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Members of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) Board of Directors recently gathered for a meeting in Chicago, sharing their perspectives on the health of both their local and overall housing markets, the network announced. Ninety-two percent of members reported higher prices, some growing by as much as 15 percent, and 77 percent reported sales up between 2 and 20 percent. The 13 members of the Board of Directors each represent one of the top brokerages in their market.

“Our global community of brokerages have a wealth of local knowledge,” says Pam O’Connor, president and CEO of LeadingRE. “While every market is different, overall our members are feeling bullish about this year’s real estate numbers.”

When it comes to the demands of today’s buyers, walkability ranks highly, according to the Board of Directors. The preference for new or updated homes is very strong, as well, particularly among millennials who are not interested in doing significant renovations. Open floor plans and high-end kitchens and bathrooms are also top amenities, along with outdoor kitchens and three-car garages.

“These preferences dovetail with what we see in our recent Consumer Insights survey, indicating that millennial buyers are less likely to prefer an older home,” O’Connor says.

International buyer flow has slowed, but that could change with the 9 percent decline in the value of the dollar this year, since the favorable U.S. exchange rate has made American properties more expensive in recent years for offshore buyers, the Board of Directors also noted.

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