Business Outlook Archive
I’m always amazed by how many real estate companies know they have personnel issues yet don’t address them. More often than not, the feedback I hear from brokers revolves around the same three things:
Pending home sales increased in March and are well above a year ago, another signal the housing market is recovering, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 4.1 percent to 101.4 in March from an upwardly revised 97.4 in February and is 12.8 percent above March 2011 when it was 89.9. The data reflects contracts but not closings.
The index is now at the highest level since April 2010 when it reached 111.3.
(MCT)—During the housing boom, a borrower’s ability to exhale appeared to be the chief criterion for obtaining a mortgage. Six years of record foreclosures later, with millions of borrowers owing more than their properties are worth, the housing market continues to tread water.
(MCT)—House hunters frustrated with the market’s supply of homes have shifted their search from the streets to underground.
More buyers are targeting homes that haven’t yet hit the market, a trend agents say will grow as inventory shrinks and the mismatch of what’s available and what’s desired continues.
Such back-pocket deals used to involve mostly luxury homes where buyers and sellers wanted to keep the sale hush-hush. But lower-priced houses are becoming a bigger part of the mix because even those are in short supply.
The housing industry is staging a recovery with increasing sales and stabilizing prices, according to a national survey of RE/MAX agents. Four out of five agents believe U.S. home prices won’t decline further. In fact, nearly 70 percent predict prices will go up,
HomeFinder.com, an online real estate search site and provider of digital marketing solutions for real estate agents, has announced its strategic partnership with MLSListings, Inc. The direct syndication of MLSListings Inc., to HomeFinder.com advances the search
Sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 7.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 328,000 units in March from an upwardly revised, robust pace of 353,000 units in February, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Commerce Department.
(MCT)—The short sale process could get a lot quicker starting this summer under new rules that will require lenders to respond to offers within a month.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation’s two largest mortgage backers, will implement the guidelines on June 15. The changes require mortgage servicers to make a decision within 30 days of receiving a short sale offer. They also must consider requests for pre-approved short sales within that same timeframe.
If the lender needs more than 30 days, it must give borrowers weekly status updates and a decision within 60 days of the initial application.
REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT—Sales of single-family homes and condominiums in Massachusetts rose by double-digit percentages in March—marking the strongest first quarter since 2007, according to a new report by The Warren Group.
If you ask the average person how they feel they can give you an answer but not too many can tell you how they got there. Some people believe that they feel a certain way because of whatever the weather happens to be outside or because they “woke up on the wrong side of the bed.”
When you consider that so much of what we do or don’t do comes from these feelings, also known as emotions, that is a dangerous reality for most sales people. The reality that you don’t know how to better manage something that can have such a profound effect on what you accomplish and how productive you are for a given day.
Data through February 2012, released recently by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, showed annual declines of 3.6 percent and 3.5 percent for the 10- and 20-City Composites, respectively.
There has been a flurry of media stories regarding the latest housing data that suggest the recent momentum in the housing market has stalled and the industry is heading toward another downturn.
Although the latest monthly housing data showed modest declines, the less volatile quarterly data have continued to show modest improvement. Consequently, there is plenty of evidence for retaining a cautious optimism for a gradual recovery. While the February new-home sales rate dipped a nominal 1.6 percent, sales are still running 11.4 percent above their year-ago level and at the rate expected for the slow recovery. Meanwhile, the inventory for new-homes for sale remains at an all-time record low.
“The key to excellent customer service is making each client a high priority. This transaction is not like buying a car and trading it in a few years later,” says Cathy Freeman of Rod Aluisi Real Estate. Read on as RISMedia’s Lesley Geary interviews Freeman
Existing-home sales were down in March but continue to outpace year-ago levels, while inventory tightened and home prices are showing further signs of stabilizing, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 2.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million in March from an upwardly revised 4.60 million in February, but are 5.2 percent above the 4.26 million-unit pace in March 2011.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the recovery is in the process of settling into a higher level of home sales. "The recovery is happening though not at a breakout pace, but we have seen nine consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases," he says.
Just a cursory glance at your television is evidence: the demographic of the U.S. population has changed dramatically in the past decade. America’s population is more diverse than ever before, and savvy real estate agents should prepare now to serve a multicultural base of clients.
Multicultural buyers have been important to the health of today’s housing market. Over the next decade, as more baby boomers put their homes on the market, and population shifts continue across the U.S., the role of multicultural buyers will become even more significant. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Asian and Hispanic populations each increased 43 percent since the last U.S. Census.