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5 Ways Blockchain Technology Will Change the Way We Do Business

The growing consensus among business leaders and entrepreneurs: The future of blockchain technology will be about a lot more than Bitcoin. Blockchain tech will impact every major area of business from accounting to operations, and there's evidence the revolution has begun. Here are five ways blockchain technology is disrupting the way we do business, with sometimes sweeping changes. Accounting is the textbook case study for a business field that stands to benefit from blockchain technology. Blockchain tech can more effectively manage all of the above. Advertising and marketing. Information technology and cybersecurity. Management and operations. The system allows professionals to take part in a new economy for photography, secure payment for licensing their work immediately when sold and offer their work on a secure blockchain platform. Blockchain technology is changing how companies do business in other staid industries, too.

FHA significantly expands LIHTC financing program for multifamily properties

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced this week that the Federal Housing Administration is expanding its low-income housing tax credit financing program for multifamily properties. According to HUD, the move is a “significant expansion” of an FHA pilot program that streamlines mortgage insurance applications for affordable housing developments that have equity through the LIHTC program. Back in 2012, the FHA rolled out a LIHTC pilot program that dealt specifically with applications to refinance mortgage debt under FHA's Section 223(f) program. Under the new expansion, FHA will begin to support “new construction and substantial rehabilitation” under its Section 221(d)(4) and Section 220 programs. “Today, we take another important step to stimulate capital investment in affordable housing at a time when we need affordable housing more than ever,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement. “We’re also applying the lessons we’ve learned from our earlier pilot program to streamline our processing for new construction and substantial rehabilitation developments, so we can get these deals done quicker and more efficiently.” According to HUD, the FHA’s expanded pilot program will “ensure faster and more efficient processing for low-risk, LIHTC transactions by eliminating redundant reviews.” Per details provided by HUD, the average processing time for LIHTC deals is currently 90 days. “A shorter application review period allows borrowers to lock in better interest rates sooner, an important capability in a rising interest rate environment,” HUD stated in a release. The move has the potential to have significant impact on the multifamily financing space. According to HUD, FHA multifamily transactions that include LIHTC financing make up approximately 30% of the FHA’s total multifamily volume. And the FHA expects that by including its Section 221(d) and Section 220 programs with the existing LIHTC program, the FHA will “support more production and preservation of critically needed affordable multifamily housing.” For much more on the FHA LIHTC expansion, click here.

These 3 U.S. cities make list of world’s 10 least affordable housing markets

Among the top 10, San Jose ranked No. 6 and San Francisco No. 8. on a list compiled and released this week by urban planning consulting firm Demographia. For the ninth consecutive year, Hong Kong claimed the top spot as the least affordable city in the world. By comparison, the median property price was 9.4 times the median household income in San Jose, 9.2 times in Los Angeles and 8.8 times in San Francisco. But, the U.S. is also home to all of the nine major affordable markets on Demographia’s list. Among the most affordable major housing markets in the world, Pittsburgh and Rochester, New York, were tied for No. 1, followed by Oklahoma City; Buffalo, New York; Cincinnati; Cleveland; St. Louis; Indianapolis and Detroit. Here are the least affordable housing markets in the world: (Cities are listed by median home price as a multiple of median income.) Hong Kong……….20.9 Vancouver…….….12.6 Sydney……….…...11.7 Melbourne…….....9.7 San Jose……...…9.4 Los Angeles……...9.2 Auckland………....9 San Francisco…...8.8 Honolulu………....8.6 London………......8.3 Toronto……...…...8.3

These are the best housing markets for first-time buyers

Purchasing the perfect home can be difficult, especially for those navigating the housing market for the first time. Luckily, a new report by Zillow reveals the country’s top housing markets for first-time buyers, measuring factors like home value, home appreciation, wealth and inventory. “Becoming a homeowner for the first time is easier in some markets than others – and the difference is not strictly about home prices, although they have a big impact on how long it takes to save a down payment,” Zillow writes. “Strong inventory and lower competition for listings also make a difference – as does the market outlook.” The video below highlights the top 5 most affordable rental markets, according to Zillow’s research: 5. Orlando, Florida. In this metro, the median home value is $237,100 and 21.3% of home listings have experienced a price cut. In this metro, the median home value is $217,500 and 15.9% of home listings have experienced a price cut. In this metro, the median home value is $264,900 and 20.9% of home listings have experienced a price cut. In this metro, the median home value is $277,900 and 23.9% of home listings have experienced a price cut. In this metro, the median home value is $213,600 and 24.8% of home listings have experienced a price cut.

Here’s where homeowners are relocating

According to Redfin’s migration analysis, 25% of home searchers looked to relocate to another metro in the fourth quarter of 2018. This percentage is a slight increase from 23% in 2017, and now sits at the highest recorded level in the report's history. The migration report utilized data from Redfin’s website, gathering information from more than 1 million users who searched for homes across 87 metros, from October through December. In fact, Redfin states all of these metros saw their outflows (people moving away from the area) dramatically increase from the previous year, especially in San Francisco. In this metro, 24% of Bay Area Redfin users were searching for homes in another metro, which is an uptick from 19% during the same time period in 2017. However, Denver made the biggest move up 2017’s list, as 24% of Denverites searched for homes outside the metro, climbing from 17% the previous year. Interestingly, although Seattle’s market continues to be one of the most expensive in the nation, its net inflow (the number of people moving into an area) surged in Q4, making it the fifth-most popular migration destination. “In both Seattle and Denver prices were growing rapidly in 2017 and early 2018 to the point that buyers backed off in the second half of 2018,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said. (Click to enlarge) NOTE: Redfin's sample-sized users must have viewed at least 10 listings during the quarter. In order to calculate net inflow and outflow, Redfin took the number of users looking to leave the metro area and subtracted the number of users looking to move to the metro area from another metro area.

Homebuilder confidence stabilizes, hinting at solid spring home buying season

Despite affordability and labor concerns, homebuilder confidence held steady at 62 points in March, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. “Builders report the market is stabilizing following the slowdown at the end of 2018 and they anticipate a solid spring home buying season," NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde said. In March, the index measuring current sales conditions rose from 66 to 68 points, while buyer traffic declined from 48 to 44. Lastly, expectations over the next six months rose from 68 to 71 points. The three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores show the Northeast rose five points from 43 to 48 points, the South also moved forward from 63 to 66, the West inched forward from 67 to 69 points and the Midwest slid one point backwards from 52 to 51 points. "In a healthy sign for the housing market, more builders are saying that lower price points are selling well, and this was reflected in the government's new home sales report released last week," NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. "Increased inventory of affordably priced homes – in markets where government policies support such construction – will enable more entry-level buyers to enter the market." “The skilled worker shortage, lack of buildable lots and stiff zoning restrictions in many major metro markets are among the challenges builders face as they strive to construct homes that can sell at affordable price points,” the report states. NOTE: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder opinions of single-family home sales and expectations, asking for a rating of good, fair or poor. The scores are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index with a rating of 50 or over indicating positive sentiment.

These markets are hotbeds for luxury real estate

A new report by Coldwell Banker reveals where the country’s wealthiest individuals are buying properties, listing the top 5 “power markets” for luxury real estate. Coldwell defines power markets as areas that offer the lifestyle amenities, education, and culture that the uber-rich seek out. Key features of these markets include airport accessibility and a housing stock that lends itself to privacy, exclusivity and stellar views. A recent report by Redfin revealed that luxury home sales – or sales of homes priced above $2 million – fell 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2018, marking the first time in more than two years that sales in this high-end market have fallen on an annual basis. But Charlie Young, Coldwell President and CEO, said that the median sold price has remained around $1.4 million, holding steady for the last 18 months, and that this is a key sign of stability. “When you take the long view, the luxury real estate picture is steady and stable.” Here are Coldwell’s top five power markets for buyers and sellers, which Young called hotbeds of luxury home sales at the million-dollar price point and higher: 2018 Top 5 luxury buyer power markets Maui, Hawaii Palm Beach, Florida Washington, D.C. Kauai, Hawaii Brooklyn, New York 2018 Top 5 luxury seller power markets LA Valley, California Detroit, Michigan Las Vegas, Nevada Boulder, Colorado Raleigh, North Carolina Coldwell’s report also revealed other trends in luxury real estate. High-end real estate in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, had the shortest median days on the market – just three – for single-family homes. For condos, Orlando, Florida, had the lowest median price per square foot at $156. Vail, Colorado, ranked the most expensive for condos with a median price of $1,629 per square foot. Finally, Staten Island, New York, was named the most evolving market, standing out for its notable value compared with the other four boroughs of New York City, as its proximity to Manhattan appeals to buyers.

These are the best housing markets to pay off debt

In 2018, American consumer debt reached a whopping $4 trillion, contributing to tightening affordability concerns in the housing sector. In fact, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, housing affordability sat at a 10-year low in the third quarter of 2018. As the cost of living is often a significant factor in determining where people choose to live, homeowners often seek out more affordable markets. LendingTree recently released a report that highlighted the best U.S. metros for paying off debt. According to the company's data, the top metros had a rent-to-income ratio below 20%, and all but one had a below-average price on goods and services. 1 metro in the country for paying down debt, with a score of 77.2. The company calculated this total by comparing factors related to residents’ abilities to pay down debt in the 50 largest metros across the country. Notably, Milwaukee and Minneapolis followed closely behind with scores of 75.6 and 75.5, respectively. Residents living in Detroit and Los Angeles were also challenged, with scores totaling 40.8 and 42.3, respectively. The image below shows which metros are the best for paying off debt: (Click to enlarge) (Source: LendingTree) NOTE: LendingTree scored cities based on factors including credit rate, household income, unemployment rate, price parity for goods and services and more.

The business stats you must have on instant recall

What statistics did I use every day on the job? These are the numbers you should be carrying around in your head every day on the job. Everyday statistics to carry around in your head These stats serve me well, both on the job and when I’m summing up my career highlights to date: Testing. Things like open rates, click rates, conversion rates, number of segments and average order value. As a B2B marketer, I need to show how many high-quality leads and customers I acquired. Email success is about more than opens and a good marketer knows what persuades people to open and engage. I’m not marketing to everyone. Carry that data into your meetings and update it regularly. DIY metrics Your dashboard should show your organization’s KPIs, such as the percentage of leads converted to purchase, but you also need your own set of metrics that show your email success on your own terms. Know your data and use it to create a compelling story.

Will tax reform harm the housing market?

However, according to two recent expert reports, the devil is in the details. “Households with taxable incomes above $400k are likely to experience a decrease in disposable income, though the effects may be muted for households that are already subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax,” he added. Hyper local analysis tells the tale” And in that report, provided early for the benefit of HousingWire’s readers, analysts at HouseCanary dug through mortgages from 2017 between $750,000 to $1 million, to see how many current households would be impacted by the new tax law. “Home buyers in those markets may need to reassess their spending levels, cut corners, or opt out of the market altogether if the homes they’re reaching to buy become increasingly unaffordable. According to the Torgerson DBRS report, disposable income is most likely to decline in higher income households with incomes above $400k and particularly above taxable incomes of $1 million, where lower tax rates are more than offset by the expected increase in taxable income due to the loss of SALT deductions. “In high SALT areas, DBRS estimates the reduction in disposable income is likely to average 3% for taxable incomes between $400k and $1 million, and could exceed 7% at incomes beyond $20 million. If the deductibility of SALT is already effectively limited due to AMT, the changes will have less of an adverse impact on disposable income for some of these higher income households. Furthermore, many of these same households should benefit financially from corporate tax changes, either as owners of a pass-through business or simply due to gains already reflected in their stock portfolios.” Here’s the summary of the DBRS tax reform analysis: Tax policy changes, even when directly tied to housing costs, affect demand for housing primarily through disposable income channels. A relative increase in the cost of homeownership could have adverse effects on housing prices in some markets. Particularly if combined with higher interest rates as a result of monetary tightening and a wider fiscal deficit, real estate prices could soften in more expensive areas.

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Where are Home Values Headed over the Next Few Years?

There are many questions about where home prices will be next year as well as where they may be headed over the next several years to come. We have gathered the most reliable sources to help answer these questions: The Home Price Expectation Survey – A survey of over 100 market analysts, real estate experts, and economists conducted by Pulsenomics each quarter. Zelman & Associates – The firm leverages unparalleled housing market expertise, extensive surveys of industry executives, and rigorous financial analysis to deliver proprietary research and advice to leading global institutional investors and senior-level company executives. Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) – As the leading advocate for the real estate finance industry, the MBA enables members to successfully deliver fair, sustainable, and responsible real estate financing within ever-changing business environments. Freddie Mac – An organization whose mission is to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing market in all economic conditions extending to all communities from coast to coast. Fannie Mae – A leading source of financing for mortgage lenders, providing access to affordable mortgage financing in all markets always. Here are their projections of prices going forward: Bottom Line Every source sees home prices continuing to appreciate – just at lower percentages as we move through the next several years. Members: Sign in now to set up your Personalized Posts & start sharing today! Not a Member Yet? Click Here to learn more about KCM’s newest feature, Personalized Posts.