Home price growth is unstoppable, ‘no weak spots’ in housing markets

Seattle, Las Vegas and San Francisco continue to experience year-over-year price gains of more than 10%

January’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index shows that home price growth is unlikely to slow down anytime soon — January 2018’s national index comes in at 196.31, a 6.2 percent year-over-year and a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent month-over-month increase.

Continue reading Home price growth is unstoppable, ‘no weak spots’ in housing markets

Here’s why NAR wants to raise Realtor dues by $30 next year

Dues would also rise every year under new proposal to fund political spending, zipLogix software and more

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) seeks to raise dues for its 1.3 million members by $30 next year, with additional built-in increases of 2.5 percent per year beginning in 2020.

NAR’s 2019 budget proposal, approved by its budget review and finance committees two weeks ago, calls for a $35.5 million jump in annual spending. NAR says it will devote $17 of the increase to boost its political advocacy spending and the remaining $13 will cover a Realtor-owned transaction management platform for members, building maintenance and renovation, and programs devoted to professionalism, financial wellness, and strategic business innovation.

Continue reading Here’s why NAR wants to raise Realtor dues by $30 next year

Fed announces rate hike, mortgages already on the rise

Additional increases throughout the year could push mortgage rates as high as 5 percent by year’s end

In a widely anticipated move, newly appointed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday announced a modest benchmark interest rate hike of between 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent amidst continued optimism over economic growth in 2018.

In the first of what economists predict will likely be three adjustments in 2018, the Fed called for a 25 basis point increase, and a fed funds rate of 1.63 percent, at the conclusion of the Central Bank’s two-day Open Market Committee meeting. The new benchmark rate is the highest since September 2008, near the beginning of the housing crisis.

Continue reading Fed announces rate hike, mortgages already on the rise

Amazon could seize opportunity in fractured mortgage market

E-commerce giant might be considering a move into lending, a huge departure from its business model that would require working through a lot of red tape

Compass COO Maëlle Gavet said she believes “what Amazon has done to retail, someone is going to do to real estate.”

Is it possible that Amazon itself could be that someone, starting with mortgages?

Continue reading Amazon could seize opportunity in fractured mortgage market

Home prices shoot up 8.8%, biggest growth spurt in 4 years

February’s median home values reached $285,700 in significant appreciation, according to Redfin

Median home values leaped by 8.8 percent in February to $285,700, the largest price appreciation in four years, according to a Redfin analysis released Thursday.

The upward pull in median home values marks the 72nd consecutive month of year-over-year price increases and comes as the housing market faces its 29th month of declining inventory. Struggling from a lack of supply, home sales in February remained flat at .4 percent as the overall number of homes on the market plunged 11.4 percent, according to the new analysis.

“A growing economy, healthy buyer demand and low inventory drove the ramp up in prices last month,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Combining even slightly higher rates with price growth this strong will make it even more challenging for first-time buyers to find affordable homes to buy this year.

“The good news for sellers is modest rate increases are unlikely to curtail buyer demand. Just 6 percent of respondents to a survey commissioned by Redfin said they would cancel their home buying plans if rates rose above 5 percent.”

Among the 73 metropolitan markets Redfin analyzes, San Jose, California boasted the nation’s strongest price growth, rising 34.1 percent year-over-year to $1.18 million. Detroit followed with a 19.8-percent year-over-year spike, according to the analysis.

Meanwhile, sales in six of those 73 markets surged in February. Louisville, Kentucky was among the six and led the nation in year-over-year sales growth with a 24.7-percent uptick. Sales in Greenville, South Carolina shot up by 18.4 percent, and sales in Oklahoma City increased by 15.8 percent, according to the analysis.

NAR supports rule to offer nationwide healthcare plan for its Realtors

NAR supports rule that could pave the way for a nationwide association health plan for its members.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) delivered a letter of support in favor of a proposed U.S. Department of Labor rule that could pave the way for the creation of an nationwide healthcare plan for its Realtor members providing more affordable medical coverage.

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Century 21 unveils ‘big, bold, ambitious’ rebrand

Overhaul led by CEO Nick Bailey is emblematic of the legacy franchisor’s fight to stay relevant

On Thursday Century 21 rolled out a sweeping rebrand that aims to paint the nearly 50-year-old franchisor in a clean, sophisticated light. Overseen by CEO Nick Bailey, who took over the company in August, the aesthetic overhaul is intended to go beyond the surface to signify C21’s “big, bold, ambitious moves ahead,” according to the website announcing the rebrand.

“It was time for a remodel,” the site reads. “So we tore the old house down to the studs and rebuilt it with our most valuable asset in mind. You. Our agents.”

Continue reading Century 21 unveils ‘big, bold, ambitious’ rebrand