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Milwaukee ranks as a top market for single women to buy homes

Milwaukee ladies don’t need a partner to buy a home. 

Of course not. It’s 2017. 

Milwaukee ranked sixth on a new list of the 20 best places around the country for single and unmarried women to purchase a home, according to an analysis by Owners.com, an online real estate brokerage.

For the ranking, Owners.com analyzed approximately 50 metropolitan areas around the nation, taking into account the average home value, median female income, annual crime rate, walkability and public transportation, and the price of dinner for two people.

The average home price in the Milwaukee market was $190,000.

“It’s a huge component of the market now,” said Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. “It started in the early ’90s becoming a significant segment and grew tremendously.” 

Just in the past year, single female buyers increased 2%.

For decades, single women have eclipsed single men in homeownership. While 19% of Milwaukee homebuyers are single females, just 7% are single males, according to the 2016 profile of homebuyers and sellers in Milwaukee from the National Association of Realtors. The majority — 60% — are married couples.

Beth Jaworski, a real estate agent in Milwaukee for 25 years, sells dozens of homes a year, often to single women. Jaworski also bought a house when she was 30 and single. 

“No waiting for Mr. Right or a family,” she said. “It was scary, but it was the best thing I ever did.”

Jaworski bought a duplex in Wauwatosa, earning extra money from a renter to steady her commission-based income. 

RELATED: These are the best cities for women to buy a home

Single and unmarried women have been outpacing single and unmarried men in homeownership across the country since 1981, with no end to the trend in sight, according to the National Association of Realtors. In 2016, 17% of single and unmarried women were homeowners, compared with 7% of single and unmarried men.

In Milwaukee, single women said the primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own property, while single men cited a change in their family situation most often. 

Nationally, the desire to have a property of their own ranked highest among both men and women, according to surveys conducted by the National Association of Realtors on first-time homeowners. But unmarried and single women also showed a strong desire to own a home close to family and friends.

In March, Jawarski helped Michelle Mullen-Burkart buy her first home in Milwaukee’s Kops Park neighborhood. Mullen-Burkart was done renting, especially after comparing what her mortgage payments would be. 

Mullen-Burkart, 28, wanted a home in a safe neighborhood with a fenced-in yard for her two American Staffordshire terriers. She was also thinking about moving into a new apartment that would cost nearly $1,500 a month with pet fees. 

“I’m not in a relationship at this point in my life, but I’m just really happy at this stage in my life,” Mullen-Burkart said. “(Buying a house is) something that I wanted to do. I’m not the type to wait around until I had a man to buy a house with. Women are waiting longer to get married, have children. And that’s just the lifestyle that I lead.”

She found a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a yard for her dogs and a garage for $133,000. The home had recently been flipped and had the cherry cabinets, granite counter tops and wood floors she wanted. She pays about $850 a month toward her mortgage. For her, it just didn’t make sense to wait. 

Sarah Hauer can be reached at shauer@journalsentinel.com, twitter.com/SarahHauer or instagram.com/hauersarahKellie Ell of USA Today contributed to this report. 

Here are the 20 best places for single women to purchase a home according to Owners.com: 

1. Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, Ohio

2. Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, (Kansas and Missouri) 

3.  Dallas-Fort Worth 

4. Albany-Schenectady, N.Y. 

5. Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs, Ga. 

6. Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, Wis. 

7. Hartford-West Hartford, Conn.

8. Minneapolis-St. Paul

9. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. 

10. Chicago-Naperville, Ill. 

11. Philadelphia-Reading-Camden (Pennsylvania, New Jersey) 

12. Boston-Worcester-Providence, (Massachusetts, Rhode Island) 

13. Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia) 

14. Portland-Vancouver-Salem, (Oregon, Washington) 

15. Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. 

16. Denver-Aurora, Colo. 

17. Sacramento-Roseville, Calif.

18. New York-Newark

19. Los Angeles-Long Beach 

20. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland

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More Realtors Carry Guns for Safety

More Realtors Carry Guns for Safety, Self-Defense

By Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- 25 percent of men and 12 percent of women members of The National Association of Realtors (NAR) carry self defense firearms, according to the 2017 safety report. The number of members who carried a firearm totaled 19 percent.

The organization has published safety reports that show how many member carry weapons since 2015.

In 2014 real estate agent Beverly Carter was kidnapped and murdered. The crime made national news.  The president elect of the National Association of Realtors vowed to make safety a priority.

From cnn.com:

Carter was killed in September, “Realtor Safety Month,” for the National Association of Realtors.

The group’s president elect, Chris Polychron, has promised to make safety a priority when he takes office.

“We’re not going to let it die, I can tell you that,” he said. “It’s sad that it took a tragic death of one of our own to run the red flag up.”

An article from 2014 reported this step as being recommended by the National Association of Realtors:

10. Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary.

The man who murdered Beverly Carter was convicted in January of 2015.

Chris Polychron took office as president of NAR in 2015. The NAR conducted the first survey showing how many of its members carried weapons. In 2015, 12 percent of members reported they carried a gun.

From therealdaily.com:

Interestingly, according to the National Association of REALTORS 2015 Member Safety Report, 12 percent of agents who responded said that they already carry a gun in the field.

In 2016, 16 percent of members reported they carried a gun. Now, in 2017, 19% of members say they carry a gun. The increase in carrying guns for self defense is a national trend. The number of states that respect the Second Amendment has been growing steadily. The number of people with concealed carry permits has surged in the last few years. There is a growing movement for Constitutional Carry, where no permits for carry are required.

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, there were 12.83 million concealed carry permits in the United States in 2015, 14.53 million concealed carry permits in 2016, and 16.36 concealed carry permits in 2017.  The number of concealed carry permits has grown 27 percent since 2015. The number of NAR members carrying guns has followed that trend, but has grown twice as fast, increasing 58 percent since 2015.

About three times as many NAR members carry guns as do people in the general population. The estimate of the general population that carry guns most or all of the time is about 5.4 percent, with 6.5 percent of the population having concealed carry permits.

It is likely that some of the NAR members do not need permits to carry concealed firearms. Fourteen states do not require a permit to carry concealed guns in 2017.  That system is commonly called Constitutional Carry.  There were seven states that did not require a permit to carry in 2015.

Realtors reflect a population that has similarities to people with concealed carry permits. The tend to be better educated than average, have above average income, and are very responsible people. It is not surprising that they carry defensive guns at a rate greater than the rest of the population.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

US housing starts fall 0.8 pct., a 2nd straight monthly drop

Homebuilders slowed their pace of construction by 0.8 percent in August, the second straight monthly decline. A steep drop in multifamily construction more than offset a slight gain in single-family-home building.

The overall drop occurred even though would-be homebuyers face both a shortage of properties for sale and escalating prices. Those two forces would normally help spur faster home construction. But builders are struggling with a shortage of skilled workers and rising land costs for development.

The tepid sales numbers suggest that it has become more profitable for companies to build a smaller number of homes for the affluent than to ramp up construction for a broader swath of buyers and renters.

Housing starts slipped last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18 million, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Starts fell in the Northeast and South but rose in the Midwest and West.

Damage from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma didn’t appear to have hurt August housing construction. But the floods, rain and wind struck an area that represents fully 13 percent of U.S. home construction, so building activity could fall in the coming months.

Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at the consultant MFR, said the job market, with its low 4.4 percent unemployment rate, should help cause the construction of single-family houses to keep increasing, but the growth “is likely to be quite modest.”

Behind the August drop was a 5.8 percent plunge in groundbreakings for multi-family buildings, such as apartments. This appears to reflect an expectation among builders that more people will shift out of apartments and into single-family homes as more of the millennial generation begins to have children.

Gary Magnuson, head of commercial real estate finance at Citizens Bank, said apartment construction has naturally been slowing after a sharp increase in prior years. Too much additional building of apartments would pose the risk of greater vacancies and lower rents.

“It’s sort of a self-regulation,” Magnuson said. “You don’t want that segment of the market to be overheated.”

Still, starts for single-family houses crept up just 1.6 percent. That’s not enough to overcome a steady decrease in sales listings for existing homes tracked by the National Association of Realtors.

The multi-year decline in listings has helped cause home prices to climb at more than double the pace of wage growth.

Over the past 12 months, the number of existing homes for sale has plummeted 9 percent to 1.92 million.

So far this year, total home construction has risen only 2.7 percent year-to-date, down from a 5.6 percent gain for all of 2016.

Building permits, an indicator of future construction, rose 5.7 percent to 1.30 million in August.

Commercial Real Estate Outlook Remains Strong

Commercial real estate price growth in large markets is expected to flatten over the next year, but strong leasing demand and investor appetite in smaller markets should keep the sector on solid ground, according to the latest National Association of Realtors quarterly commercial real estate forecast, https://www.nar.realtor/reports/commercial-real-estate-outlook.

Backed by the ongoing stretch of outstanding job creation in recent years, national office vacancy rates are forecast by Realtors to retreat 1.1 percent to 11.9 percent over the coming year. The vacancy rate for industrial space is expected to decline 1.1 percent to 7.8 percent, and retail availability is to decrease 0.4 percent to 11.4 percent. Even as new apartment completions bring more supply to many markets, the multifamily sector will still likely see a vacancy rate decline from 6.6 percent to 6.1 percent. 

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the U.S. economy is on stable footing and is chugging along at a decent but unspectacular pace. “A very healthy labor market and stronger confidence and spending from both consumers and businesses boosted economic expansion to a solid 3.0 percent last quarter,” he said. “There’s legs for more of the same growth to close out the year, which bodes well for sustained interest in all types of commercial space.”

According to Yun, the appetite for commercial property is high, but investment activity does appear to be entering the maturation phase of the current cycle. The investor shift away from large markets to smaller ones is creating a divergence in sales activity. In the second quarter, large markets saw a 5 percent annual decline in sales, while Realtors® reported a sales boost of 4 percent in small markets.

“While inventory shortages are still driving prices higher in most markets, shrinking cap rates and the higher interest rate environment are expected to lead to a plateau in price growth over the next year, especially for Class A assets in large markets,” said Yun. “As a result, investors will continue to look to small and tertiary markets for properties that have the best opportunity to provide stability and generate solid returns.” 

Led by the industrial and multifamily sectors, Realtors® continue to report that leasing fundamentals for the four major commercial sectors are strong. Last quarter, the considerable appetite for industrial space — primarily from ecommerce and trade — resulted in distribution warehouses and logistic centers driving close to 70 percent of new construction leasing. Although 225.4 million square feet of additional space is currently in the pipeline, vacancy rates are still expected to trend downward as supply slowly catches up with demand.  

In the apartment sector, the pace of new construction is finally slowing in many markets after considerable building in recent years. However, rising household formation and the supply and affordability barriers to homeownership will continue to keep vacancies low and cause rents to maintain their trajectory of outpacing incomes.

“The economy is healthy for the most part, but headwinds abound in the short term,” said Yun. “A temporary slowdown in areas severely impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, geopolitical tensions abroad and any minor correction in the financial markets could temporarily knock the economy slightly off course in coming months.”

NAR’s latest Business Creation Index (BCI), which launched in August 2016, showed ongoing positive developments for smaller commercial businesses in local communities. Over half of Realtors® have reported an increase in business openings and fewer closings every month since December, with food and beverage and retail making up the bulk of new businesses.

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