Why agent rankings are based on production — not business model

Since I was ranked as America’s no. 1 real estate agent on REAL Trends “The Thousand” list, other agents have questioned my ranking. Recently, one agent read a story about how, in 2016, I produced $1.4 billion in new home sales transactions, and commented that I was not a real estate agent, but a “real estate data seller.” He then suggested that I remove myself from the REAL Trends list and “compete against tech companies.” To clarify, I am not “a real estate data seller,” nor have I ever been. I am a real estate agent, and I do what probably every single agent near the top of the REAL Trends list does: I utilize technology to its maximum potential. The difference is, I built my own unique platform, which I use to manage MLS listings for homebuilders. Every single new listing request or change received from a builder client is reviewed by a person before anything is entered in MLS -- as many as 30 times over the life of a listing. My technology-based...

Which cities did the most building in 2017?

According to Trulia’s latest study, homebuilders have been quite busy — especially those in San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Nashville and Philadelphia, where they surpassed their historical permit averages by at least 62 percent. San Francisco rose to the top by approving 94.6 percent (6,270) more homes in 2017 than its average between 1980 and 2016. “Generally, San Francisco doesn’t build that much,” Young said in a phone interview with Inman. “So while that news is really good for San Francisco in general, I think it should be moderated by the fact that we don’t really do that many permits. But, it will relieve some of the inventory issues here.” Six of the 10 cities that beat out their historical average in 2017 did so by focusing more than half of their building resources on high-density units. When it comes to sheer homebuilding volume, Dallas (47,244), Houston (42,673), New York City (40,687), Phoenix (29,653) and Austin (25,803) led the pack with at least 25,000 permits in 2017. On the other hand, Worcester, Massachusetts (347), Allentown, Pennsylvania (408) and New Haven, Connecticut (467) fell woefully behind. In areas such as Dallas and Houston, where builders are popping out new homes like hot cakes, Young says homebuyers and experts shouldn’t worry about overbuilding anytime soon. “It’s going to take a lot more for prices to really go down,” she said. “While we do see a little bit of relief coming up in 2018, we don’t see prices dropping enough to say [homes] have become really ‘affordable.’ ” “It’s still going to be a tight housing market, but there’s a little bit of a silver lining for people looking for a home.”

Blockchain startup Propify aims to take on Zillow and Realtor.com

The Australian company is using the tech behind bitcoin for its 'No-Portal' system, which aspires to include property listings, home appraisals, and agent reviews A small startup hopes to take on real estate portal giants such as Zillow and Realtor.com using the same tech behind cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and ethereum--though it has a long way to go. Propify, an Australian company that launched in January 2017, aims to use blockchain technology to create an online repository of property listings, home appraisal data, and client reviews of real estate agents. Right now, the company offers listings in California, Arizona and Australia, but plans to expand across the U.S. Blockchain basically refers to a ledger system distributed across participants' computers, and is how most cryptocurrencies keep track of transactions and ownership. In Propify's case, the company hopes to use a modified version of the ethereum blockchain it calls QUALIS to permanently to provide a more accurate record of everything having to do with real estate sales, CEO Joel Leslie told Inman. It works like this: home owners and buyers, Realtors, brokers and re...

Experts on Housing Less Optimistic as a Result of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is affecting the housing outlook, according to new research. Approximately two-fifths (41 percent) of experts in Zillow’s 2018 Q1 Home Price Expectations Survey have a less optimistic outlook as a result of the reform; 31 percent, however, are more positive. “By expanding the standard deduction, tax reform will put more money into the typical American’s pocket in 2018, which will boost spending and could help renters save faster for a down payment,” Terrazas says. There is some concern that tax cuts at this point in the business cycle may be throwing fuel on an already ranging fire and could lead the economy to overheat. Most economists we surveyed see a stronger outlook for the housing market over the next year or two, but a more pessimistic outlook on the longer horizon.” The experts are forecasting higher home values in the short term. “The experts project that the value of homes in the bottom third of the market will appreciate at 6 percent this year—double the rate expected for the highest-priced tertile.” According to Loebs, come spring, competition will be the norm. For more information, please visit www.zillow.com. Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

Homeowners spend $2,000 a year on maintenance, study finds

Personal finance site Bankrate.com recently crunched some numbers and found that homeowners, on average, spend $2,000 per year on home maintenance, which includes landscaping, housekeeping and plumbing services. Furthermore, 63 percent of homeowners use at least one recurring home maintenance provider, and another 35 percent use at least two. Homeowners tend to spend the most on housekeeping ($285 per month), followed by homeowners association (HOA) dues ($210 per month) and landscaping ($144 per month). The next most popular services were home security systems ($130), pool care ($123), snow removal ($84), septic service ($67) and trash and recycling collection ($55). “If you don’t have a fully funded emergency fund comprising three to six months’ worth of expenses in a high-yield savings account, strongly consider suspending as many as these services as possible until you do,” read the report. “Dropping almost $300 a month on housekeeping while lacking $1,000 in the bank is simply too risky. Another study by Zillow estimates annual “hidden” homeownership expenses are actually closer to $9,000, which breaks down to $757 per month. Those expenses include avoidable (professional home services) and unavoidable (property taxes and utility bills) costs. The Zillow study suggests agents help buyers make better short-term and long-term housing decisions by factoring in both cost categories when deciding whether or not they can afford a home. Agents should steer their clients toward homes they can comfortably pay for even if those homes have a smaller yard, less square footage or are missing some of those “wow” amenities.

Why Your Mortgage Is Getting More Expensive

Mortgage rates have increased for five consecutive weeks, according to Bankrate data, bringing interest on a 30-year fixed rate loan to 4.44 percent—the highest level in 11 months—while home prices continue to rise due to a lack of available homes. Inflation and wage growth recently found a groove, while the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise short-term interest rates multiple times for a consecutive year has reduced the value of government debt. (Bond prices and yields are inversely related.) Homebuyers Should Get off the Fence Mortgage rates are moved by the yield on 10-year Treasuries, rather than short-term rate hikes by the Fed. That’s why mortgage rates fell throughout 2017, for instance, even as the central bank raised the federal funds rate three times. Immediately after the 2016 election, investors sold government debt en masse, causing the 10-year yield to rise from 1.88 percent on November 8 to 2.60 percent five weeks later. That dramatic rise was predicated on investors thinking a newly Republican-controlled Washington would bring about faster economic growth through infrastructure spending and tax cuts. By the first week of September, the 10-year yield was 2.05 percent. Prices have been rising below the Fed’s 2 percent target, according to the central bank’s preferred prices gauge, for years now. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported in January that China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, may reduce or cease U.S. debt purchases, causing market jitters.

January existing-home sales drop 3.2%, the largest decline since 2014

This month’s sales pace is 4.8 percent below January 2017 and is the largest annual decline since August 2014 (5.5 percent) and the slowest pace since September 2017 (5.37 million) Low inventory is holding the market back once again The median existing-home price for all housing types rose 5.8 percent to $240,500, making January the 71st month in a row to see year-over-year gains. “Another month of solid price gains underlines this ongoing trend of strong demand and weak supply,” finished Yun. “Strong demand generated by several years of economic growth continues to drive prices higher, and if inventory remains sluggish to come onto the market, we could see price growth accelerate,” he said in an emailed statement. Here’s the regional breakdown, straight from NAR: “January existing-home sales in the Northeast declined 1.4 percent to an annual rate of 730,000, and are now 7.6 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $269,100, which is 6.8 percent above January 2017. In the Midwest, existing-home sales dipped 6.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.25 million in January, and are now 3.8 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $188,000, up 8.7 percent from a year ago. Existing-home sales in the South decreased 1.3 percent to an annual rate of 2.26 million in January, and are 1.7 percent lower than a year ago. The median price in the South was $208,200, up 4.3 percent from a year ago. Existing-home sales in the West fell 5.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.14 million in January, and are now 9.5 percent below a year ago.

Lack of Homes on the Market Takes a Toll on First-Time Buyers

That's down from 32% in December and 33% in January 2017. "They're looking for homes on the more affordable end of the market, but that is where the lack of homes is most severe." The shortage will continue.” Across the country, there were 15.5% fewer existing homes in January selling for $250,000 or less compared with a year ago. But that's down 4.6% from January 2017. The median existing home price was $240,500 in January. That was a 2.4% drop from December but represented a 5.8% jump from January of the previous year. In January, the South had the most existing home sales, at about 2.26 million. However, that was still down 1.3% from December and was a 1.7% drop from January 2017. The Midwest had the second most home sales, at 1.25 million, in January. That was down 6% from December and 3.8% lower than the same month last year.

4 tips for getting your sphere of influence to invest

If you have been in real estate for even a short while, you have probably heard that one of the quickest ways to get listings or find buyers is to work your SOI (sphere of influence). To make sure we are on the same page here, let's define SOI as any person who knows your name, has spoken with you before and definitely those people you've helped buy or sell a house previously (past clients). It doesn't take a Nobel Prize-winning mathematician to figure out that people generally don't buy and/or sell homes very often. At best, you are looking at a move every five to 10 years. The fact that people don't move very often means your SOI is limited in potential. You can't force people to move more often. Therefore, the amount of money you can make from your SOI by helping people buy or sell a personal home is limited, but that doesn't mean you can't leverage another aspect of real estate to increase the potential of your SOI. Enter: real estate investing, specifically single-fami...

80% of Renters Believe Homeownership is a Part of Their American Dream

According to the latest Aspiring Home Buyers Profile by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 82% of surveyed renters desire to own a home in the future, with 80% believing homeownership is a big part of achieving their American Dream. The profile went on to state that 50% of millennials believe that their rent will increase, with 20% believing that an increase in rent will be the catalyst that pushes them to consider buying a home vs. renewing their lease. So, what is holding renters back? What would make renters take the plunge? That is why it is critical for much of the country to start seeing a significant hike in new and existing housing supply. Otherwise, many would-be first-time buyers will be forced to continue renting and not reach their dream of being a homeowner.” Bottom Line If you are one of the many homeowners whose houses no longer fit their needs and are looking to move up to your dream home, now is a great time to list your starter home! First-time buyers are out in force looking to achieve their American Dream. 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.

TRENDING

VLog Episode 3

https://youtu.be/5TEZz8YR-LA Hey guys, Ryan DeMent from TruVest hope you're having a great day. Third installment of the...