Right People, Property, Price In 2012 Vacation Home Sales

Right People, Property And Price In 2012 Vacation Home SalesWASHINGTON DC – People of the right age, with available extra income, who discovered right-priced properties were the forces behind improving sales of vacation homes and recreational real estate during 2012, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported last week (April 2, 2013).

The NAR said its 2013 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey showed vacation-home sales rose 10.1 percent last year to 553,000, from 502,000 in 2011. Vacation-home sales accounted for 11 percent of all real estate transactions last year, unchanged from 2011. And the trend may continue, according to association Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, who said favorable conditions were still driving second-home sales.

“We had a strong stock market recovery, which helps more people in the prime ages for buying vacation homes.  Attractively priced recreational property is also a big draw,” Yun said.

The median vacation-home price was $150,000, compared with $121,300 in 2011. That reflected what the NAR reported was “a greater number of more expensive recreational property sales in 2012.” All-cash purchases remain common in the recreation market: 46 percent of vacation-home buyers paid cash in 2012. Thirty-five percent of vacation homes were considered distressed properties.

Who was active in the market? The NAR survey reported the typical vacation-home buyers were 47 years old, and had a median household income of $92,100. They purchased property that was a median distance of 435 miles from their primary residence, although 34 percent of vacation homes were within 100 miles and 46 percent were more than 500 miles. Buyers plan to own their recreational property for a median of 10 years.

Lifestyle factors remain the primary motivation for vacation-home buyers, the NAR said. Among reasons buyers listed for purchasing a vacation home, 80 percent wanted to use the property for vacations or as a family retreat, 27 percent planned to use it as a primary residence in the future, 23 percent expected to rent to others, and 23 percent considered it a good investment opportunity.

The survey was conducted in March 2013.

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Are Foreign-Born Home Buyers Your Next Target Market?

Are Foreign-Born Home Buyers Your Next Target Market?NEWTOWN SQUARE PA – A real estate sales licensee’s ability to understand and work well with foreign-born home buyers, and maybe even his or her ability to speak a language other than English, may be important tools in dealing with what is foreseen as a growing and increasingly important immigrant community which holds a positive view of home ownership.

The number of foreign-born homeowners will increase by 2.8 million in the decade ending 2020, compared with a 2.4 million gain in the previous 10 years, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association study on which Bloomberg Businessweek magazine reported last Tuesday (April 2, 2013). It also cited recent research by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals that concludes foreign-born home ownership could rise even higher if changes to U.S. immigration laws gave undocumented workers “more opportunities” to buy property.

Immigrants generally hold more positive views toward owning a home than native-born Americans, the mortgage bankers’ study indicates. Consequently, it added, they are more likely to buy a house as they prosper and as they live longer in the country. It projected that, by 2020, “61 percent of Hispanic immigrants who arrived here nearly 40 years earlier will own a home.”

Immigrants already account for more than 50 percent of the rise in home buying in six states this decade, including California and New York, according to the report.

Passage of an immigration reform bill, being pushed by President Obama, may generate about 3 million more home buyers over the next several years, according to a report last week from the Hispanic real estate professionals.

Foreign-born home buyers still face significant hurdles, the Bloomberg article noted. Lending standards remain strict for first-time buyers of any stripe, foreign-born or American. Moreover, lenders currently favor refinance applications over home purchasers, sources told its reporters. Finally, they added that low inventories of properties for sale is an acute problem in some states that also have high immigrant populations.

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Builder Study, Manufacturer Sales Show Moulding’s Popularity

Builder Study, Manufacturer Sales Show Moulding's Popularity

Crown mouldings come in a variety of sizes and designs

MAUMEE OH – One company’s consistent growth in the sale of crown moulding, the decorative trim element that gives a finished look to the intersection of walls and ceilings within a home, seems to support results of a 2012 study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) that shows a majority of prospective housing purchasers seek it out as a desired feature.

Ohio-based moulding manufacturer Fypon LLC said Wednesday (April 3, 2013) it’s enjoyed “ongoing strength of crown moulding sales” over the years. Its success bolsters the NAHB study’s conclusion that 62 percent of buyers prefer crown mouldings in the home, ranking it just behind ceiling fans and built-in shelving as most desirable.

Fypon makes urethane crown mouldings that can be installed by builders at the time of construction, and by home owners and do-it-yourselfers as a “fairly easy” post-purchase project. Company spokesperson Anita Piety refers to the phenomenon as “a double whammy of popularity.”

Results from the HAHB study, titled “What Home Buyers Really Want,” also indicate that consumers’ desire for crown moulding in the home has steadily climbed. In the 2004 study, 51 percent of respondents rated crown moulding as “essential or desirable;” in 2007 it rose to 61 percent, and rose again last year to 62 percent.

“Crown moulding is a timeless product,” Piety claimed. “There are such a wide variety of designs and sizes that anyone can match up a home style with the appropriate crown moulding.” Fypon offers thousands of decorative millwork elements in a variety of architectural styles to enhance the interior and exterior of homes, she added.

Photo from Fypon LLC

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In ‘Big Month Number 2,’ Are You Selling 10 Percent More Homes?

20130402-TenPercent-GoogleImagesNEWTOWN SQUARE PA – “Big Month Number 2″ is under way.

April, according to the Trulia.com Pro Blog, is one of Pennsylvania’s two biggest months for online home-hunting. Big Month Number 1, by the way, is March. During each, the real estate website reported, online traffic searching houses for sale is 10-percent higher than the state’s annualized monthly average. As a sales licensee, Trulia asks, what are YOU doing to ensure your real estate practice benefits from all those additional searchers?

If you don’t know, or you haven’t yet gotten started, there’s no time like the present to learn. Trulia writer Jovan Hackley, in an article posted Tuesday (April 2, 2013), makes these suggestions:

  • Step up your online prospecting. It’s a prime opportunity to improve your online presentations of yourself, the homes you’ve listed, and the way you and your own website appeal to potential clients.
  • Make your homes-sold history available. Owners who plan to sell real estate in the future may be doing research now to learn how many comparable properties in their area have sold, and at what prices. This is valuable information to offer prospective sellers. It also creates a perfect forum to describe how you, the expert in your neighborhoods, marketed a property to get the best result for its sellers.
  • Feature your listings. It’s been said before: the more you show and tell, the more you sell. Take a critical look at your online listings. Are they accompanied by 20, 30 or more photos? Are they paired with walk-around, walk-through, walk-in-and-about videos? Are there street views, yard views, overhead views? Is there an embedded map that shows not only the listing’s location, but its proximity to stores, schools, parks? Make every listing stand out to those who are interested.

AND IF YOU’RE IN NEW JERSEY … double this advice. Like Pennsylvania, your state’s buyer activity is peaking in March and April. Unlike Pennsylvania, however, Jersey sales people enjoy two additional months – June and July – when online home searching also is 10 percent or more above the state’s annualized average.

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Office Real Estate Needs Continue To Shrink. Here’s Why …

Office Real Estate Needs Continue To Shrink. Here's Why ...NEWTOWN SQUARE PA – Here’s the kind of news that probably causes commercial agents, specifically those dealing in office real estate, to break out the antacids.

Citrix – the company that developed “GoToMeeting” software that lets team members in distant locations talk and see each other in virtual meetings on the web – completed a study late last year (September 2012) which concluded that, by 2020, organizations worldwide would need almost 20 percent less office space than they use now. That’s how big Citrix expects what it calls “workshifting” to become.

One reason is cloud-computing, the ability to put work-related applications and other services online and make them accessible to employees via the Internet from almost any device: a desktop or laptop computer, a tablet, or a smart phone. The result? More workers will do their jobs from home, or the local Starbucks, or anywhere else. The Citrix study anticipates future workplaces will average only seven desks for every 10 employees, each of whom likely will use up to six different computing devices.

By the time 2020 arrives, only seven years from now, some companies will have been able to rid themselves of one more seat, lowering their overhead to six desks for 10 workers. The chief beneficiaries of these savings, Citrix reports, will be firms in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Singapore and the Netherlands.

Employees themselves are driving the demand to work wherever they are. To that end, according to a January 2013 article in HR Magazine, companies increasingly allow employees to bring their own devices of choice into their offices. It also cited a Ventana Research report that claims nearly 70 percent of organizations are already buying smart phones for their employees for work purposes.

These tech effects on real estate may have even broader implications, too. Take employee relocation, a real estate business niche that fell off dramatically when the market most recently began to wither and possibly may take an even bigger hit to come if the Citrix figures are correct. The upside, on the other hand, may be in residential sales. Everyone who is asked to, or wants to, work from home will anticipate having comfortable, properly outfitted home offices from which to complete their tasks.

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DEP Unveils New Interactive Exhibit At 2013 Farm Show

HARRISBURG PA – Real estate professionals and property owners alike may learn new things from “DEP At Home,” an interactive educational exhibit that looks like a home and focuses on household practices and products that promote energy efficiency and sustainable building materials. It will be introduced next month by the state Department of Environmental Protection during the 97th Pennsylvania Farm Show.

DEP Unveils New Interactive Exhibit At 2013 Farm ShowThe show runs daily from Jan. 5-12 in the main hall of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free; parking costs $10.

The three-room exhibit has a bathroom and laundry area, kitchen, and living room that showcase decor, appliances and building materials to improve energy efficiency, water conservation, radon knowledge, air quality and other staples of environmental awareness. There is also an outdoor space that includes a dog house with green roofing and a bicycle.

This year’s show theme is “Made in PA: It Makes A Difference.” The exhibit will show off many Pennsylvania products, including fiber cement siding from Valley Forge, cork flooring from Lancaster, an Energy Star window from Vandergrift, and insulation made in Erie and Allentown.

DEP also will host a “Meet the Experts” event Jan. 6 (Sunday) from 2 to 6 p.m. with representatives from companies that donated products to the exhibit. They’ll be available to answer farm show visitors’ questions and offer additional energy efficiency tips.

The exhibit was created using a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s state energy program.

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Home Prices Up For Year Ending In October; Month Down A Bit

Home Prices Up For Year Ending In October; Month Down A BitNEW YORK NY – Home prices across 20 cities nationwide rose 4.3 percent during the 12 months ending in October (2012), as measured by the Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Wednesday (Dec. 26, 2012), and that upbeat performance out-distanced analysts’ forecasts. Anticipated seasonal weakness did show up, however, as 12 of the 20 posted monthly declines in home prices during October itself.

“Looking over this report, and considering other data on housing starts and sales, it is clear the housing recovery is gathering strength,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee. “Higher year-over-year price gains plus strong performances in the southwest and California, regions that suffered during the housing bust, confirm that housing is now contributing to the economy.”

Case-Shiller produces two composites that measure cumulative housing price results over 10 and 20 cities. In Wednesday’s report, both recorded annual increases of 3.4 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively, during October 2012. They were larger than the 2.1 percent and 3.0 percent annual rates posted for September 2012. In 19 of the 20 cities, annual returns in October were higher than September.

“One indication of the rebound is the gains from the bottom,” Blitzer added. “The largest rebound is 24.2 percent in Detroit, even though prices there are still about 20 percent lower than 12 years ago. San Francisco and Phoenix have also rebounded from recent lows by 22.5 percent and 22.1 percent, with prices comfortably higher than 12 years ago.”

This article was cross-posted to PolleyNJ.com
Photo from PR Newswire

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