By Andrew Kantor
The Colorado Real Estate Commission is concerned that off-market or “pocket” listings are not in the best interest of the public.
State regulators are warning real estate agents not to keep listings away from the market in an effort to boost their pay without warning sellers, a tactic an official called “fairly widespread.”
The Colorado Real Estate Commission is concerned about brokers who put up signs saying listings are “coming soon” to the market and find[ing] buyers before they go public.
Because the full market can’t bid, sellers might not get as much as they could, but agents benefit: They can take a commission from both the buyer and the seller, said Marcia Waters, director of the Department of Regulatory Agencies’ real estate division.
Remodeling magazine is concerned that “reality” shows about remodeling are skewing people’s expectations.
Remodelers say that shows such as “Love It or List It” and “Property Brothers,” which often cram whole-house remodeling projects into too-small budgets, give clients the wrong impression regarding pricing and time constraints. For instance, some shows might suggest that two weeks and $50,000 is enough to renovate an entire house. You know that’s under time and over budget, but homeowners don’t have your perspective, and they see you as the bearer of bad news when you give them a realistic time frame.
Wells Fargo is concerned that many real estate markets are seeing high prices despite low demand thanks to investor purchases.
Most markets, however, are finding themselves wildly out of balance, with home prices having been pulled higher by an influx of investor purchases and exceptionally tight inventories well ahead of any fundamental improvement in demand. Residential development also remains sparse, which has sent new home prices soaring and severely curtailed affordability.
And NAR is concerned that not enough new homes are being built.
New home construction activity is currently insufficient in most of the U.S., and some states could face persistent housing shortages and affordability issues unless housing starts increase to match up with local job creation.
How are you feeling about these issues? Comment below!
By Andrew Kantor
The good folks at Reis have some fresh statistics about the commercial market — three commercial markets, in fact. This comes from the company’s latest “CRE Insights and Analysis” newsletter.
Apartments. Rents were up about half a percent in the first quarter of 2014. And while those rents have been showing “decent growth figures,” the figures reflect the slowest pace of growth in rents in the last 12 months. “[D]epending on the neighborhood it is increasingly obvious that landlords are finding it difficult to raise rents by over 5 to 10 percent,” because while unemployment may be down, wages are not growing.
Office space. Vacancies barely dropped in the first quarter of the year (down a tenth of a percent nationwide), although, says Reis, “other indicators suggest a market that’s beginning to tighten, with improvement in fundamentals beginning to accelerate.” Completions are low, absorption is high, and job growth continues. Result: “Asking and effective rents have risen for 14 consecutive quarters.”
Retail. “Stagnant” might be the word here: Vacancies are unchanged, supply isn’t increasing by much, and demand remains weak, with the latest figures “one of the weakest on record since [...] late 2011.”
By Andrew Kantor
We told you about VAR attending the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS’ RPAC breakfast on June 4. Now here’s some more information, courtesy of FAAR Government Affairs Director Kim McClellan, who writes:
On Thursday, June 5, the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS welcomed 2011 NAR President Ron Phipps and Congressman Rob Wittman to a special breakfast focused on advocacy and RPAC. Over 100 FAAR members and affiliates attended the event which featured in-depth discussions about how what’s happening in Washington directly impacts the business of real estate throughout the Fredericksburg region. Specific issues of flood insurance, sequestration, and student loan debt were brought up. Ron and Congressman Wittman brought their unique perspectives to this great event and demonstrated how engagement at the member level is so important to the success of advocacy efforts at all levels of the association.
The staff executives of the state’s 28 local Realtor associations came to Richmond for the annual Virginia Association Executives Conference, where they got a crash, two-day course in a host of important topics.
- Proposed Virginia Real Estate Board regulations
- Professional standards
- NAR’s new core standards
- NAR Game Changer grants
- Promoting the use of Realtors
- Reaching RPAC goals
- And, of course, an overview of VAR programs that can help them and their members
Here’s keynoter Adorna Carroll giving advice on “When Life Gives you Limes Make It Into a Margarita – Dealing with Difficult People”:
By Andrew Kantor
According to NAR’s 2014 Home Buyers & Sellers Generational Trends report, here are some things you may not know about Generation Y, aka Millennials, aka “those born between about 1980 and 1995.”
They make up about 31 percent of home buyers – the largest age group. Generation X and Baby Boomers each make up about 30 percent of the market, with older buyers (born between 1925 and 1945) making up most of the rest.
Even though the group is between about 19 and 34 years old, almost a quarter of them (24 percent) were repeat buyers. They’re “typically upsizing,” says NAR, and are usually moving close to their previous home.
They are, however, the smallest group of sellers. Only about 12 percent of homes sold were put on the market by Generation Y. (About 29 percent came from Gen X and 43 percent from Boomers.)
OK, this isn’t quite so surprising, but 97 percent of them financed their home purchases. (About 88 percent of all buyers used financing.)
They found their agent, predominantly, by a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative. Further, they are more likely to use the same agent when they sell and buy again.
By Andrew Kantor
According to the Census Bureau’s just-released “Characteristics of New Housing,” here are five interesting facts about what kinds of homes were built in 2013.
- Gas is in: 61 percent were heated with it (although the survey doesn’t specify whether it’s natural gas or propane). Another 38 percent were heated with electricity, while the remaining 1 percent or so uses oil or something else (e.g., solar).
- Almost half of newly constructed homes — 46 percent — were only a single story.
- While a third had three or more bathrooms, the majority — 62 percent — had either two or two and a half baths.
- Forget window units: 91 percent of new homes had central air conditioning installed.
- Bedrooms were evenly split: 46 percent had three of them, 44 percent had four or more; only 10 percent had two or fewer.
The 2014 Real Show — the official statewide convention and expo for Virginia Realtors — is now open for registration.
This year’s show is already shaping up to be phenomenal.
For starters, you asked and we listened: The Real Show is being held during the week, so you don’t miss any of that critical weekend client time.
We’ve streamlined our classes. Now there are three tracks: broker, risk management (“Risky Business”), and marketing (“Market Matters”). That means getting the business knowledge you want is easier than ever.
Of course we have a ton of education available, including 21 hours of high-level CE content from the best speakers in the business, like Melanie McLane, “Coach” Jackie Leavenworth, and VAR’s own Blake Hegeman.
There are courses on RESPA reform, creating an office policy manual, using NAR’s powerful Realtor Property Resource, working with teams, fair housing law, smart pricing, and more.
You’ll also see the return of our popular Learning Lab and Alpha Stage. They’re great ways to learn about the latest tools of the trade, and get tips for using your technology in quick, intensive, hands-on workshops.
M0re than 80 companies have already signed up to exhibit in the expo hall, which means hundreds of products and services to see and demo.
There’s networking galore as the best and brightest Realtors from across the commonwealth return to Virginia Beach to share ideas, meals, and even a drink or two with old and new friends.
And of course you won’t want to miss the VAR Installation and Awards Ceremony, where you can celebrate the installation of 2014 VAR’s officers and board of directors, and see the presentation of our major awards.
Every year the Real Show is the biggest and most important conference for Virginia’s Realtors, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just started in the business. You’ll find more information about events, classes, and speakers at RealShowVA.com.
Be sure to register early for the best price, and we’ll see you in Virginia Beach in October!
By Andrew Kantor
VAR President Bradley J. Boland joined the leaders and members of the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS for the association’s RPAC breakfast.
Special guests NAR Past President Ron Phipps and U.S. Representative Rob Wittman talked to attendees about how what’s happening in Washington affects their business, and what it takes to make a difference there, whether it’s running for Congress or advocating for more than a million Realtors.
By Stacey Ricks
The CRS Central VA Chapter is partnering with Caritas Furniture Bank to provide a sustainable resource of furniture for the community’s homeless. Caritas Furniture Bank lends a helping hand to those of the central Virginia community who are moving out of homelessness. They are victims of natural disasters, women escaping domestic violence, people with mental and physical disabilities, including those in addiction recovery, refugee families from all over the world, and elderly persons on limited incomes.
If you are interested in helping out with this project or for more information visit:
By Andrew Kantor
Virginia Real Estate Awards
Do you know someone who deserves some recognition? Someone who’s gone above and beyond the call?
Now’s the time to help those people shine. It’s time to nominate someone (or several someones) for the 2014 Virginia Real Estate Awards.
These recognize outstanding leadership, accomplishments, and professionalism in our industry — recipients will be recognized in a ceremony during the 2014 Real Show (and throughout the year after that).
Help us recognize the best in the business by nominating your colleagues (or even yourself).
You have until August 1, 2014 at 11:59 PM to submit any nominations. They’re being accepted for…
- Virginia REALTOR® of the Year
- Virginia REALTOR® Hall of Fame
- Omega Tau Rho Fraternity
- Virginia Manager of the Year – Sponsored by Pearl Insurance
- Ann Swearingen Property Manager of the Year
- Virginia Appraiser of the Year
- Code of Ethics Leadership Award
- George Rink Outstanding Real Estate Educator Award
- Virginia CRS of the Year
- VHDA Service to Virginia Award