Pricing Nation: startup tells the future of housing
With housing just now finding its sea legs after being beaten down by the 2008 crash, Pricing Nation has launched to forecast individual property values like Zillow’s Zestimates, only instead of offering current values, they predict the future of the home’s value which they pitch to users as a means of staying ahead of the volatile housing market.
Furthermore, the company forecasts future changes in value for the average home in a zip code to add an additional layer of useful data. Pricing Nation includes the primary local economic factors that affect home values, and offers reports to homeowners and Realtors alike.
Pricing Nation’s Chief Revenue Officer, Brian Ramirez tells AGBeat that the company aspires to expand nationally after their successful January launch in Boston, where they have already nailed their stats, claiming that their forecasts are within one point of actual Case-Shiller results.
Although founded in 2011 by fanancial services entrepreneurs Tony Ettinger and Raj Koganti, with the help of a their Advisory Board comprised of leaders from the mortgage analytics, commercial real estate investment management, adaptive analytics and software industries, the company cooked up their formulas for nearly two years before launching publicly.
The “Most Reliable Real Estate Forecasting Company”
On their blog, the startup notes, “As the ‘Most Reliable Real-Estate Forecasting Company,’ we intend to publicly monitor our forecasting results to be fully transparent to our customers. We are currently the only real-estate forecasting company that publicly tracks and reports its performance, because we are confident in the strength and accuracy of our forecasts.”
Unlike Zillow’s Zestimates and other sites that assign values to individual addresses, Pricing Nation says they are not offering Automated Valuation Models (AVMs), rather assert that their proprietary models “assess multiple demand and supply factors that affect changes in local home prices, and then apply those to your home.”
Additionally, the company points to a variety of regression models they use that have been back-tested on data during periods when home prices have both increased and decreased in an effort to reach statistically significant confidence in their forecasts.
While the site isn’t exactly easy on the eyes, the idea that there could be a crystal ball reading for every home in America is fascinating.
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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