of color. The panel of Redfin real estate agents includes Lori Bakken, James Li, and Roderick Story, and will be moderated by Daneisha Brazzle. "Redfin has long been an advocate for hiring a diverse group of agents, so we can be effective advocates for all types people buying and selling homes," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "But anyone who has driven through most American cities knows that, fifty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, our neighborhoods still aren't completely integrated. We as a brokerage want to do better, because we aren't just selling cell phones or suede shoes, we're helping people move to better schools and jobs, to neighborhoods where kids can have a different future. This symposium is part of a larger program to take that responsibility very seriously." Kelman announced the symposium in a talk he delivered about race and real estate at Inman Connect, a real estate industry event. Kelman summarizes Professor Korver-Glenn's research and discusses the company's approach to racial equality in his essay, "A More Perfect Union: Why Cities Are Still Racially Divided And What We As Real Estate Brokers Can Do About It." Redfin is working to ensure that the internet helps agents of all races succeed, connecting customers and agents of different races and introducing consumers to neighborhoods they would not have considered otherwise. A large part of Redfin's efforts will be continuing to increase diversity among all Redfin employees, including real estate agents, support staff and software engineers. The race and ethnicity of Redfin real estate agents does not yet reflect that of the communities the company serves. However, the Redfin field organization is more diverse than the industry, and people of color are well-represented among the company's most highly paid agents. Following the symposium, Redfin will host town hall discussions in our local markets to continue the conversation and share ideas about how we can foster diversity and better serve people of color in our local communities. Redfin will make these materials available on the Redfin blog, so that others in the real estate industry can host their own events and encourage a broader dialogue. Join the discussion on social media: #RaceandRealEstate. 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 $60 billion in home sales.
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EXIT Realty Corp. International Releases White Paper on Mergers and Acquisitions in Real Estate Brokerage
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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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Redfin Study: Have Stocks or Housing Recovered More Since the Great Recession?
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Just-Released FHA Report Shows Fresh Opportunity to Make Homeownership More Affordable
  WASHINGTON (November 15, 2016) — The Federal Housing Administration's just released actuarial report shows that the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund is on a steady financial trajectory, a finding the National Association of Realtors® believes is an opportunity to make FHA's low-down-payment mortgage option available to an even broader swath of borrowers. "FHA's actuarial report shows that the fund has indisputably found its footing," said NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties. "That's good news for taxpayers, and a reflection of FHA's sound stewardship. It's clear from this report that FHA can continue taking responsible steps to manage their risk even as they take action to make homeownership more affordable for lower- and middle-income buyers." FHA's MMIF is responsible for paying lenders if a mortgagor defaults. In a sign of continuing health, the report shows that the fund's "seriously delinquent" rate is at a ten-year low, while the overall economic value of the fund has increased by $3.8 billion. Last year the MMIF also achieved a 2 percent capital reserve ratio for the first time since the Great Recession. This marked an important benchmark showing that the fund had strongly rebounded, a finding reinforced by the 2.3 percent capital reserve ratio FHA reported today. FHA also reported a 3.2 percent reserve ratio for the "forward" program, which encompasses FHA's non-Home Equity Conversion Mortgage portfolio. NAR believes that the report would have appeared even stronger if not for weaknesses in the HECM program. In light of the MMIF's increasingly good health, NAR is encouraging FHA to reduce mortgage insurance premiums to better reflect the risk in the marketplace and fulfill its mission of serving low- and moderate-income borrowers. According to NAR estimates, the 50-basis-point premium cut announced in January 2015 provided an annual savings of $900 for nearly 2 million FHA homeowners. A recent Federal Reserve study also found that the January 2015 reduction in mortgage insurance premiums had a quick and significant effect on FHA mortgage volume. NAR also supports eliminating "life of loan" mortgage insurance, which borrowers must continue to pay until the loan is extinguished or refinanced. Conventional mortgage products, by contrast, traditionally require mortgage insurance only until a sufficient amount of equity is achieved on the property. "FHA mortgages are an important option for buyers, but high premiums and lifetime insurance requirements can take that option right off the table," Brown said. "By lowering premiums and eliminating life of loan mortgage insurance, FHA can expand on their work to serve a broad population of homebuyers. We look forward to working with them in the months ahead to bring these changes to light." The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing over 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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NAR 2017 Forecast: Existing-Home Sales Up; A Turning Point for First-time Buyers
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First-time Buyers, Single Women Gain Traction in NAR’s 2016 Buyer and Seller Survey
  WASHINGTON (October 31, 2016) — The quickening pace of home sales over the past year included a small rebound from two key segments of buyers who have been missing in action in recent years: first-time buyers and single women. This is according to the National Association of Realtors®' annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which also found that for-sale-by-owner transactions remained at an all-time low of 8 percent for the second straight year. Nearly 90 percent of all respondents worked with a real estate agent to buy or sell a home. The 2016 edition of NAR's Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers continues the longest-running series of national housing data evaluating the demographics, preferences, motivations, plans and experiences of recent home buyers and sellers; the survey dates back to 1981. Results are representative of owner-occupants and do not include investors or vacation homes. After slipping for three straight years, the share of sales to first-time home buyers in the 2016 survey ticked up to 35 percent, which is the highest since 2013 (38 percent) and a revival from the near 30-year low of 32 percent in 2015. In the 35-year history of NAR's survey, the long-term average of first-time buyer transactions is 40 percent. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says more new homeowners were able to break through what continues to be a laborious market for many trying to enter. "Young adults are settling down and deciding to buy a home after what was likely a turbulent beginning to their adult life and career following the Great Recession," he said. "Demand increased over the past year because of a robust job market for those with a college degree and renter fatigue at a time when homeowners continue to see their equity rise. These factors were why more first-time buyers (67 percent) said a desire to own a home of their own was the primary reason for their purchase (64 percent in 2015; 53 percent in 2014)." Added Yun, "Even with the affordability challenges many buyers face, the allure of homeownership is not lost among the younger generation. Those under age 35 made up 61 percent of first-time buyer transactions." Although the increase in new homeowners is encouraging, their overall share of the market is still subpar, according to Yun. The lack of affordable new and existing inventory, home prices in many markets rising far above wages and difficulty saving for a down payment because of rising rents and student debt is why the homeownership rate for 18- to 35-year-olds is currently hovering near its historical low. "First-timers' ability to enter the market more convincingly over the next year greatly depends on supply improvements at the lower end of the market and if wages can finally awaken from their sluggish pace of growth," added Yun. Single female buyers on the mend, age of first-time buyers on the rise As in year's past, married couples once again made up the largest share of buyers (66 percent) and had the highest income ($99,200). However, the survey revealed that single women made up more of the buyer pie than in recent years (based on household composition). After falling to 15 percent of buyers a year ago, which tied the lowest share since 2002, single females represented 17 percent of total purchases (highest since 2011 at 18 percent). "Despite having a much lower income ($55,300) than single male buyers ($69,600), female buyers made up over double the amount of men (7 percent)," said Yun. "Single women for years have indicated a strong desire to own a home of their own, as well as an inclination to live closer to friends and family. With job growth holding steady and credit conditions becoming somewhat less stringent than in past years, the willingness and opportunity to buy is becoming more feasible for many single women." The median age of first-time buyers in this year's survey was 32, matching the all-time high last set back in 2006, and up from 31 the past five years. The typical first-time buyer had a higher household income ($72,000) than last year ($69,400) and purchased a slightly larger home (1,650-square-feet; 1,620-square-feet in 2015) that was more expensive ($182,500; $170,000 in 2015). The typical repeat buyer was 52 years old (53 in 2015), earned $98,000 ($98,700 in 2015) and purchased a 2,000-square-foot home (2,020 square-feet in 2015) costing $250,000 ($246,400 in 2015). Financing the purchase: buyers carrying more student debt; difficulty obtaining a mortgage on the decline Down payment sizes have roughly stayed the same in recent years. In this year's survey it was 6 percent for first-time buyers (third straight year) and 14 percent for repeat buyers (third time in four years). Fifty-nine percent of buyers financed their purchase with a conventional mortgage, and 33 percent of first-time buyers took out a low-down payment Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgage, which is down from 54 percent in 2011. "Fewer first-time buyers (40 percent) compared to a year ago (45 percent) indicated that the mortgage application and approval process was somewhat or much more difficult than they expected," highlighted NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. "Those with healthy credit scores and manageable or little debt should talk to a lender to see if they qualify. They'll likely discover that obtaining a mortgage isn't quite the confusing and tiring inquisition it was in the years immediately after the downturn." Personal savings ranked first for both first-time buyers and repeat buyers as the primary source of their down payment. The second most popular source for first-timers was a gift from a friend or relative (24 percent; 27 percent in 2015), and for repeat buyers it was the sales proceeds from their previous residence. Respondents reported that debt (all types) delayed saving for a down payment for a median of three years. For first-time buyers, 40 percent indicated they're carrying student debt, with a typical amount of $26,000 ($25,000 in 2015). Furthermore, of the 26 percent of first-time buyers who said saving for a down payment was the most difficult task in the buying process, 55 percent said student debt delayed saving. "As NAR survey findings discovered earlier this year, even those financially able to make on-time payments on their student loans are struggling to save for a down payment, and many expect to be delayed from buying a home by over five years," said Yun. "Repaying student debt could slow the path to homeownership even more for those living in markets with steep rents and home prices." The home search: buyers rely heavily on the internet and real estate agents; single-family homes are a top choice This year's survey convincingly proved once again that the two most popular resources for home buyers remain the internet (95 percent) and real estate agents (92 percent). Despite a record-high 51 percent of buyers saying they found the home they purchased online, most buyers who used the internet still ended up purchasing their home through an agent (90 percent). Not surprisingly, mobile devices and tablets are increasingly becoming a resource for home buyers. Their usage lifted to 72 percent in this year's survey, which is up from 61 percent a year ago and 45 percent in 2013. Furthermore, 58 percent of buyers indicated they found the home they purchased on a mobile app. "Regardless of the plethora of online resources readily available at the click of a mouse or the swipe of a thumb, consumers serious about buying a home continue to seek the expertise and market insights that only a Realtor® can provide," said Salomone. "Given the numerous competitive markets with minimal supply, it's no surprise that both first-time and repeat buyers sought an agent for assistance finding the right home and negotiating the terms of the sale." Similar to recent years, the most common housing type continues to be a detached single-family home (83 percent for second straight year) and one in a suburban area (54 percent; 52 percent in 2015). Meanwhile, purchases of townhouses or row houses remained at 7 percent for the third straight year; only four percent of buyers purchased a condo. Overall, the typical home bought was built in 1991 and had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The share of buyers who purchased new home was at an all-time survey low of 14 percent. Selling a home: seller use of an agent remains at all-time high; wanting a bigger house primary reason for selling For the second straight year, 89 percent of sellers sold their home with an agent. This in turn — also for the second year in a row — kept for-sale-by-owner sales to their lowest share (8 percent) since the survey's 1981 inception and below 10 percent since 2012. "Although the imbalance of supply in relation to demand in recent year's continues to put many sellers in the driver's seat, they're still looking for a Realtor® now more than ever to price their home competitively, market their home to the widest number of eyes possible and ultimately help close the deal within a given timeframe," added Salomone. The typical seller over the past year was 54 years old (unchanged since 2014), had a household income of $100,700 ($104,100 in 2015), and was in the home for 10 years before selling — a year longer than 2015 and matching the all-time high in 2014. Fewer sellers indicated they wanted to sell earlier but were stalled because their home had been worth less than their mortgage (12 percent versus 14 percent a year ago); the figure was 17 percent in 2014. Sellers realized a median equity gain of $43,100 ($40,000 in 2015) — a 24 percent increase (23 percent last year) over the original purchase price. Homes sold after 21 years of ownership had the largest equity gain (124 percent or $127,600); underlining the volatility during the downturn, equity gains fell to 3 percent for owners who bought between eight and 10 years ago. Back in the 2012 survey, it typically took respondents 11 weeks to sell their home. With tight inventory conditions gripping most markets once again over the past year, sellers were considerably more successful finding a buyer in a shorter amount of time, with homes typically on the market for only a month. A tad more sellers traded up (44 percent) compared to last year (42 percent) and slightly more, at 32 percent, traded down (31 percent in 2015). Sellers moved a median distance of 20 miles — 72 percent stayed in the same state — and the most popular reason given for selling their home was it being too small (18 percent). Feedback from sellers underscored once again that referrals and repeat business remain a large source of new opportunities for real estate agents. Nearly two-thirds of responding sellers either found their real estate agent through a referral by a friend, neighbor or relative, or used their agent from a previous transaction. Additionally, 85 percent of sellers indicated that they would definitely or probably use their agent again or recommend him or her to others. 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 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 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 home buyers 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 over 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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CoreLogic Data Shows 1.8 Million Homes in 13 Western US States at Severe Risk of Wildfire
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The Foreclosure Gender Gap: Foreclosure Rates Higher for Male Homeowners than Female Homeowners
IRVINE, CA--(October 18, 2016) - ATTOM Data Solutions, the nation's leading source for comprehensive housing data and the new parent company of RealtyTrac, today released an analysis showing homes owned by men had a higher foreclosure rate on average than homes owned by women as of the end of Q3 2016. ATTOM analyzed tax assessor records and publicly recorded foreclosure filings for more than 5 million single family homes and condos nationwide where the primary homeowner was identified as an individual man or an individual woman. The analysis did not include homes owned by married couples when both were listed as homeowners or other joint homeownership situations. The analysis found that 73 out of every 10,000 homes with individual male homeowners were in foreclosure as of the end of Q3 2016 while 72 out of every 10,000 homes owned by individual female homeowners were in foreclosure. The foreclosure rate gap was even bigger between married men and married women homeowners -- 83 out of every 10,000 homes with an individual married man listed as the primary homeowner were in foreclosure while 66 out of every 10,000 homes with an individual married woman listed as the primary homeowner were in foreclosure. The biggest foreclosure rate gender gap was among widowed homeowners. The foreclosure rate for widowers was 112 out of every 10,000 homes while the foreclosure rate for widows was 94 out of every 10,000 homes. The exception to the rule was among single and unmarried homeowners where homes owned by women had higher foreclosure rates on average (73 out of every 10,000 homes) than those owned by men (70 out of every 10,000 homes). About ATTOM Data Solutions ATTOM Data Solutions is the curator of the ATTOM Data Warehouse, a multi-sourced national property database that aggregates 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. properties. The ATTOM Data Warehouse delivers actionable data to businesses, consumers, government agencies, universities, policymakers and the media in multiple ways, including bulk file licenses, APIs and customized reports. ATTOM Data Solutions also powers consumer websites designed to promote real estate transparency: RealtyTrac.com is a property search and research portal for foreclosures and other off-market properties; Homefacts.com is a neighborhood research portal providing hyperlocal risks and amenities information; HomeDisclosure.com produces detailed property pre-diligence reports.
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Realtor.com Consumer Survey Reveals First Look into 2017 Home Buying Season
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Five Notable Nuggets from NAR's Home Buyer and Sellers Survey's 35-Year History
  WASHINGTON (October 18, 2016) – When the first Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was introduced 35 years ago by the National Association of Realtors®, mortgage rates were over four times higher than they are today and first-time buyers made up a much larger share of overall sales (44 percent). Over time, homebuyer tastes and behaviors have changed, yet many have stayed the same. In anticipation of the 2016 survey release on October 31, NAR has identified five noteworthy real estate trends since the survey's inception. NAR's Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers dates back to 1981 and is the longest-running series of national housing data evaluating the demographics, preferences, motivations, plans and experiences of recent home buyers and sellers. "The survey's unrivaled longevity provides Realtors® and consumers with a depth of research that is unparalleled. When the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers made its debut 35 years ago, consumers and Realtors® navigated a much different real estate landscape. The internet hadn't been invented, the average monthly mortgage rate was 15.12 percent and one's description of a 'smart home' was probably how many children living in the household made honor roll," says NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. "One constant during this time has been Realtors®'role as the leading advocate for homeownership and private property rights and a trusted expert in helping buyers and sellers close the deal." Since NAR's inaugural survey, consumer preferences have evolved and housing costs have gotten more expensive – even in real terms. In 1981, the typical buyer purchased a 1,700-square-foot home costing $70,000 ($201,376 in inflation-adjusted dollars). In last year's survey, purchased homes were typically 2,000 square feet and cost $220,000. To mark the 35th year of NAR's highly-anticipated survey capturing the pulse of buyers and sellers, here are five notable trends from the past three-and-a-half decades: Participation from first-time buyers is depressed Last year's survey highlighted the ongoing hardships young adults have faced since the Great Recession and its consequences for the housing market. From reasons such as underemployment, repaying of student debt and being unable to save for a down payment or simply young adults holding off until they marry and have children, first-time buyers in the 2015 survey represented the lowest share (32 percent) since 1987 (30 percent). Furthermore, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the homeownership rate for 18-35 year-olds is currently at 34.1 percent, the lowest level in records dating back to 1994. Sales to first-time buyers peaked in 2010 and 2009 at 50 percent and 47 percent, respectively. However, the long-term average is 39 percent of sales after excluding the skewed data from those two peak years, which were influenced by the popular first-time homebuyer tax credit program available at the time. "Monthly feedback from Realtors® so far this year indicates that sales to first-time buyers have remained subdued in today's tough market of swiftly rising home prices and meager supply levels at affordable prices," says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "A strong majority of current renters under the age of 34 say they want to own a home in the future, but their impending rise will be a gradual one and is not likely to increase substantially in the 2016 survey." The internet is not replacing a real estate agent It should come as no surprise that NAR didn't track buyer and seller data on internet usage in 1981. With the World Wide Web not gaining mass popularity until the 1990s and realtor.com® introduced in 1995, the ability to view listings online and then contact a Realtor® was non-existent. When NAR first began asking the question 21 years ago, only 2 percent of buyers used the internet during their home search. By 2005 usage soared to over three-quarters of buyers, and since 2012, 90 percent or more have gone online during the house hunt. Despite the internet's ascending popularity over the past 20 years, buyers and sellers continue to seek a real estate agent to buy or sell a home. In NAR's 2015 survey, nearly 90 percent of respondents worked with a real estate agent to buy or sell a home; which pulled for-sale-by-owner transactions down to their lowest share ever (8 percent). In fact, after peaking to 14 percent in 2003 and 2004, for-sale-by-owner sales haven't risen above 9 percent since 2011 (10 percent). "Realtors® are the source of online real estate data, and they continue to use their real insights and local market knowledge to help bring buyers and sellers together," says Salomone. "The preference to use a Realtor® has never been stronger." Buyers have bought slightly bigger, but the pace is currently at a standstill The typical single-family home purchased in 1981 was 300-square-feet smaller (1,700 square feet) than in last year's survey, which at 2,000 square feet remains the survey high, achieved in seven different years. 1985 was the low point in home size (1,650 square feet), and after gradually increasing leading up to the boom years, purchased homes scaled back early in the housing recovery as distressed sales and first-time buyer activity during the tax credit period made up a larger bulk of the sales and reduced the typical home size. Recently, common claims that more homebuyers are either flocking to McMansions in the suburbs or to tiny homes less than 500 square feet are simply untrue. The data shows that since 2011, the median size of homes bought is 2,000 square feet. "While many millennial renters living in urban areas have sacrificed space for proximity to jobs and entertainment, they've so far followed previous generations by fleeing to the suburbs for larger and more affordable homes when they're ready to buy," adds Yun. "It'll be interesting to see in coming years if the typical home size shrinks as baby boomers downsize, and if there's a shift towards more young buyers opting for less space to live closer to city centers. So far it hasn't happened." Down payments have trended down over time, but not in recent years At an average monthly mortgage rate of 10.62 percent, the typical first-time homebuyer in 1989 – the earliest NAR collected buyer data on down payments – financed their purchase with a 10 percent down payment; it was 23 percent for repeat buyers. As low-down-payment mortgage programs entered the marketplace and credit standards eased too loosely, the typical amount of money put down fell to as low as 2 percent for first-time buyers both in 2005 and 2006. For repeat buyers, the smallest median down payment was 13 percent both in 2012 and 2014, which is likely due to reduced equity in the home that was sold. In recent years, down payment amounts have remained mostly unchanged, coming in at 6 percent for first-time buyers the last two surveys and either 13 percent or 14 percent for repeat buyers in the past four surveys. The home search is taking longer; tight inventory has slowed the pace in past two years With the internet and digital technology creating numerous avenues for sellers to quickly and efficiently market their listings to prospective buyers, one may think the duration of the home search has decreased over time. NAR's long-running data reveals the opposite: the typical number of weeks has actually increased since the late 1980's. From 1987 until 2007, a buyer typically searched seven or eight weeks before finding the property they purchased. After rising to 10 weeks in 2008, the median length increased to 12 weeks through 2013 before falling back to 10 weeks the last two years. "Insufficient supply levels throughout most of the country have forced recent buyers to move quicker to close on a home," says Yun. "Until new and existing inventory ramps up to meet demand, prospective buyers should anticipate a brisk home search process with not as many homes to choose from as they may like." The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing over 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Realtor.com® Ranks the Hottest ZIP Codes for 2016
  SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 22, 2016 -- Millennials are a key factor turning up the heat in America's hottest housing markets, says a new report from realtor.com®. Fueled by large populations of millennials attracted to affordable prices and strong job markets, top ZIP codes, led by Watuaga, Texas (76148) and Pleasant Hill, Calif. (94523), are rising above 32,000 others to make up realtor.com®'s hottest ZIP codes of 2016. Realtor.com® is a leading online real estate destination operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc. The top ten ZIP codes include: 76148 (Watauga, Texas) a suburb of Fort Worth; 94523 (Pleasant Hill, Calif.); 80233 (Northglenn, Colo.) part of the Denver metro; 80916 (Colorado Springs, Colo.); 78247 (San Antonio); 94954 (Petaluma, Calif.); 02176 (Melrose, Mass.); 63126 (Crestwood, Mo.); 97222 (Milwaukie, Ore.) a suburb of Portland; and 92104 (North Park, Calif.) a town in San Diego. The complete ranking and market details are available at research.realtor.com. Realtor.com® ranked the list based on the time it takes properties to sell and how frequently homes are viewed in each ZIP code. Homes in this year's top 20 hottest markets sell in an average of 25 days – just over three weeks – 53 days faster than the rest of the country. Realtor.com® users view homes in these markets almost four times more often than homes in the rest of the country. The 2016 hottest ZIP codes report underscores the role that large populations of millennials, the ability to purchase within expensive housing markets, as well as strong job markets and steady salaries play in the interest shown for these highly competitive locales. "Homes for sale in this year's hottest ZIP codes are selling almost as quickly as they hit the market," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®. "While millennials are usually a significant presence in most markets, their sheer size and buying power have made them a force to be reckoned with in these hot ZIP codes and given them the power to shift supply and demand dynamics." Larger than normal millennial populations empowered by economic growth Millennials, who are the largest generation in U.S. history, represent an even greater share of the population in most of the top 10 hottest zips. In ZIPs such as Northglenn, Colo. (80233),Colorado Springs, Colo. (80916), and North Park, Calif. (92104) the 25-34 age millennial population is beating the U.S. average by 1.8, 1.4, and 1.2 times, respectively. Although first time buyers usually have more limited incomes than other buyers, millennials in these areas are more likely to earn in excess of six figures. In the top 10 hottest markets, the share of millennials earning more than $100,000 is 1.8 times higher than the U.S. overall.  This is especially true for Pleasant Hill, Calif. (94523), Petaluma, Calif. (94954), and Melrose, Mass. (02176) where the share of millennials earnings $100,000 is 2.1, 2.2, and 2 times, respectively, as great as the national share. Strong job markets drive household growth The top 10 hottest ZIP codes are also located in counties with robust employment opportunities. Collectively the top 10 hottest ZIPs are seeing average job growth of 2.3 percent this year, which is 35 percent stronger than the national rate. They have an average unemployment rate of 3.8 percent, which is more than 100 basis points lower than the U.S. overall.  Adams County, Colo. – home to No. 3 on the list, Northglenn – has the lowest unemployment rate at 2.9 percent. These hot areas are also magnets for people relocating, expanding their families and moving out on their own – also known as population and household growth. Over the last five years, the top 10 hottest ZIP codes have seen an average of 6 percent growth in households, which is 20 percent stronger than the national average. Northglenn (80233) and Colorado Springs(80916) have seen growth at more than twice the national average. Opportunity to purchase into more expensive housing markets One of the largest drivers in the top 10 hottest markets is home prices. The median price for a home in the top 10 hottest markets is $331,000, which is 36 percent higher than the national median of $243,000. While that may seem expensive, these areas represent less expensive neighborhoods that give buyers a chance to live in or close to expensive housing markets. When compared to their surrounding areas, these ZIPs offer prices that are 19 percent and 22 percent less expensive than their surrounding counties and metro areas, respectively. This is especially true for ZIP codes such as Watauga, Texas (76148), Colorado Springs, Colo.(80916), and Milwaukie, Ore. (97222) where prices are 48, 47, and 35 percent lower their respective counties. Market Highlights – Top 10 Hottest ZIP Codes 1. 76148 – Watauga, Texas – An inner suburb of Fort Worth, Watauga is a youthful and relatively dense community, with easy access to a great restaurant and craft brewery scene, cultural offerings like the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth – plus two football powerhouses nearby, the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Christian University. The dominant buyer segment in Watauga is millennials, and including the many millennials in ZIP 76148 that are already homeowners, the age group makes up 65 percent of the total population of owners in the area. Homes in Watauga sell in 17 days, almost 30 percent faster than last year, with a median price listing of $137,000, up 16.4 percent over last year, and the area has experienced 3 percent job growth, plus 28,000 jobs, over last year. 2. 94523 – Pleasant Hill, Calif. – Located in San Francisco's East Bay, Pleasant Hill boasts a beautiful downtown area with parks and highly ranked public schools, making it highly desirable for home buyers and a central location for commuters.  The dominant buying group in this ZIP is 35 to 44 year olds, which make up 31 percent of buyers, but millennials are a close second holding 26 percent of mortgages. Forty-two percent of millennials in this area make over $100,000, which is two times the norm for millennials in the U.S.  Homes in Pleasant Hill sell in 19 days, 30 percent faster than last year, with a median list price of$630,000, up almost 4 percent for the year. The area is experiencing 2 percent job growth, which will translate into 7,200 jobs created. 3. 80233 – Northglenn, Colo. – ZIP code 80233, which covers parts of Northglenn andThornton, Colo., outside Denver, is a perfect locale for families who enjoy an active lifestyle as its home to parts of the Greenway Trail System and 26 parks, and is located in one of the most distinguished school districts in Colorado.  Thirty-six percent of mortgages inNorthglenn are made up of millennials and they are the dominant home buyer in the area.Homes in Northglenn sell in just over a week – 11 days, which is 20, 29, and 67 days faster than the county, metro and the U.S., respectively. The median list price in Northglenn is$278,000, up 16.5 percent from last year, and the area has experienced 3 percent job growth, plus 7,900 jobs, over last year. 4. 80916 – Colorado Springs, Colo. – ZIP code 80916 is an outdoor enthusiast's dream, with mountains, canyons, springs, and within an hour and a half drive of popular Rocky Mountain attractions like Pike's Peak. The city has a cost of living 7 percent below the national average. Not only are millennials the dominant buyer segment in the area, they make up 27 percent of the household population in this ZIP – that's 1.4 times more than the surrounding county and 1.8 times more than the U.S. average. Homes in Colorado Springs sell 17 in days, more than 50 percent faster than last year, with a median list price of $178,000, up 12.1 percent year over year, and the area has experienced 2 percent job growth, adding 7,200 jobs. 5. 78247 – San Antonio – ZIP 78247 has moved up a notch from No. 6 last year and is one of the most affordable big cities in the U.S., with a cost of living well below the national average; it's home to the nearly 1,000-acre McAllister Park and popular disc golf course at McClain Park. Millennials are the dominant segment of home buyers in the area making up 36 percent of mortgages. Additionally, many millennials in San Antonio are already homeowners and have a homeownership rate of 61 percent, which is 1.6 times and 1.5 times greater than the county and U.S., respectively. Homes in San Antonio sell in 28 days, with a median listing price of $184,000, up 5.8 percent year over year. The area has experienced 3 percent job growth, over last year and currently has an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent and trending higher. 6. 94954 – Petaluma, Calif. ? Known as the southern gateway to Sonoma County and with an old traditional downtown and small-town feel, Petaluma is within a short distance to both San Francisco and Marin County. Buyers between 35 and 44 years old make up 27 percent of mortgages in the area, and millennials are not far behind with a mortgage share of 25 percent.Homes in Petaluma sell in 27 days, 9.2 percent faster than last year, with a median list price for the area at $596,000, up 5.7 percent year over year. The area has experienced 2 percent job growth, plus 4,000 jobs, over last year. 7. 02176 – Melrose, Mass. – Ranked as the hottest ZIP code in 2015, Melrose fell six rankings this year to the seventh spot as the market normalized from supply beginning to catch up with demand. Melrose is less than 10 miles from Boston, and has become a magnet for young professionals given its easy access to the city, Cambridge and Logan International Airport and its public transit. Millennials are the dominant group of home buyers in Melrose and make up 36 percent of mortgage shares, with a homeownership rate 1.3 times higher than the surrounding county and very similar to the U.S. ownership rate. Homes in Melrose sell in 29 days, which is 3.5 percent faster than last year, with a median list price of $462,000, which is up 13.1 percent from last year, and the area has experienced 1 percent job growth. 8. 63126 – Crestwood, Mo. – ZIP 63126 is the most inexpensive community that feeds into Lindbergh Schools, a district that has received national honors and several state awards. It also is home to 120 acres of parks, the Sappington House Historical Site and close to the historic Grant's Farm. Despite the fact that 67 percent of millennials are already homeowners in Crestwood, they are still the dominant buying segment, accounting for 38 percent of mortgages. Homes in Crestwood sell in 30 days, 21 percent faster than last year with a median list price of $183,000, up 9.8 percent year over year and the area has experienced 2 percent job growth, plus 9,000 jobs. 9. 97222 – Milwaukie, Ore. – A  small town situated on Portland's southern edge, Milwaukieoffers convenient access to Portland via the highly rated TriMet transit system and waterfront boating, walks along the marina, and a popular farmer's market. Millennials are the dominant buyer segment in Milwaukie making up 28 percent of the mortgages being purchased in the area and accounting for 14 percent of the households. Homes in Milwaukiesell in 24 days, 7.3 percent slower than last year, with a median list price of $309,000, up 12.2 percent year over year. The area has experienced 4 percent job growth. 10. 92104 – North Park, Calif. –  ZIP 92104 covers  San Diego's North Park neighborhoodand nearby Burlingame and Altadena, and is known for its American Craftsman-style homes, walkability, trendy eateries, art galleries, and microbreweries as well as Balboa Park and San Diego Zoo. Millennials are the leading segment of home buyers in ZIP 92104, making up 32 percent of mortgages in the area, with 26 percent of the households between the ages of 25 and 34 years old. Homes in the area sell in just 22 days, 24 percent faster than last year with a median list price of $497,000, up 17.1 percent year over year, and the area has experienced 1 percent job growth. Top 50 Hottest ZIP Codes About realtor.com® Realtor.com® is the trusted resource for home buyers, sellers and dreamers, offering the most comprehensive database of for-sale properties, among competing national sites, and the information, tools and professional expertise to help people move confidently through every step of their home journey. It pioneered the world of digital real estate 20 years ago, and today helps make all things home simple, efficient and enjoyable. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of REALTORS.® For more information, visit realtor.com®.
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Affordability Concerns, Uncertainty about Down Payment Requirements Ensnaring Renters, Latest HOME Survey Shows
  WASHINGTON (September 14, 2016) – Lofty home-price growth and tight supply are leading to softening confidence among renters about whether it's a good time to buy a home, according to the latest installment of the National Association of Realtors® Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey. The survey also found that a misconception about how much of a down payment is needed to buy could be unnecessarily delaying some qualified young adults from entering the market. In NAR's third quarter HOME consumer survey, respondents were asked about their confidence in the U.S. economy and various questions about their housing expectations, including a series of questions related to down payments and the amount of money they believe they need to purchase a home. Heading into the autumn months, the share of homeowners and renters who believe now is a good time to buy remains at a solid majority but has crept downward since the beginning of this year. Seventy-eight percent of homeowners (80 percent in June; 82 percent in March) and 60 percent of renters (62 percent in the previous two quarters) said it's a good time to buy. In the inaugural HOME survey in December 2015, 68 percent of renters said it was a good time to buy. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says it's clear the ongoing run-up in home prices and severe inventory shortages in a large portion of the country are hitting consumer psyche – especially among renters. "This summer's historically low mortgage rates injected some additional demand into the market, but the dearth of homes for sale continues to keep a lid on sales but not prices," he said. "Given the stiff competition and limited homes available at the lower end of the market, it's not surprising at all that those under the age of 34 and in the West are the least confident about it being a good time to buy." Adds Yun, "Very affordable mortgage rates and strong job gains among young adults should be translating to a higher rate of homeownership. It's not, and as a result, sales to first-time buyers remain stuck below a third of all sales." This quarter's HOME survey also found that awareness of low-down-payment mortgage options was scarce across all ages, income brackets and education levels. Fewer than 20 percent in each group indicated that they need 10 percent or less to finance their home purchase. Those ages 65 and older (43 percent) and under the age of 35 (37 percent) were the most likely to believe that they need more than 20 percent. "It's possible some of the hesitation about buying right now among young adults is from them not realizing there  are mortgage financing options available that do not require a 20 percent down payment, which would be north of $100,000 in some expensive areas in the country," says Yun. "In fact, most first-time buyers put down much less. In the 35 year history of NAR's Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – the longest-running survey series of national housing data – the average median down payment has been 5 percent for first-time buyers." With home prices and rents continuing to climb and make it difficult for many to save for a home purchase, one avenue for about a fifth (19 percent) of current homeowners was receiving down payment assistance from a parent or relative. Homeowners ages 34 and under were the most likely to say they received help from a parent or relative (34 percent), along with those living in the Northeast and in urban areas. When it comes to giving aid to prospective buyers, 16 percent said they have helped a child or relative with their down payment. It's no surprise that the older the respondent, the more likely they were to assist. "Creditworthy prospective buyers should know that many lenders now offer safe, sustainable loans with as little as 3 percent down, and obtaining a mortgage isn't as difficult as it was in the immediate years after the downturn," says NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. "Every buyer is different. Before deciding how much to use on a down payment, buyers should carefully review their financial situation and make sure they still have enough money set aside after the home purchase for unexpected expenses and emergencies. A Realtor® will walk through what to consider based on what a buyer can comfortably afford." Feelings about direction of U.S. economy, personal financial outlook remain unchanged Following the same trend line since the inaugural HOME survey in December 2015, a little less than half of all households in the survey believe the economy is improving (48 percent). The younger the household the more optimistic they were about the economy's future prospects. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of those living in rural areas (63 percent) and 61 percent of those over the age of 65 don't believe the economy is improving. The HOME survey's monthly Personal Financial Outlook Index, showing respondents' confidence that their financial situation will be better in six months, ticked up very slightly (to 58.6 in September) since June (57.7), but is up much more since last September, when stock market losses at the time temporarily caused more consumer angst (53.0). Most expect prices to hold steady or increase, slightly more think it's a good time to sell More current homeowners (63 percent) believe it is a good time to sell compared to the second quarter of this year (61 percent). Respondents in the West continue to be the most likely to think now is a good time to sell, while also being the least likely to think now is a good time to buy. Consistent with last quarter (93 percent), almost all of those surveyed (91 percent) believe that prices will stay the same or rise in their community in the next six months. Renters, respondents living in urban areas and those from the West are most likely to believe prices will go up in their communities. About NAR's HOME survey In July through early September 2016, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via random-digit dial, including half via cell phones and the other half via 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 2,761 household responses are represented. The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing over 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Realtor.com Study Illustrates Just How Much It Pays to Own in an A+ School District
  SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 11, 2016 -- Realtor.com®, a leading online real estate destination operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc., today released a new study that identifies the price premium to buy a home in a strong public school district, as well as the top 10 districts garnering the highest home prices and demand from buyers. School districts rising to the top are: Beverly Hills Unified in Los Angeles; Highland Park Independent School District in Dallas; KenilworthSchool District No. 38 in Kenilworth, Ill.; Rocky River City School District in Cuyahoga, Ohio; Clear Creek Independent School District in Harris, Texas; and School Town Of Munster School District in Lake, Ind. Realtor.com® compared homes located in school districts rated nine or 10 on the GreatSchools.org 10 point scale to homes situated in districts rated six or less. The analysis shows homes within the boundaries of the higher rated public school districts are, on average, 49 percent more expensive – at $400,000 – than the national median of $269,000and 77 percent more expensive than schools located within the boundaries of the lower ranked districts with a median of $225,000. "It's common knowledge that buyers are often willing to pay a premium for a home in a strong school district," said Javier Vivas, manager of economic research for realtor.com®. "Our analysis quantifies just how good it is to be a seller in these areas. On average, homes in top-rated districts attract a price premium of almost 50 percent and sell more than a week faster than those located in neighboring lower ranked school districts." Houses located in these areas, on average, also move eight days faster than homes in below average school districts and sell four days faster – at 58 days – than the national average of 62 days. Additionally, properties within the boundaries of higher-rated school districts are viewed 26 percent more, on average, than the average home on realtor.com® (an indicator of buyer demand) and 42 percent more than homes in areas with below average schools. A look at the top school districts Highest Price PremiumsIn top-ranked Beverly Hills Unified School District, homes sell for 689 percent more at $3.8 million than other homes in Los Angeles County at $550,000. That's 1.6 times the premium of homes located in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District – rated 9 – that coversSanta Monica, Calif. and Malibu, Calif. and has a median list price of $2.5 million. Beverly Hills's price premium is 3.9 times more than Culver City Unified School District in Culver City, Calif. that has a rating of 8 and a median list price of $975,000. The district with the second highest home price premium is Highland Park Independent School District in Dallas where homes are 632 percent more expensive at $1.8 million than the median home in Dallas County at $277,000. Homes in Highland Park are 3.7 times and 4.4 times more expensive, respectively, than neighboring districts of Coppell Independent School District in Coppell, Texas – rated 9 – with a median of $470,000 and Dallas Independent School District in Dallas – rated 5 – with a median of $400,000, respectively. Kenilworth School District No. 38 in Kenilworth, Ill., where homes carry a median sales price of $1.6 million, ranked third in the nation with its home price premium of 606 percent compared to the Cook County. That's 2.1 times more than the neighboring district ofWilmette Public Schools District 39 in Wilmette, Ill., rated 10 by GreatSchools, with a median list price of $780,000, and 1.2 times more than Winnetka School District 36 in Winnetka, Ill., rated 10, with a median list price of $1.4 million. Winnetka School District 36 is also ranked fifth in the nation for its home price premium. Rounding out the Top 10 school districts with the highest price premiums are: Indian Hill Exempted Village School District – Hamilton, Ohio; Winnetka School District 36 – Winnetka, Ill.; Manhattan Beach Unified School District – Los Angeles; Scarsdale Union Free School District – Westchester, N.Y.; Saddle River School District – Bergen, N.J.; San Marino Unified School District – Los Angeles; and Mariemont City School District – Hamilton, Ohio. See chart below for additional detail. Highest Demand from Home BuyersThe district with the highest home buyer demand – as measured by realtor.com® listing views compared to the surrounding county – is Rocky River City School District in Cuyahoga, Ohio, rated 10, where listings within district boundaries receive 2.8 times more views than other areas in Cuyahoga County. Homes in the Rocky River District also receive 1.7 and 1.5 times more listing views, respectively, than Westlake City School District in Westlake, Ohioranked 9 by GreatSchools and Lakewood City School District in Lakewood, Ohio with a GreatSchools rating of 6. Vivas added, "While highly ranked school districts in these markets have pushed home prices higher than their surrounding areas, the majority of these high demand markets are relatively affordable when compared to the national median which is a big factor contributing to their popularity." The second most popular school district in the nation for home buyers is Clear Creek Independent School District in Harris, Texas. It garners 2.2 times the listing views of Harris County and 1.2 and 1.0 times as many views, respectively, as nearby districts of Pasadena inPasadena, Texas (rated 5) and La Porte Independent School District in La Porte, Texas. Coming in as the third most viewed school district for home buyers, School Town of Munster School District in Lake, Ind., has a GreatSchools rating of 9 and receives nearly 2.2 more listings views than other homes in the county. That's 1.36 more views than neighboring district of School Town Of Highland Independent School District, rated 6, in Highland, Ind. Completing the Top 10 list are Orange School District – New Haven, Conn.; Etiwanda Elementary School District – San Bernardino, Calif.; Longmeadow School District – Hampden, Mass.; Strongsville City School District – Cuyahoga, Ohio; Plymouth-Canton Community School – District Wayne, Mich.; and Regional School District 05 School – District New Haven, Conn.  See chart below for additional detail. School Districts with the Most realtor.com® Listing Views (vs. County) School Districts with the Highest Home Price Premium (vs. County) For the latest real estate data, trends and research, please visit: http://research.realtor.com/. About realtor.com® Realtor.com® is the trusted resource for home buyers, sellers and dreamers, offering the most comprehensive database 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. As the official site of the National Association of REALTORS®, realtor.com® 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. For more information, visit realtor.com.
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Affordability, Student Debt Causing Chasm about Buying between Homeowners, Renters
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RealtyTrac Neighborhood Portal Homefacts Launches Real-Time Email Alerts Available for 117 Million U.S. Properties
IRVINE, Calif. – June 28, 2016 — RealtyTrac®, the nation's leading source for comprehensive housing data, announced today that its neighborhood portal, www.homefacts.com, has released a new Homefacts email alert product. Accessible for more than 117 million U.S. properties, Homefacts Alerts provides weekly and monthly email updates of neighborhood and property details that may impact the health, safety and financial security of a homeowner, renter or prospective buyer. "This robust product gives updated information on some critical information," said Mike Sawtell, general manager of RealtyTrac's Consumer Solutions division. "Homefacts is the only neighborhood portal that will inform a resident when a neighborhood registered offender has moved in or out of a neighborhood while providing the addresses and pictures. This new alert product will also notify the homeowner of increases or decreases in a home's property value plus updates on environmental hazards such as former meth labs, superfunds, brownfields, polluters, leaking tanks and spills, as well as other potential health hazards." During a three-month beta test of the product, more than 8,000 users have signed up for the Homefacts Alerts, and the product has delivered nearly 45,000 alerts. Alerts are real-time and information is updated daily, weekly and monthly, depending on availability of the data element. Consumers can sign up for the free Homefacts Alerts here. About RealtyTracRealtyTrac collects and licenses multi-sourced public record real estate data — including tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, and proprietary neighborhood and parcel-level risk — for more than 150 million U.S. properties, providing access to that data for businesses, consumers, policy makers and the media in a variety of venues all designed to increase real estate transparency: RealtyTrac.com is a property search and research portal for foreclosures and other off-market properties; Homefacts.com is a neighborhood research portal providing hyperlocal risks and amenities; HomeDisclosure.com produces detailed property pre-diligence reports; and RealtyTrac Data Solutions delivers real estate data and analysis to businesses through bulk file licenses, APIs, trend reports, and customized marketing lists. RealtyTrac data is cited by thousands of media outlets each month, including frequent mentions on CBS Evening News, The Today Show, CNBC, CNN, FOX News, PBS NewsHour and in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and USA TODAY.
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