Real Estate in Brief: Millennials want to buy but worry about prices, and more

by Lauren Brocato

Millennials want to buy a home, but they continue to view homeownership as unattainable during today’s period of rapidly increasing prices and increasingly limited inventory across the market, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast for June 2018.
Home prices rose 6.8 percent from June 2017 to June 2018, while they rose just 0.7 percent since May 2018. That being said, affordability is the number one thing that millennials believe is impeding their ability to own a home, as noted by CoreLogic. About 63 percent of millennials who said they were uninterested in buying a home reported that the high price of a down payment was holding them back.
“One-third of millennial renters reported feeling they cannot afford a down payment to buy a home,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “With home prices rising quickly over the past few years and supplies low, first-time homebuyers face ever-growing challenges to find and buy affordable entry-level homes. More needs to be done to help our first-time buyers join the homeownership class.”
CoreLogic’s data suggests that national home prices are expected to increase more than 5 percent in the next year. In the next month, the HPI Forecast predicts prices will remain flat.  The National Association of Realtors reports the median price of a single-family home is $264,800.
In other U.S. real estate news:

  • Spruce, real estate tech startup, raised $15.6 million in an effort to expand its national footprint and platform, according to HousingWire. The title company’s financial gains caught the attention of investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners and Collaborative Fund, which brought up the total cash raised in Series A to $19.1 million. “We are building the modern solution to the current challenges faced by homeowners, mortgage lenders, and real estate companies alike. And thanks to our latest funding, we’ll have the opportunity to work with more people than ever before,” Spruce Co-Founder and CEO Patrick Burns said in a statement to HousingWire. Currently in 36 states, Spruce is set to make it to market in 48 states by the end of 2018.
  • More than 5.5 million U.S. properties are seriously underwater at the end of 2018’s second quarter, according to ATTOM Data Solutions Q2 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report. This means that one in 10 of all U.S. properties with a mortgage fall in this category. The report also notes that more than 13.6 million properties (almost a quarter of all properties) were equity rich in the second quarter. “The share of seriously underwater properties has dropped well below 10 percent in bellwether housing markets such as California, Washington, Texas, Colorado and New York, but the underwater rate remains stubbornly high in markets where price appreciation has not been as strong during the housing recovery of the last six years,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. “Nationwide the number of equity rich homeowners is more than twice the number of seriously underwater homeowners, but the gap between home equity haves and have-nots persists because home price appreciation is certainly not uniform across local markets or even within local markets.” The Midwest and Southeastern regions account for the highest share of underwater properties.
  • In the wake of strong international activity, Realtors will attend the 2018 National Real Estate Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam from September 6 to 10. For the fourth consecutive year, Realtors will get a chance to learn, share, connect and transact, according to the National Association of Realtors. “Realtors understand better than anyone that the U.S. real estate market continues to be seen as a safe, secure and profitable place to invest in property. IREC brings together NAR partner associations from all over the world to discuss cross-border opportunities and the many benefits of investing in the U.S. real estate market,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. Talks from speakers and hot topic discussion are among the various programs scheduled to be held at the conference.
  • HomeLight, the housing marketplace, recently announced its collaboration with U.S. News & World Report. The two companies will work together to create an agent recommendation tool, providing market trends and editorial content in the Real Estate section of U.S.News.com. “People come to USNews.com because they’re in the process of making an important decision,” said Chad Smolinski, chief product officer for U.S. News. “Our collaboration with HomeLight gives them the tools and information they need to better understand real estate trends in their local market and connect directly with agents that can support their goals.”
  • The Weichert Family of Companies announced that Denise Smith, after 29 years with the company, has been promoted to president of Real Estate Services for Weichert, Realtors, according to RISMedia. Smith will oversee Weichert, Realtors and support the President of Residential Brokerage Carlo Siracusa as well as all regional vice presidents. She will also continue to oversee the growth and success of many Weichert branches. “We are tremendously honored to promote Denise to this valuable and highly respected role within our organization,” said James Weichert Jr., vice chairman of Weichert Companies. “Under Denise’s fervent leadership, I am confident our organization will continue to achieve incredible goals that would not otherwise be met without her constant dedication and determination. We look forward to continue celebrating Denise’s accomplishments in this position.”
  • RE/MAX recently announced the promotion of Abby Lee to Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Amy Somerville to Senior Vice President of Training and Education and Anne Miller to Vice President of Luxury and Commercial, according to a RE/MAX report. “Abby, Amy and Anne have played critical roles in the recent achievements and growth of RE/MAX and Motto Mortgage,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Under their leadership, our world-class marketing, corporate communications, education, luxury and commercial initiatives have become even stronger, greatly benefiting our affiliates and their clients. Congratulations to each of them and I look forward to their continued success.”

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