Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, April 18-25, 2019

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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories 

Energy improvements; ADU Permits; Who’s buying in SF; and can Central Florida show us a true picture of US real estate trends?


Bend homeowner avoided ‘energy guzzlers’ for more efficient options, and it’s paying off (CNBC, April 24)

Making energy improvements to your home can save you anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year.



603 Permits For ADUs on O‘ahu Were Issued From Jan. 2016 to March 2019 (Honolulu Magazine, April 15)

A 2016 change in land-use laws on O’ahu allows construction of a new category of smaller-scale homes. The change is gaining in popularity across the island, according to Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting.



Central Florida boom shows true picture of US real estate trends (Curbed, April 23)

Sprawl, Supercommuters and Seniors



Even with slowing economy, Fannie Mae forecasts rising mortgage volume (National Mortgage News, April 18)

Economic growth will slow in 2019, but conditions will help home sales hold steady, with mortgage volume now being projected to rise over 2018, according to Fannie Mae. Housing inventory will, however, remain a homebuyer hurdle.

Fannie Mae now projects $1.62 trillion in total volume for 2019, compared with $1.6 trillion in 2018. This is a change in direction from its March forecast, which had a slight year-over-year decline to $1.59 trillion.



Who’s really buying property in San Francisco? (The Atlantic, April 18)

Fully 51 percent of them worked in software. They bought in specific, desirable neighborhoods closer to San Francisco’s tech companies, as well as the highways and train lines that lead south into Silicon Valley. They were less likely to buy in the foggy Sunset, which is the worst commute to tech businesses.

…This year, eight major tech companies are expected to hold initial public offerings. The first, Lyft, last month. Yesterday, Pinterest did. Airbnb, Instacart, Palantir, Postmates, Slack, and Uber remain. Amazingly, all but Palantir are headquartered in San Francisco, currently home to only five other public software companies—Dropbox, Salesforce, Square, Twitter, and Yelp.

…Kahramaner estimated that 5,000 new buyers will be entering the market, and his team attempted to show at what price points they’d be able to buy. He foresees 3,885 new buyers looking for houses less than $3 million, in a market in which fewer than 6,000 homes total sell per year. At the top end, it gets even crazier—with more than 1,000 buyers looking from $3 million on up.



Why aren’t more people tapping into their home equity? (Housing Wire, April 19)

Homeowners have record amounts of housing wealth, so why are they so reluctant to use it?



First-time homebuyers struggle to navigate home lending (HW, April 24)

Only 30% of borrowers look at more than 1 lender when searching for a home loan



Will Zillow’s Flip … Flop? (WSJ, April 21)

Online real-estate data company makes a big bet that it can automate buying and selling homes

Zillow is making a sizable bet that it can automate the labor-intensive process of buying and selling homes. But unlike most other areas of technology, many customers may prefer doing things the old-fashioned way when it comes to the roof over their heads.

..Mr. Barton reckons that Zillow can streamline the real-estate process with iBuying, much as Netflix did streaming videos. But real estate is a vastly different business from movies and even other online markets. For one thing, it is low-volume—just 5.5% of homeowners moved in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And when people do move, most want their hands held—87% of home buyers and 91% of home sellers still use an agent, according to a 2018 survey by the National Association of Realtors.



Redfin: This is how much an open house can boost your home sale (HW, April 23)

Homes with open houses sell faster and for more money

According to a recent analysis by Redfin, American home sellers are now making $9,046 more on average just by hosting open houses.

“Holding an open house is an efficient way for sellers to get more eyes on a home, and a bigger pool of potential buyers can help lead to a higher ultimate sale price,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said. “In many areas, homes that are already primed for competition tend to be the ones with open houses because the listing agent knows it will attract a lot of attention and wants to set up a convenient way for multiple potential buyers to pop in at once instead of making several appointments for private tours.”

One of these highly competitive markets includes San Francisco, where homes with open houses sold for 7.9% more than their counterparts.



Just for Fun

Why Green Has Overtaken Our Home Décor (Curbed, April 24)

Environmentalism, a 70s revival, and our need to be soothed



Thanks for reading!