February Real Estate News
It's that time again - We're breaking down the biggest bits of February real estate news. This month there's a lot of news that your future clients will want to know - Be sure to pass the info along to them!
One month into the new year and there is lots of news on the housing front. The media, typically, can’t seem to agree on the market’s direction. The Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle, for instance, tells us that “Millennials’ share of the U.S. housing market: small and shrinking.”
CNBC, on the other hand, promises that “Recent homebuyer numbers show ‘spending is just beginning’ for millennials,” when it comes to real estate.
We’ll let them duke it out amongst themselves while we share with you some of the stuff we think you need to know. Or, maybe just stuff that’s kind of interesting.
You may have heard about the late-September 2019 IBM suit brought against Zillow for, basically, building “its business by infringing IBM’s patents.” The tech giant has apparently been trying to get Zillow to pay up for patent licenses for years and finally reached the end of its patience.
It’s interesting how this suit follows so closely on the heels of Zillow’s against Compass for, among other things, stolen intellectual property. We’re still wiping up the coffee we spit out when we read that one.
After all, Zillow has asked the government for, and been given the patent to, “tech they didn’t invent,” according to April Bingham at AmericanGenius.com.
In fact, they’ve been allowed to patent tech that was invented 30 years before the company was even a twinkle in Rich Barton’s, Lloyd Frink’s and Spencer Rascoff’s eyes.
Bingham calls it “government sanctioned patent jacking.” She goes on to break it down exactly how this patent jacking impacts the agent, claiming that “taking panoramic images for 3D walkthroughs” is among Zillow’s targets.
Read more about it at TheAmericanGenius.com.
We talked about gig worker clients back in 2018 when Fannie and Freddie announced “efforts” to make it easier for gig workers to qualify for mortgages. It was part of their “borrower of the future” initiative.
In February of 2019, Congress announced The Self-Employed Mortgage Access Act (S.540) which should offer relief to all self-employed borrowers, including gig workers.
The act would “allow creditors to use certain alternative standards when evaluating an applicant’s ability to pay for purposes of obtaining a home mortgage.”
Sounds great, doesn’t it? After all, politicians are awfully fond of saying they’re trying to come up with ways to make home ownership possible for everyone.
Typically, as of one year ago, they’ve only managed to read the bill “twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.”
And, there it sits.
With a ranking member and at least four members of that committee knee-deep in pursuit of impeachment of the president, and one member running as a Democratic presidential contender, it appears they’re far too busy with politics to pay attention to the work of the people.
By all means, if you want this bill to pass, contact your Senator. I have.
And if that presidential candidate comes to town and you have a chance, ask her why S.540 is still sitting in committee.
“A MarketWatch investigation of multiple transactions involving iBuyers shows that their offers would net their customers, on average, 11% less than owners who choose to sell their homes on the open market, when fees and other costs are considered, translating to tens of thousands of dollars lost.”
Whether that is true or not, doesn’t matter. What matters is that 63 percent of consumers think it’s a great time to do real estate transactions, according to a Q4 study by the NAR.
Even better is that nearly three-quarters of those surveyed think it’s a good time to sell a home.
Sentiment is high – it’s the ideal time to target potential home sellers. If you’re after buyers, Millennials are almost evenly split on whether it’s a good time to buy, so go after the older cohorts.
Surprisingly, 57 percent of renters surveyed say that it would be either very or somewhat difficult to qualify for a mortgage.
You guys are sharing lots of information on down payment assistance programs, right?
Odd, isn’t it? Who knew there was a correlation?
The analysts at BTIG must’ve been curious enough because they’ve published the results of a study they performed.
Apparently, a rise in new housing starts are tied to the party affiliation of the winning presidential candidate.
They find that “single-family building permit growth since 2016 has been stronger in Trump-supporting counties than in Clinton-supporting ones, despite comparable job and wage growth.”
You can read all about it and what this data might mean after the next election, here.
Have a fabulous February in real estate!
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