Americans Most Preferred Way to Invest Money: Real Estate

Despite all the political and social upheaval of the last few years, some things in our culture remain consistent. One of the more unwavering rules of thumb: real estate is one of the best ways to invest money and become financially secure. According to a recent survey by bankrate.com, real estate remains the most preferred way to invest the money that won’t be needed for at least a decade. In fact, this is the third year in a row that real estate topped the list. The second preference: no-risk cash investments, followed by stocks. By the numbers: 28 percent ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Prepare for the Homeownership of Generation Z

Millennials — the name given to the generation born between 1982 and 2004 — have been capturing the American imagination as they come of age, especially with their rejection of many things older generations took for granted: shopping malls, food preservatives and fast food, network television, automobiles, the suburbs, and buying homes. It’s become common knowledge that Millennials prefer urban-like locations, public transportation and bikes, healthy food, phone apps, and renting. However, let’s not overlook Generation Z, born (arguably) between 1995 and 2010 (precise definitions vary). They already consist of 21 percent of the American population, or 66.3 million people, and ...

The Suburbs Are Not Dead — Here’s Proof

We’ve all heard the stories and maybe even began to believe the hype: that Millennials are rejecting communities that depend on automobiles; they’re turning their backs on the suburbs that most of them come from. We’re told that they prefer cities, which offer a walkable live/work/play environment. They gravitate to communities offering public transportation (including light rail), bike trails, and life within walking distance. This is an authentic trend; it’s happening. However, rumors of the death of the suburbs are highly exaggerated. In fact, the only thing Millennials seem to be driving is the suburban resurgence. It turns out that Millennials don’t ...

How to Sell to Millennials

In the next few years, the regular drumbeat of “Millennials don’t buy real estate, they rent” will start to fade, and that common thinking will begin to reverse. You’ll want to be there when that happens, but the same old sales pitch and process is not going to cut it with this generation. As of April 2016, the Pew Research Center reported that Millennials are now the largest living generation in the United States, surpassing Baby Boomers. Millennials, numbering around 80 million, are usually described as being born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, and they’re now just ...