The Home Search Process. How buyers find homes.

The Home Search Process 2004 – Internet is more important for Realtors now than it ever has been.
Looking at the interactive graph here, there is an obvious increase of people who started their home search online. Indeed, the share of people using the Internet has increased by 28% since 2004. In 2013, 48% of first-time home buyers and 40% of repeat home buyers used the Internet in their home search process.homebuyer graphReal estate agents are mostly preferred by first-time homebuyers for their initial housing search. Especially last year, there was an increase of the first-time home buyers who asked for the services of a real estate agent. This trend shows how increasingly important is the role of real estate agents when there is limited inventory on the market.

Hover over the line graph to see the distribution for each one of the types of home buyers. If you are interested in a particular type of home buyer, please tap on it (see list on the top right corner of the dashboard).

 

See Original Article and very detailed graphs.

How to woo a Chinese homebuyer…in four easy steps

 

Chinese buyers are flocking to the U.S. Some want their kids to go to American schools. Others are looking for new ways to invest.

Either way, American real estate brokers want a piece of it.Chinese buyers spent $22 billion on homes in the 12 months ended March 31. They buy more expensive houses, spending an average of close to $600,000 — more than twice the national average. And many of those deals are done in all cash.

Here’s how to woo them in four easy steps:

First, you need to be part of a big American brand.

Not only will your brokerage’s name be more recognizable, but it will also give you the resources you need to reach them a continent away.

Ryan Sherman and Douglas Magid founded Metropolitan Residential Services in New York City as an independent boutique, but in February they decided to become a local Century 21 franchise.

“The reason we affiliated with Century 21 is because it’s the largest franchise operator in the world with 2,400 offices in Asia alone,” said Sherman.

Second, hire agents who know the language and the culture.

Metropolitan courts Chinese clients by hiring agents who speak the language and know the culture. It sends agents overseas to build relationships. One, Sophine Hung, travels to Taiwan and Hong Kong regularly.

“When she goes, she stays a month, networking there,” said Sherman.

Hung said she makes friends, builds trust and lets her sales grow naturally. Nearly all her business comes from word of mouth. Her investor clients trust her so much, they let her pick out properties by herself.

“They don’t even know what the buildings look like,” she said.

Third, be prepared to play personal concierge.

That includes lining up banking services and getting your client’s kids into the best American schools.

For one couple with young kids, Hung arranged a meeting with the principal of a highly regarded school in Scarsdale, N.Y., and a guided tour of its facilities.

She has also set up banking services for clients, finding convenient branches and opening accounts. She puts clients up in her home when they come to New York and when she goes overseas, she sometimes stays with them. Old customers introduce her to new ones.

Finally, build on and maintain the relationship.

Chinese people are all about guanxi, the establishment of connections, said Janice Lee, the luxury properties director for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Pasadena, Calif.

“Chinese prefer to go to someone who a friend tells them to go to; they have the guanxi,” she said.

Wei Min Tan, is a New York-based agent for Rutenberg Realty with many Malaysian Chinese clients. He keeps in touch with his past customers and informs them of any bargains he finds. He also provides free property management services for absentee landlords.

One other thing to note: Not all real estate pros who cater to Chinese clientele are Asian.

Rachel Saltmarshall is an African-American broker with Brice Winthrop & Associates in Detroit. She purchased as many as 20 homes a month for Chinese investors, mostly low-priced housing that will be converted to rentals.

A past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, Saltmarshall offers her foreign buyers a trusted local expert who can put together portfolios of homes.

As an added bonus, she also runs a contracting business, so she can offer her Chinese clients a one-stop shop.

They never even need to step foot in the U.S.

See Original Article and watch the video

A Look at the Existing Home Sales Market Over the Past Decade

 

A Look at the Existing Home Sales Market Over the Past DecadeEvery month NAR produces existing home sales, median sales price and inventory figures. The reporting of this data is based on homes sold the previous month and the data is explained in comparison to the same month a year ago. We also provide a perspective of the market relative to last month, adjusting for seasonal factors, and comment on the potential direction of the housing market.The data HERE shows what our current month data looks like in comparison to the last ten Julys and how that might compare to the “ten year July average”, which is an average of the data from the past ten Julys.

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New Home Sales: Cash Purchases on the Rise

 

New Home Sales: Cash Purchases on the RiseThe onset of the housing crisis in 2007 led to a decline in the share of new home sales due to conventional mortgage financing and increases in the shares due to mortgages backed by the FHA and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), as well as cash purchases.The second quarter data from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Sales by Price and Financing indicates that count of cash-based new home sales rose to 10,000 for the quarter, matching a cycle high. During the 2002-2003 period, cash sales made up only 4% of purchases. In contrast, cash purchases constitute a considerably larger share of the existing home market – 32% of sales in June 2014 for example.

It is worth noting that another measure of cash sales for total new construction from CoreLogic shows a higher level of cash sales than the Census: 17% in April 2014.

New home sales due to FHA-backed loans fell to 11% of the market during the second quarter. This is down from 28% in the first quarter of 2010 and is closer to the 10% 2002-2003 average. As the conventional mortgage financing share has risen, the share of new single-family home sales due to FHA-backed mortgages has declined. Falling FHA loan limits will likely place additional downward pressure on this share in 2014.

VA-backed loans were responsible for about 11% of new home sales during the second quarter of 2014.

These sources of financing serve distinct market segments, which is revealed in part by the median new home price allocable to each. For the second quarter, the median new home price due to FHA financing was $212,500. The median price for VA-backed loans rose to $274,800.

Conventional mortgage financing had a median price of $289,500.

Finally, the median price for cash purchases for the fourth quarter was $303,500.

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Consumer Confidence: Highest in Nearly Seven Years

Consumers are feeling much better and more confident in recent months: the consumer confidence index in August rose to the highest mark in nearly seven years. Such a trend could lead to improvement in home sales and boost demand for retail commercial spaces.

Numerically, the index hit 92.4. The last time it was that high was right before the financial market crisis in October 2007 when the unemployment rate was very low at 4.7 percent (versus today’s unemployment rate of 6.1 percent). The index, however, is still shy of 100, where at least half of Americans would be saying that the economy is generally moving in the right direction.

For home buying, it is not only about financial capacity and mortgage rates. Confidence also matters. People need to feel they will be better off in the future in order to make a major expenditure. The index that captures only the future expectations was 90.9, also nearing the crucial 100 marker.

The very strong, high stock market has driven total household net worth to an all-time high. However, only about 10 percent of Americans have meaningful exposure to the stock market. Therefore the stock market is not the best gauge of economic sentiments of the middle class. In contrast, the consumer confidence index covers a whole swath of people across all income spectrums and therefore this index is much better in assessing the mood of normal Americans.

Confidence can change the world. In fact, when the Portuguese first circumnavigated the lower tip of Africa on their way to Asia for spices, the very stormy area with constant violent sea waves near the tip was given the scary name of Cape of Bad Storms. The King of Portugal immediately changed the name to Cape of Good Hope in order to encourage more sailors to make the trip. Portugal and subsequently Spain rose in economic power while the old trade route cities of Venice and Genoa lost economic power.

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