New Townhouse Construction Continues to Rise

Forget the split level and the McMansion — townhouse construction starts continue to post gains in 2018, according to an analysis by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the most recent Census data. Over the last four quarters (ending with the first quarter of 2018), townhouse starts totaled 105,000. That’s seven percent higher than the prior four quarters. Another name for townhomes: single-family attached housing. This housing style comprised 21,000 starts during the first quarter of 2018, which was actually a slight decline from the starts of a year before: 22,000. The current market share of new townhouses: 12.3 percent ...

Home Buying Traffic Continues to Stampede

“Strong” is the word for recent buyer traffic, according to the January 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey. This report measured buyer traffic conditions from November 2017 to January 2018. Compared to conditions exactly one year ago, Realtors® responded that conditions ran from “stable” (unchanged) to “very strong.” The states with the strongest buyer traffic: Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. Even the states hit by hurricanes — Texas and Florida — reported “strong” buying activity compared to a year ago. Two states reported weaker traffic than a year ago: Alaska and West Virginia. This may be related to the decrease in oil prices ...

Use Virtual Reality to Your Clients’ Advantage

Many real estate agents may feel intimidated or threatened by the advent of virtual reality (VR), but this awesome new technology can be used as a very effective (and dazzling) tool to help and sell to clients. VR may look like a game, but it’s a very serious marketing strategy. VR is a technology that allows clients to see a property through headphones and specialized goggles. Some VR can also be seen through phone apps, laptops and other devices. VR allows the ability to show a client a property — even in other cities and states — without having to physically be ...

Millennials are Skipping Starter Homes

For the last decade or so, the conventional wisdom on Millennials has been that they prefer to rent and, because of the Great Recession, they are living longer in their parents’ homes. However, those standbys are becoming old news as Millennials begin buying homes and start careers and families. In fact, Millennials are now a large part of the homebuying demographic. The catch, however, is that once again they are bucking tradition; they’re passing on the traditional starter (entry-level) home and going instead for larger, more expensive houses. The reason for this trend: older Millennials who are in their mid-30s have simultaneously saved ...

Sure Signs That Your Neighborhood is About to Gentrify

The good-vs.-evil debate about gentrification continues to rage, but the juggernaut shows no signs of letting up. It’s the name given to the process in which old, deteriorating neighborhoods are revitalized by younger and higher-income residents. Although gentrification can surely improve the quality of a neighborhood, it can also cause a crisis for those long-time residents who can suddenly no longer afford to live there (often called community displacement). This process often contributes to an imbalance of racial/ethnic makeup; the general perception of people leading the gentrifying include white professionals and Millennial “hipsters.” Landlords and real estate investors take advantage of this ...

Use Video to Build Your Brand and Market Your Properties

Video is consistently proving to be a useful tool for website engagement; in other “words,” for clients to spend more of their valuable time on your site. We’ve all heard the expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” According to V. Michael Santoro and John S. Rizzo, co-founders of InVidz, LLC and developers of Vaetas, an online video marketing syndication network, adding a video means you could keep customers engaged for a full two minutes. That may not sound like a very long time, but two minutes is gold when it comes to appealing to potential clients’ deteriorating ...

Study: The Housing Affordability Gap for Minorities

In the course of your work, you may be noticing a growing gap between the haves and have-nots. Housing affordability is becoming a growing and increasingly obvious problem. According to a recent study by Redfin, home prices across the country’s largest cities have increased by 26 percent since the Great Recession rock-bottomed in 2012. Since that time, the median household income rose 1.6 percent, but housing affordability for the middle class is diminishing. Redfin uses this example: In 2012, a family earning the area median income could afford 44 percent of the homes for sale. By 2016, the share of ...

How the Housing Inventory Shortage Will Affect Real Estate

If you’re working with sellers in 2018, you may be in luck. The home inventory across the country is in short supply, and may remain that way through much of the year. It’s a sellers’ market. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), home prices have been on the rise for 69 consecutive months, but available homes for sale were down 9.7 percent from a year ago. It’s the ole supply and demand rule: a shortage of inventory will drive prices up. The only problem with that is first-time homebuyers may be priced out of the market. The situation started with ...

Still Hot: The House Flipping Market

Even with the current short inventory for available homes for sale, house flipping continues to be a lucrative incentive for profits. One of the keys to flipping success is the balance of supply and demand — the market your client chooses has to have a healthy dose of both. Of course, the current lack of inventory affects the rule. According to Money, the average flipped house is getting smaller — only 1,422 square feet, on average. Even so, RealtyTrac reports that, in 2016, gross profits for flipped houses was almost $63,000, with a 49.2 percent gross return on investment. The nation’s ...

The Luxury Real Estate Market for 2018

For the luxury market, 2018 will be a year of adjustments, according to the luxury-watch website Mansion Global. The rewriting of the United States tax code is one of the major reasons for the changes. The American tax code has experienced its biggest overhaul in decades, particularly affecting foreign investors and second-home buyers in the luxury market. Congress is imposing limits on tax deductions for property taxes and interest on mortgages. The new tax law limits your deduction for state and local income and property taxes to a sum total of $10,000 ($5,000 if you’re married and file a ...