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NAR Midyear Forecast: Existing-Home Sales Poised to Climb 3.5 Percent in 2017

Thu, 2017-05-18 15:43

The multi-year stretch of robust job gains along with improving household confidence are expected to guide existing-home sales to a decade high in 2017, but supply and affordability headwinds and modest economic growth are holding back sales and threatening to keep the nation’s low homeownership rate subdued. That’s according to speakers at a residential real estate forum at the 2017 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), presented his 2017 midyear forecast and was joined onstage by Jonathan Spader, senior research associate at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, and Mark Calabria, chief economist and assistant to Vice President Mike Pence. Spader’s presentation addressed past and projected movements in the homeownership rate, and Calabria dove into why reversing weak productivity and the low labor force participation rate are necessary to boost the economy.

The first quarter was the best quarterly existing sales pace in exactly a decade (5.62 million), and Yun expects activity to stay on track and finish around 5.64 million—the best since 2006 (6.47 million) and 3.5 percent above 2016. With several metro areas seeing hefty price growth, the national median existing-home price is expected to rise around 5 percent this year.

“The housing market has exceeded expectations ever since the election, despite depressed inventory and higher mortgage rates,” said Yun. “The combination of the stock market being at record highs, 16 million new jobs created since 2010, pent-up household formation and rising consumer confidence are giving more households the assurance and ability to purchase a home.”

Although sales are currently running at a decade high, Yun believes the healthy labor market should be generating even more activity; however, listings in the lower- and mid-market price range are scant and selling fast, and homebuyers are discovering they can afford less of what’s on the market based on their income.

“We have been under the 50-year average of single-family housing starts for 10 years now,” Yun said. “Limited lots, labor shortages, tight construction lending and higher lumber costs are impeding the building industry’s ability to produce more single-family homes. There’s little doubt first-time buyer participation would improve and the homeownership rate would rise if there was simply more inventory.”

Housing construction has been uneven so far this year, but Yun does anticipate starts to jump 8.4 percent to 1.27 million; however, this is still under the 1.5 million new homes needed to make up for the insufficient building in recent years. New single-family home sales are likely to total 620,000 this year, up 8.4 percent from 2016.

Addressing the nation’s low homeownership rate, Spader said substantial uncertainty exists about its future direction. He cited foreclosure-related housing exits from older adults and delayed buying from younger households as the primary causes in the downward trend since the downturn. He said the good news is that while there was growth in homeowner households in 2016, an aging population, changes in family type and increasing diversity by race and ethnicity all pose as headwinds going forward. Spader’s 2025 projection puts the homeownership rate in a range of 61.0 to 65.1 percent.

“Stagnant household incomes, rising rental costs, student loan debt and limited supply have all contributed to slower purchasing activity,” said Spader. “When the homeownership rate stabilizes, there will be an increase in homeowner households. Young and minority households’ ability to reach the market will play a big role in how much the actual rate can rise in coming years.”

Calabria’s presentation focused on his thoughts of what can be done to jumpstart economic growth. He attributed prolonged weak productivity and the low labor participation rate as the primary reasons why the current economic expansion is the slowest since World War II.

“A strong labor market will drive a strong housing market, but you can’t have a strong housing market without a strong economic foundation,” said Calabria. “The recovery has been uneven with roughly 70 counties making up roughly half of all job growth. The White House’s proposed plans to cut corporate and individual tax cuts will help large and small businesses grow, hire and ultimately contribute to more households buying homes as more money goes into their pockets.”

Although Yun said economic growth in the first quarter was “a huge disappointment” at 0.7 percent (first estimate), he anticipates that an increase in consumer spending and more homebuilding should provide enough fuel for gross domestic product to finish slightly higher, at 2.2 percent, than a year ago (1.6 percent).

Yun believes the rising interest rate environment is here to stay as the Federal Reserve slowly begins unwinding its balance sheet. He foresees two more short-term rate hikes by the end of this year and for mortgage rates to average around 4.30 percent before gradually climbing towards 5.0 percent by the end of 2018.

“There was a lot of uncertainty at the start of the year, but a very strong first quarter sets the stage for a modest sales increase compared to last year,” said Yun. “However, prices are still rising too fast in many areas and are outpacing incomes. That is why housing starts need to rise to alleviate supply shortages. There will be more sales if there’s a meaningful bump in new and existing inventory.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post NAR Midyear Forecast: Existing-Home Sales Poised to Climb 3.5 Percent in 2017 appeared first on RISMedia.

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Nature Lovers: 6 Towns for True Outdoorists

Thu, 2017-05-18 15:40

If you’re a nature lover, then you probably want to live somewhere where Mother Nature is knocking at your door. Of course, there is an allure to the high-rise skylines of big cities and all of the perks that come with them, but for some folks, it’s not the bright lights that entice them, but the endless opportunities that await them in the wild.

Many people have predetermined places where they’ve dreamed of living for their entire life, and then there are people who have absolutely no idea at all. If you find yourself in the latter of the two categories, then consider this list. Allow your imagination to run wild and really try to envision living in some of these spectacular outdoor-centric towns from all around the nation. These places are known to quench the insatiable thirst of all outdoorists who, above all else, crave proximity to Mother Nature, adventure and the peace that comes with living wild and free.

Move On Up in Billings, Mont.
Tell your kids to pick their new passion. It can be rock climbing, mountain biking or anything in between, because in Billings, Mont., you’ll have access to all of it. If you love steep inclines and summit vistas that stretch for miles, then Billings is the place for you. This town gives off a rather laid back vibe, but it won’t take long to realize what a strong sense of community it offers, as well. Many of the people who have lived in Billings their entire lives are ranchers and farmers—you know, the salt of the earth kind of folk—and they love their town and all it has to offer.

If you plan on visiting Billings before you buy, we suggest bringing along some climbing gear or renting while you’re there, so you can get a little taste of adventure while you are getting a feel for the place.

Become One With the Last Frontier in Valdez, Alaska
Do you have a desire to spend your afternoons skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, snowshoeing, hiking, mountaineering, fishing or even going on some extreme hunting trips? Enter Valdez.

This small town is home to 4,000 individuals and is one of the most important fishing and freight ports in the state, so you’ll always have fresh seafood. The best thing about Valdez is the winter—that is to say, if you like the winter. We’re talking snow, and lots of it. Valdez is rated the snowiest town in the U.S., even though their winters don’t get quite as cold as other similar climates in Alaska.

Be careful visiting Alaska, because there is a good chance you’ll never want to hop on a plane back down to the lower 48. Yet, if you do visit before you buy, there is one thing you should absolutely bring, especially if you’re visiting before the warmer weather rolls through. You’re going to need to bring a down jacket—I mean real down and real heavy.

A parka is a must and, if you’re a lady, we would actually suggest a down skirt. They are incredibly warm and an extremely popular fashion item up north.

Bend, Ore.: It’s Kind of a Big Deal

 

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when the winter months roll around. The weather cools off and snow falls, but that’s about all that will change. You’ll likely still want to spend every day outside snow camping, skiing, snowboarding, climbing, snowshoeing or just hiking through the enchanting wilderness.

If you plan to visit Bend, make sure you bring a camera. There is a reason Bend was rated one of the top 10 places to live by Men’s Journal. It’s truly gorgeous and there are endless outdoor activities available to the people living here. For your visit, you might want to bring a detailed map so you can circle all the super cool places you visit, from the parts of town you might like living in to all the hip breweries and restaurants you don’t want to forget about on your next visit.

Be a Beach Bum in Kauai, Hawaii

Somewhere along the line people forgot that lounging on the beach is actually an outdoorsy thing to do, even if you have a drink in your hand. On Kauai, you get all the delights of true island life without all the touristy backlash. You can really let your hair down and become one with this place. Learn to surf and I guarantee you’ll never want to leave.

If you plan a trip to visit Kauai to see if it’s the spot for you, then please heed this one bit of advice: bring practically nothing. Seriously, keep your carry on limited to the essentials. You’re going to be in your swimsuit the majority of the time, anyway. You’ll get the true experience of this place if you visit with a minimalist perspective and a decent pair of flip flops.

Duluth, Minn.: Not Just a Trading Co.
This little town has witnessed a rise in popularity over the years simply because it offers up a little bit of everything: canoeing, kayaking, biking, hiking, sailing, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and rock climbing, to name a few. The size of its community is small, but the sense of adventure looms large and you’ll never run out of stuff to do. During the summer months, there isn’t a single weekend where an event isn’t being hosted in town, pulling in thousands of tourists from across the nation.

Duluth is a true gateway to exploration and outdoorsy fun, especially because it sits on the edge of Lake Superior, so there are plenty of water sports to take advantage of. If you want to visit and feel out this buzzing little port town, be sure to book a hotel room and plan to visit when you can catch a free concert, touring show or theater performance during your stay.

Wow Factor of Wausau, Wis.
This little Wisconsin town has a few secrets up its sleeve that make it quite the interesting place to live. First, because there is a ski hill in town, you can enjoy delightful alpine skiing during the winter months. Second, you can spend your summer going on whitewater rafting trips. And thirdly, because the roots of this town are very much steeped in German and European culture, you have lots of beer to pick from, and most Wausau bakeries have warm, gooey Nutella-drizzled breakfast croissants at the ready on a daily basis.

If you want to plan your trip to Wausau and you’re a big fan of hunting, Wisconsin offers plenty of opportunities to hunt various types of game; if you plan your trip during the right time of year, you’ll get to hear the gobblers going off during your visit. I advise bringing along a turkey call so you can get some practice in before next year’s season!

It’s a big step to move your family, but it’s well worth it if you are surrounded by the scenery and activities you love. Sure, some of these towns are a little off the beaten path, but they serve as major gateways to vast outdoor opportunities. Plus, these tight-knit communities make for strong friendships, great schools, and happy dispositions, even if you have to start online shopping more. It’s worth it.

Casea Peterson is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist for businesses in the outdoor industry.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Nature Lovers: 6 Towns for True Outdoorists appeared first on RISMedia.

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NY housing market still in recovery mode - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Thu, 2017-05-18 14:18


Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

NY housing market still in recovery mode
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
USA Today Network journalists across New York analyzed the 2.4 million real estate transactions conducted from 2007 through 2016 in the 57 counties outside New York City. The analysis focused on more than 823,000 transactions involving single-family, ...

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The Technical Case for and Against Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PEI) - The USA Commerce

Thu, 2017-05-18 12:40


The Technical Case for and Against Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PEI)
The USA Commerce
We have gathered the technical data on Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PEI), and see some interesting trends in the stock's behavior of late. They say the “soul” of a stock is best known by an examination of its behavior on the tape. With ...

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Does White House uncertainty hurt the housing market?

Thu, 2017-05-18 12:19

Yesterday, Wall Street got hammered with the Dow Jones tumbling 372 points, the biggest percentage loss since September of last year. The global sell-off was blamed on uncertainty around the Trump presidency, impairing the prospects of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and banking reforms ...

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EXp reports 208% revenue boost in the first quarter

Thu, 2017-05-18 12:01

EXp World Holdings, the holding company for virtual brokerage eXp Realty, continued to motor on agent and broker numbers in the first quarter of 2017, growing its agent and broker count by 23 percent over Q4 to a total of 3, ...

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Inside the retail apocalypse - The Real Deal Magazine

Thu, 2017-05-18 09:34


The Real Deal Magazine

Inside the retail apocalypse
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“I think retail is fucked, plain and simple,” said Billy Macklowe, the head of major New York development firm the William Macklowe Company (and son of famed developer Harry Macklowe), speaking at the Haute Residence luxury real estate summit at the ...

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Texas ERS focuses on US value-add as it becomes cautious on Europe - IP Real Estate

Thu, 2017-05-18 08:59


Texas ERS focuses on US value-add as it becomes cautious on Europe
IP Real Estate
Delegates at this week's IPE Real Estate conference in Munich heard that political risk continues to create uncertainy for real estate investors in Europe. Texas ERS plans to invest $525m – with the possibility to go up to $787m – in real estate in the ...

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Real Estate Deals Vanish in New York - Bloomberg

Thu, 2017-05-18 06:01


Bloomberg

Real Estate Deals Vanish in New York
Bloomberg
Real estate developer Louis Ceruzzi has grand plans for a sleek $1 billion Manhattan skyscraper, featuring luxury shops and condos that soar high above Fifth Avenue. Two years after Ceruzzi and a partner bought the site, they have yet to break ground.
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Real Estate Deals Vanish in New York - Bloomberg - Bloomberg

Thu, 2017-05-18 06:01


Bloomberg

Real Estate Deals Vanish in New York - Bloomberg
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Landlords are cutting rents and prices, spooked lenders are holding back, and the industry loses hope for Trump tax cuts. New York developer Ziel Feldman ...
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NYC's largest real estate loans in April - The Real Deal Magazine

Thu, 2017-05-18 06:01


NYC's largest real estate loans in April
The Real Deal Magazine
Three financing deals over $300 million top April's list of the 10 largest real estate loans in New York City, according to analysis of transactions recorded by the Department of Finance conducted by The Real Deal. Deutsche Bank was the list's most ...

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Working through an epic seller’s market

Thu, 2017-05-18 05:00

We are in what I call an epic seller’s market, and it is impacting every aspect of business from lead generation to how we use technology. The seller’s market is fueled by lack of inventory, and it's only growing stronger ...

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Donald Trump Jr., Dubai billionaire Hussain Sajwani discuss 'new ideas' - USA TODAY

Thu, 2017-05-18 04:32


USA TODAY

Donald Trump Jr., Dubai billionaire Hussain Sajwani discuss 'new ideas'
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Donald Trump Jr. traveled to Dubai and met a billionaire business partner, discussing “new ideas” as the Emirati's real estate firm still lists possible plans for future joint projects while Trump's father is in the White ...

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5 ways to create strong partnerships in real estate

Thu, 2017-05-18 03:10

Forging successful partnerships -- whether they are with fellow real estate agents, vendors or clients -- can yield benefits beyond an initial sale or deal ...

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3 things to consider when clients want to downsize

Thu, 2017-05-18 03:00

Downsizing is becoming increasingly common in today’s real estate industry. New residences are being built in major markets throughout the U.S. every day, which means finding homes that fit your clients' desires to downsize should be no problem. If you want to hit the nail on the head early on, you should consider a few things before touring homes with prospective buyers. ...

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How to build celebrity around yourself and your business

Thu, 2017-05-18 03:00

How do you get celebrities to lend their credibility to your business? How can their celebrity rub off on you ...

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Handling a very awkward real estate listing situation

Thu, 2017-05-18 02:30

In this episode, Leigh interviews Drew Fristoe from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Listen as Drew shares how he stumbled upon a very awkward scenario in this hilarious story on the Crazy Sh*t in Real Estate podcast ...

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Daily market update: May 18, 2017

Thu, 2017-05-18 02:15

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TimesSquare Capital UK Regulatory Announcement: Form 8.3 - Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate Plc. - Business Wire (press release)

Thu, 2017-05-18 01:00


TimesSquare Capital UK Regulatory Announcement: Form 8.3 - Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate Plc.
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Form 8.3 - Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate Plc. May 18, 2017 02:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time. NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--. FORM 8.3. PUBLIC OPENING POSITION DISCLOSURE/DEALING DISCLOSURE BY A PERSON WITH INTERESTS IN ...

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U.S. Retail Market | Retail Slowdown | Retail Real Estate - The Real Deal Magazine

Wed, 2017-05-17 23:42


The Real Deal Magazine

U.S. Retail Market | Retail Slowdown | Retail Real Estate
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As retailers around the country crumble, who's swooping in to feed on the carnage?

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