Posts Tagged as real estate market

Prominent Economists Tip the Hand of the 2016 Housing Market

Economists Tips The Hand
Economists Tips The Hand

Everyone seems to have an opinion on what 2016 will bring for the real estate industry. However many are putting their money on the real estate trends forecasted by the six prominent economists in a recent Housing News Report. What are these monetary moguls betting on?

  • Moderate home price growth and sales.
    The economists interviewed were cautiously optimistic about home prices and sales overall. This is due to rental and homeowner vacancy rates that continue to decline, pushing up housing prices (and rents), particularly in affordably priced homes. The edging up of interest rates from historical lows by the Fed is also expected to spur fence-sitters into action.

    • Who’s buying?
      • Older millennials age 25 to 34 have the potential to claim one-third of sales
    • Who’s supplying?
      • Gen X’rs, whose income and families are movin’ on up.
      • Older boomers looking to downsize and/or retire.
      • New home construction, now geared toward single-family, affordable housing.
  • Rising rental rates.
    Rents will continue to rise more rapidly than home prices. While this will reinforce the desire to buy, the burden of high rental rates will prevent many from saving toward a down payment, evidenced by the lowest home ownership rate in almost 50 years. Though many markets are ready and waiting for buyers, demand has yet to be seen. The market for first time buyers is especially tight, due to higher credit standards and a lack of affordably priced options
  • Low inventory.
    The developing affordable housing shortage is expected to be among the most influential real estate trends in 2016. New construction remains far below demands and the existing stock of homes is drying up, quickly being consumed by newly formed households and second home buyers.

What’s in the cards for you when it comes to real estate trends? Make the most of your hand with the help of Properties Online today.

REO’s Rise in April and More Upswing Is on the Way

REO's On The Rise
REO’s On The Rise

Lender owned real estate sales are expected to rise this year, with the April 2015 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report showing a rise of 9 percent from a year ago, an 18 month high.

The driving force?
A jump in bank repossessions (REOs). Lender owned real estate sales in April showed an increase of 25 percent from the previous month alone, a 50 percent rise from the last year, a 27 month high.

I thought the crisis was over – is this a new peak?
Not so much. The spike in lender owned real estate sales is still 56 percent below the September 2013 REO peak. Overall, foreclosure starts are decreasing, with filings nationwide consistently below pre-crisis levels. The REOs are simply a continuation of the clean-up phase of the crisis.

Exceptions to the rule…
Florida still has the highest state foreclosure rate – one in every 425 houses – nearly 2.5 times the national average. Foreclosure filings in Nevada, Maryland, and New Jersey are also on the rise.

Uh-oh. What will this do to my sales?
Though distressed sales typically have a stifling effect on the housing market, in this market the distressed inventory is expected to help stimulate sales during the spring and summer buying season as new listings become available in the mid to lower ranges of the market. Better, yet, because it is now a seller’s market, inventory should sell quickly and at a price relatively close to market value. Sale prices this year have come in at about 87 percent of estimated market value on average, with listings in some cities at nearly full value. This uptick is viewed by some as part of the natural trend toward equilibrium and a more stable market.

Make the most of lender owned real estate sales this buying season. Boost your sales with the help of Properties Online today!

Summer 2015 – Millennials Projected Take Over the Market

The Market is Changing
The Market is Changing

What’s the latest in today’s real estate trends? Investors are out, millennials are in. And for those aching for a little balance in their real estate sales, the news couldn’t come soon enough.

Cash buyer, where art thou?
Investors, who previously peaked prices and sales thanks to a foreclosure feeding frenzy in which they could buy low and sell high, have walked away from the buffet table, balancing and normalizing the market for more traditional buyers – those mere mortals without thousands in liquid funds and in need of mortgages. This should slow home value growth from the 6 percent seen recently to around 3 percent, snagging negotiating power from the sellers and putting it back into the hands of buyers.

“Like” it?
In upcoming real estate trends, millennials are expected to break away from social media and their iPhones long enough to scope out a place to crash and carry a mortgage on. By the end of 2015, they’ll represent the largest group of homebuyers, rising above Gen X-ers as they starts families and seek out more stability. And don’t expect similar buying patterns. Gen Y wants smaller, more urban centered dwellings versus the larger outskirts homes preferred by X-ers.

Has credit loosened, or will they have to sign in blood?
Turns out credit is indeed loosening, with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae leading the way in easing mortgage eligibility. The pair has even announced a new program offering home loans to buyers with as little as 3 percent down in what is seen as an effort to extend credit to buyers “in a reasonable and safe manner.” Have a prospective millennial buyer with a job and 20 percent down? Go ahead and smack the “That Was Easy” button!

Don’t turn into a marketing zombie. Stay up on the latest in real estate trends, only with Properties Online today!

The Zillow-Trulia Merger & Your Real Estate Business

Last week, Zillow revealed publicly its intent to buy Trulia for $3.5 billion. Obviously this news (and the rumors we’ve been hearing for some time) are hot topics of conversation in the real estate world. The consolidation will allegedly take place whilst still maintaining the distinct identities of both Zillow and Trulia. Only time will tell. But what will a Zillow-Trulia merger mean for your real estate business?

Last week, Zillow revealed publicly its intent to buy Trulia for $3.5 billion. Obviously this news (and the rumors we’ve been hearing for some time) are hot topics of conversation in the real estate world. The consolidation will allegedly take place whilst still maintaining the distinct identities of both Zillow and Trulia. Only time will tell. But what will the Zillow-Trulia merger mean for your real estate business?

On July 28th, Zillow announced via a press release that “it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Trulia, Inc. … in a stock-for-stock transaction. The Boards of Directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in 2015.”

Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow, stated: “Consumers love using Zillow and Trulia to find vital information about homes and connect with the best local real estate professionals. Both companies have been enormously successful in creating compelling consumer brands and deep industry partnerships, but it’s still early days in the world of real estate advertising on mobile and Web. This is a tremendous opportunity to combine our resources and achieve even more impressive innovation that will benefit consumers and the real estate industry.”

Pete Flint, Trulia’s CEO, then commented: “Trulia and Zillow have a shared mission and vision of empowering consumers while helping real estate agents, brokerages and franchisors benefit from technological innovation. By working together, we will be able to create even more value for home buyers, sellers, and renters, as well as create a robust marketing platform that will help our industry partners connect with potential clients and grow their businesses even more efficiently. Our two companies share complementary employee cultures with innovative, consumer-first philosophies and a deep commitment to create the best products and services for our industry partners.”

By the (self-reported) numbers:
• Zillow reported a record 83 million unique users across mobile and Web in June 2014.
• Trulia reported a record 54 million monthly unique users across its sites and mobile apps in June 2014.
• Approximately half of Trulia.com’s monthly visitors do not visit Zillow.com
• Approximately two-thirds of Zillow.com’s monthly visitors across all devices do not use Trulia.com.
• “Maintaining the two distinct consumer brands will allow the combined company to continue to offer differentiated products and user experiences, attract more users and maximize the distribution of free content across multiple platforms, apps and channels.”

The Zillow-Trulia merger might not create the “pricing power” juggernaut that many people fear. We’ve been reading comments by agents and brokers all over the web, and the fact is that many MLS boards and independent agents are starting to pull their listings – they simply don’t want to have to pay to advertise next to their own listings. There are also frequent rumblings about the data and Zestimates on Zillow being inaccurate.

Citron Research cites a deal struck between Realogy and Zillow/Trulia. Realogy—the world’s largest real estate agency, comprising Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s, ERA, Century 21 and Better Homes—secured a lucrative deal for its agents that “prohibits all other agencies from advertising on their listings” at a cost of less than 95% what any other agency pays. What’s more, Realogy is aggressively pursuing their own online offering that will compete head-to-head with Zillow-Trulia in the consumer-focused online real estate space, with a new product expected sometime in 2015.

“We believe that there is a space in there that we can compete in. It will have features like Zillow and Trulia. It will have features that you wouldn’t put on a real estate brokerage website. An example of that would be Zestimate that Zillow uses. There are certain features that we believe we can effectively do and be able to cast a net outcome, a consumer-oriented facing website arena and be able to capture leads, reviewing [scrub then] as I described, and then put them in the hands of our sales associates so we create the business opportunity,” NRT CEO and President Bruce Zipf is quoted as saying on May 9th during a Realogy Investor Day Q&A.

Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO, has been quoted as saying, “It ought to be quite clear to a listing agent or a broker that it behooves their seller to have their listing displayed on Zillow and Trulia or sites that Zillow powers.”

Indeed, Zillow powers some of the internet’s major property search engines, and together with Trulia will indeed have a massive reach. But for how long, with competitors like Realogy making such significant strides, technologically and on behalf of its agents at the bargaining table? And how long before Keller Williams, Remax, Berkshire Hathaway, or other agencies demand and negotiate the same deals Zillow-Trulia have granted Realogy?

Many real estate professionals feel a loss of power in the face of the deal, which cements a growing resentment at having to pay Zillow to advertise their listings. Online forums reveal many of these agents calling for boycotts, while still others agree there isn’t another viable option.

Inman News contributing writer Joseph Rand writes in his Op-ed “Why Zulia doesn’t mean checkmate,” that: “The bottom line is that Zillow needs listings more than listings need Zillow. Which means that Zillow needs the people (brokers and agents) who take those listings more than they need Zillow.” I’d venture that he is bang on with that assessment.

Where does your business fit in? Do you use Zillow to obtain leads? One thing I can say with certainty is that this isn’t over, and we’ll be talking about the Zillow-Trulia merger for some time to come. How do you feel about all of this? I’d love to hear your thoughts from the proverbial trenches.

Selling Homes in Today’s Market Requires Online Approach

I saw a great blog article today from Dave Ramsey’s website that asks, “Are You Using Outdated Methods to Sell Your Home”? You may be familiar with Dave already, as a result of his status and reputation as a financial guru. But he also has some smart stuff to say about real estate outside the financial context, and it turns out it’s the same stuff we’ve been telling you all along. Selling a home in today’s market requires an online approach. It’s as simple—and as complicated—as that.

I saw a great blog article today from Dave Ramsey’s website that asks, “Are You Using Outdated Methods to Sell Your Home”? You may be familiar with Dave already, as a result of his status and reputation as a financial guru. But he also has some smart stuff to say about real estate outside the financial context, and it turns out it’s the same stuff we’ve been telling you all along. Selling a home in today’s market requires an online approach. It’s as simple—and as complicated—as that.

Dave Ramsey’s first tip is to “Go Where the Buyers Are and Give Them What They Want.”

Yes, indeed.

In one of our older posts “How to Establish Yourself as a Real Estate Expert,” we talk about just that same thing. You need to be present where the buyers are. And they are online, in increasingly overwhelming numbers.

Greater than 90% of home buyers are searching for their new houses online, according to NAR. We know what home buyers are looking for. They’re using the Internet as the most significant part of their home search process. It is within your power to give them EXACTLY what they want when they’re there.

What happens when they get to your listing online? Well, quite frankly, they should find a professional and complete single property website showcasing the home and property.

That leads me to another important statistic: 84% of surveyed home buyers told NAR that they consider photos “very useful” to their decision making and willingness to check out a home online. Detailed property info came next in importance at 82%, followed closely by virtual tours at 63%.

Dave Ramsey quotes an agent who says that a seller has just six seconds to make an impression when showing a house. You probably have even less time when presenting your listing on the Internet. Now is not the time to mess around with shoddy photos. Great real estate photos make good first impressions on buyers. And they’re not as hard to achieve as you might think.

And yet more timely advice from Dave: “Part of your agent’s job is to determine the right price for your home so you won’t waste time with a price that’s too high or lose money with one that’s too low. Agents have their own sources of information they use to calculate prices, and those aren’t always available to online pricing websites.”

He’s right, you know. And if you’ve been around long enough, you’ll have seen it come up many times. In fact, you can read 5 Good Reasons to use a Real Estate Agent on our blog, as well as Why Not FSBO?

I love seeing someone with as much influence and integrity as Dave Ramsey weighing in on a subject so close to our hearts, especially when everything he’s said is so sound. It’s good to have someone at the top of his game be on the same page we are at Properties Online. So, thanks Dave and team – you’ve impressed us again!

And if any of you would like to read more of what Dave Ramsey has to say about real estate agents, click HERE.