Real Estate Digest – April 2018

With Home Sellers Making Record Profits, Why Aren’t There More Sellers?

1It’s a great time to sell a home. According to Attom Data Solutions, sellers profited by an average of $54,000 at the end of 2017. That’s a 10-year high and it means sellers brought in an average return on investment of nearly 30 percent. So why aren’t more homeowners putting their homes on the market?
Read on for details.

How Higher Mortgage Rates Might Impact the US Housing Market

2As mortgage rates rise and new tax laws limit mortgage interest deductions, some experts expect downward pressure on home prices.
Read on for details.
 
 

Green Home Construction is Becoming More Main Stream

3Green home construction is becoming main stream among single-family and multifamily home builders, according to the report “Green Multifamily and Single Family Homes 2017 SmartMarket Brief.”
Read on for details.
 
 

Homesnap Raises 14 Million for Real Estate Intelligence

4Rockville, Maryland-based Homesnap has seen many changes since its days as a consumer-facing app for displaying information about local homes by taking a photo. While the app still currently works this way for prospective buyers, these days the company has shifted its focus towards U.S. real estate agents. Close to 75 percent of agents are reportedly using it.
Read on for details.

Single Homebuyers Can Only Afford 45 Percent of U.S. Housing Stock

5It takes the average single homebuyer 11 years to save a 20 percent down payment for a median-priced home, according to a new Zillow analysis. That’s more than double the time it takes a married couple.
Read on for details.
 
 

Luxury Apartment Construction Booming

6With the trend for renters to become first time home buyers on the decline because of rising home prices and mortgage rates, you might think it’s good news that in 2017 new apartment completions (395,775 units) in the 150 largest U.S. cities were a whopping 46 percent more than in 2016 — double the long-term average — according to RealPage, an apartment management software and data company.
Read on for details.

Top 10 Cities to Buy a Home Big Enough to Raise a Family

3Sometimes it is difficult to find a budget friendly home big enough to comfortably fit a growing family. SmartAsset, a personal financial website, looked at the 100 largest cities in the country and used the following data metrics to find the best cities to buy a home big enough to raise a family: the 5-year change in median home values, the 5-year change in median rent costs, average effective property tax rate, the percent of houses with at least two bedrooms, median housing cost as a percent of income, and the percent of homeowners who are housing cost burdened (meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on their mortgages).
Read on for details.

U.S. Luxury Real Estate Prices Return to ‘Normal’

4U.S. luxury markets have reached a “new normal” of subdued price growth after eight years of frenzied appreciation post-recession, according to a report by Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.
Read on for details.
 
 

Americans Increasingly Prefer Walkable Communities

4According to a recent survey for the National Association of Realtors, 53% of people polled said they wouldn’t mind living in neighborhoods with smaller properties if it means they can walk to stores and restaurants. In 2015, only 49% would have been willing to trade square footage for walkability.
Read on for details.

How to Humanize Your Real Estate Brand in a Digital World

4With all the social media frenzy going on, why does it seem increasingly difficult as a real estate professional to connect with actual people and humanize your brand?
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – March 2018

A Plague of Million-dollar Homes Haunts U.S. Real Estate

1Owning a million-dollar home isn’t as rare as it used to be. The share of homes valued at more than $1 million has increased by more than fourfold since 2002, according to data released by real estate site Trulia. The company analyzed luxury real estate markets in the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas and found that 4.3 percent of homes across these regions are worth $1 million or more, compared with 1 percent in 2002.
Read on for details.

Millions of Americans Can’t Afford Their Rent

2Nearly half of all renter households were considered cost-burdened in 2018, according to a new report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. That means nearly 21 million households are paying more than 30 percent of their income to cover their housing, which includes utilities. Other renters are experiencing an even tighter jam. Roughly 25 percent of renter households are paying more than half their income for housing.
Read on for details.

Home Prices Are Set to Soar This Year

3The supply of homes for sale is continuing to fall as the strengthening economy pushes demand. Sales prices increased 7 percent annually in November 2017, according to a new report from CoreLogic.
Read on for details.

 

Home Equity Hits a Record High and Here’s What Homeowners Are Spending It On

4Homeowners are accruing record amounts of home equity, thanks to fast-rising values in today’s housing markets. It comes as no surprise that people are starting to tap into that cash. What are they spending it on? Most opt to make their homes even more valuable.
Read on for details.

Four Growth Areas for Homebuilding in 2018

5A growing economy along with positive demographic trends are expected to fuel growth for the housing market, even as affordability challenges rise from an increase in prices and mortgage rates, according to realtor.com®’s 2018 Housing Forecast.
Read on for details.

Consumers Shouldn’t Expect to Move This Year

6The lack of affordable and buildable lots has hampered housing production, according to a survey released by the National Association of Home Builders. Seventy-nine percent of prospective buyers say they are only able to afford half the homes in their markets. Housing starts in 2017 rose 9 percent over 2016, but the characteristics of new homes remained mostly the same, the NAHB notes.
Read on for details.

Climate Change Could Start Playing a Bigger Role in Real Estate Prices

3Storm surge flooding has become a major concern in Miami, which means waterfront properties aren’t as desirable as they once were. Instead, high-end buyers are seeking out parts of the city with a higher elevation, such as Little Havana and Little Haiti.
Read on for details.

Citigroup Says California and New York Homeowners Could See Taxes Increase By As Much as $3,000

4Homeowners in high-tax states on the coasts are going to experience the largest increases in their tax bills thanks to the new tax law, according to a Citigroup real estate analyst.
Read on for details.

 

10 U.S. Cities Where Homeownership Is Increasing

4For a significant number of Americans, homeownership remains an elusive dream. Soaring levels of student loan debt, the challenges of saving enough for a down payment, and skyrocketing housing prices are just a few of the major reasons keeping renters from becoming owners.
Read on for details.

5 Tips for Improving Your Real Estate Sales Blog

4Most real estate agents understand the importance of maintaining a blog as a way to drive traffic to their websites, to establish authority and more. However, it can be challenging to come up with worthwhile topics. Here are 5 tips for improving your real estate sales blog to help you get better results.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – February 2018

Five Real Estate Trends To Watch for 2018

1Investor interest, which sparked a sharp rise in home prices and made it difficult for homebuyers to gain a foothold in the market, will begin to ease in 2018 as part of continued market improvements, according to the realtor.com® 2018 National Housing Forecast.
Read on for details.

Compass Secures Largest Real Estate Tech Investment in U.S. History

2Compass, a real estate technology fund based in New York City, announced that SoftBank Vision Fund, the investment arm of the Japanese technology company SoftBank, is investing $450 million in the company.
Read on for details.
 

US NAR Warns Tax Bill Will Cause Housing Prices to Drop in Every State

3Proposed changes caused by the recently passed tax bill are raising concern in the real estate market. Some supporters of the tax legislation argue that doubling the standard deduction means the mortgage interest deduction and state and local property tax deductions are no longer needed. However, the privilege of home ownership in the U.S. has always been closely linked to the availability of the mortgage interest deduction.
Read on for details.

New Study Confirms Marketing Opportunity for “Hyper-local” Real Estate Expertise

4Real estate professionals admit they are not delivering when it comes to providing their clients with hyperlocal knowledge of specific housing markets, according to a new survey.
Read on for details.

 

Nextdoor Expands Real Estate Division into Three New Markets

5Community networking platform Nextdoor announced the expansion of its real estate business into three new markets: Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; Washington D.C.; and Tampa-Saint Petersburg, Fla. The company, which recently raised $75 million in funding, says it selected these areas for their robust market conditions and long waiting lists.
Read on for details.

Profits From House Flipping Continue to Decline

6Even as investors have increased home flipping activities, they are seeing lower profits in return.
Higher home prices, increased renovation costs, and a lower supply of distressed properties are making it increasingly expensive to get started, even as the demand for move-in ready homes remains high. Read on for details.

This Is How Long It Takes to Sell a Home

3These days it takes three weeks to sell a home, according to the National Association of Realtors. Five years ago, the median number of days a home stayed on the market was eleven weeks.
Read on for details.

 

U.S. Midwest Emerges as Top Draw for Real Estate Investors

4Investors shifted their focus back to the Midwest this year, according to a new report released by HomeUnion, an online real estate management and investment firm.
Read on for details.

 

Wire Fraud Is the Fastest Growing Real Estate Cybercrime in the U.S.

4According to the FBI, the Internet Crime Complaint Center saw a 480 percent increase in the number of complaints filed in 2016 by those in the real estate industry. The majority of these complaints were related to real estate wire fraud, a scam that has become more common.
Read on for details.

8 Reasons to Market Your Listings With 3D Tech

4In the last few months, Facebook has rolled out some updates to their Ads Manager feature that will affect the way you advertise your listings, business, and yourself as a REALTOR®. These updates include the removal of key options in detailed targeting and the addition of new options to target audiences and new ad layouts designed to provide audiences with a more engaging experience.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – January 2018

Renting Is Overtaking the Housing Market

1Single-family rentals — either detached homes or townhomes — are developing faster than any other portion of the housing market. These rentals have outpaced both single-family home purchases and apartment-style living, according to the Urban Institute.
Read on for details.

Weekly Mortgage Applications Rise As Rates Pull Back

2Total mortgage application volume increased by 3.1 percent for the second week of November, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted report. Volume remains 8.5 percent below a year ago, when rates were lower.
Read on for details.

US New Home Sales Soar to Highest Level in 10 Years

3Sales of new U.S. homes increased in September to the highest level since October 2007. It is an indication that Americans, unable to find good choices in the stock of existing homes, are turning to new construction.
Read on for details.

Senate Version of Tax Bill Saves Mortgage Interest Deduction but Realtors Still Unhappy

4Real estate professionals revolted when the House GOP tax bill called for cutting the mortgage interest deduction for taxpayers from $1.1 million to $500,000. Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, went as far as saying the plan “abandons middle-class taxpayer.”
Read on for details.

Homebuilder Confidence Rises to 8-Month High

5A monthly reading of home builder sentiment increased two points in November to 70, according to the National Association of Home Builders. This comes after a four point increase in October.
Read on for details.
 

Foreclosure Crisis Lurks in Hurricane Damaged Areas

6Around 4.8 million mortgaged properties were in the paths of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. According to financial data firm, Black Knight, these properties represent nearly $746 billion in unpaid principal balances. In September, the number of loans that were over 30 days past due increased 48 percent in areas affected by Hurricane Irma and 67 percent in Harvey-affected areas. The firm has not compiled the numbers for Puerto Rico yet.
Read on for details.

Fannie Mae Launches Program to Help Boost Homebuilding

3Fannie Mae is considering a series of pilot programs designed to address an issue that has plagued the U.S. real-estate market for many years: a lack of affordable homes. Fannie’s first initiative, which hasn’t been finalized, would potentially make it cheaper and simpler for prospective homebuyers to obtain loans to build new homes.
Read on for details.

Facebook Announces New Features for Home Sales

4Facebook announced that the company is expanding its real estate listings section on its Marketplace, which is Facebook’s attempt to take on other e-commerce platforms, Craigslist and eBay.
Read on for details.

 

Eight Markets Where Housing Inventory Is Actually Increasing

4Four of the eight national housing market regions are actually experiencing month-to-month declines in home inventory ranging from a fraction of a percent to almost 11 percent. However the other half is experiencing month-to-month increases in the supply of available homes for sale ranging from 4 percent to 11 percent.
Read on for details.

Three Facebook Updates That Affect the Way You Advertise Your Real Estate Business

4In the last few months, Facebook has rolled out some updates to their Ads Manager feature that will affect the way you advertise your listings, business, and yourself as a REALTOR®. These updates include the removal of key options in detailed targeting and the addition of new options to target audiences and new ad layouts designed to provide audiences with a more engaging experience.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – December 2017

Homebuyers Rush to Riskier Mortgages As Home Prices Rise

1Home prices are on the rise again. As a result, many potential buyers are looking for ways to afford a monthly mortgage payment.
Read on for details.
 
 

Amazon Ventures Into Real Estate With Hire a Realtor Service

2A new placeholder web page on Amazon that says “Hire a Realtor” with an option to enter your zip code and the words “Coming Soon” is prompting speculation that the company could be expanding into the real estate referral business.
Read on for details.

Digital Real Estate Platform Home61 Raises $4 Million

3Home61, digital real estate platform, has raised $4 million including an investment from FF Angel, the early stage investment vehicle of Founders Fund, Peter Thiel’s Silicon Valley venture capital firm. The company uses automation to “streamline the buying and renting process, making it profitable for agents to provide excellent service to clients with all budgets while simplifying the experience for buyers and renters,” according to its press release.
Read on for details.

Homebuyers Can Now Crowdfund Their Mortgage Down Payments

4For many Americans, saving enough money for a down payment has become a major hurdle to buying a home. One lender claims to have found a solution to this problem. Privately-held mortgage banking firm CMG Financial has launched HomeFundMe — a pilot crowdfunding service that’s the first to receive approval from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Read on for details.

Millennials Going Over Budget to Buy Homes

5Millennials have spent $514 billion in the U.S. housing market over the past year as the largest generation of home buyers, said Zillow Inc., Seattle. However, new survey data shows their homeownership aspirations are stymied by affordability issues, frustration with the process of buying and selling, as well as a “cutthroat” housing market.
Read on for details.

National Flood Insurance Program Might Not Be Able to Fulfill Obligations to Homeowners

6The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan analysis for the U.S. Congress, crunched the numbers on the National Flood Insurance Program again, calculating the average cost to families.
Read on for details.
 

San Francisco Most Over-valued Market in U.S.

3According to the UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index released last month, which includes twenty of the globe’s largest cities, San Francisco is the most overvalued real estate market in the United States as home prices have outpaced the rest of the country by 260 percentage points over the last 40 years.
Read on for details.

Trump Tax Reform Sparks Fears for California Realtors

4California’s largest group of realty agents has warned that a Republican tax-reform proposal could significantly reduce the attractiveness of purchasing a home in the Golden State. California Realtors Association President Geoff McIntosh suggested the Republican plan to eliminate state and local tax deductions, such as property taxes, could hurt California and its housing market.
Read on for details.

Weekly Mortgage Applications Stall Along With Rates and Home Sales

4Rising interest rates and rising home prices are hurting mortgage demand, as fewer consumers have the incentive to refinance or purchase a home.
Read on for details.
 
 

10 Reasons to Schedule a Seller Counseling Session

4Scheduling a seller counseling session at the beginning of the selling process is an effective way to educate sellers, manage expectations, and establish open lines of communication. Plus it provides a great opportunity to get to know your clients better and reinforces the idea that you are working together to reach a common goal.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – November 2017

The 5 Hottest Hipster Real Estate Markets Across America

1While not everyone loves beards or pour-over coffee, when it comes to real estate, hipsters might be a good group to watch, according to new research from realtor.com and Yelp.
Read on for details.
 
 

Could DACA Repeal Impact Real Estate?

2There are roughly 800,000 “Dreamers” living in the United States – illegal immigrants brought here as children. Most have jobs, many own homes, and many are enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities.
Read on for details.
 

Houston Rethinks Real Estate Development After Harvey

3There has not been much debate over the years in Houston about how land use should be regulated. Developers in the nation’s fourth-largest city mostly built properties as they pleased. Now in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which killed at least 50 people and caused approximately $180 billion in damage, people are starting to talk about whether Houston’s real estate development needs better oversight.
Read on for details.

Hurricane Irma Not Likely to Affect Florida Real Estate Prices

4The damage caused by Hurricane Irma in Florida is not as bad as it could have been and is unlikely to affect real estate prices, billionaire real estate developer Jeff Soffer told CNBC in an interview with “Power Lunch.” Irma, which impacted Florida and several Caribbean islands in September, ripped roofs off homes and caused flooding and power outages across the state.
Read on for details.

NAR Forced MLS Membership Up for Review

5An MLS policy that allows Realtor-affiliated MLSs to force all associates in a broker’s office to obtain subscriptions to the MLS will be discussed at NAR’s legislative meetings this month. NAR’s Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee will consider the implications of keeping, eliminating or changing the policy — MLS Policy Statement 7.42 — both for different MLSs and for the industry as a whole, according to Rick Harris, a real estate broker and the committee’s 2016 chair.
Read on for details.

REIT Investors Look to Alternative Property Sectors for Bigger Returns

6Retail REITs are experiencing weaker performance as a result of a more negative perception of the space.
Read on for details.
 
 
 

Berkshire’s HomeServices of America Acquires Long & Foster

3Chantilly-based Long & Foster, a small real estate brokerage founded in 1968 that grew to become one of the nation’s largest, has been acquired by HomeServices of America Inc., an affiliate of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. The acquisition includes the companies that fall under Long & Foster’s umbrella, including Long & Foster Real Estate and businesses in mortgage, settlement services, insurance and property management.
Read on for details.

Harvey Victims Facing Temporary Housing Shortage in Houston

4Houston is facing a temporary housing shortage following Hurricane Harvey after flooding devastated the area in August.
Read on for details.
 
 

Malls Need New Business Model Says CBRE Report

4The traditional U.S. shopping mall business is in need of a significant revamp if it is expected to survive, according to a CBRE report.
Read on for details.
 
 

The End of Facebook for Real Estate?

4The golden era of real estate Facebook advertising, a time when agents could see returns after only spending a few dollars, could be coming to an end. As Facebook competes with giants, such as Google and Zillow Group, for real estate marketing dominance, the social network’s ad prices are increasing.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – October 2017

Commercial Real Estate Becoming More Vulnerable to Cyberattack

1At one time, commercial real estate firms were considered less at-risk for cyberattacks, because compared to financial services, healthcare and retail firms, they did not maintain as much personal and intellectual property information. As a result, CRE players have been slow to invest in cybersecurity and insurance for cyber risks.
Read on for details.

8 States With the Largest Housing Bubbles

2Today, most experts agree we are not in a real estate bubble on a national level. However, the absence of a nationwide or statewide housing bubble does not mean they are not forming at the local level in some states.
Read on for details.
 

20 ZIP Codes with the Highest Real Estate Returns

3Your ZIP code is pretty important, especially when it comes to the real estate market. HomeUnion, an online real estate investment management firm, identified the zip codes in 20 metros that account for the greatest real estate returns while minimizing risk over a five-year horizon. They looked at school quality and neighborhood attractiveness for single-family rentals over five years.
Read on for details.

Banks Tightening Lending Standards for Commercial Real Estate in Q2

4Loan officers at U.S. banks reported tightening lending standards on commercial real estate loans as terms for business loans remain mostly unchanged, the Federal Reserve reported in July in a quarterly survey. The officers surveyed also reported a decline in demand for both types of loans in the second quarter.
Read on for details.

Facebook Launches Dynamic Ads for Real Estate

<5Facebook just launched a new ad product designed specifically for the real estate industry. Dynamic Ads for Real Estate allows brokers to automatically promote their listings across Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network placements. It also promotes listings to those who have searched for listings on a broker’s website.
Read on for details.

Nextdoor App Rolls Out Real Estate Listings

6Nextdoor, the social media platform for neighborhoods, is planning to roll out a real estate listing feature, which will showcase homes for sale in local communities.
Read on for details.

 
 
 

Robot Real Estate Agents to Sell Homes

3Meet Rex. He’s a robot slowly replacing human real estate agents in markets such as California and New York.
Read on for details.
 
 

U.S. Home Sales to Foreigners Surge by 49 Percent

4As homes in the United States have become relatively more affordable than in Canada, Canadian real estate investors nearly doubled their purchases of American homes lately. Many Canadians have struggled to purchase homes in markets such as Toronto and Vancouver where there have been rapid price gains.
Read on for details.

What Real Estate Agents Need to Know About Zero-down Loans

4Several commercial lenders are offering mortgages that allow one percent down or nothing at all. In hot markets where the cost of a down payment has been on the rise, super low down loans have become one of the few ways a young family can afford to buy a home before they get locked out by rising interest rates or higher home prices.
Read on for details.

Four Costs Homebuyers Often Forget to Factor Into Their Budgets

4Out-of-pocket costs that crop up during the purchasing process or even as the new homebuyers are moving in are straining homebuyers’ budgets. Experts suggest that homebuyers budget between two and five percent of the home’s purchase price for closing costs, including appraiser, lender, and title fees.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – September 2017

The Internet of Things Is Revolutionizing Commercial Real Estate

1The commercial real estate (CRE) industry is about to undergo major disruption thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). Technology is beginning to encroach upon an industry that has traditionally lacked innovative spirit. This technology is expected to change the very definition of what it means to be a real estate broker. As client needs evolve, brokers must learn new skills in order to keep up with the changing technology landscape and to remain competitive.
Read on for details.

Automation Could Eliminate Real Estate Appraisal Jobs

2Advances in big data and computing are helping automation creep into knowledge-based professions, threatening to knock off jobs in the same way that robots have been doing at factories for decades.
Read on for details.
 
 

Life Is Great for U.S. Homesellers

3Right now it is a great time to be a homeseller. For homesellers, it is the most profitable time to sell a home in almost ten years. Homeowners who sold their homes in the first three months of this year saw an average price gain of $44,000 from purchasers, according to a report from Attom Data Solutions. That amounts to the highest gain since 2007.
Read on for details.

Los Angeles Ranks First as Best City for Global Real Estate Investors

4Los Angeles beat out London when it was named the new hot spot for global real estate investors in the third annual Schroders Global Cities 30 Index, released in June. Schroders is a London-based investment bank.
Read on for details.

 

Millennial Homebuyers Are Struggling

5After many years of real estate experts lamenting how millennials weren’t interested in becoming homeowners, it turns out that many are in fact diving in. But they are facing a lot of competition. Millennials are the largest group of home buyers, according to Ellie Mae, a software company that analyzes mortgage data. In January, millennials represented roughly 45 percent of all purchase loans, an increase from 42 percent in January 2016.
Read on for details.
 

Millennials More Likely to Regret Real Estate Choices

6The housing market has improved significantly since the recession. However, many Americans are still scarred from their last real estate decisions. Roughly 44 percent of Americans reported that they regret their current home choice or the process that they went through in order to get it, according to the newest report from Trulia. Still, this is a slight improvement from five years ago when 46 percent regretted their decisions.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Startup Redfin Gears Up for IPO

3Online real estate brokerage Redfin has filed the paperwork for an IPO. Redfin is backed by some of Silicon Valley’s biggest investors and plans to begin trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol “RDFN,” it said in the S-1 filing with the SEC. Redfin initially pegged the size of the offering at $100 million, though that number is likely just a placeholder that will be adjusted later on as the IPO day moves closer.
Read on for details.

Zillow’s Instant Offers Program Draws Ire From Real Estate Agents

4Over 32,000 real estate agents around the country have signed online petitions opposing the Instant Offers program Zillow rolled out two months ago in the pilot markets of Orlando and Las Vegas. Petition organizer Greg Hague claims the program will cost sellers sales profits by encouraging them to settle for discounted prices with minimal guidance from real estate agents.
Read on for details.

Second Homes Sales Decline as Investment Sales Increase

4Last year, vacation home sales dropped back to their lowest levels since 2013. That’s a 21.6 percent decline since 2015, according to the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.
Read on for details.
 

Nine Highly Salable Factors of Real Estate Property

4The ability to distinguish a property as salable is an absolute must for brokers who want to succeed in the real estate industry. What comprises a salable property depends on what the buyer prefers.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – August 2017

The 10 Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S.

1According to a recent report from the Census Bureau, eight of the 10 fastest-growing cities in the U.S. are located in the South with the population in large southern cities increasing by an average of 9.4 percent. Cities in Texas claimed five of the top ten spots. While two cities in the West also made the list, the Northeast was noticeably absent from the list.
Read on for details.

3 Million First-time Homebuyers Shut Out of Home Market in Past Decade

2In the past decade, three million would-be first-time homebuyers have been shut out of purchasing a home. There were an average of 1.5 million first-time homebuyers per year in the last decade, according to a new report from Genworth Mortgage Insurance. That is significantly less than the historical average of 1.8 million a year. First-time homebuyers play an important part in the housing market, and their absence has caused a major drag on the entire economy.
Read on for details.

America’s Hottest Real Estate Markets: May 2017

3Driven by an increasingly scarce supply of available homes, prices for residential real estate reached new heights in May and many homes were swiftly purchased by a lucky few homebuyers, according to new data from Realtor.com®.
Read on for details.

Home Prices Are Increasing, But Mortgages Are Still Cheap

4The median existing home price climbed to $252,800 in May, according to the National Association of Realtors. At this point, home prices have been rising every month for more than five years. While this is good news for homesellers, buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to find homes that they can afford.
Read on for details.

Fed Announces Third Rate Hike in 7 Months

5As anticipated, the Federal Reserve implemented a quarter-point federal funds rate hike in June, increasing its benchmark target to between 1 percent and 1.25. The rate hike was made “in view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation,” the Federal Open Market Committee said.
Read on for details.

Industrial Real Estate Development Reaches 10 Year High

6Development of industrial space in the U.S. is at a 10-year high. The current pace of development is showing no signs of a slowdown in the near future.
Read on for details.
 
 

Real Estate Companies Are Moving to the Cloud

3With much of the focus on agents’ personal touch, the real estate industry has been slow to adopt new technologies. However, firms are starting to embrace the cloud because it can handle back-end functions that consumers don’t see: accommodating major swings in traffic due to the business’s seasonal nature, processing millions of property photos, and estimating sales prices in real time by analyzing thousands of data points.
Read on for details.

Mortgage Applications Down 12 Percent Since 2016

4Even though mortgage application volume increased 2.8 percent in the second week of June, all thanks to refinances, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted weekly index was 12 percent lower compared to a year ago when rates were slightly lower.
Read on for details.

Why More Millennials Are Finally Buying Real Estate

For the past ten years, since the Great Recession forced many Americans to put their financial goals on hold, the real estate industry has been waiting for millennials to arrive on the home-buying scene, to begin buying, selling, fixing up and financing property.
Read on for details.

Why More Real Estate Firms Are Now Offering Mortgages

4The immense growth in the use of mobile technology — specifically consumer-facing real estate technology — has resulted in some significant changes for Realtors.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – July 2017

The Best, Worst Metros for Real Estate Investors

1Many people enter the world of real estate investment with the hope of making extra money without having to spend a lot of time. Although buying rental property and collecting checks from tenants might seem like an easy path to financial stability, the reality can be a bit more challenging.
Read on for details.

Five States with the Highest, Lowest Cost of Living

2Just how widely does the cost of living vary from state to state? GoBankingRates.com reviewed 2016 data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, examining six categories of housing, living expenses, groceries, utilities, healthcare, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. The site used the data to calculate an overall cost of living index for each state and the District of Columbia.
Read on for details.

Americans’ Confidence in Economy Reaches Post-Election Low

3Americans’ confidence in the economy declined recently but remains higher than it was before the 2016 presidential election. Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged +2 for the week ending May 14, which is the lowest score recorded yet this year. This score essentially remained unchanged from the +3 recorded during the prior week, but it marks a considerable drop from the index’s high point of +16 in early March when the stock market reached record highs.
Read on for details.

EB-5 Program Extended Through September 2017

4The controversial EB-5 program, which provides a way for wealthy foreigners to obtain green cards by investing in the U.S., has been extended for at least another two months thanks to a spending bill passed by the Senate.
Read on for details.

Flexible Workspace Real Estate Trend Set to Take Off

5It was not long ago that co-working began its rapid rise in popularity disrupting the traditional office market. These days, there is a new disruptor; third-party non-core real estate providers.
Read on for details.
 
 

Home Builders Target Millennials with Lower-Priced Homes

6Millennials are finally starting to buy homes. The trouble is, there simply aren’t enough homes for sale that meet their needs, at least not that they can afford.
Read on for details.
 
 

Housing Starts Decline 2.6 Percent in April

3The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published their findings for new residential housing starts in April. Construction of new homes declined in April, marking two straight months of declining activity, marking a five month low.
Read on for details.

Luxury Real Estate Starting to Cool Off

4After several years of rapid growth, luxury real estate demand across the globe is slowing. Sales of homes priced at $1 million and higher increased just 1 percent in the last year, after enjoying increases of 8 percent in 2015 and 16 percent in 2014, according to a new report from Christie’s International Real Estate.
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Market Competition Intensifies for Millennial House-Hunters

4After many years of experts lamenting how Millennials weren’t interested in becoming homeowners, it turns out that many are actually looking for homes. However, they’re facing a lot of competition.
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How Realtors Are Using Mobile Technology

4The immense growth in the use of mobile technology — specifically consumer-facing real estate technology — has resulted in some significant changes for Realtors.
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Real Estate Digest – June 2017

Virtual Reality Shakes Up Real Estate

1Virtual reality (VR) is expected to shake up the real estate industry in the same way that internet real estate listings did. In fact, it might not be long before buyers can view their next house or apartment using a VR headset.
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All-cash Chinese Buyers Disappearing From U.S. Real Estate Markets

2In January, financial regulations in China tightened making it more difficult for investors to obtain the funds needed to invest in foreign real estate. These moves by the Chinese government, attempting to curb the massive amount of overseas investment taking place, have started to redefine how real estate deals are being made in the U.S.
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Consumer Confidence Falls after Record High

3Consumer confidence in the housing market declined from its record high in February, dropping 3.8 percentage points to a reading of 84.5 in March, according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, a survey of about 1,000 Americans. The percentage of consumers who expressed a positive outlook on buying a home and their employment situation declined. However, the percentage of consumers who said now is a good time to sell surged 9 percentage points month over month.
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Immigrant Households Impact Success of Real Estate Market

4A new study from the Urban Land Institute, “Home in America: Immigrant Housing Demand,” analyzes nationwide data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The study uncovers new data about the impact of immigrants on the U.S. real estate market. It makes the case that rising growth in immigration and the success of the housing market are intertwined.
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Multifamily Construction Loans Are Getting Harder for Developers to Find

5Developers are finding it harder to obtain construction loans to build new apartment properties. Bank lenders — the traditional source of construction capital — are offering smaller loans in comparison to the cost of development, when they offer to lend at all.
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NAR Survey Finds Increase in Consumer Confidence in the Midwest and Rural Areas

6President Donald Trump may have experienced sagging poll numbers since taking office in January, but his election appears to have lifted the spirits of a core group of his supporters when it comes to real estate and the economy. According to a new consumer survey from the National Association of Realtors, consumers in rural and middle America are convinced the best is yet to come in 2017.
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Purchases of Vacation Homes Declined for Second Straight Year in 2016

3In 2016, purchases of vacation homes declined for the second straight year, as price growth and financial uncertainty crippled demand, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported in its 2017 Investor and Vacation Home Buyer Survey.
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Rising Home Prices Drive Up Homeowner Debt

4Americans are increasingly paying more for homes and the results are showing up in the form of debt on families’ balance sheets. In 2017, the mortgage debt accrued by the average homeowner rose to $196,014, an increase of 2.5 percent over last year and 6.4 percent higher than nine years ago, according to a new study by Experian.
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The 10 States Investing the Most in Commercial Real Estate

4New commercial real estate accounted for 6.25 million American jobs and contributed $861 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2016, according to a new study, “Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate,” published by the NAIOP Research Foundation.
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How Sellers Can Avoid the Downsides of Hot Real Estate Markets

4There are many benefits to a hot sellers’ market, where there are few listings but lots of buyers, including:
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