Welcome or Register


Freddie: 2018 ‘Looking Pretty Good’ for Economy, Housing

Bolstered by economic gains, home-building, prices and sales are all forecasted to outdo 2017 this year, according to Freddie Mac researchers.

In Freddie’s January Outlook, “Maintaining Momentum: 2018 and Beyond,” analysts believe the economy is moderating—growing 2.5 percent in 2018, versus 2.6 percent in 2017—but, expect home prices to increase 5.7 percent, sales to increase to 6.35 million and starts to increase to 1.3 million.

The dichotomy could exacerbate unaffordability, the researchers say. Generally, however, the market is on-track.

“Starting off the year, things are looking pretty good for the U.S. economy and housing markets,” says Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. “Mortgage rates are low, economic growth has accelerated in recent quarters, and housing is coming off its best year in a decade. Although housing markets have been improving year-after-year for nearly a decade, there’s still room for improvement. We forecast moderating growth in U.S. housing market activity through the next two years.”

Is a downturn looming? Current indicators, such as the Treasury yield curve and unemployment rate, could point to a recession, so researchers have yet to rule it out.

“There are factors worth keeping an eye on in 2018,” Kiefer says. “Namely, is another recession on the horizon, how will housing markets respond to declining housing affordability, and how will young adults move the housing market? More are living at home with their parents today than in 2000.”

Source: Freddie Mac

DeVita_Suzanne_60x60Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Freddie: 2018 ‘Looking Pretty Good’ for Economy, Housing appeared first on RISMedia.

Disaster Protocol: Is Your Company Prepared for the Worst?

This month’s National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Power Broker Roundtable discusses broker disaster/emergency policies and procedures.


Pappas_Christina_60x60Christina Pappas, District Sales Manager, The Keyes Company, Miami, Fla.; Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations, NAR


Haase_Rick_60x60Rick Haase, President, Latter & Blum, Inc., REALTORS®, New Orleans, La.


Goldschlag_Marnie_60x60Marnie Goldschlag, Co-Owner, NextHome Wine Country Premier, Santa Rosa, Calif.


Mesa_Rei_60x60Rei Mesa, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, Miami, Fla.


Saunders_Michael_60x60Michael Saunders, CEO, Michael Saunders & Co. Realtors, Sarasota, Fla.


Christina Pappas: Around the world, 2017 was an extraordinary year in terms of natural disasters. Fires, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes inundated numerous areas, threatening lives and testing resources even in regions not typically thought of as being particularly at risk. There is almost no way to adequately measure the cost in terms of lives and property—or, for that matter, the bravery and resolve it is still taking as we work to repair the damage. But one thing is clear: Whether we are testing disaster protocols long in place, or newly struggling to create procedures to help bring order out of chaos, tragedies like these present an alarming call to action. How prepared are you and your company to effectively face catastrophe? Rick, in your markets, Hurricane Harvey was only the most recent disaster. What protocols have you had in place, and what advice would you offer?

Rick Haase: First, let me say that even if you have procedures in place, it isn’t until you experience substantial threat that you find out how protected you really are. In our case, the Katrina disaster became a mental model for me. Once we dug our way out of that, we seriously scrutinized every area of our business, and we came up with questions we needed to answer: Do we have a central number in place where agents and employees—some of whom suffered personal loss—can get emergency information? Can we get into our accounting system so that payroll is not disrupted when our people need it most? Today, our operations are totally portable and accessible. Even if an office or two are nine feet underwater, we can operate from a remote area, get those paychecks out, and keep backup procedures running.

Marnie Goldschlag: Having recently been through the devastating—and totally unanticipated—fires in Santa Rosa, I can certainly relate to that…and we quickly realized the need for outreach extends to our client base, as well. My partners and I called every agent first to determine how they were and what they needed, and then had them call everyone on their client lists. As it turned out, my business partner and I alone had 12 of our clients who lost their homes, and our office agents have similar stories. Our agents were out there with them, helping to deal with insurance agents and sift through the ashes for any salvageable possessions. This was a test of community, which is what our business is built on, as well as a chance to put procedures in place for a natural disaster or emergency, which had not occurred to us before.

Rei Mesa: Being in Florida, which has a definitive hurricane season, we have some of the strongest building codes in the nation—but we also have some of the most extensive disaster protocols, which we review and update every year. Of course with hurricanes, we generally have some advance notice, which helps. In many cases, we have time, for example, to remove all our yard signs so they’re not being hurled around doing more damage in hundred-mile-an-hour winds. But when it’s all over, we know recovery is primary, and we have protocols in place to manage that. As soon as the all-clears are issued, we’re reaching out to agents, clients, and the REALTOR® community to help ensure that business can get up and running with as few impediments as possible.

Michael Saunders: The keys, I think, are communication and education. We keep extensive manuals in every office, and we are developing preparation guides and emergency checklists for the 20,000 names or so that are in our database. We keep a hurricane box in every office—radios with extra batteries, water, flashlights, and so on. Agents get out and put up storm windows on homes they know are vacant—and we close our offices in plenty of time for our people to get home and prepare. And we also pay all our people in advance, so they can pay their bills and manage their lives even if they need to evacuate.

CP: So contingency plans are the first step no matter where you live and work, followed closely by keeping the lines of communication open and having recovery plans in place.

MG: Even when you know it’s coming, you can’t be totally prepared. So everyone everywhere—families, businesses—we all need to have protocols in place.

RM: And everyone needs to know in advance who’s in charge, how things will get done, where and how to stay in touch.

MS: We’re now in the process of installing a satellite, so we can bypass traditional power sources.

RH: Insurance, communication, viable systems and equipment—it’s all critical in a crisis. But in Chinese, the symbol for “crisis” is made up of two characters: one translates as “danger;” the other translates as “opportunity.” Don’t wait for danger to occur. Take the opportunity now to plan, organize and implement.

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Disaster Protocol: Is Your Company Prepared for the Worst? appeared first on RISMedia.

10 Percent and Falling: Housing Inventory Keeps Shrinking

Buyers are being challenged by diminished inventory and mounting prices, especially in areas with crisis-level supply, according to the December Zillow® Real Estate Market Report. Inventory is down 10 percent from last year—a three-year trend—and, in the buzziest markets, as much as 40 percent.

Construction costs are exacerbating the issue, says Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, who anticipates building will be concentrated in outlying suburbs this year.

“On the supply side, the market is starving for new homes, but it won’t be easy for builders struggling with high and rising land, labor and lumber costs,” Terrazas says. “Aging millennials and young families may be able to find more affordable new homes for sale this year, but they’ll most likely be in further-flung suburbs with more grueling commutes to urban job centers.”

Few homes are moving prices up—6.5 percent in the past year, to a median $206,300, according to the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI). Appreciation has been highest in San Jose, Calif., at 21.2 percent (a median $1,171,800), causing inventory to shrink 40.6 percent. In the largest metros:


Markedly, a mere 16.7 percent of analysts cited in Zillow’s 2017 Q4 Home Price Expectations Survey forecast home-building will pick up this year. In December, ground-breaking on new homes underwhelmed; builders, however, are confident in their prospects this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Changes to the expected could come when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act goes into effect, says Terrazas.

“Tight inventory fueled by a tight labor market and low interest rates propelled home values to record heights in 2017, but the outlook is now much less certain,” Terrazas says. “Tax reform will put more money in the pocket of the typical buyer, but will limit some housing-specific deductions. Overall, this should increase demand for the most affordable homes and ease competition somewhat in the priciest market segments.”

MORE: Tax Reform: Here’s What Could Impact Homeowners Most

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

DeVita_Suzanne_60x60Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 10 Percent and Falling: Housing Inventory Keeps Shrinking appeared first on RISMedia.

agent photo

John Becker / Bald Head

Contact John Becker at Bald Head Realty


Macon County NC Real Estate with Specialty in Franklin & Otto
"Offering Solutions to My Clients"
Your gateway to Paradise in the Smokey Mountains of Franklin, NC.
John Becker / Bald Head, provides a superior level of informed, professional real estate service to Buyers and Sellers. You can obtain any information you require in order to make an informed purchase regarding Franklin NC Homes for Sale and Otto NC Properties for Sale with John Becker at Bald Head Realty.  Call 828-506-3719 

"My Dream Is To Help You Move Into Yours"


* fields are required

Quick Search

view all



No Min.

No Max.