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REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY NEWS

US Real Estate News for Global Investors 2-25-2022

Posted By Yoshi Takita on March 01, 2022 in National Association of Realtors (NAR)

The Difference Between Renting and Owning [INFOGRAPHIC] The Difference Between Renting and Owning [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM Some Highlights If you’re deciding whether to rent or buy, consider the many financial benefits that come with owning a home. As a renter, you build your landlord’s wealth and face rising costs. As a homeowner, you build your own net worth and can lock in your monthly payments for the length of your loan. If you’re weighing your options, remember that owning a home is a decision that has considerable financial perks. If you want to learn more, let’s connect to talk about the perks of homeownership.

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US Real Estate News for Global Investors 12-27-2021

Posted By Yoshi Takita on December 28, 2021 in National Association of Realtors (NAR)

Key Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage Key Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage | MyKCM Once you’ve found your dream home and applied for a mortgage, there are some key things to keep in mind before you close. It’s exciting to start thinking about moving in and decorating your new place, but before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make any major life changes, be sure to consult your lender – someone who’s qualified to explain how your financial decisions may impact your home loan. Here’s a list of things you shouldn’t do after applying for a mortgage. They’re all important to know – or simply just good reminders – for the process. 1. Don’t Deposit Cash into Your Bank Accounts Before Speaking with Your Bank or Lender. Lenders need to source your money, and cash isn’t easily traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer. 2. Don’t Make Any Large Purchases Like a New Car or Furniture for Your Home. New debt comes with new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher debt-to-income ratios. Since higher ratios make for riskier loans, qualified borrowers may end up no longer qualifying for their mortgage. 3. Don’t Co-Sign Other Loans for Anyone. When you co-sign, you’re obligated. With that obligation comes higher debt-to-income ratios as well. Even if you promise you won’t be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payments against you. 4. Don’t Change Bank Accounts. Remember, lenders need to source and track your assets. That task is much easier when there’s consistency among your accounts. Before you transfer any money, speak with your loan officer. 5. Don’t Apply for New Credit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your FICO® score will be impacted. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and possibly even your eligibility for approval. 6. Don’t Close Any Credit Accounts. Many buyers believe having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. This isn’t true. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both of those determinants of your score. Bottom Line Any blip in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. If your job or employment status has changed recently, share that with your lender as well. The best plan is to fully disclose and discuss your intentions with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature.

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US Real Estate News for Global Investors 11-18-2021

Posted By Yoshi Takita on November 19, 2021 in National Association of Realtors (NAR)

Home Sales About To Surge? We May See a Winter Like Never Before. Home Sales About To Surge? We May See a Winter Like Never Before. | MyKCM Like most industries, residential real estate has a seasonality to it. For example, toy stores sell more toys in October, November, and December than they do in any other three-month span throughout the year. More cars are sold in the U.S. during the second quarter (April, May, and June) than in any other quarter of the year. Real estate is very similar. The number of homes sold in the spring is almost always much greater than at any other time of the year. It’s even labeled as the spring buying season. Historically, the number of buyers and listings for sale significantly increase in the spring and remains strong throughout the summer. Once fall sets in, the number of buyers and sellers typically drops off. Last year, however, that seasonality didn’t happen. The outbreak of the virus and subsequent slowing of the economy limited sales during the spring market. These sales were pushed back later in the year, and last fall and winter saw a dramatic increase in home sales over previous years. The only thing that held the market back was the extremely limited supply of homes for sale. What About This Winter? Some experts thought we’d return to the industry’s normal seasonality this winter with both the number of purchasers and houses available for sale falling off. However, data now shows that neither of those situations will likely occur. Buyer demand is still extremely strong, and it appears we may soon see a somewhat uncharacteristic increase in the number of homes coming to the market. Buyer Demand Remains Strong The latest Showing Index from ShowingTime, which tracks the average number of monthly showings on available homes, indicates buyer activity was slightly lower than at the same time last year but much higher than any of the three previous years (see chart below):Home Sales About To Surge? We May See a Winter Like Never Before. | MyKCMA report from realtor.com confirms buying activity remains strong in the existing home sales market: “New housing data shows 2021's feverish home sales pace broke a yearly record in October, . . . with last month marking the eighth straight month of buyers snatching up homes more quickly than the fastest pace in previous years. . . .” Buyer activity for newly constructed homes is also very strong. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist for Zonda, recently reported that Stuart Miller, the Executive Chairman of Lennar, one of the nation’s largest home builders, said this about demand: “There is still a great deal of demand at our sales centers with people lining up and not enough supply.” The only question heading into this winter is whether the number of listings available could come close to meeting this buyer demand. We may have just received the answer to that question. Sellers Are About To List – Right Now Instead of waiting for the normal spring buying market, new research indicates that homeowners thinking about selling are about to put their homes on the market this winter. Speaking to the release of a report on this recent research, George Ratiu, Manager of Economic Research for realtor.com, said: “The pandemic has delayed plans for many Americans, and homeowners looking to move on to the next stage of life are no exception. Recent survey data suggests the majority of prospective sellers are actively preparing to enter the market this winter.” Here are some highlights in the report: Of homeowners planning to enter the market in the next year: 65% - Have just listed (19%) or plan to list this winter 93% - Have already taken steps toward listing their home, including working with an agent (28%) 36% - Have researched the value of their home and others in their neighborhood 36% - Have started making repairs or decluttering The report also discusses the reasons sellers want to move: 33% - Have realized they want different home features 37% - Say their home no longer meets their family's needs 32% - Want to move closer to friends and family 23% - Are looking for a home office Data shows buyer demand remains unusually strong going into this winter. Research indicates the supply of inventory is about to increase. This could be a winter real estate market like never before. Bottom Line If you’re thinking of buying or selling, now is the time to have a heart-to-heart conversation with a real estate professional in your market, as things are about to change in an unexpected way.

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US Real Estate News for Global Investors 10-13-2021

Posted By Yoshi Takita on October 13, 2021 in National Association of Realtors (NAR)

The Big Question: Should You Renovate or Move? The Big Question: Should You Renovate or Move? | MyKCM The last 18 months changed what many buyers are looking for in a home. Recently, the American Institute of Architects released their AIA Home Design Trends Survey results for Q3 2021. The survey reveals the following: 70% of respondents want more outdoor living space 69% of respondents want a home office (48% wanted multiple offices) 46% of respondents want a multi-function room/flexible space 42% of respondents want an au pair/in-law suite 39% of respondents want an exercise room/yoga space If you’re a homeowner who wants to add any of the above, you have two options: renovate your current house or buy a home that already has the spaces you desire. The decision you make could be determined by factors like: A possible desire to relocate The difference in the cost of a renovation versus a purchase Finding an existing home or designing a new home that has exactly what you want (versus trying to restructure the layout of your current house) In either case, you’ll need access to capital: the funds for the renovation or the down payment your next home would require. The great news is that the money you need probably already exists in your current home in the form of equity. Home Equity Is Skyrocketing The record-setting increases in home prices over the last two years dramatically improved homeowners’ equity. The graph below uses data from CoreLogic to show the average home equity gain in the first quarter of the last nine years:The Big Question: Should You Renovate or Move? | MyKCMOdeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, quantifies the amount of equity homeowners gained recently: “Remember U.S. households own nearly $35 trillion in owner-occupied real estate, just over $11 trillion in debt, and the remaining ~$24 trillion in equity. In inflation adjusted terms, homeowners in Q2 had an average of $280,000 in equity- a historic high.” As a homeowner, the money you need to purchase the perfect home or renovate your current house may be right at your fingertips. However, waiting to make your decision may increase the cost of tapping that equity. If you decide to renovate, you’ll need to refinance (or take out an equity loan) to access the equity. If you decide to move instead and use your equity as a down payment, you’ll still need to mortgage the remaining difference between the down payment and the cost of your next home. Mortgage rates are forecast to increase over the next year. Waiting to leverage your equity will probably mean you’ll pay more to do so. According to the latest data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), almost 57% of current mortgage holders have a mortgage rate of 4% or below. If you’re one of those homeowners, you can keep your mortgage rate under 4% by doing it now. If you’re one of the 43% of homeowners with a mortgage rate over 4%, you may be able to do a cash-out refinance or buy a more expensive home without significantly increasing your monthly payment. First Step: Determine the Amount of Equity in Your Home If you’re ready to either redesign your current house or find an existing or newly constructed home that has everything you want, the first thing you need to do is determine how much equity you have in your current home. To do that, you’ll need two things: The current mortgage balance on your home The current value of your home You can probably find the mortgage balance on your monthly mortgage statement. To find the current market value of your house, you can pay several hundreds of dollars for an appraisal, or you can contact a local real estate professional who will be able to present to you, at no charge, a professional equity assessment report. Bottom Line If the past 18 months have refocused your thoughts on what you want from your house, now may be the time to either renovate or make a move to the perfect home.

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US Real Estate News for Global Investors 9-1-2021

Posted By Yoshi Takita on September 01, 2021 in National Association of Realtors (NAR)

What You Can Do Right Now To Prepare for Homeownership What You Can Do Right Now To Prepare for Homeownership | MyKCM As rent prices continue to soar, many renters want to know what they can do to get ready to buy their first home. According to recent data from ApartmentList.com: “The first half of 2021 has seen the fastest growth in rent prices since the start of our estimates in 2017. Our national rent index has increased by 11.4 percent since January . . . .” Those rising rental costs may make it seem impossible to prepare for homeownership if you’re a renter. But the truth is, there are ways you can – and should – prepare to purchase your first home. Here’s some expert advice on what to do if you’re ready to learn more about how to escape rising rents. Start Saving – Even Small Amounts – Now Experts agree, setting aside what you can – even smaller amounts of money – into a dedicated savings account is a great starting point when it comes to saving for a down payment. As Cindy Zuniga-Sanchez, Founder of Zero-Based Budget Coaching LLC, says: “I recommend saving for a home in a ‘sinking fund’ . . . . This is a savings account separate from your emergency fund that you use to save for a short or mid-term expense.” Zuniga-Sanchez adds saving in smaller increments can help make a large goal – such as saving for a down payment –achievable: “Breaking up your goals into smaller bite-sized pieces by saving incrementally can make a large daunting number more manageable.” Assess Your Finances and Work on Your Credit Another tip experts recommend: take a look at your overall finances and credit score and find ways to reduce your debt. According to the HUD, the average credit score of first-time homebuyers is 716. If you’re not sure what your credit score is, there are numerous online tools that can help you check. If your score is below that average, don’t fret. Remember that an average means there are homeowners with credit scores both above and below that threshold. If you find out your score is below the average, there are several ways to improve your credit before you apply for a loan. HUD recommends reducing your debt as much as you can, paying your bills on time, and using your credit card responsibly. Start the Conversation with Your Advisor Today Finally, it’s important to talk to someone who understands the market and what it takes to become a first-time homebuyer. That’s where we come in. A trusted advisor can help you navigate your specific market and talk you through all the available options. Having the right network of real estate and lending professionals in your corner can help you plan for the homebuying process as well as determine what you can afford and how you can get pre-approved when you’re ready. Most importantly, we can help you understand how homeownership is achievable. As Lauren Bringle, Accredited Financial Advisor with Self Financial, says: “Don’t write home ownership off just because you have a low income . . . . With the right tools, resources and assistance, you could still achieve your dream.” Bottom Line If you’re planning to be a homeowner one day, the best thing you can do is start preparing now. Even if you don’t think you’ll purchase for a few years, let’s connect today to discuss the process and to set you up for success on your journey to homeownership.

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2021 Global Real Estate Summit NYC USA

Posted By Paul Xumsai on August 29, 2021 in National Association of Realtors (NAR)

The 15th Annual Global Real Estate Summit NYC, hosted by 8 Regional REALTOR® Associations will convene the best minds in the world to tackle the real estate industry’s most urgent challenges and opportunities.

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Multigenerational Housing Is Gaining Momentum

Posted By Yoshi Takita on April 10, 2021 in National Association of Realtors (NAR)

If your house is feeling a little cramped with the addition of adult children or aging parents, it might be time to consider a move-up into a multigenerational home that better suits your changing needs.

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National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Global Update for Q3 2020

Posted By Yoshi Takita on September 18, 2020 in National Association of Realtors (NAR)

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) will be conducting its global update for Q3 of 2020.

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The Latest Unemployment Rate Fell to 8.4%

Posted By Yoshi Takita on September 09, 2020 in National Association of Realtors (NAR)

The big surprise was that the unemployment rate fell to 8.4%, a full percent lower than what many analysts had forecasted earlier in the week. Though it is tough to look at this as great news when millions of Americans are still without work, the number of unemployed is currently much lower than most experts had projected it would be just a few months ago.

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Ask a Pro About Buying a Home

Posted By Yoshi Takita on August 21, 2020 in National Association of Realtors (NAR)

Some Highlights According to trending data, searches for key real estate topics are skyrocketing online.

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