Amazon Gets Into Mortgages

Mar 12, 2018 by

Amazon Gets Into Mortgages.

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PHH Whistle Blower Gets $9 Million

Aug 9, 2017 by

The PHH whistle blower gets $ 9 million for turning in her company.  Not a bad payday yeah?

The post PHH Whistle Blower Gets $ 9 Million appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

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In Like a Lion: Spring Gets Roaring Start With High Values, Low Supply

Mar 26, 2017 by

The spring home-buying season is off to a roaring start, with home values up 7 percent and supply down 3 percent year-over-year, according to Zillow’s Real Estate Market Reports for February. Competition is expected to be fierce as homebuyers chase down few listings, says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.

“Low inventory, strong demand and tough competition will be the defining characteristics of this year’s home shopping season,” Gudell says. “Even though interest rates are rising, buyers are eager to start their home search.”

High values and low supply are especially pronounced in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., where values are up 7.1 percent year-over-year and supply is down 18 percent; Cincinnati, Ohio, where values are up 6.4 percent and supply is down 14.9 percent; and Detroit, Mich., where values are up 10 percent and supply is down 14.4 percent. The median home value in Minneapolis-St. Paul ($ 239,700) is above the national median, $ 195,700, while the median home values in Cincinnati ($ 150,500) and Detroit ($ 137,500) are below it.

The highest home value appreciation occurred in Tampa, Fla., Seattle, Wash., and Dallas-Fort Worth Texas, where values rose more than 11 percent year-over-year—above the national appreciation, 6.9 percent.

“If you’re a prospective buyer about to enter the market, keep in mind that it’s rare to get the first home you make an offer on, and homes in particularly hot markets frequently sell for over asking price,” says Gudell. “Buyers should give themselves enough time to get their finances in order and find a real estate agent they know and trust before jumping into the market.”

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Data Gets Real: How HouseCanary’s Predictive Analytics Can Raise Your Game

Mar 22, 2017 by

Collaboration with Google Boosts Interest in Real Estate Services

As in most industries, data has changed the way real estate professionals do business. From home valuations to local school, business and crime statistics, today’s brokers and agents are armed with a lot of information—consumers have come to expect nothing less.

While the industry has come a long way in the data arena, a new player stands to raise the bar by empowering agents with credible, three-year projections of a home’s value. San Francisco-based HouseCanary is a real estate analytics company using data science to accurately value and forecast over 18,000 U.S. residential markets and 100 million properties. In January, HouseCanary announced $ 33 million in funding from several top-level tech players—including Hillspire and Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt’s family office. Last week, HouseCanary announced its collaboration with Google Cloud Platform Commercial Datasets, adding its home price indices to Google’s service providing premium data to financial institutions.

Big names, big money and big data. The question is, what does HouseCanary mean to the residential real estate professional?

Let’s start with the most important component: the quality of the data. In an industry where accuracy is paramount and valuations have been suspect, data is only as good as its precision. HouseCanary believes it has resolved the inaccurate data dilemma by applying complex algorithms to ingesting, scrubbing, organizing and analyzing data on 100 million U.S. residential properties to create a single source of reliable, accurate insight.

“Other home valuation methods are based largely on historical comparable sales,” explains HouseCanary CEO Jeremy Sicklick. “HouseCanary measures price movements on every residential block in the country, allowing for precise valuations today and three years into the future. Our algorithms combine 40 years of history, 1 billion residential transactions and hundreds of proprietary calculations influencing home values, such as capital markets, jobs, traffic…even views from a property’s backyard.”

Such high-caliber data elevates the real estate professional’s role as information provider and trusted advisor. In markets challenged by low inventory, rising prices and increasing interest rates, the ability to provide prospects and clients with a three-year forecast of a property’s value serves as a clear competitive advantage.

“Giving REALTORS® instant access to accurate house value and the ‘why behind the value’—like market demand, months-of-supply, macroeconomic data, even rental values—allows REALTORS® to become a trusted source of data unattainable elsewhere, and helps them guide sellers to the optimal listing price,” says Sicklick. “We hear all the time that our data allows them to ‘prove their gut’ on property prices and local market trends.”

So, while HouseCanary has established itself with lenders, real estate investors and appraisers, it is also quickly forging new roads for real estate agents, providing them with important tools to compete on the frontlines for listings. Agents can bring their local expertise to HouseCanary reports by adding or removing properties or property details to instantly adjust a home’s comparable value. HouseCanary reports can also be personalized, branded and printed, as well as shared through its mobile-friendly app.

“Our rich reports are accessible instantly, customized with the agent’s name, photo and contact information, sharable and printable as testimony to their expertise,” says Martin Morzynski, HouseCanary’s CMO. “The precision, presented with professional charts and graphs, boosts an agent’s credibility and helps substantiate their local market expertise.”

That said, given the funding and scope of HouseCanary’s business model, not to mention the collaboration with Google Cloud Datasets, it begs the question, what is House Canary’s ultimate end game? Should brokers and agents be worried (yet again) about disintermediation? Sicklick says no.

“Our Google data product is designed for banks and large investors,” he explains. “HouseCanary has launched individual products designed specifically to meet the needs of real estate professionals. This is not about competing for the consumers’ business—it’s about competing for the REALTORS®’ business by giving them an information advantage otherwise only available to institutions. We see Google selecting HouseCanary as a provider of real estate data to banks and Wall Street investors as brand endorsement that further solidifies HouseCanary’s position as the most accurate provider of real of data in the business.”

Want to see more? Sicklick recently spoke at the Google Cloud Next ’17 conference in San Francisco. While his discussion was geared toward HouseCanary’s investor audience, it provides a clear picture of what HouseCanary does and its application for residential real estate professionals. View the presentation below:

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Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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