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Updated: 1 hour 17 min ago

How to Define and Achieve Wealth

8 hours 14 min ago

Real estate brokers and agents have countless reasons for entering the profession, but at the core, they likely all have one thing in common: they seek financial stability and potential wealth.

Financial stability is often table stakes for the most successful real estate professionals, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to wealth without clearly defining what that word means and having a strategy to accumulate it, according to Ben Kinney, co-founder of PLACE, Inc., a real estate technology firm.

Kinney spoke at RISMedia’s Real Estate Rocking in the New Year virtual event earlier this month, which gathered some of the industry’s most respected and influential minds, who came together to share their expert insights on how to generate more success this year and beyond.

During his session, Securing Your Financial Future, Kinney provided his definition of wealth and offered some salient advice on how to build wealth. “It’s the ability to do what I want, when I want, with who I want,” he said. “It’s freedom. Freedom is wealth and financial stability is that freedom.”

Kinney is passionate about the topic because he recognizes how financial problems can impact an individual’s health and wellbeing, so to turn that passion into actionable advice, he offered these four tips to get started:

  1. “It’s not rocket science,” Kinney admitted, but in order to increase net worth you need to spend less than you earn. Whatever is left over should be first used to pay off debts and liabilities and then you should invest the rest.
  2. Investing is the key driver of wealth, but Kinney suggested it should be done inside five major buckets, where 20% of your excess income is distributed equally.
    • Bucket 1: “Cash is king,” he said. Saving 20% of your excess income as cash can be used for unexpected emergencies and give you additional spending leverage when needed.
    • Bucket 2: Financial instruments including your retirement account and IRAs, both of which Kinney suggested should be maxed out pre-tax, if possible. Then look to other key financial instruments, such as stocks, bonds, etc.
    • Bucket 3: Real estate, “It’s what we do every day! You have a competitive advantage,” he said. Kinney advised to set a goal to buy five houses in 10 years and it could generate as much as $8 million in return in 30 years.
    • Bucket 4: Invest in business, either your own, a friend’s or a family member’s.
    • Bucket 5: This last one is up to you. Whether it’s paying off long-term debts, donating to charities, buying collectibles or investing in precious metals or, of course, crypto currencies, use that remaining 20% to help further diversify your investment portfolio.
  1. Become a student of wealth. Kinney recommended reading up on investing and wealth management and listening to experts who have proven track records.
  2. Set annual goals. Ultimately this is what will lead you to becoming wealthy. And, if you choose, allow you to retire when you want. Whatever the goals, if you outline them on an annual basis and stay laser-focused on achieving them, you will stay on track to achieving your definition of wealth.

Missed the event? Replays including every panel and expert interview are available here.

Caysey Welton is Content Director at RISMedia. Email him your real estate news ideas cwelton@rismedia.com.

The post How to Define and Achieve Wealth appeared first on RISMedia.

Housing Market Roller Coaster Ride Steadying in 2022, Report Says

8 hours 16 min ago

After nearly two years of feverish activity in the housing market, experts at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices say the rollercoaster ride buyers and sellers lived through during the pandemic is coming to an end.

BHHS recently released its Real Estate Report 2022, which forecasts a strong but stabilized housing market this year, deviating slightly from the past two years.

“We’re going to see a similar market to what we saw in 2021, but I do think that units will come down,” Christy Budnick, CEO of BHHS, tells RISMedia. “Not excessively, but we will see a smaller number of units closed in 2022 while volume will probably be largely the same because of the offsets in average sales price.”

At the height of the pandemic, a popular narrative was about mass outmigration from dense urban markets. According to the report, the trend has since shifted as buyers are returning to the metropolitan areas.

This is the case in Boston, as the report indicated that the northeast market saw a significant resurgence of buyer demand and modest price growth. With condos accounting for more than 95% of the city’s homes, Boston saw a nearly 50% increase in transactions in 2021.

The report found similar activity in other cities such as Houston and Las Vegas, which Budnick suggests indicates a more significant shift at play.

“That to me really does offer some interesting proof about what we’re seeing,” Budnick says. “I think that a lot of buyers having escaped the cities during the tougher months of COVID-19 are missing the energy, excitement and melting pot of so many different cultural experiences that the city brings.”

Strong demand coupled with record-low mortgage rate and razor-thin supply contributed to a perfect storm of factors that helped drive home prices up by an average of 18% in 2021.

That’s likely to ease up this year as the report suggested that higher costs for homeownership—rising prices and mortgage rates—have pushed some buyers to the sidelines in some markets as BHHS affiliates indicated that they’d seen a dip in offers per listing.

“Instead of having 12 or 20 offers on a listing, we’re looking at two or three,” said Rei Mesa, president and CEO of BHHS Florida Properties, in the report.

Mesa suggested that price escalations and affordability issues have driven the moderation in offers.

Rising mortgage rates won’t help the situation either.

With historically low rates in the rearview mirror, the report noted that 2022 will likely see rates “remain steady in the 3% to 3.5% range.”

“There are alot of individual buyers right now that are stretching to be able to buy a home in a lower price point within a given area,” Budnick says.

As interest rates creep up, Budnick expects price-sensitive buyers to be squeezed out of the market even more as they compete with institutional buyers willing to make cash offers over the listing price.

Inventory remains a major challenge in the current and future state of the housing market as experts noted that the U.S. still has a 5.5 million to 6.8 million housing unit shortage that must be addressed.

“The two biggest elements that we believe are headwinds are continued issues with supply chains as well as labor shortages,” Budnick says, noting that both are hindering the new construction and resale sectors of the market.

“We’re really getting a double whammy there,” Budnick adds. “Until we start to see that ease up some, I think we’re going to continue to see a very tight supply of homes.”

This year, a silver lining on the horizon could be homeowners coming off the sidelines to reap the benefits of higher prices and strong demand for homes.

Based on a September and October Realtor.com survey cited in the report, roughly 26% of respondents indicated that they would be willing to sell their homes within the year—up from merely 10% in the spring last year.

It’s still early in the year, but Budnick advises agents to lean on their relationships to remain out in front of their competition and continue to produce as the market stabilizes.

“Buyers are worried,” she says. “They’re scared that they are not going to get the home of their dreams or that they can’t compete for a home, so it requires a great deal of trust and education.

“Double down on relationships with your buyers, sellers and your suppliers,” she continues. “If you can have great relationships with people who can make your job better. Make sure you’ve got solid relationships and work on strengthening them so you can be first in line when that roof needs replacing.”

Jordan Grice is an Associate Online Editor at RISMedia. Email him with your real estate news ideas jgrice@rismedia.com.

The post Housing Market Roller Coaster Ride Steadying in 2022, Report Says appeared first on RISMedia.

California Association of REALTORS® Partners with Lone Wolf to Expand Technology Suite for Members

8 hours 17 min ago

Lone Wolf Technologies and the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) announced a new partnership that expands the association’s technology suite for its nearly 210,000 members. The suite integrates new member benefits for offer management (OfferPlace), instant client messaging (iMessage), and the top CRM in real estate (LionDesk) to the current member benefits Transactions (zipForm Edition), zipLogix Digital Ink® 2.0, zipForm Mobile, MLS-Connect, Forms Advisor and zipForm standard edition, the company stated.

OfferPlace is an offer management system that works within Transactions (zipForm Edition), saving agents time by importing offer details or listing data directly into a transaction. Transactions (zipForm Edition) itself is a complete transaction management system, preloaded with the C.A.R. standard forms, templates and cloud storage to keep documents secure and organized. iMessage enables agents to share transaction PDFs, forms and listings directly from an iPhone and captures all shared items in the transaction history. Coming in April 2022 for CAR members is LionDesk CRM, which the company says will “transform lead generation and relationship building with AI lead follow-up, video email and texting campaigns, stylish landing pages and more.”

“We are so pleased to be able to offer such a robust set of solutions as benefits for our members,” said John Sebree, CEO of CAR, in a press release. “Our eye is always on the future of the real estate business and anticipating the needs of our members and their clients. We’re looking to fully equip our members to work successfully in the digital world and we felt that Lone Wolf was the right company out there that can deliver the tools they need now, while being able to support them in the future with the tools they’ll need to respond to changes in technology and in the consumer space.”

Transactions (zipForm Edition) is a gateway to a complete real estate experience for agents, buyers and sellers, designed to include all the essential tools that agents need in the workplace. With their selection of Lone Wolf products as member benefits, C.A.R. also included additional tools that integrate with Transactions (zipForm Edition)— zipLogix Digital Ink® 2.0, a secure digital signing solution created specifically for real estate professionals and zipForm Mobile, which brings the power of Transactions (zipForm Edition) to an agent’s mobile device.

“We couldn’t be more honored to partner with such an influential organization and provide our solutions to so many CAR members,” said Jimmy Kelly, CEO of Lone Wolf, in a press release. “Real estate is all about people helping other people buy and sell homes. We don’t provide technology to replace people in the process, but rather, to make it simpler for them to do the things they have always done—like grow their business, guide buyers and sellers, network and make new relationships—and will continue to do so in the future.”

For more information, visit https://www.lwolf.com/.

The post California Association of REALTORS® Partners with Lone Wolf to Expand Technology Suite for Members appeared first on RISMedia.

Survey: Real Estate Investors Pessimistic on Current and Near-Term Market

8 hours 17 min ago

Despite a red-hot real estate market and forecasts suggesting it will remain that way, investors have concerns according to RealtyTrac’s recent Investor Sentiment Survey.

Nearly half (49%) of respondents felt that conditions had grown worse over the past year, while 30% think that conditions have remained the same. Looking ahead, 43% believe that the market will remain the same during the next six months, while 31% believe it will either be worse or even be much worse.

Additional findings:

  • Approximately 63% of survey respondents cited inventory as the top challenge for investments in residential real estate.
  • Rising home prices was noted as second-largest challenge at 60%.
  • Nearly one-third (31%) of respondents believe prices will rise by 0-5%, while 25% stated they will remain at the current elevated levels during the next six months.

The takeaway:

“Similar to our last two surveys, the problems of low inventory and rising home prices are those most often cited by individual investors across the country,” said Rick Sharga, EVP at RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company, said in a press release. “Together with supply chain disruptions which have caused product shortages and increased material costs, it is not surprising that individual investors think that the market is not as healthy today as it was a year ago.”

“A looming concern is that of inflation,” Sharga noted. “About 88% of the investors surveyed were concerned about inflation having an impact on their business, whether that was due to higher material and labor costs, higher interest rates, or rising consumer prices that might weaken demand from potential home buyers and renters.”

The post Survey: Real Estate Investors Pessimistic on Current and Near-Term Market appeared first on RISMedia.

Headliners Week of 1/16 – 1/22

9 hours 10 min ago
News Catch Up on This Week's Biggest Stories

https://www.rismedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Headliners_012222_OPT.mp4

RISMedia Content Editor Paige Brown delivers this week's Headliners, a video recap of the week's top stories in real estate. Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Read This Week's Top Stories Fractured MLS Landscape Begins Embracing Tech, Consolidation By Jesse Williams  January 20, 2022

It is not the flashiest or most dynamic part of the real estate industry. The concept of a Multiple Listing...

Read more Where Is iBuying Headed? By Jordan Grice  January 18, 2022

Is iBuying here to stay? Over the past two years, that's been a popular question as industry pundits debated the...

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Previous Headliners Headliners Week of 1/10 – 1/15 By Brit Owen January 14, 2022

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The post Headliners Week of 1/16 – 1/22 appeared first on RISMedia.

International Home-Buying Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2022

18 hours 14 min ago

The world has changed in many ways since the start of the pandemic, but one major change is a new interest in international real estate. Now that international travel has opened back up, real estate agents who specialize in relocation, particularly international relocation, have a unique opportunity to leverage the trend.

New Top International Destinations for Prospective U.S. Buyers

According to a recent study by Point2 Homes, prospective homebuyers in the United States are seriously considering moving to North, South and Central America more than ever before.

And, after an uncertain two years and a series of lockdowns, it’s unsurprising that these prospective homebuyers are showing the most interest in countries within those continents that are most associated with perks like great weather, tropical vacations and some of the world’s best ski resorts.

The study revealed that Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Belize and the Virgin Islands topped the charts in 2021, each moving up a few places on the list since the study started back in 2015.

Close runners-up were Panama, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Honduras, all keeping in line with prospective buyers’ desire to “escape” the grind and slow things down.

International Home-Buying Challenges

Despite their enthusiasm, it’s not as simple as prospective homebuyers searching foreign destinations, picking the perfect place and packing their bags.

On top of existing restrictions on foreign homebuyers—like Mexico’s restrictions on buying coastline property or the general difficulty of obtaining a Mexican mortgage—other destinations like Canada have vowed to ban foreign buyers for two years to “cool rising prices” set off by the pandemic.

Regardless of impending bans and extra restrictions that may arise, other challenges for prospective American buyers include making decisions sight unseen, not knowing much about the schools or communities in their chosen destination, and generally needing some guidance and advice.

This is where real estate agents who specialize in relocation can be useful, and why agents who do specialize in relocation may want to reach back out to prospects who were interested in an international move pre-pandemic now that global travel restrictions have mostly lifted.

To restart the conversation with leads or to bring in a fresh pool of prospects, relocation specialists may also consider sharing a monthly market report in their chosen foreign destinations to provide insights on how to relocate, address any relevant restrictions and offer helpful resources like relocation document checklists or FAQs.

As part of the Colibri Real Estate family of premier education brands, McKissock Learning helps hundreds of thousands of real estate professionals each year achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their career via continuing education and professional development courses. For more information visit https://www.mckissock.com/.

The post International Home-Buying Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2022 appeared first on RISMedia.

Advances in Home Inspection Technology Benefit Everyone

18 hours 14 min ago

Technology evolution in home inspection now enables a number of advances that benefit clients and agents alike. Agents that take advantage of these developments will help improve their clients’ home-buying and -selling process and will save themselves time as well.

Interactivity enables the buyer to review a visual inspection summary, offering expanded insights and information the buyer will use well into the future. Much more expansive than a common virtual tour, the interactive format brings the inspection report to life. By visually highlighting issues noted during the inspection, an interactive report enables the client to get a clearer understanding of each area of concern. This also enables a client to revisit the home virtually whenever they wish, which means fewer in-person visits are needed.

A digital homeowner’s manual is a useful new element made possible by new technology. With this feature, home appliances are screened for current recalls, and the homeowner is alerted should future recalls occur. Owner’s manuals, warranty information and much more are accessible via an app that puts everything the homeowner needs to troubleshoot, operate and maintain their home right at their fingertips.

New tech-based features mean that buyers and sellers get more and better information when, where and how they need it, while agents can keep transactions moving and get to closings faster.

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is committed to ensuring confident home ownership. To learn how Pillar To Post Home Inspectors can help you and your clients using advanced technology visit pillartopost.com.

The post Advances in Home Inspection Technology Benefit Everyone appeared first on RISMedia.

Boom in Home Remodeling May Peak in 2022

18 hours 15 min ago

Spending for home improvements and repairs is expected to expand at a stronger pace in 2022, but signs point to some easing of growth by year end, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) being released Friday by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects double-digit gains in annual homeowner renovation and maintenance expenditure will top out in the third quarter of 2022 before beginning a deceleration toward more sustainable rates of growth.

“Strong increases in home sales activity, household incomes, and home equity levels are supporting a faster expansion of the home remodeling market over the coming year,” says Carlos Martín, Project Director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Center. “As owners continue to navigate the ups and downs of the pandemic’s trajectory, the focus on home improvements for changing wants and needs remains in sharp relief.”

“While annual owner improvement and repair spending could reach $430 billion by the second half of 2022, several headwinds may still temper growth expectations this year,” says Abbe Will, Associate Project Director of the Remodeling Futures Program. “The rising costs of labor and construction materials, difficulty retaining contractors, and climbing interest rates could discourage owners from undertaking new or larger remodeling projects.”

The prior two LIRA releases reported spending projections using a smoothing technique to adjust for the immense growth rate volatility in several leading model inputs, which was largely an artifact of year-over-year comparisons to pandemic-induced lows. As these shocks recede further in the past and inputs begin to stabilize, the Remodeling Futures Program is reverting to its standard methods for projecting homeowner improvement and repair spending with this release. The result of this change is somewhat higher growth rate projections than previously reported.

For more information, visit www.jchs.harvard.edu.

The post Boom in Home Remodeling May Peak in 2022 appeared first on RISMedia.

Watson Realty Corp. Founder Honored with Icon Award

18 hours 16 min ago

Watson Realty Corp.’s owner and founder William A. Watson, Jr. was presented with the brand-new Real Estate Icon Award from the Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS® (NEFAR) last week on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at the NEFAR 2022 Annual Installation and Awards Gala, the company has announced.

Nearly 300 NEFAR members attended the Awards Gala where Watson was the first recipient of NEFAR’s new Real Estate Icon Award, which is given to a REALTOR® who has made a significant mark within the profession of real estate in Northeast Florida.

According to the NEFAR website, recipients are recognizable within the community-at-large and the award is synonymous with exemplary ethical behavior as well as knowledgeable and compassionate service to customers.

Watson was chosen as a highly respected individual in the real estate community demonstrating generosity with his time through support of community organizations, projects and programs.

He entered real estate in 1960, opened his own firm in 1965 and grew his footprint to 48 offices and nearly 1,400 sales associates through Northeast Florida, Central Florida, and South Georgia. He is hailed as a pioneer in the Florida real estate market for over six decades and has won a multitude of local and national awards for his service and impact in the community.

To learn more, visit www.watsonrealtycorp.com.

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Coldwell Banker Premier Merges with Legacy Firm, Expands Into Delaware

18 hours 18 min ago

Coldwell Banker Premier, headquartered in Winchester, VA, with eight offices serving Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., has merged with legacy brokerage Coldwell Banker Resort Realty headquartered in Rehoboth Beach, DE, the company has announced.

The move doubles the size of Coldwell Banker Premier, led by the company’s Founder and CEO, Steve DuBrueler. The nearly 30-year-old brokerage now has 12 offices and approximately 150 agents who combined to complete 1,700 transactions totaling nearly $500 million in sales volume, the company stated. This production earns Coldwell Banker Premier a 2022 spot on the prestigious Coldwell Banker Chairman’s Circle list as one of the top Coldwell Banker affiliates in the world.

Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, a 40-year-old firm with offices in Rehoboth, Lewes, Seaford and Milford, supports residential sales for primary and secondary homeowners, as well as relocation clients, vacation rentals and commercial real estate. Kathy Newcomb, former President and owner of Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, and Bruce Plummer, Managing Broker, will continue in their leadership roles. Stephen Meadows, the Chief Operating Officer of Coldwell Banker Premier, will oversee the integration efforts and company strategy moving forward.

As part of Coldwell Banker Premier, agents benefit from a health and wealth solution, which provides subsidized health, dental and vision insurance as well as a 401k plan and deferred compensation plan. In addition, automation of back-office functions will increase efficiencies for agents, while also benefiting from operational synergies in property management, relocation, training, coaching and professional marketing support.

“Our two companies have decades-long legacies of success and dominance within the iconic Coldwell Banker brand. When we first began talking with Kathy and Bruce it was apparent that our cultures of caring for our agents was so similar. We have also both enjoyed similar growth as so many have chosen to relocate from urban D.C. and Baltimore. This move allows our clients along the I-81 corridor the opportunity to easily explore second-home ownership along the coast. Joining forces will also allow both groups to be stronger, more agile and better equipped to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the real estate industry. Our leadership teams will work hand-in-hand to deliver world-class tools, service, and support to all of our agents.” –Steve DuBrueler, Founder and CEO, Coldwell Banker Premier

“As a family owned and led business for more than forty years, we have a powerful legacy in our community that we believe will be honored and amplified as part of Coldwell Banker Premier. My father’s focus on continuous growth will be in good hands as will our agents, who will benefit from Steve’s commitment to professional development and success for agents.” –Kathy Newcomb, President, Coldwell Banker Resort Realty

For more information, visit https://www.premiermove.com/about.

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Fractured MLS Landscape Begins Embracing Tech, Consolidation

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 12:03

It is not the flashiest or most dynamic part of the real estate industry. The concept of a Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, goes back more than 100 years when local boards would meet in a dusty office and exchange paper copies of listings. Eventually, these were consolidated into larger volumes accessible by members of local or regional associations, before the dawn of the internet blurred regional lines and gave broad access to listing data for both consumers and real estate professionals.

Today, the MLS landscape retains vestiges of that fractured, paper-driven local data sharing. But as technology has improved, regulations have tightened and consumers have found other avenues to access home listing data, the traditional MLS needed to evolve.

Exactly what this means, though, varies widely, and companies across the country are taking very different approaches to consolidation, expansion and tech investments—all of which could upend the traditional methods real estate data is shared and accessed.

“The real benefit is modernization, and giving the consumer something they expect in the year 2022,” says Michael Barbaro, President of SmartMLS in Connecticut

Like many regions, Connecticut was once divided into dozens of individual MLS organizations, which eventually consolidated into two larger companies with overlapping and sometimes arbitrary boundaries. Barbaro describes all-too familiar scenarios with agents paying multiple fees and signing into different systems, and consumers receiving clunky, redundant and inconsistent listing data.

But in 2017, following a blitz of meetings, surveys and compromises, SmartMLS became the state’s main—though still not sole—MLS service, consolidating the two previous systems and staff to serve over 90% of the state. This merger was the subject of a glowing case study report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), which lauded Barbaro’s ability to foster relationships and come up with innovative solutions (having co-CEOs for the new company and realigning fee structures, among other things).

Almost five years later, Barbaro says this process—which took a lot of work but only about six months to put together—has allowed the combined MLS to better serve both real estate professionals and consumers while also investing in the technology that will be needed to keep SmartMLS from falling behind.

“We are looking to change the game of real estate,” Barbaro says. “I’ve been encouraged by the fact that MLSs are starting to see the writing on the wall.”

But in the enormous, diverse landscape of the U.S., how applicable is the experience of one small Northeast state? How realistic is it to expect big metros and tiny villages, huge national brokerages and small local teams to use the same platforms and data?

Not too unrealistic, according to Jon Coile, vice president of MLS & Industry Relations for HomeServices of America and former chair of BrightMLS, a large, multi-regional MLS in the Washington D.C. and Philadelphia area. Coile is currently helping lead NAR policy studies focused on the MLS industry, which has considered state-wide standards to help eliminate some of the obvious issues with the current landscape.

“I have a state license, I can sell anywhere in the state,” he says. “But in states where they don’t share data, I might have to and belong to 15 or 20 MLSs to get access to the data. Meanwhile the consumer, they just go to one website—Zillow or Redfin or whatever—and they can access everything. So, the consumer knows more about real estate than I know as a REALTOR®, and that makes no sense.”

Data-sharing, with some number of MLS companies creating a separate database that contains all their listing data and standardizes platforms or entries is not a new concept, and seems like common sense in the face of Zillow. Some have still resisted—Barbaro says there are a couple MLSs in small, affluent Connecticut towns that are holding onto their independence.

Brian Donnellan is the CEO of BrightMLS. He made it clear that the data-sharing approach is both “extremely effective” and widely beneficial to consumers, real estate professionals and the MLSs themselves.

“By providing both more access to listings on the buying side, and more exposure on the seller side, consumers have more choice among a wider range of listings,” Donnellan says. “The shift toward working from home for many buyers and sellers has opened up a larger area of possibilities for many consumers.  More options presented in a simple and straightforward way helps agents and brokers serve consumers more efficiently.”

One solution to the regionalization problem is to disregard these local boundaries entirely. Dawn Pfaff runs My State MLS, which offers a national platform that attempts to create flexibility and an expansive, unrestricted listing landscape—including auctions and manufactured homes.

“The biggest advantage to My State MLS, is that you can list anywhere you are licensed,” Pfaff says. “We believe that cooperation is essential, and we agree to cooperate with everyone who is also licensed in the same state.”

Joe Rand is the CEO of another national initiative called the Broker Public Portal (BPP), which powers consumer portal HomeSnap.The idea is to create a set of standards behind a Zillow-type national portal that is more agent-focused and doesn’t monetize leads, instead creating a more level playing field that will still provide the national MLS experience for consumers.

“I just don’t see how MLS systems can be cordoned off the way they used to be,” Rand says.  “Smart MLSs realize they can’t shield themselves from the outside world. As brokerages get bigger, they’re increasingly frustrated by having to deal with multiple MLS systems that don’t collaborate with each other. Given that MLSs themselves espouse cooperation among brokers, it makes sense that they should also be cooperative with each other. “

Ruth Hackney is the CEO of the REALTORS® Association of Southwest Wisconsin, and former CEO of the Montana Regional MLS. She says Wisconsin has had state-wide data sharing for more than a decade now, with the platform owned by the three largest MLSs in the state while smaller companies maintain some independence. Those relationships have been defined by convivial discussion and consideration of each other—something that not every state or region can claim.

“Wisconsin is a very friendly place. Nobody wants to hurt anyone’s feelings or make anyone upset, so when we go forward, we want to make sure we’re going forward together,” she said.

Because everyone is essentially happy with the current system, Hackney says there is no strong impetus for further consolidation right now. But at the same time, having larger, more formal partnerships and centralized resources is becoming vital to the success of any MLS.

Tech Savvy

New York City is an almost incomparably unique geographic and political area, and therefore unique as far as real estate as well. The Real Estate Board of New York, or REBNY, is independent of NAR unlike most local associations, having essentially seceded from the national body in 1994 in a dispute over membership fees.

REBNY owns its own listing database which technically is not called an MLS, instead christened “RLS,” or “Residential Listing Service.” Other associations around and in the city—which are affiliated with NAR—continue to compete for territory and offer their own MLSs.

In this much more cutthroat environment, (REBNY Board of Governors member Fredrick W. Peters described the history of MLS in the city as “warring fiefdoms”) the priority is to provide a better product. Because MLS companies are tech companies at heart, that means having the best technology.

Ninve James is the senior vice president of the RLS serving 12,000 agents and $45 billion in listings. Set to launch in the second quarter of 2022, James touts “Citysnap,” a proprietary consumer-facing website and app exclusive to the RLS built by HomeSnap.

“I know it’s something the industry has been looking to have for a while,” she says.

For real estate professionals, leads are routed directly to the listing agent or broker at no cost, James says, and there are no listing fees. It is also meant to ensure all listings comply with the complex advertising and fair housing laws in the city.

Creating that product, which is molded to the unique NYC landscape, along with migrating the RLS to national software and data standards, is the “big thing” for the organization, James says, and Citysnap is an “all hands on deck” project. Though REBNY, as the oldest and most established real estate association in the country’s largest metro, has a huge head start on the competition, James makes it clear that they will not be sitting back.

“It’s going to provide much needed data transparency for New Yorkers, which is a huge win for our city’s real estate industry and consumers,” she says.

Donnellan highlights BrightMLS’s hub for showing service, which became an especially important tech integration in the “incredibly busy market” of the last year or so.

“It’s about speed—what’s coming on the market, what’s available at any given moment, etc. Agents and brokers need to be able to present the fullest, most complete representation of the market to their clients as quickly as possible,” he says.

Not everyone in the MLS world has reacted in a timely manner to innovations and opportunities, according to Barbaro, particularly around technology. Companies and products that are pushing the industry forward are being bought out at “ridiculous valuations,” and he argues there is no reason that MLS companies can’t begin investing in these products themselves rather than relying on vendors.

“I’ve been talking about this for years, I don’t understand why we don’t own the technology, why we don’t develop the technology,” he says. “We use them, we’re a captive audience. Now we’re finally starting to see come out there.”

Barbaro points to one of the largest MLSs in the country, California Regional MLS, which recently invested $15 million in a venture capital fund to take a more direct hand in its own tech future. My State MLS also owns their own tech, and Pfaff says their clients can feel confident knowing their membership fees are being invested directly into improving software and data technology.

But even small MLSs can band together, he adds, and take control of their technology future, with Barbaro saying there are numerous cases of half a dozen or so small companies getting together to buy a product or invest in a technology, to the benefit of all.

“I think that the most important tech advancements are all about integration of tools by smart tech providers,” Rand says. “People want technology to be seamless, which you can’t achieve if you’re not ethically sharing data across platforms to better service agents and consumers.”

In Wisconsin, Hackney says the three largest MLS companies own the software that powers the state-wide shared database. She describes tech advancement as “staff-driven” and mostly starting with leadership in the larger organizations, with any big decision or change inclusive of all the members who share and use it.

“We just sit down and start to brainstorm,” Hackney says. “We’re just constantly kind of keeping our eye out—is an MLS already doing something and it’s working? Then how can we adopt that and make it work for our unique system?”

The Devil in the Details

It is not these big-picture questions that are hampering growth and cooperation in the MLS industry today, according to Barbaro. Nearly everyone has now woken up to the fact that consumers are turning to Zillow and Redfin for listings, and that technology can and must make the MLS experience simpler and more straightforward for real estate professionals.

What makes things difficult is every little structural and bureaucratic line that has been drawn. That can be everything from what data fields to use to staffing responsibilities, and can take an enormous amount of effort and time to find consensus among dozens of organizations with their own histories and structure.

Barbaro says the case study on SmartMLS did not allow any specific discussions about staff ahead of the merger and created a new streamlined fee structure and had the state association offset costs of legal fees and meeting expenses.

A lot of real estate professionals are happy with their MLS staff and service, Barbaro suggests, and even though there were obvious improvements to be made in Connecticut they still wanted to hang on to staff

“People are like, ‘I get good service,’ and I thought that was interesting. Most people really care about that, and there is an amount of that,” he says.

All these things were worked out, though, in a relatively short time through a lot of conversations and listening to people’s concerns, according to Barbaro—with the NAR case study saying his role was “highly praised” as he “created a partnership atmosphere” through the delicate process.

Though REBNY is not in the same situation as far as mergers or consolidation, James says that the RLS also must work hard to listen to their stakeholders, who are made up of a particularly vibrant and diverse real estate community.

“We’re in constant communication,” James says. “We have multiple committees across the city that basically get updates and meet on a constant cadence to make sure that we send out communications and stay in touch with our constituents.”

Understanding how New York City functions—whether that means adding data fields for things like which buildings have doormen and elevators, or mapping distance to parks and transportation—will be vital to the success of any system in the city, and James says the RLS is building that through feedback.

“When you look at Citysnap it will cater to what’s expected in New York City,” she says.

Coile says that the Real Estate Standards Organization, or RESO has come up with what he calls a “data dictionary” that can actually translate those regional differences automatically and eliminate the sticking points for MLSs. For example, checking the same box would result in a property being designated “waterfront” in one region or “shorefront” in another depending on the preference.

“All the computer knows is that field F42 is on or off,” he says. “There could be 10 different words in there.”

Fees and pricing will always be an issue and will definitely need to be worked out, though Coile says that consolidation almost always results in lower costs for technology as companies can get a lower price per agent if they serve hundreds or thousands instead of dozens.

Pfaff touts My State MLS for not having any fines or board membership requirements, which is another way to attract more business, and says that they also offer webinars on things like digital marketing to help add value to the service. Membership to a single, national MLS also makes sense in more rural areas where properties are spread out, she says.

Even though BrightMLS exists in a limited geographic region, Donnellan agrees that eliminating “digital boundaries” that are often arbitrary and mean nothing to the consumer will be the future of the industry.

“We…have the opportunity to continue to lead the way on further market transparency for the benefit of consumers,” he says. “Ultimately, this clear open market is in the best interest of all. Transparency and a complete most accurate picture of the market puts them in a position to help their clients succeed.”

MLSs are businesses, and at the end of the day if they are not serving the best interests of clients and consumers, they are not going to survive, and no amount of history or pushback from the old guard will change that.

Hackney says that she experienced some of the difficulties in getting different organizations to work together in her previous role in Montana, which was in the process of merging MLSs at the time. Now in the very convivial landscape of Wisconsin, she says she still holds on to that lesson: that an MLS is first and foremost a tool for clients and consumers. While everyone does their utmost to avoid disruption and maintain staffing, there still has to be a willingness—especially at the top—to accept the inevitability of change.

“The goal is to create efficiencies, and as staff it’s our job to serve the best interests of the member,” she says. “When you have a really strong MLS executive, those people are going to see the benefit of it, they’re going to be willing to make compromises.”

Jesse Williams is an associate online editor at RISMedia. Email him with your real estate news ideas jesse@rismedia.com

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Existing-Home Sales Mark 15-Year Milestone, Despite Decline in December

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 12:02

After seeing several months of gains, existing-home sales retracted in December by 7.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.18 million, with each of the four major U.S. regions seeing both a month-over-month and year-over-year decreases, according to the latest data from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Despite the drop, overall sales for 2021 increased 8.5%, marking the highest annual level since 2006.

Single-family home sales dipped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in December, down 4.3% from 5.77 million in November and down 6.8% YoY.

Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 660,000 units in December, down 7.0% from 710,000 in November and down 9.6% annually.

Regional breakdown:

Midwest
Existing-Home Sales: 1.5 million (-2.6% YoY)

Median Price: $256,900 (+10.0% YoY)

 

Northeast

Existing-Home Sales: 750,000 (-15.7% YoY)

Median Price: $384,600 (+6.3% YoY)

 

South

Existing-Home Sales: 2.7million (-5.3% YoY)

Median Price: $323,000 (+20.2% YoY)

 

West

Existing-Home Sales: 1.23 million (-10.2% YoY)

Median Price: $507,100 (+8.4% YoY)

 

The takeaway:

“We wrapped up the year witnessing home sales exceed the previous year’s total and saw millions of families secure housing. I think the positive momentum will continue as the market prepares to finally see more supply in the coming months, meaning more buyers will be able to land their dream home.” — Leslie Rouda Smith, NAR President

“December saw sales retreat, but the pullback was more a sign of supply constraints than an indication of a weakened demand for housing. Sales for the entire year finished strong, reaching the highest annual level since 2006.”

“There was a significant surge in first-time buyers at the end of the year. With mortgage rates expected to rise in 2022, it’s likely that a portion of December buyers were intent on avoiding the inevitable rate increases. This year, consumers should prepare to endure some increases in mortgage rates. I also expect home prices to grow more moderately by 3% to 5% in 2022, and then similarly in 2023 as more supply reaches the market.” — Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist

“Although they lagged behind year-ago levels, dropping either 7.1% or 8.3% to a pace of 6.18 or 6.10 million, existing home sales hit a 4th straight month at above 6 million pace in December, closing out 2021 on a relatively high note. Rising concerns about inflation gave home shoppers a big reason to stay in the market in December: The potential opportunity to close on a home before prices and mortgage rates tick up further.

“With housing inventory dwindling and prices rising, finding the right home that’s still in the budget continues to be the hardest part of the real estate journey—and means the supply of for-sale homes remains a key driver of sales activity. Limited supply is an ongoing challenge.

“Looking ahead, the path for existing home sales will be shaped by opposing market forces at work. On the one hand, we expect inventories to begin to increase in 2022 from extraordinarily low levels, as more homeowners are expected to move and builders pick up the pace. This should create more options for potential buyers. On the other hand, home prices are forecasted to continue rising, and alongside higher mortgage rates, create an affordability damper on demand. On the whole, we expect buyers to be able to successfully navigate these challenges and, as a result, home sales to rise again in 2022.” —Danielle Hale, Realtor.com Chief Economist

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Mortgage Rates Rise to Highest Level Since Onset of Pandemic

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 12:01

Mortgage rates continued their upward trajectory for the fourth straight week, rising to their highest level since the beginning of the pandemic, according to this week’s report from Freddie Mac.

According to the agency’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS), the 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.56% for the week ending Jan. 20, climbing another 0.7 points from a week ago.

Mortgage details:

The takeaway:

“Mortgage rates moved up again as the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose and financial markets adjusted to anticipated changes in monetary policy that will combat inflation,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.

“As a result of higher mortgage rates, purchase demand has modestly waned in advance of the spring homebuying season. However, supply remains near historically tight levels and home prices remain high, keeping the market competitive.”

“Homebuyers remain active in today’s markets, despite the winter’s cold weather and snowstorms, seeking to take advantage of current rates before they rise even higher,” said George Ratiu, realtor.com Manager of Economic Research.

 The unseasonably strong demand, combined with many sellers taking a break during the holidays, is keeping prices high. On a positive note, construction of new homes picked up speed at the tail end of 2021, and there are signs that builders will maintain a solid pace throughout the year. Housing markets are in clear need of a significant influx of new homes to meet the growing needs of buyers. Looking to the year ahead, however, housing markets will contend with headwinds, including rising lumber prices, inflation, and the continued issue that there are just not enough homes available. In addition, higher mortgage rates will squeeze many first-time buyers’ budgets. At today’s rate, the buyer of a median-priced home is paying $238 more on a monthly payment compared with a year ago, adding close to $2,900 to the yearly housing cost burden.”

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Report: Inventory Down More Than 40% From Pre-Pandemic Level

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 12:00

As the consumer shopping season wound down in December, real estate demand remained high amidst staggeringly low inventory. Zillow’s latest market report showed housing inventory is down 40.5% versus December 2019—just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The low-inventory pressure is having a clear and direct impact on home prices, which are continuing to accelerate. The report revealed an annual, record-breaking home value increase of 19.6% in 2021 versus the previous year. Further, rents increased 15.7% during the same period to an $1,855/month average.

Additional findings:

  • The Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) rose 1.4% in December from November, to $320,662.
  • Monthly home value growth accelerated from November to December in 35 of the nation’s 50 largest metro markets.
  • Among the nation’s 50 largest markets, the slowest monthly growth in December were in Milwaukee (0.2%), Buffalo (0.4%), New York (0.6%), Hartford (0.6%) and Sacramento (0.6%).
  • The fastest growth was in Nashville (2.8%), Atlanta (2.4%) and Austin (2.2%).
  • Inventory bottomed out by 11.1% to a new record low of about 923,000 homes nationwide.
  • Inventory was down in December from November in at least 49 of the nation’s 50 largest metros (monthly data for Nashville is unavailable), and was down year-over-year in 47 of the 48 largest metros, where data is available.
  • The largest annual inventory declines among the largest 50 markets were in Miami (-48.0%), Denver (-40.3%) and Raleigh (-39.2%).
  • Bucking the Inventory trend, however, was Austin, which was up 14.6% YoY.

The takeaway:

According to forecasting, home sales will continue their growth in 2022 to the highest levels in 17 years. Likewise, home values will continue to increase by an estimated 14.3% annual rate, per the Zillow report. With an expected 6.6 million existing home sales in 2022 (up 7% versus 2021), real estate professionals should expect another banner year.

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The Institute: December Luxury Market Report

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 02:05

The Institute’s Luxury Market Report is your guide to an analysis on the trends and comparative data on the top-residential markets throughout Canada and the United States.

December’s report reviews the current statistics for the luxury market in North America month over month, as well as the 13-month trend.

This month, we take a moment to reflect on the changes that have occurred in consumers’ priorities over the past year.

We review not only how, like the stock market, the personal luxury goods market resurged in 2021 but also how new expectations have changed the mindset of why luxury products are purchased.

It has long been asserted that the luxury market is the leader of new trends; with this in mind, we evaluate the impact of their purchasing power, not just for new luxury goods and services but for the second-hand market as well as the real estate industry.

We also discover some new players in the luxury market who are forecast to become major influencers by 2025.

Understand how the new priorities of the affluent shaped their real estate buying decisions in 2021, and why these were more purposeful in comparison to many of the purchases made in 2020.

These decisions go part way to explaining the high absorption rate of specific types of homes and why there was such a lack of inventory, fast turnover, multiple offers and luxury properties selling over their asking price in 2021.

Technology and related platforms were also key players in 2021, not just in the rise of online products and services, but in how business and communication were managed.

It is important to understand that the art of selling and buying should always include an analytical approach to truly appreciate the realities, rather than just listening to the market rhetoric.

Click here to see the Institute’s full report.

Get exclusive insights into the upper-tier real estate market at one of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s live or online training sessions. Enroll today!

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Maintaining a Winning Position

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 02:04

Steve Kloetsch

Co-Founder/CEO

Andy Kloetsch

Co-Founder/COO

RSVP Real Estate ERA Powered

Bellevue, Washington

www.rsvpre.com

 

Region served: Washington State

Years in real estate: Steve: 17; Andy: 23

Number of offices: 2

Number of agents: 400

Best advice for new agents: Communicate with your sphere of influence on a regular basis.

Must-have technology tool for 2022: MoxiWorks

What ultimately led to your decision to affiliate with ERA, and how has this partnership helped your brokerage?

Steve Kloetsch: When we looked at Realogy and ERA, it was a company that we felt was very focused on the agent, which is very important to us. ERA has given our agents a lot more tools in a time when issues are more prevalent to consumers, while allowing them to maintain their position. Given the environment, as an independent company, we needed to provide much deeper resources than we had available.

In what way does RSVP Real Estate ERA Powered support brokers and agents?

Andy Kloetsch: Through accessibility and support. Real estate is not as simple as people see on TV. Real estate, when done correctly, can be a complex transaction. We pride ourselves on being a family, and we’re focused on what we can do to help and provide for our family. We understand that we’re dealing with people’s lives, and we’re doing whatever we can to set agents (and their buyers and sellers) up for success.

What tools and resources provided by ERA do you and your agents find most valuable?

AK: The ERA Moves program is a buyer-centric program that helps buyers get their utilities set up, taking one more thing off their plate. We want to do anything we can to make the process a little less stressful.

SK: MoxiWorks is an entire platform of services that handles the website and marketing, CRM and leads, and so many other things related to making an agent’s job easier.

Can you talk a little bit about the type of brokerage model that will “win in the ’20s?”

SK: This is a boutique, family-owned brokerage, and our agents enjoy that. Today, we bring a national and international brand that our agents can utilize with a lot of added value. ERA gives them a global referral network, which is really beneficial. We provide an overall environment that’s wealthy in support.

What is it about this type of model that will have the biggest impact on the real estate industry? 

SK: I think the industry needs to look at cost structure. We operate a virtual office environment where agents work out of their homes, keeping costs and fee structures low for agents. I think everybody should look for a way to operate in this type of environment in a more cost-effective way.

How are you preparing your agents for this year’s market, and what are your expectations for 2022?

AK: We expect another phenomenal year, and we’re preparing our agents by having this affiliation with ERA and Realogy. ERA does a great job when it comes to setting our agents up to succeed well into the future.

SK: It has been a crazy market, especially in Washington State. To say it’s a seller’s market is an understatement. As we look at 2022, we’re not only making sure our agents have all the tools they need, but also how to use those tools. RE

For more information, please visit visit www.era.com.

Paige Brown is RISMedia’s content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to pbrown@rismedia.com.

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Homebuyers Narrow Home Search With Technology

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 02:03

Homebuyers who successfully purchased a home last year only viewed a median of eight homes before purchasing. For some buyers who put down multiple contracts and repeatedly lost bidding wars, this may seem like very few, however for others who found limited housing inventory in their area, it may seem like a wide selection.

Looking at the number of homes viewed historically provides a better perspective. NAR Research has tracked the number of homes viewed since 1987. Viewing eight homes before purchasing is the lowest number reported. At the height, buyers viewed 12 homes before purchasing in 2009 and 2011 as inventory was plentiful, following the Great Recession. During the housing boom years, 2004 to 2006, homes were moving at a rapid pace, but typically nine homes were viewed. Limited housing inventory has likely played a key role here. If there are few homes for sale in a price bracket, there are few homes to see. From the November 2021 existing-home sales data, there are just 1.1 million units for sale, a 13.3 percent decline from a year ago. However, one important change has happened since 2006: technology.

Homebuyers today can view homes online and quickly weed out what they want to see versus what can be discarded. Buyers can walk through virtual tours, view videos, see detailed photos in a way, 2006 technology did not allow. Among the eight homes viewed by buyers—three were viewed only online through virtual tours, virtual video tours, or virtual open houses. In 2006, 80% of buyers used the internet to search for homes. Today, that share is 95% of buyers. (It is shocking that 5% of buyers do not use online tools in the search process, but a similar share bought from the previous owner who they likely know. They likely are familiar with the property.) In 2006, 24% of buyers first spotted their home online. Today, that share is 51%.

Technology and tight inventory have also likely played a role in the number of weeks a buyer is searching for a new home. Buyers searched for just eight weeks before deciding on the home to purchase. From 2009 to 2013 buyers took their time and looked at homes over 12 weeks. As homes were moving at a slower pace, they could decide over a longer timeframe and perhaps view a home several times before putting in a contract. Buyers today do not have that luxury and need to make fast decisions on which home to place on offer on, as there is likely another buyer ready to pounce right behind them. From the November REALTORS® Confidence Index, homes typically had 3.8 offers in November 2021.

To view the full report, click here.

Visit https://www.nar.realtor/ for more information.

Dr. Jessica Lautz is the Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights at the National Association of REALTORS®.

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Weichert Named a Top Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine for 18th Straight Year

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 02:02

Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. was recognized as one of the top 500 franchises across the United States and Canada for the 18th straight year by Entrepreneur magazine, as the outlet recently announced its 43rd annual “Franchise 500®” ranking. The company showed significant advancement in its overall ranking, moving up 55 spots to No. 282 on this year’s list.

Entrepreneur assesses several factors for its evaluation of franchises, including costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength and financial strength and stability. Each franchise is given a cumulative score based on an analysis of more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores earn a spot on the list.

Weichert Real Estate Affiliates Inc. has grown its national network to over 370 offices spanning 41 states and continues to be a staple on the “Franchise 500®,” one of the world’s most comprehensive franchise rankings.

Over its 43 years in existence, the “Franchise 500®” has become a primary research tool for potential franchisees. Weichert’s consistent ranking on the prestigious list is a testament to its strength as a franchise opportunity, the company states.

“We are honored to be selected as one of the top franchise opportunities by Entrepreneur magazine for an 18th straight year,” said Bill Scavone, president and chief operating officer of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. “Our organization’s commitment to providing the best support, technology, tools and training in the industry, along with the hard work and dedication from our amazing network of franchisees, is truly what made this award attainable.”

The honor comes on the heels of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. being named to the “Top 200 Franchises” list by Franchise Business Review, which is the only ranking based solely on actual franchisee satisfaction and performance.

For more information, visit https://www.weichert.com/.

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Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Decreases to 1.41% in December

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 02:01

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) new monthly Loan Monitoring Survey release this week revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 26 basis points from 1.67% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior month to 1.41% as of December 31, 2021. According to MBA’s estimate, 705,000 homeowners are in forbearance plans.

The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased 8 basis points to 0.68%. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased 47 basis points to 1.63%, and the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) declined 51 basis points to 3.43%.

Key findings:

  • Total loans in forbearance decreased by 26 basis points in December 2021 relative to November 2021: from 1.67% to 1.41%.
  • By investor type, the share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased relative to the prior month: from 2.10% to 1.63%.
  • The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased relative to the prior month: from 0.76% to 0.68%.
  • The share of other loans (e.g., portfolio and PLS loans) in forbearance decreased relative to the prior month: from 3.94% to 3.43%.
  • Total loans serviced that were current (not delinquent or in foreclosure) as a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#) rose to 94.85% in December 2021 from 94.58% in November 2021 (on a non-seasonally adjusted basis).
  • The five states with the highest share of loans that were current as a percent of servicing portfolio: Idaho, Washington, Colorado, Utah, and Oregon.
  • The five states with the lowest share of loans that were current as a percent of servicing portfolio: Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Illinois, and Indiana.
  • Total completed loan workouts from 2020 and onward (repayment plans, loan deferrals/partial claims, loan modifications) that were current as a percent of total completed workouts declined to 83.50% last month from 3.69% in November.

The takeaway:

“The share of loans in forbearance continued to decline in December 2021. This was especially the case for government and private-label and portfolio loans, as those loans have higher levels of forbearance than loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” said Marina Walsh, CMB, MBA’s Vice President of Industry Analysis. “With the number of borrowers in forbearance continuing to decrease below 750,000, the pace of monthly forbearance exits reached its lowest level since MBA started tracking exits in June 2020.”

Added Walsh, “It is likely that the remaining borrowers in forbearance have experienced either a permanent hardship that may require more complex loan workout solutions, or they have encountered a recent hardship for which they are now seeking relief.”

To see the full report, go to www.mba.org/loanmonitoring. For additional information, visit MBA’s website: www.mba.org.

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HUD Announces $83 Million to Deliver Equitable COVID-19 Relief to Tribal Communities

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 02:00

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the awarding of more than $83 million in Indian Community Block Grant-American Rescue Plan (ICDBG-ARP) grants to 74 Tribal communities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the third round of ICDBG-ARP awards, underscoring the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to delivering equitable COVID-19 relief to Tribal communities.

A breakdown of the awards by recipient is available here.

These funds to Tribes will help protect the health and safety of their communities, particularly low- and moderate-income individuals and families, by expanding access to safe housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities.

“It is imperative that we continue providing Tribal communities with resources needed to protect the health and safety of their communities,” said HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman. “With the funding HUD is awarding today, we remain diligent in continuing our mission to ensure that every person has the security of a healthy home and community. HUD will continue to strengthen partnerships with Tribal communities to ensure that all communities receive equitable relief.”

This week’s announcement follows HUD’s previous awards of $74 million in ICDBG-ARP grants to 68 Tribal communities in November and $52 million in ICDBG-ARP grants to 49 Tribal communities in December. The American Rescue Plan included a total of $280 million for the Indian Community Development Block Grant program; HUD will announce additional ICDBG-ARP awards on a rolling basis.

More information about HUD and its programs is available at www.hud.gov.

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