Four Ways Millennials Are Changing the Real Estate Industry

Oct 23, 2016 by

Millennials have grown to represent 32 percent of homebuyers, which is the largest portion of the home-buying market. According to millennial Austin Hale, product manager for real estate investment software company Realeflow, “Millennials present an entirely new dynamic in the real estate market. [They’re] much more likely to rent, to congregate in urban areas, and to be cautious when taking on debt.”

The purchasing and lifestyle habits of millennials shape the economy and affect everything from the energy market to how TV is made. Real estate professionals need to understand the effect millennials have on the real estate market, so here are four things to know about millennial homebuyers.

  1. Millennials Prefer to Rent

The millennial generation favors renting over buying property for a number of reasons. They wait to commit to homes; desire to live in trendier, more expensive areas; or want the freedom to pick up and go with relative ease. A survey found that 10 percent of millennials don’t feel ready to manage a property and prefer having a landlord to take care of maintenance issues.

Effects on the Real Estate Industry: Millennials may start investing in home equity as they get older, but rising debt and delayed life events make it more difficult for them to settle down and invest in property. As a result, millennials look to lower barriers to entry into real estate, including buying rental units and condos they can rent out if they move away.

  1. Millennials Search for Themselves

Millennials are tech-savvy and more likely to look for housing online than through an agent—50 percent of millennials found homes using the internet compared with 31 percent who found homes using an agent. Almost all millennials still use a real estate agent or broker to purchase a home, but they prioritize those with websites that include photos, interactive maps, and detailed home information.

Effects on the Real Estate Industry: Real estate professionals need to have websites that include many high-quality photos—as exemplified by successful home-searching sites such as Hubzu and Trulia. Real estate companies with weak online presences are less likely to be successful with the millennial generation. It’s also valuable to have a strong presence on social media that shows you’re engaged and able to speak their language.

  1. Millennials Seek Out Small, Efficient Spaces

Many millennials like the ideals of minimalist living—fewer possessions and smaller spaces—because it provides them with the flexibility and financial stability they crave. Similarly, they also value energy-efficient appliances to help keep their bills and carbon footprints low. Millennials are comfortable in small spaces because they see their living quarters as a home base, not necessarily where they want to spend all their time.

Effects on the Real Estate Industry: Real estate agents must be familiar with smaller floor plans and understand the benefits of limited living spaces. The more multi-functional and environmentally friendly a space is, the more likely it is to appeal to millennials. The industry will need to keep increasing its green home and energy-efficient property offerings.

  1. Millennials Don’t Shop Around for Real Estate Agents

Working with real estate agents is a new venture for many millennials, 23 percent of whom are unaware that they can negotiate a real estate agent’s commission and fees. Nearly half of millennials find their real estate agent through a friend, neighbor, or relative, and 72 percent of millennial sellers only contact one agent.

Effects on the Real Estate Industry: Millennials cite honesty, trustworthiness, and reputation as the three most important qualities in a professional real estate agent. As 68 percent of millennials who use a real estate agent interview only one agent, they are often willing to stick with an agent they trust, even if there are cheaper options out there. That means agents must work hard to ensure solid referrals from clients.

Millennials have just begun to shape the housing market. As their incomes increase with age and they start wanting to settle down, they’ll continue to effect change. If the real estate industry can understand their needs and innovate where necessary, it may be able to convince millennials to give up renting and move into the comfort of their own home.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends.


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A Long Wait for Home: Affordable Housing Assistance Lacking for Low-Income Families

Oct 22, 2016 by

Low-income families already vulnerable due to strained finances have had to contend with lengthy waiting periods and closed waiting lists for affordable housing, a recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) reveals.

Importantly, affordable housing applicants are being shut out of the Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) program, according to the report, entitled Housing Spotlight: A Long Wait for a Home. Fifty-three percent of HCV waiting lists were found to be closed to new applicants, and 4 percent were found to be available only to certain types of applicants.

“Most of the poor families that are unable to obtain affordable homes spend more than half of their limited incomes on housing,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of NLIHC, in a statement on the report. “They face impossible choices between paying the rent or paying for food, medicine, transportation, or child care.”

According to the report, 65 percent of the HCV waiting lists closed to new applicants were closed for at least a year, with those on the waiting list having to wait a median of at least 1.5 years for assistance. One-quarter had to wait at least three years.

The amount of households on HCV waiting lists, on average, is 2,013, the report found.

“Congress can make more housing affordable to the lowest income people by significantly increasing investments in deeply targeted and highly effective tools like Housing Choice Vouchers, Public Housing and the national Housing Trust Fund,” Yentel said.

Bills on the docket, according to the NLIHC, include the Pathways out of Poverty Act (H.R. 2721), the Ending Homelessness Act of 2016 (H.R. 4888) and the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 3237).

“Home is the foundation for success in every aspect of our lives,” said Yentel. “Investing in homes is an investment in education, healthcare and economic mobility. As a nation, we understand the housing affordability crisis we face, we have the solutions, and we know how these solutions benefit families, communities and the economy. We lack only the political will to rebalance housing policy and target resources towards those with the greatest need. When we achieve that, we will end the long wait for a home for the nation’s lowest income families.”

To view Housing Spotlight: A Long Wait for a Home in full, click here.

Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)


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What Is A Loan Originator?

Oct 22, 2016 by

(3 minute read) Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg   And what exactly do they do? A Loan Originator or Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) is the front door to the mortgage getting process. An MLO has two jobs; the first is to persuade you that their lending prowess is your best borrowing option. The second is to […]
Mark Greene – Mark Greene

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September Sales Strong as First-Time Homebuyers Hit Stride

Oct 21, 2016 by

First-time homebuyers propelled existing-home sales in September, attaining a 34 percent share of sales for the first time in four years, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports. All major regions saw an increase in closings last month, and distressed sales fell to a new low of 4 percent of the market.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, hiked 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million in September, from a downwardly revised 5.30 million in August. After last month’s gain, sales are at their highest pace since June (5.57 million) and are 0.6 percent above a year ago (5.44 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the two-month slump in existing sales reversed course convincingly in September. “The home search over the past several months for a lot of prospective buyers, and especially for first-time buyers, took longer than usual because of the competition for the minimal amount of homes for sale,” he says. “Most families and move-up buyers look to close before the new school year starts. Their diminishing presence from the market towards the end of summer created more opportunities for aspiring first-time homeowners to buy last month.”

“A boom in first-time buyers drove September’s rebound from lower activity in July and August, and now sales of existing homes are back to last spring’s swift pace,” says® Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. “First-time buyers made up 34 percent of sales in September—the highest share in more than four years.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $ 234,200, up 5.6 percent from September 2015 ($ 221,700). September’s price increase marks the 55th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of September rose 1.5 percent to 2.04 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 6.8 percent lower than a year ago (2.19 million) and has now fallen year-over-year for 16 straight months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.5-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.6 months in August.

“Inventory has been extremely tight all year and is unlikely to improve now that the seasonal decline in listings is about to kick in,” adds Yun. “Unfortunately, there won’t be much relief from new home construction, which continues to be grossly inadequate in relation to demand.”

“Though the supply of homes for sale remains pretty limited, buyers now face less competition in the traditionally slower fall market, which means that more first-time buyers are finally landing homes,” Smoke says. “So listen up house hunters: If you are looking to buy your first home and you are in a position to buy now, this is the best time of the year to do so.”

Matching the highest share since July 2012, first-time buyers were 34 percent of sales in September, which is up from 31 percent in August and 29 percent a year ago. First-time buyers represented 30 percent of sales in all of 2015.

“There’s hope the leap in sales to first-time buyers can stick through the rest of the year and into next spring,” explains Yun. “The market fundamentals—primarily consistent job gains and affordable mortgage rates—are there for the steady rise in first-timers needed to finally reverse the decline in the homeownership rate.”

“This is just the beginning of the return of the first-time buyer,” Smoke adds. “We could see substantial growth in this segment of the market if the economy continues to grow and mortgage rates rise only gradually, potentially driving overall market growth.”

On the topic of first-time buyers, NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Fla., says government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a duty to ensure there’s access to mortgage credit for creditworthy borrowers wanting to buy a home.

“Unfortunately, overly burdensome fees at the GSEs are making homeownership difficult for moderate-income buyers. Fannie and Freddie can reduce the cost of borrowing while still protecting taxpayers, and we’re hopeful they’ll take these steps to ensure prospective buyers are able to enter the market,” he says.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage inched up in September for the first time since March, rising to 3.46 percent from 3.44 percent in August. The average commitment rate for all of 2015 was 3.85 percent.

Distressed sales—foreclosures and short sales fell to a new low of 4 percent in September (since NAR began tracking in October 2008), down from 5 percent in August and 7 percent a year ago. Three percent of September sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 15 percent below market value in September (12 percent in August), while short sales were discounted 11 percent (14 percent in August).

Properties typically stayed on the market for 39 days in September, up from 36 days in August but down considerably from a year ago (49 days). Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 118 days in September, while foreclosures sold in 67 days and non-distressed homes took 38 days. Forty-four percent of homes sold in September were on the market for less than a month.

Inventory data from reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in September were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 34 days; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 35 days; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., 38 days; and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., and Salt Lake City, Utah, both at 39 days.

All-cash sales were 21 percent of transactions in September, down from 22 percent in August and 24 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14 percent of homes in September, up from 13 percent both in August and a year ago. Sixty-five percent of investors paid in cash in September.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales
Single-family home sales increased 4.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.86 million in September from 4.67 million in August, and are now 0.6 percent above the 4.83 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $ 235,700 in September, up 5.6 percent from September 2015.

Existing condominium and co-op sales declined 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units in September from 630,000 in August, and are unchanged from a year ago. The median existing condo price was $ 222,100 in September, which is 6.1 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown
September existing-home sales in the Northeast leapt 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 740,000, which is unchanged from a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $ 261,600, which is 2.1 percent above September 2015.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales grew 3.9 percent to an annual rate of 1.32 million in September, and are now 2.3 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $ 184,500, up 5.9 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South in September ticked up 0.9 percent to an annual rate of 2.16 million, but are still 0.9 percent below September 2015. The median price in the South was $ 204,000, up 6.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West jumped 5.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.25 million in September, and are now 1.6 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the West was $ 345,400, up 8.1 percent from September 2015.

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How to Feel Bad for Wells CEO

Oct 21, 2016 by

You’ve all heard that the Wells Fargo CEO has stepped down.  Do you feel bad for the guy?

The post How to Feel Bad for Wells CEO appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

National Real Estate Post

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Three Steps to Find More Listings This Fall

Oct 20, 2016 by

You may be busy preparing your home, family or even wardrobe for fall, but don’t forget that you should be preparing your business, as well. As the market slows down during the fall and winter months, it may be more difficult to generate new listings. Because of this, now is an opportune time to look for FSBO and expired listings to work with.

Statistics show that nearly 92 percent of sellers who try to market a home on their own fail and many expired listings eventually go back on the market, which presents a lot of opportunity for you to find new listings. It’s up to you to show the value you offer in a selling situation. Here are three steps to help you prepare to meet with this kind of seller.

Plan Your Approach
When a listing expires, it’s often because the property wasn’t marketed or priced properly. This is an optimal opportunity to show sellers how you’re different (and better) than their previous agent. Create a marketing plan and present it to the seller, showing them how you would market their home. Include points about establishing a strong web presence, your use of social media, sample advertising ideas, etc. Your marketing plan should show how you can connect with potential buyers and create opportunities to sell.

Similarly, the No. 1 reason someone chooses the FSBO route rather than hiring an agent is because they don’t want to pay commission fees. However, these sellers rarely understand the time and effort agents put into a transaction. Sure, those FSBOs may be saying they don’t want an agent now, but that mindset may change once they start to see how much work it takes to sell their home. Just like sellers with expired listings, approach FSBOs with a marketing plan that shows how much work you’ll put into selling their home.

Develop a Script
Before making contact with the seller of a FSBO or expired listing, prepare exactly what you’re going to say. Remember, rather than focusing on the logical reasons these people want to sell their properties, try to find the emotional reasons, and use that information to turn them into a client.

For example, if you’re working with an expired listing, plan to ask the sellers about their previous experience. If they worked with an agent, ask questions about what that person did to try to sell their home: did they take high quality photos of the interior and exterior, use social media to promote the listing, advertise appropriately and recommend staging options? If it’s a FSBO property, ask the sellers why they didn’t work with an agent the first time: was it a financial issue, did that have a bad experience previously or are there any other factors influencing their decision?

Contact the Sellers
When you’re prepared, it’s time to contact your prospective clients and let them know you’re here to help. Start by sending the sellers an email highlighting your qualifications. For FSBO properties, explain how you can take away the stress of home-selling, sell their home more quickly, and likely get a better price than they could on their own.

When you’re able to speak with these sellers in person or over the phone, put your script into play. Build trust and discover why they’re looking to sell, then go for what Chris Smith, author of The Conversion Code, calls the “trial close” with a “here’s what happens next” question to keep the process moving forward. For example, you could ask “Does Wednesday or Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. work better for my photographer to come by and start taking pictures for marketing materials?” This will help the seller understand what you are going to be doing for them and make them feel more secure in the final steps of the process to list their home.

If sellers aren’t prepared for the trial close or insist that they want to work alone, wish them the best and give them some advice that could help. As time goes on, if they aren’t able to sell, they’re likely to remember you as someone who offered encouragement and call you for help.

If you’re looking for ways to connect with transaction-ready sellers in your local market, check out Local Connect. Local Connect positions you in front of active sellers in your target markets with branding that showcases your photo or logo, phone number and endorsements. Call us at 888-651-8956 or send an email to to learn more!

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