ListHub in the spotlight
ListHub has recently been thrust into the real estate spotlight as two real estate associations’ members opted out of syndicating directly to ListHub, with some questioning what this spells for ListHub and for national syndication. Where some confusion remains is in the fact that ListHub is owned by Move, Inc. which also owns Realtor.com who has not been impacted by brokers or boards altering their syndication strategy, with most parties sticking with Realtor.com because in their operating agreement with the National Association of Realtors (NAR), they must play by the same rules as brokers.
Some have questioned whether Huntsville and Austin’s recent decisions to sever ties with ListHub will topple dominoes, but most boards we’ve spoken with assert that they are not changing their strategy – and Austin members tell us they don’t care, that they were never campaigning nationally, just pushing local brokers to make better decisions about syndication.
ListHub added 36 new MLSs this year alone
Enter ListHub’s announcement this morning that they’ve added 36 MLSs in 2013 alone. But what really matters is less that more boards are signing on than off, but that their total number of ListHub-enabled data sources is now at 450, a massive number of MLSs, covering most of the nation. So while select markets are jumping ship, the industry appears for now to be sticking with their current syndication strategy.
Through the ListHub backend, the company actually offers a scorecard on each listing company and gives users detailed filters, allowing brokers to become more educated on the ecosystem, and only syndicating data to sites that they believe are treating data fairly.
Several brokers in Austin have indicated to us that because of ListHub’s efforts to be the best information source about what syndicators are up to, they’ll be uploading directly to ListHub, and some will be adjusting their syndication strategy based on the scorecards, so there are many third party syndicators that could soon be in hot water.
Who is new?
ListHub supports hundreds of MLSs (the full list is available at ListHub), and the following MLSs formed contract agreements with ListHub in 2013:
Lake Martin Area Association of REALTORS®
Hot Springs Board of REALTORS®
Ridgecrest Area Association of REALTORS® Inc.
Gunnison Country Association of REALTORS® Inc.
Navarre Area Board of REALTORS®
Middle Georgia MLS
Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®
Sun Valley Board of REALTORS®
Cumberland Valley Board of REALTORS®
Henderson Audubon Board of REALTORS®
Madison County Board of REALTORS®
Northwest Louisiana Association of REALTORS®/Shreveport-Bossier Board of REALTORS®
Lake Region Association of REALTORS®
Southwest Mississippi Board of REALTORS®
Ozark Gateway Association of REALTORS®
MLS of the Three Rivers Board of REALTORS®
MultiList Services of Springfield REALTORS®, Inc.
West Central Association of REALTORS® (formerly Sedalia-Warsaw)
Randolph County Board of REALTORS®
Northeast Central Board of REALTORS®
Columbia Greene and Northern Dutchess MLS
Ithaca Board of REALTORS®
Mohawk Valley Board of REALTORS®
Rockingham County Association of REALTORS®
Yancey-Mitchell Board of REALTORS®
West Central Association of REALTORS®
Lawton Board of REALTORS®
Bradford Sullivan Association of REALTORS®
Bryan-College Station Association of REALTORS®
Corpus Christi Association of REALTORS®
The Houston Association of REALTORS®
Southern Piedmont Land & Lakes Board of REALTORS®
Southwest Virginia Board of REALTORS®
Roanoke Valley Association of REALTORS® Inc
Northeast Washington Association of REALTORS® MLS
Greenbrier Valley Board of REALTORS®
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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