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Real Estate In Brief: Buyers market predictions, rising rents and more

by Andrew Morrell


A panel of 100 real estate economists and industry experts surveyed by Zillow said they don’t expect the U.S. housing market to shift decidedly into a buyers market until at least 2020. According to Zillow’s Q3 Home Price Expectations Survey, 43 percent of panelists surveyed said 2020 would be the year in which U.S. housing market conditions would favor buyers over sellers — in other words, when price appreciation changes course and sellers are more willing to accept concessions in order to close a deal. Another 18 percent of respondents said this wouldn’t happen until 2021, while 9 percent said it may not even occur until after 2022. On the other hand, around one quarter of the panelists said this shift could happen next year, or may have already occurred in light of recent home sales reports.
In other real estate news:

  • Facebook may be moving further into the real estate listings business with an announcement from rental listings platform Rental Beast that its technology would soon be integrated with Facebook Marketplace. Last year, Facebook began showing rental listings on its Marketplace platform, and with its new Rental Beast partnership, it will begin displaying home rentals as well as apartment listings. Some have speculated that Facebook may eventually begin listing homes for sale, in direct competition with services like Zillow and Redfin.
  • The National Association of Realtors held its inaugural Real Estate Innovation, Opportunity and Investment Summit in San Francisco Aug. 29 and 30. BoxBrownie, a real estate photo editing service, won the event’s “pitch battle” hosted by NAR’s investment group Second Century Ventures. Keller Williams’ software development team KW Labs won the hackathon event, which challenged competitors to build a mobile app that could help agents create virtual tours of listings.
  • Data analyzed by RentCafé revealed that apartment rents rose at an annual pace of 3.1 percent in August, the fastest rate seen in 18 months. American households paid a median rent of $1,412 per month as of August. Some cities also saw rents rise much faster than the national average in the last 12 months: Orlando rents climbed 7.7 percent to record the highest annual percentage gain of the top 20 largest markets. Chicago rent was 4.2 percent higher in Aug. 2018 compared to 2017, with an average rent of $1,904 per month.
  • While rents are increasing faster, a study by Realtor.com finds that they aren’t rising as quickly as home prices. Based on Realtor.com listing data, home sales prices have grown three times faster than rents in the past year, or by 14 percent for buying compared to 4 percent for renting. In only 35 percent of U.S. counties is it more affordable to buy a home rather than rent, a decrease from 44 percent in 2017. In addition, 20 counties with more than 100,000 residents saw their markets flip from buyer-friendly to renter-friendly in just the last year. Realtor.com’s analysis does not account for the effect of price or rent appreciation.

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