Local Realtor receives recognition – News – Shelby Star – Shelby, NC

A Kings Mountain Realtor received a special designation from the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council of the National Association of Realtors.

Nicholas Berryhill, with Coldwell Banker Mountain View, was awarded the Accredited Buyer’s Representation designation. He joins more than 30,000 real estate professionals in North American who have earned the Accredited Buyer’s Representation designation.

To receive the designation, a realtor must successfully complete a comprehensive course in buyer representation and an elective course focusing on a buyer representation specialty, both in addition to submitting documentation verifying professional experience.

Founded in 1988, the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. There are more than 40,000 active members of the organization world-wide.

The National Association of Realtors, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is the world’s largest professional association, representing more than one million members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.

Stevens wins Iowa Association of Realtors award

BRITT — Deb Stevens of Stevens Realty in Britt, member of the North Central Iowa Regional MLS, has received the Bronze Individual Achievement Award from the Iowa Association of Realtors (IAR).

The IAR Individual Achievement Awards were initiated in 1988 to recognize excellence in real estate activities. Any Realtor or Realtor Associate member of the IAR is eligible. Eligible members who participated in 1-2.49 million, 2.5-4.99 million, 5-7.49 million, 7.5-9.99 million and over 10 million dollars worth of sales, leases and/or listings closed and commissions earned during 2016 were able to win the prestigious Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond Individual Achievement Awards.

The IAR is the state’s largest real estate professional organization, representing more than 6,800 members and affiliates. The term Realtor is a registered and protected trademark. A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the state association of Realtors and their local board of Realtors. By joining the Realtor organization, a real estate professional has to adhere to a strict code of ethics and its standards of professionalism, integrity and competence.

High Country Association of Realtors: Interest Rates Declining as Home Sales Stay Strong

As the traditionally busy summer season begins, the local real estate market seems poised for another strong quarter.

Sales since January are slightly outpacing last year, up more than 4 percent. Meanwhile interest rates are at their lowest point of the year, and local inventory is growing.

Through the first five months of 2017, local realtors sold 687 homes, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It records activity by the High Country Association of Realtors®, which represents licensed real estate professionals within Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

Last year in that span local realtors sold 660 homes.

Some of this year’s growth in sales can be traced to homes priced above $300,000. While the number of homes sold for less are stable year-over-year – 499 to 504 – the number of listings selling for more than $300,000 is up 17 percent.

On a monthly basis, local realtors sold 163 listings in May, down from 179 in May 2016. The average sold price for the month – the total value divided by listings sold – was up; $246,561 this year last May compared to $230,329 last year.

May sales extended to 27 the number of consecutive months Realtors® have sold more than 100 listings.

Sellers continue to enter the market. As of June 8 there were 2,356 active listings within the MLS. That’s 300 more than in early April, but well below the 2,870 that were active last June.

Nationally, interest rates have steadily fallen since spiking at the end of 2016. According to loan giant Freddie Mac, the average 30-year mortgage rate as of June 8 was 3.89 percent. That was only the fourth week this year it’s been below 4 percent.

The average 15-year fixed rate was 3.16 percent.

The year started with the 30-year average rate at 4.2 percent. To give the decline since perspective, a $250,000 home purchased at the start of the year would have cost a total of $440,115, with a monthly payment of $1,223.

That same home purchased this week would cost an estimated $423,986 with a monthly payment around $1,178.

Nationally, home sales have slowed. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) latest sales report showed sales in March and April below last year’s activity. Low inventory was one of the causes.

“Much of the country for the second straight month saw a pullback in pending sales as the rate of new listings continues to lag the quicker pace of homes coming off the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Realtors® are indicating that foot traffic is higher than a year ago, but it’s obviously not translating to more sales.”

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As Billings housing heats up, affordability concerns arise

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Names and faces in Manatee and Sarasota counties

Steve Zeris joined Re/Max Alliance Group as a real estate agent. He previously worked as a mortgage broker, appraiser, short sale negotiator and trainer. He is a graduate of the Realtor Institute, is president-elect of the Manatee County Women’s Council of Realtors, serves on the board of directors of the Humane Society of Manatee County and co-founded Pawz-Up, LLC. Zeris is a Distinguished Toastmaster and founder of Fearless Speaker Institute LLC.

Dr. Arthur Valadie recently received the Adult Volunteer Award at the Manatee Chamber of Commerce’s fifth annual Champions of Healthcare Awards breakfast. Dr. Valadie is an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with Coastal Orthopedics Sports Medicine and Pain Management. The award recognizes the collective actions of the individuals, institutions and programs that have made an impact in the Manatee County healthcare community. He works with club and high school teams throughout the area and is the sports medicine physician to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Steve Sherman and Dori Sherman were honored with a Gratitude Award by the Manatee School Board and school superintendent Dr. Diana Greene in recognition of their dedication to the community and school district in Manatee County. The Shermans are owner/operators of Culver’s in Bradenton.

Nati Shabat was appointed to the board of directors of Community AIDS Network in Sarasota. He is co/owner and partner of McCarver Moser Jewelers.

Keith Kropp and Wayne Rogers joined Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Atchley Properties as real estate agents. Kropp previously worked for new home builders in both sales and sales management and headed the sales team for Celebration, Disney’s master-planned community. Kropp earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Rogers previously worked in medical sales and in real estate. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida. Both Kropp and Rogers are member of the National Association of Realtors, the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, and active members of the Gay Real Estate Executive Network of Sarasota, National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, the Florida Council of Equality Florida.

Thomas K. Wagenhauser was named treasurer on the board of directors of The Ringling Garden Apartments Association Inc. Wagenhauser is a retired CPA and previously worked with various large national and international construction and management companies. He is co-owner of Ryntal Property Management, holds a Florida Real Estate Brokers License and served as board member for multiple other organizations. He is a graduate of Ohio State University.

Doug Walker joined A Paradise Realty as real estate agent. Walker’s background is farming and the cattle ranching industry and is specialized in acreage sales.

Shan-Mei Phillips is the new assistant director of finance at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. Phillips previously worked for Hawaii’s Department of Education as a fiscal specialist. Prior to that, she worked as a CPA licensed auditor in a national public accounting firm.

Caroline Steward recently received the Westfield Insurance Service Award. Steward is employed at Bradenton Insurance and has represented Westfield Insurance since 1992.

Please send all Names and Faces announcements to Angie Monroe at amonroe@bradenton.com. Photos accepted in jpeg format only.

Carolina One agent earns industry certification

Bobette Fisher, a real estate agent with Carolina One Real Estate’s Mount Pleasant North office, recently earned the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation from the National Association of Realtors.

Fisher, a real estate agent since 2002, also has the designations of Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) and Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource (SFR). Fisher also received an Omega Tau Rho Award in 2015 from the National Association of Realtors. The award recognized Fisher’s contributions of time, talent and services to the association as well as to her state and local industry associations. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

By earning the Certified International Property Specialist designation, Fisher will have access to the CIPS Network, which is comprised of over 3,500 real estate professionals in 45 countries.

A native of Elkhart, Ind., Fisher has been married since 1985. She and her husband Steve have two children.

Middlesex County Realtors help fund dog park equipment

Find things to do, places to eat, happy hours to hit and so much more. We even have you covered on rainy days!
Ryan Ross

NAR: Here are 5 reasons for low homeownership rate

The job market continues to show improvement, and interest rates remain historically low, yet the homeownership rate in the U.S. remains near a 50-year low.

The National Association of Realtors released a new white paper titled, “Hurdles to Homeownership: Understanding the Barriers” which lays out five reasons for the low homeownership rate. NAR released its paper in recognition of National Homeownership month at the Sustainable Homeownership Conference at the University of California, Berkeley.

“The decline and stagnation in the homeownership rate is a trend that’s pointing in the wrong direction, and must be reversed given the many benefits of homeownership to individuals, communities and the nation’s economy,” NAR President William Brown said. “Those who are financially capable and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream.”

The research, commissioned by NAR, was prepared by Rosen Consulting Group, and jointly released by the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.

“Low mortgage rates and a healthy job market for college-educated adults should have translated to more home sales and upward movement in the homeownership rate in recent years,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Sadly, this has not been the case.”

“Obtaining a mortgage has been tough for those with good credit, savings for a down payment are instead going towards steeper rents and student loans, and first-time buyers are finding that listings in their price range are severely inadequate,” Yun said.

Here are what NAR says are the five main barriers to homeownership:

Post-foreclosure stress disorder:

There are long-lasting psychological changes in financial decision-making, including housing tenure choice, for the 9 million homeowners who experienced foreclosure, the 8.7 million people who lost their jobs and the young adults who witnessed the hardships of their family and friends, NAR explained.

Mortgage availability: 

Credit standards did not normalize after the Great Recession, NAR’s study showed. Borrowers with good-to-excellent credit scores are not getting approved at the rate they were in 2003, prior to the period of excessively lax lending standards.

The growing burden of student loan debt:

Young households are repaying an increasing level of student loan debt that makes it extremely difficult to save for a down payment, qualify for a mortgage and afford a mortgage payment, especially in areas with high rents and home prices. NAR found in a survey released last year, student loan debt is delaying purchases from Millennials and over half expect to be delayed by at least five years.

Single-family housing affordability:

Lack of inventory, higher rents and home prices, difficulty saving for a down payment and investors weighing on supply levels by scooping up single-family homes have all lead to many markets experiencing decaying affordability conditions, the study showed. Unless these challenges subside, RCG forecasts that affordability will fall by an average of nearly nine percentage points across all 75 major markets between 2016 and 2019, with approximately 5 million fewer households able to afford the local median-priced home by 2019.

Single-family housing supply shortages:

Fewer property lots at higher prices, difficulty finding skilled labor and higher construction costs are among the reasons cited by RCG for why housing starts are not ramping up to meet the growing demand for new supply.

“Single-family home construction plummeted after the recession and is still failing to keep up with demand as cities see increased migration and population as the result of faster job growth,” said Ken Rosen, Berkeley Hass Real Estate Group chair. “The insufficient level of homebuilding has created a cumulative deficit of nearly 3.7 million new homes over the last eight years.”

Arizona Housing Market Finding Its Pace Following Meltdown

Tucson’s housing market was riding high a decade ago. National Association of Realtors statistics show the market’s median-priced home was selling for more than $250,000.

Arizona was one of several markets experiencing a boom, and prices were not the only thing going up.

“At the peak in 2006, for a few months, we were building about 100,000 houses in Arizona. We probably needed 50,000,” said University of Arizona finance professor Michael Bond. “So all of those houses ended up empty, and prices collapsed.”

By the end of 2011, the median price in Tucson had dropped to $130,000.

The boom, according to experts, came because lenders relaxed their standards for mortgage approval, sometimes to the point that people who could not afford a home were given a mortgage.

“It’s very unlikely right now that if you can’t afford the repayments you’re going to be allowed to take the loan to buy the house,” said Phoenix-area real estate economist Michael Orr. “But for two or three years it was possible basically to get a mortgage just by fogging a mirror.”

Michael Orr
Phoenix-based real estate economist Michael Orr.

What followed was a recovery that has taken years.

“We’re about where I say we should be if we just continued on in the normal price appreciation from 2002, but we’ve been through some incredible highs and lows during that interim,” said Orr.

UA’s Bond agrees, though he said many people might not believe it.

“People look at this and they say: ‘Well my house was worth $200,000 in 2006 and now it’s worth $180,000 or $160,000.’ But they forget that in 2000 it was worth $100,000,” he said.

National Association of Realtors statistics from 2014 to 2016 show Tucson’s market grew by roughly 4 percent annually.

The pace has accelerated since then, with housing prices going up by 8 percent in the last year due to a lack of homes on the market.

Pam Ruggeroli
Tucson Association of Realtors President Pam Ruggeroli

“Our inventory is at an all-time low right now. It is helping increase our average sales price,” said Tucson Association of Realtors President Pam Ruggeroli. “There is also a less than three-month supply of inventory, anywhere up to $350,000 homes.”

Tucson has not been alone in going through this cycle. Another market that feels the pinch of low inventory is Flagstaff, where the home inventory is closer to three-and-a-half months.

“We are 9 percent lower on inventory than we were this time last year, and last year we were lower than the year before. That’s been a trend,” said Flagstaff realtor Sylvie Stuart.

The issue of low inventory cannot be fixed by traditional homeowners selling their houses, Ruggeroli said.

“There are things that we can do to increase that inventory, and one of those would be new construction.”

New Home Construction Home Building spot
A new home is built on Tucson’s northwest side. (PHOTO: Colleen Greer, AZPM)

Homebuilding could eventually cause a drop in the pace at which home prices have grown recently, but it would be a ways off.

“We don’t really have enough new homebuilding going on to satisfy the population increase that we’re seeing,” said economist Orr.

So until supply and demand for homes match pace, prices will most likely continue to rise.