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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.
 
 

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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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.
Read on for details.

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:
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – May 2017

12 Surprising Facts about Millennial Homebuyers

1Many millennials still live at home with their parents. However, this doesn’t mean people born between the years 1981 and 1997 don’t want to own their own homes. In fact, a Realtor.com survey revealed that 61 percent of first-time homebuyers are under the age of 35.
Read on for details.

Cities Where Over 50 Percent of Millennials Own Homes

2Just over 35 percent of people ages 18 to 35 own homes, compared to nearly four in 10 who did just six years ago, according to data from the Census Bureau. That is a major reason why the homeownership rate for all ages remains near its lowest level since 1965.
Read on for details.

Citigroup to Exit Mortgage Servicing Business by 2018

3Citigroup Inc. plans to exit the mortgage-servicing business by the end of 2018. In a statement, the New York-based buyer confirmed that New Residential Investment Corp. agreed to pay Citigroup $950 million for servicing rights on Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed loans with $97 billion of outstanding balances.
Read on for details.

House Flipping Frenzy Returns to U.S. Real Estate

4House flipping is once again on the rise among U.S. real estate investors. Flipping, which refers to homes that are purchased and sold within one year, echoes the height of the housing bubble before it burst in 2008. However, the majority of industry experts say that the market dynamics are different this time.
Read on for details.

Mortgage Volume Increases by 3.3 Percent as Borrowers Rush to Beat Rising Rates

5As interest rates have increased in recent weeks and home prices continue to balloon, borrowers aren’t wasting any time in applying for home loans. They are hoping to take advantage of current interest rates before affordability gets worse. Homebuyers are also increasingly choosing adjustable-rate mortgages, hoping to save at least some money on their monthly payments.
Read on for details.

Survey Shows Smart Home Devices Still in Early Adopter Phase

6People who own “smart homes” are officially ahead of the curve, according to a new survey of almost 10,000 homeowners in Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. by Gartner Inc., a technology analyst firm. The survey found that smart home technologies are still in the early adopter phase worldwide.
Read on for details.

U.S. Home Prices Hit a 2.5-Year High

3U.S. home prices moved higher in December 2016, just months after hitting a high last seen at the height of the housing bubble in 2007. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index rose 5.6 percent in the three-month period ending in December 2016 compared to the same period a year ago. It also saw an increase over the 5.2 percent annual gain reported in November 2016.
Read on for details.

Wall Street Eyes Shopping Malls as Next U.S. Credit Crisis

4Wall Street speculators have determined that malls will become the next U.S. credit crisis. It is no secret that many mall properties have struggled for years as Americans increasingly turn to ecommerce. However, these properties are now catching the attention of speculators as analysts are estimating that they will soon collapse as a result of their debts.
Read on for details.

Northeast Has Most New Home Starts

4First-time homebuyers can breathe a sigh of relief, especially if they live in the Northeast. In a sign of more new homes to come, homebuilders secured 4.6 percent more permits to construct brand-new homes from December 2016 to January 2017, according to the seasonally adjusted numbers in a residential sales report jointly released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Number of new permits issued was 8.2 percent higher than in January 2016.
Read on for details.

Landscaping Tips to Improve Curb Appeal

4Gorgeous and spacious interiors, including an updated kitchen and bathroom and plenty of storage, can help attract homebuyers. However, before they see these areas, they see the landscaping.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – April 2017

Top U.S. Markets for Buying and Selling Real Estate

1As often happens during economic cycles, the dynamics of real estate markets in the U.S. have changed once again. Investors who look to buy homes at low prices and sell them at the top of the market have already missed the boat and are now facing increased competition.
Read on for details.

Big Institutions Sell off Commercial Real Estate

2Big institutions are selling commercial real estate as the market weakens due to rising interest rates and a surge in new supply. Brookfield Asset Management is one of the major firms that sold more properties in 2016 than they bought.
Read on for details.

Fed Chair Says Rising Real Estate Prices Put Small Banks at Risk

3High real estate prices have the potential to put small banks in a dangerous position, according to remarks from the Federal Reserve in a recent report to Congress. Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen, said in her testimony to the Senate Banking Committee that commercial real estate prices have increased so much that if prices were to suddenly drop, small banks would be devastated.
Read on for details.

Iowa Realtor Warns Agents about Email Scam

4Wire fraud scams are a trending topic in real estate. However, Sue Dietz, CRS, a sales associate with RE/MAX Advantage Realty in Dubuque, Iowa, warns about a different type of scam. She says that scammers used her identity to create fake email addresses in her name and then sent fraudulent emails to offer referrals to other real estate agents.
Read on for details.

Mortgage Delinquencies Spike among Some Homeowners

5A troublesome signal has appeared in the housing market. In the fourth quarter of 2016, Federal Housing Administration mortgage delinquencies rose to 9.02 percent from 8.3 percent in the third quarter, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The jump, which followed the lowest delinquency rate since 1997, was the result of loans made since 2014 and early-stage delinquencies that are just 30 days past due.
Read on for details.

Next-Generational Homes Are the Latest Real Estate Trend

6Allowing two families to live under the same roof is now a big trend in the real estate market, according to Lance Billingsley, a Phoenix, Ariz. real estate broker. Multi-generational or next-generational homes are changing and the number of homes built in this style is increasing.
Read on for details.

Silicon Valley Is the Top U.S. Real Estate Market

3Silicon Valley has the strongest commercial real estate market out of any major U.S. metro, according to a new report by JLL. JLL’s City Momentum Index ranks 134 major business hubs from around the world based on 42 factors.
Read on for details.

Top Three Legal Issues Facing Brokers

4There are several legal issues that affect real estate companies today: website accessibility, copyright infringement and cyber fraud. During the 2017 REALTOR® Broker Summit in San Diego in February, National Association of Realtors General Counsel Katie Johnson summarized how brokers can mitigate these risks.
Read on for details.

Trump Cut Causes FHA Applications to Decline by 3.2 Percent

4Applications for government-insured loans declined in January, resulting in an overall drop in mortgage volume. Total mortgage applications declined 3.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Volume was down by 18 percent for the last week of January as compared to the same week one year ago.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Agents: Stop Commoditizing Your Services

4Across the country, there are thousands of real estate brokerages. Even though the overwhelming majority of real estate agents are earning regular commissions, agents everywhere are constantly worrying about the day when technology replaces their jobs. Knowing that there are companies already working towards that goal doesn’t inspire confidence either.
Read on for details.

Real Estate Digest – March 2017

How Trump’s Tax Plan Will Impact Real Estate

1With the new administration underway, Donald Trump is already working on a new tax plan. Analysts at Baker Newman Noyes, a leading national accounting and consulting firm, have reviewed President Donald Trump’s vision for tax reform and predict that the changes to the tax code will have significant impacts on the real estate and construction industries.
Read on for details.

Average Real Estate Commissions Decline to Low 5 Percent Range

2According to new research, the average real estate commission paid on U.S. home sale transactions continues to decline and may dip below 5 percent within the next few years. Real Trends Consulting Inc., a research and advisory company, made this prediction after reviewing data on the sales and commission rates of 450,000 sales agents across the country. “We are headed for (a) sub-5 percent overall rate within the next few years,” said Steve Murray, Real Trends president, in an article in the column “The Nation’s Housing.”
Read on for details.

Consumer Sentiment Declines in January but Remains Near 13-Year High

3The University of Michigan said that its preliminary reading of consumer sentiment declined to 98.1 in January, a decline from December 2016’s final reading of 98.2. It is up 6.6 percent from a year ago.
Read on for details.
 
 

Foreign Real Estate Investors Still Confident About U.S. Real Estate

4According to a recent survey from the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), foreign investors continue to view U.S. real estate as a sound investment.
Read on for details.
 
 

Mortgage Applications Decline 12 Percent to End 2016

5Mortgage application volume plunged 12 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from two weeks earlier for the last week of December, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased by 48 percent.
Read on for details.

New Report Names CEO of Zillow as Most Powerful Person in Residential Real Estate

6A new list of the most powerful people in residential real estate in North America demonstrates technology’s impact on the business of buying and selling homes.
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Rising Home Values Haven’t Shaken Consumers’ Memories of the Financial Crisis

3In a keynote speech at the National Retail Federation’s annual conference in New York, William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said that consumers’ memories of the recession are one reason why retail sales have remained sluggish. Although home prices and values have increased on average nationally, these recent gains aren’t enough to persuade homeowners to spend against the growing value of their homes.
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U.S. Real Estate Sales Could Be Affected by China’s Capital Controls

4Chinese buyers have become a formidable force in the U.S. residential and commercial real estate markets. However, stricter capital controls from China may threaten or change the marketplace.
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Trump Administration Suspends Mortgage Premium Rate Cut

4The Department of Housing and Urban Development suspended a reduction to the annual mortgage insurance premiums borrowers pay when taking out government-backed home loans. The cut was announced during the final days of President Obama’s term and has since been “suspended indefinitely” by President Trump.
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Keep an Eye Out for At-Risk Senior Clients

4As America’s population ages, more of your real estate clients are likely to be seniors. As a result, you may run into cases where your senior clients have become targets of financial fraud.
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Real Estate Digest – February 2017

Tiny Home Neighborhoods Are Popping up Across America

1Although tiny homes are still illegal in many places across the U.S. because they often don’t meet zoning and building standards, some cities are starting to change ordinances to allow the downsized dwellings. In some places, entire tiny home communities are developing.
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Chinese Developers Reassess U.S. Projects

2Some Chinese developers are lowering their profit expectations or are pulling out of their U.S. real estate projects completely as high real estate prices and rocky partnerships are forcing them to rethink their investment strategies.
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Commercial Real Estate Market Sees Mixed Results After Election

3According to Moody’s/RCA Commercial Property Price Indices data, commercial real estate prices are continuing to rise across the United States. Pricing for all commercial properties increased by 1.2 percent in October over the prior month. The year-over-year pricing increase was 8.6 percent as of October 2016.
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First-Time Homebuyers Struggle to Find Affordable Homes to Purchase

4It’s getting harder for first-time homebuyers to purchase homes in the U.S. The supply of affordable homes available to these buyers remains low and is actually worsening, according to the latest data from real estate site Trulia.
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Hiver CEO Predicts Major Tech Trends in Real Estate for 2017

5In an interview with Realtor.com, Niraj Ranjan Rout, cofounder and CEO of Hiver, recently predicted that technology will have a major influence on the real estate industry in 2017. He estimated that virtual reality, big data and home technology will become the biggest real estate trends of 2017.
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Homebuilder Confidence Has Increased, but They’re Not Building New Homes

6A monthly survey of homebuilder confidence for December 2016 found that this figure spiked to its highest level in 11 years. However, a Commerce Department report for the same period found that new home construction declined by 18.7 percent.
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Newly Created S&P 500 Real Estate Sector Continues to Decline

3Since its creation in September 2016, the S&P 500 real estate sector has lagged behind the rest of the market as its worst performing sector.
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Redfin Predicts 2017 Will Be the Fastest Housing Market on Record

4Redfin, a real estate brokerage, has predicted that home price growth will remain constant with homes selling even faster in 2017 than they did in 2016. This will make 2017 the fastest real estate market on record.
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Russian Interest in U.S. Real Estate Increases After Trump Election

4Russian interest in buying luxury properties in the United States increased by 35 percent in 2016 following Donald Trump’s election victory, according to global real estate consultancy, Knight Frank.
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Rising Sea Levels Are Forcing Agents to Rethink How They Sell Coastal Properties

4Real estate agents used to sell coastal properties by focusing on how close the home is to the water’s edge. However, buyers are increasingly asking instead how far away the property is from the waterline. They also want to know how many feet the property is above sea level and if there are emergency and preventive measures to help to secure the property from damage if a storm occurs.

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Real Estate Digest – January 2017

5 Real Estate Trends to Watch for 2017

1As real estate magnate Donald Trump begins his term as president in 2017, there are likely to be some big changes on the horizon for the U.S. housing industry. Over the past year, housing markets across the country saw healthy increases in home values, thanks to low interest rates, lower gas prices, stronger wage growth, and millennials beginning to enter the market.
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Five Signs Your Local Real Estate Market May Be in a Bubble

2Since 2008, when the last housing bubble burst, homebuyers have been worried about getting into the housing market again, especially if they are concerned that their local areas are experiencing housing bubbles.
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Commercial Real Estate Is Facing Some Significant Challenges

3Challenging conditions are ahead for the commercial real estate sector in 2017. According to Moody’s Investors Service, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, the current 60-day delinquency rate on commercial real estate mortgages that have been packaged into securities is 5.6 percent, an increase of 1 full percentage point from the beginning of 2016. The U.S. commercial real estate sector is worth $11 trillion and there is approximately $390 billion in commercial real estate loans.
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What Caused a Recent Spike in Foreclosures?

4Foreclosures were previously falling at a steady pace to low levels not seen in nine years. However, October 2016 marked the first sign of a crack in the housing recovery when foreclosures spiked. The number of properties with a foreclosure filing, including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, increased 27 percent in October 2016 compared with September 2016, according to a new report from Attom Data Solutions.
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Homeownership Recovers From 50-Year Low

5After falling to its lowest level in 50 years, the U.S. homeownership rate began to increase slightly in the third quarter of 2016. At 63.5 percent, it is still much lower than it was at the height of the last housing boom.
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Mortgage Rates See Increase After Presidential Election

6Following the presidential election, the average rate of a 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.94 percent. This higher rate means that the monthly payment on a $250,000 home loan with a 20 percent down payment would be $948, which is an increase of $42 in just a week. At the same time in 2015, a 30-year mortgage was 3.97 percent.
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New Residential Construction Starts Jump 25 Percent

3After months of record-low housing inventory, which has had a major impact on affordability across the country, there may be some good news on the horizon for homebuyers, according to the numbers reported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
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Trump’s Tax Plans Could Affect Real Estate Market

4Trump’s tax-change plans, along with ideas that have already been proposed on Capitol Hill, could have significant effects on many people. His first plan to substantially increase the standard deduction ($30,000 for joint filers and $15,000 for single filers) could make it less attractive for homeowners to file mortgage-interest or property-tax write-offs.
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Useful Information From the 2016 Homebuyer Survey

4The 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers conducted by National Association of REALTORS®(NAR) provided some useful insights into how buyers are searching for homes. The results of the survey revealed that technology is becoming an increasingly important aspect of the home search process for buyers.
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What Today’s Student Debt Means for Tomorrow’s Housing Market

4Americans collectively owe $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. This debt continues to burden college graduates for years, especially when they are trying to buy a home. The more money buyers owe on student loans means the less they have available for a down payment and monthly mortgage remittances.

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