Majority of Americans see homeownership as good investment; affordability woes remain

Eighty-four percent of Americans believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision, the highest number in 10 years. Yet six in 10 said that they are concerned about affordability and the rising cost of buying a home or renting in their area. This is according to NAR’s 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey, which measures consumers’ attitudes and concerns about housing issues in the nation’s 25 largest metropolitan statistical areas.

This survey makes it clear that most American’s still believe in homeownership and aspire to own a home of their own. Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood remain the top reasons to own a home. Yet, Americans consider the lack of affordability as a big obstacle to ownership.

Concerns over housing affordability show clear demographic divides, especially among unmarried and non-white Americans. More than 50 percent of unmarried and non-white Americans view the lack of available affordable housing as a big problem, compared to only four in ten of married and white Americans.

Nationally, 44 percent of respondents categorized the lack of available affordable housing as a very big or big problem. In the top 25 densest markets, more than half see the lack of affordable housing as a big problem, an increase of 11 percentage points since 2015. Nationally, lower income Americans, renters and young women most acutely feel the housing pinch. There is also greater concern about affordable housing among the working class (65 percent) than for public servants such as teachers, firefighters or police (55 percent).

The survey found that over half of respondents strongly agree that homeownership helps build safe and secure neighborhoods and provides a stable and safe environment for children and family members.

People In Business: Laura Herring of REALTOR(r) Association of Pioneer Valley

SPRINGFIELD – Laura Herring, Director of Operations of the REALTOR(r) Association of Pioneer Valley has successfully completed the e-PROO Certification Program and has been awarded the e-PRO(r) Certification, the official technology certification program offered by the National Association of Realtors(r).

Laura Herring joins more than 30,000 real estate professionals and association staff specialists who have earned NAR’s e-PRO(r) certification and dedicated their time and effort towards learning how to use the latest social media technologies to create an online presence and reach today’s hyper-connected consumers.

Housing stock for sale nationwide slumps to 20-year low: Realtor.com

Homes

A new survey by Realtor.com reveals that residential housing inventory for sale has hit a 20-year low.

Baby boomers, content with their homes, don’t seem to be putting their houses on the market anytime soon, USA Today reported. Realtor.com’s survey showed that 85 percent of baby boomers said they had no plans to trade homes in the next year. The survey gathered data from 1,054 homeowners throughout the country between July 6 and July 13. Overall, 59 percent of those surveyed said they had no plans to sell their homes.

That reluctance has contributed to the inventory slump. The National Association of Realtors reported a 4.3 month supply of homes in the United States in June. That compares to a 4.6 month supply in June 2016. Six months is considered a normal inventory, according to USA Today.

“The housing shortage forced many first-time homebuyers to consider smaller homes and condos as a way to literally get their foot in the door,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale told the newspaper. “Our survey data reveals that we may see more of these homes hitting the market in the next year, but whether these owners actually list will depend on whether they can find another home.”

New inventory is also unlikely to emerge. Earlier this week, the U.S. labor department announced that construction job openings had increased from 163,000 in May of this year to 225,000 in June. The labor shortage will likely make it harder for developers to find workers to build new housing. [USA Today]   Grace Guarnieri

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Local Realtor Jinet Ventura Earns Senior Real Estate Specialist Designation

Union, NJ – Buying or selling a home is hard enough.  But if you’re a senior, your needs and goals can be quite unique.

Local realtor Jinet Ventura, with Century 21 POGO Realtors, has earned the nationally recognized Seniors Real Estate Specialist® designation from the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Council of the National Association of Realtors®.

“Working with seniors to meet their housing needs requires an expert understanding of their lifestyle and financial needs, and the SRES® designation means that a Realtor® has that understanding,” said Jinet. “Whether they are buying, selling relocating, or refinancing, seniors can be confident that a Realtor® designated SRES® will be able to help them every step of the way.”

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Jinet Ventura joins more than 15,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the SRES® designation.  All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in understanding the needs, considerations, and goals of real estate buyers and sellers aged 55 and older.

SRES® Council, founded in 2007, is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing senior clients in real estate transactions. There are more than 15,000 active members of the organization world-wide. 

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

For more information, visit http://forsalenjhomes.com.

David Greenup, Pontchartrain Park salesman, dies at 91

David McKinley Greenup, who helped hundreds of middle-class African Americans buy their own houses in Pontchartrain Park in post-World War II New Orleans, died July 30 at the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve. He was 91.

Pontchartrain Park, which is part of Gentilly, was designed by white philanthropists to provide suburban-style housing to black New Orleanians in the 1950 and 1960s, when segregation was still the rule. Among the people who have lived there are former mayors Dutch and Marc Morial, the musician Terrence Blanchard, the actor Wendell Pierce and Lisa Jackson, an Environmental Protection Agency administrator in the Obama administration.

Mr. Greenup, who had already tried his hand at waiting tables and working in the post office, applied in 1954 to be Pontchartrain Park Homes’ sales supervisor. He was hired, and, his family said, found his vocation as a man who enjoyed showing houses and arranging financing for families to make those all-important purchases.

He liked the field so much that he formed D.M. Greenup Sons Inc. He kept selling property until he retired in 2010.

Mr. Greenup was a member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, an organization of minority-owned real estate firms, and he helped organize its New Orleans chapter. He also joined the National Association of Realtors and the organization’s local board.

A Baton Rouge native, Mr. Greenup enlisted in the Army during World War II and served in the military police and was on a boxing team. After being honorably discharged as a private in 1944, he moved to New Orleans, where he graduated from McDonogh No. 35 High School.

In addition to receiving a diploma there, Mr. Greenup met Juanita Alma Young, whom he would marry in 1948. She died last year.

Mr. Greenup was a member of Union Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he served as a trustee.

Survivors include three sons, Rodney, Lidell and Rory Greenup, all of New Orleans; a sister, Dr. Virgie Hopkins of Atlanta; eight grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

A funeral will be held Saturday (Aug. 12) at 11 a.m. at Union Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2321 Thalia St. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Lake Lawn Park Cemetery.

Gertrude Geddes Willis Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. 

David Kim: Realtors Group to Receive Community Service Award

The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors (SBAOR) has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Jacaranda Award for Outstanding Community Service.

The award comes on behalf of the Board of Directors of Santa Barbara Beautiful. This special award will be presented during the 2017 Awards Ceremony at the Music Academy of the West on Sunday, Sept. 24.

The SBAOR has worked in conjunction with local nonprofits and programs including:

Habitat for Humanity, Unity Shoppe, Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, Computers for Families, Housing Affordability Fund, Housing Summit, National Association of Realtors Relief Fund (for Hurricane Katrina victims) and Santa Barbara Sheriffs.

The most recent philanthropy effort (2017 golf tournament) raised $75,000 to benefit the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table.

The Association of Realtors has a rich history of fundraising work dating as far back as 1917. This form of fundraising has always been a contributing factor to the success of the association and the surrounding community.

The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors continues to partner with local organizations to help preserve the vital role they play in our community.

The SBAOR is honored to be receiving such a special award and looks forward to making a positive impact in the Santa Barbara community for years to come.

— David Kim is a licensed real estate broker with Village Properties and the 2017 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at [email protected] or 805-296-0662. The opinions expressed are his own.

Realtor.com® Hosts Annual Results Summit with Focus on Agent Productivity

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ – Realtor.com®, a trusted source for real estate information, operated by News Corp [NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA]; [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc., a leading provider of online real estate services, will host its annual Results Summit on Sept. 18-19 themed  “Break / Through,” to help agents re-imagine, re-define and refresh their businesses.  

The two-day event at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will focus on agent and team productivity and include more than 50 agent presenters who have demonstrated remarkable business results. Breakout sessions on important topics such as lead generation and conversion, developing engaging content for today’s social world, expanding the digital footprint and creating dynamic listing presentations will impart tactical advice that agents can use in daily business.  In addition, the conference will celebrate the unique personal characteristics that differentiate each agent from their competition, and offer strategies that help agents infuse their digital persona with authenticity to boost success.

“Realtor.com® continues to generate record consumer engagement approaching 60 million unique users coming to the site each month,” said Ryan O’Hara, chief executive officer of realtor.com®.  “Connecting the agent, who we believe must remain at the center of the transaction, to that consumer is our job and the tools and resources we offer do that so well.  We have hundreds of thousands of industry customers across our platforms and the Results Summit is another way for us to increase their success.”

Keynotes presentations at the Results Summit will be delivered by:

  • New York Times columnist and senior editor Charles Duhigg, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for his series on Apple dubbed, “The iEconomy.” He also is the best-selling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better. 
  • Sales communication expert Chris Helder, who travels the world helping sales professionals utilize proper communication techniques in varied situations.
  • Laura Schwartz, the former White House Director of Events and author of best-selling Eat, Drink Succeed, will offer her signature keynote presentation, and also serve as Master of Ceremonies. 

Additional notable speakers include Garry Wise Co-Founder of The Paperless Agent, Krisstina Wise, Creator of WealthyWellthy, Steve Pacinelli, CMO of BombBomb, and Dolly and Jenny Lenz, CEO and Managing Director, respectively, of Dolly Lenz Real Estate.

Realtor.com® Chief Marketing Officer Nate Johnson will also reveal agent marketing makeovers performed by the realtor.com® marketing and design teams.  

Real estate professionals can register for the Results Summit at www.realtor.com/summit.

About realtor.com®

Realtor.com® is the trusted resource for home buyers, sellers and dreamers, offering the most comprehensive source of for-sale properties, among competing national sites, and the information, tools and professional expertise to help people move confidently through every step of their home journey. It pioneered the world of digital real estate 20 years ago, and today helps make all things home simple, efficient and enjoyable. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of REALTORS®. For more information, visit realtor.com®.

Media Contact:
Realtor.com®
David Siroty – rel=”nofollow”david.siroty.contractor@realtor.com

View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/realtorcom-hosts-annual-results-summit-with-focus-on-agent-productivity-300500817.html

SOURCE realtor.com

Pending Home Sales Recover in June

WASHINGTON (July 31, 2017) — After declining for three straight months, pending home sales reversed course in June as all major regions, except for the Midwest, saw an increase in contract activity, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, www.nar.realtor/topics/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.5 percent to 110.2 in June from an upwardly revised 108.6 in May. At 0.5 percent, the index last month increased annually for the first time since March.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the bounce back in pending sales in most of the country in June is a welcoming sign. “The first half of 2017 ended with a nearly identical number of contract signings as one year ago, even as the economy added 2.2 million net new jobs,” he said. “Market conditions in many areas continue to be fast paced, with few properties to choose from, which is forcing buyers to act almost immediately on an available home that fits their criteria.”

Added Yun, “Low supply is an ongoing issue holding back activity. Housing inventory declined last month and is a staggering 7.1 percent lower than a year ago.”

Yun does note that there could potentially be a sliver of increased hope in the months ahead for prospective first-time buyers, who continue to struggle reaching the market. Sales to investors last month were the lowest of the year (13 percent), which helped push all cash transactions to 18 percent – the smallest share since June 2009 (13 percent).

“It appears the ongoing run-up in price growth in many areas and less homes for sale at bargain prices are forcing some investors to step away from the market,” said Yun. “Fewer investors paying in cash is good news as it could mean a little less competition for the homes first-time buyers can afford. However, the home search will still likely be a strenuous undertaking in coming months because supply shortages in most areas are most severe at the lower end of the market.”

Heading into the second half of the year, Yun expects existing-home sales to finish around 5.56 million, which is an increase of 2.6 percent from 2016 (5.45 million). The national median existing-home price this year is expected to increase around 5 percent. In 2016, existing sales increased 3.8 percent and prices rose 5.1 percent.

The PHSI in the Northeast inched forward 0.7 percent to 98.0 in June, and is now 2.9 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 0.5 percent to 104.0 in June, and is now 3.4 percent lower than June 2016.

Pending home sales in the South rose 2.1 percent to an index of 126.0 in June and are now 2.6 percent above last June. The index in the West grew 2.9 percent in June to 101.5, but is still 1.1 percent below a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Nextdoor launches real estate section in Bay Area and other cities

Bay Area residents looking to buy a new home or strike up a conversation with a local real estate agent now have another resource: Nextdoor.

On Tuesday, the private social network for neighbors said it was launching a real estate section in 10 markets, including the San Francisco Bay Area.

The section, which previously was being piloted, also will be available in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento and San Diego.

“I think the real estate section is another way for people to consume locally relevant content,” said Ali Jafari, Nextdoor’s vice president of business development, in an interview.

It also allows real estate agents to interact with neighbors — who may or may not be looking to buy a home immediately — in a more “authentic way,” he said.

Real estate agents can give advice if users have questions about home-improvement projects, he said, such as kitchen remodeling or landscaping.

Pointing to research by the National Association of Realtors, Jafari noted that referrals — including from neighbors — help drive business to real estate agents. Many sellers also turn to social media to find agents.

The tech firm is allowing real estate agents or brokers to sponsor real estate content in a particular zip code. Nextdoor doesn’t disclose the price for sponsorship, but the prices vary depending on the area.

The new section comes as the competition for housing heats up in the Bay Area and home prices continue to rise. The median price of a single-family home in the Bay Area during June was $779,000, up 9.7 percent from a year earlier, real estate information service CoreLogic reported in July.

But Nextdoor is also competing with other real estate sites such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. Facebook, which has 2 billion users, also has an ad product for real estate brokers and agents to promote home listings on the social network.

Jafari said that interacting with agents on real estate sites is often “transactional” because people are going there to search for a new home. Nextdoor users might use the real estate section to get a sense of the value of the homes in their neighborhood, find the availability of open houses or get advice from a real estate agent.

Users also will be able to see how many people recommended a real estate agent.

And real estate is a popular topic on Nextdoor in the United States. The company said tens of thousands of conversations about real estate happen daily.

Nearly 25,000 real estate agents have set up local pages on the social network, more than any other profession, according to Nextdoor.

Nextdoor, which also has a partnership with this news organization to provide local news to neighborhood group members, is available in more than 150,000 neighborhoods nationwide.