Negative equity rate improving, but there’s more to the story
According to Zillow, although the negative equity rate among homeowners with a mortgage fell to 25.4 percent in the first quarter, another 18.2 percent likely do not have enough equity to move.
Over 13 million remain underwater and another 9 million don’t have enough equity to leave, and when including homeowners with less than 20 percent home equity, the “effective” negative equity rate was 43.6 percent (22.3 million homeowners), all unlikely to be able to afford a down payment for a new home, keeping them tied to their current home, keeping inventory levels tight.
Zillow projects that the negative equity rate will fall to 23.5 percent by the first quarter of 2014, and 1.4 million homeowners will be lifted into positive equity territory, with these “newly freed homeowners” anticipated to hail mostly from Los Angeles, Riverside, and Phoenix.
Many homeowners are simply stuck
Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries said, “Reaching positive equity, even barely, is an important milestone. But things like real estate agents’ fees and a down payment for the next home traditionally come out of the proceeds from the prior home’s sale. Without enough equity, these costs will instead have to come out of a homeowner’s pocket, leaving many still stuck.”
“Looking at the effective negative equity rate could explain why recent, healthy declines in the number of underwater borrowers haven’t yet translated into more homes for sale,” Dr. Humphries added. “The only cure is patience, as rising home values continue to build equity to the point where more homeowners can realistically sell.”
Negative equity differs from city to city
Among the 30 largest metro areas covered by Zillow, those with the highest effective negative equity rate, including homeowners with 20 percent equity or less, include Las Vegas (71.5 percent); Atlanta (64.1 percent); and Riverside, Calif. (59.7 percent).
Zillow predicts the negative equity rate will improve, but no dramatic surges are foreseeable, a sentiment most economists agree on.
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
Business News4 days ago
Leadership versus management: What’s the difference?
Business Marketing2 weeks ago
How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?
Business Marketing2 weeks ago
Jack of all trades vs. specialized expert – which are you?
Opinion Editorials6 days ago
Art meets business: Entrepreneurship tips for creative people
Tech News2 weeks ago
4 ways startups prove their investment in upcoming technology trends
Business News1 week ago
Unify your remote team with these important conversations
Business Marketing2 weeks ago
3 considerations when marketing in an era of uncertainty
Tech News1 week ago
Glowbom: Create a website, using just your voice