A large suburban single-family home with a multiple-car garage and a manicured lawn.

This Week in Real Estate: #PanamaPapers, McMansions and More

What real estate news did you miss this week? With the spring selling season in full swing, we know you’ve probably been busy. Here’s what happened:

  • There goes the neighborhood: how does the sudden appearance of a McMansion in their neighborhood affect homeowners? Realtor.com‘s Audrey Braschich has the story.
  • How will the #PanamaPapers revelations affect housing markets that benefit greatly from foreign money, like Miami’s? The Miami Herald‘s Nicholas Nehamas explored potential consequences for Miami’s residential real estate market.
  • A common lament among homebuilders is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult, as they face rising construction costs and labor shortages, to build affordable homes. Could a German affordable housing concept called Baugruppen offer a solution? Barbara Eldredge explores this affordable condo/citizen collective concept at Curbed.
  • Recent NAR numbers show that while vacation home purchases have lagged, investment property purchases are up, and median prices for both have risen. Construction Dive’s Kim Slowey breaks down the data.
  • Do you know how to tell if a kitchen is wheelchair friendly? Redfin published a great guide to home accommodations for people living with disabilities this week that agents can adapt to build their own awareness of what home characteristics and features to keep in mind when working with a client living with a disability.


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Beautiful sky at sunrise in city. Building under construction and crane.

This Week in Real Estate: Online Homebuyers, Move’s Latest Push Against Zillow and More

Plenty happened in the real estate world this week. If you weren’t on top of these stories, never fear – we’ve gathered a quick reading list to ease you into the weekend.

  • What’s the future of union labor in construction, and how will that affect price and quality of new homes? Construction Dive’s Kim Slowey took a closer look this week at union hiring in construction in the context of the industry’s current labor shortage.
  • In several states between Dec. 2015 and Feb. 2016 homes sold in under 45 days, a testament to the ongoing inventory crunch. For a full analysis of how long listed homes took to sell by state, head over to NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog, where Scholastica D. Cororaton has the story.
  • Move has made a “staggering” claim of damages against Zillow in its trade secret theft lawsuit, the latest development in the feud between the two companies. See full details at HousingWire.
  • Builder.com covered a recent Owners.com® survey of 1,000 potential homebuyers, which found that buyers are certainly enjoying the conveniences of technology as they shop for homes: “73% said they’d use online sites to search for properties, more than half (53%) are inclined to book home tours online, 43% would consider online financing products and 27% would make a purchase offer online.” Read the full article here.
  • On Thursday, “The Mortgage Professor” Jack Guttentag wrote in a piece for MiamiHerald.com that a “switch to a borrower-ownership model of appraisals would reduce the number of applications that are aborted when the appraised value turns out to be too small to support the transaction,” “reduce the time required to execute purchase transactions” and “facilitate mortgage shopping by eliminating the need to pay for multiple appraisals.” What do you think? Should buyers own the appraisals they pay for and be able to use them with any lender? Read the full article here.

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Year-Over-Year Optimism: What Power Brokers Expect in 2016

In RISMedia’s 28th Annual Power Broker Survey, brokers across the nation were asked to reflect on the overall pattern of the 2015 housing market with an eye toward the future, and the general response was a positive one. RISMedia found that 58 percent of respondents describe their confidence level in the post-recession housing market as “cautiously optimistic”. (more…)

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A large suburban home lit up at night

Spring is in the Air in America’s 20 Hottest Real Estate Markets

The spring selling season is upon us. As “For Sale” signs sprout like spring flowers, many in the residential real estate industry are gearing up for what looks to be a promising quarter.

Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com Chief Economist, commented on the spring market for an article written by Cicely Wedgeworth on realtor.com this morning:

” ‘Listings are growing as they normally do this time of the year, but because demand has been growing faster than supply, homes are selling faster,” observes Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com. “So the monthly trend is the normal seasonal pattern, but the year-over-year decline is reflective of demand being stronger than supply for more than a year, which is resulting in fewer homes available and faster-moving inventory.’ “

How is inventory trending in your neighborhood? Have you seen speedier market times? Head over to realtor.com for the full story, “America’s 20 Hottest Real Estate Markets in March 2016,” to see if your city made the list.

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The True Impact of TRID, and its Effect on Your Clients

The real impact of TRID on lenders, agents and everyone in between continues to prove a contentious point in the real estate industry.

On Monday, Mortgage News Daily took a closer look at some notable recent dispatches from various sources (Ellie Mae’s February Monthly Origination Insight Report, the MBA’s fourth quarter survey of independent mortgage banks and The National Association of Federal Credit Unions President and an American Bankers Association survey, for starters) to figure out what TRID has really left in its wake. (more…)

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