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The multi-faceted Millennial

In the Consumer Housing Trends Report 2016 the Zillow® Group covered the multi-faceted Millennial.

I found the report enlightening, debunking some of the myths about millennials, and uncovering that I may be a Millennial at heart.

Zillow stressed the importance of home and community for millennials. According to the report millennials under the age of 25 see their home “as a reflection of themselves rather than a financial investment”. This is unlike the older Baby Boomer generation who sees their home as a financial investment and avenue to build wealth for the future and for their family. In addition, more than 55 percent see themselves as involved in their community. They are active in their neighborhoods and the surrounding areas, not so much unlike my Baby Boomer friends.

Zillow confirmed that millennials are “delaying many life milestones that precede home ownership.” They are completing their education, marrying and starting a family later in life, and as a result renting

Further into their adulthood. Here are the stats Zillow revealed:

  • Two-thirds of millennial buyers concurrently consider renting while shopping for a new home.
  • One in three Millennials seriously consider renting.
  • When Millennials buy they “leapfrog the traditional “starter home” and jump into the higher end market by choosing larger properties with higher prices, similar to homes bought by older buyers.”
  • They pay a median price of $217,000 – more than Baby Boomers and 11 percent less than Generation X.
  • The Millennial median home size is 1,800 square feet – similar in size to what older generations buy.

The report also debunked the myth that Millennials are only urban dwellers. According to the report:

  • One quarter of Millennial homeowners live in an urban area.
  • Nearly half of all Millennials live in suburban communities.
  • 8 in 10 adults under 25 living outside an urban core.

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SOURCE:
Zillow® Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2016

 

Millennials dive into home ownership

I believe that there are many misconceptions when it comes to Millennials. We have all heard that Millennials are renting longer or live with their parents for a longer amount of time than previous generations, and that they have issues with student debt. These factors, to the general eye, would make it appear that Millennials are not interested in home ownership. But, from my research and experience, this is only part of the story.

So, what gives? According to NerdWallet and their review of recent industry surveys and data from government agencies and corporations “a majority of millennials would prefer owning to renting, but they appear to be postponing homeownership because of real and perceived difficulties in affording it. In fact, our analysis found that millennials, those born from 1981 to 1997, look upon owning a home just as favorably as previous generations.”

Here are a few facts on Millennials and homebuying from NerdWallet:

  • U.S. millennials total 66 million individuals and 24 million independent households.
  • The median age for first-time homebuyers has remained virtually unchanged for the past 40 years: In 2015 it was 31 years old, compared with 30.6 in 1970-74.
  • Two-thirds of millennials haven’t reached that homebuying age of 31, and 22% are under 25 years old.
  • Millennials are renting for a median of six years before buying, compared with a median of five years for renters in 1980.
  • Millennials are expected to form 20 million new households by 2025.
  • The median income for a millennial older than 25 is $38,220.
  • Meanwhile, the number of millennials living with their parents has increased nearly 15% from 2006 to 2013.

Here are a couple positive signs:

  • According to Javier Vivas, manager of economic research for Realtor.com, “Millennials’ home search is on.” Millennials recently became the dominant group of users searching for homes on Realtor.com.
  • Both the National Association of REALTORS® and Gallup Poll surveys of Millennials have shown that Millennials believe real estate is a good long-term investment, that they intend to become homebuyers and are increasingly choosing to buy a home.
  • Americans owe over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt with the average Class of 2016 graduate having $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year according to com. This can be a contributing factor to delaying home ownership as just released by CNN Money. This, of course, is not good news. The positive side of it is that “with student debt on the rise, there’s been a lot of speculation about whether the cost of a college degree hurts an individual’s ability to buy a home,” says NerdWallet’s Ling. “From what we’ve seen, getting a four-year degree or higher is actually positively associated with homeownership — even when accounting for debt.”
  • CNN Money reports that, “Millennials are the largest group of homebuyers. In January, Millennials represented around 45% of all purchase loans, up from 42% the same month in 2016.” Per CNN Money, Millennials are diving into home ownership, but “the struggle can be real”.

When NerdWallet asked Millennials what they believed were the biggest obstacles to getting a mortgage, millennial renters gave these answers, in order:

  • Insufficient credit score or history
  • Affording the down payment or closing costs
  • Insufficient income for monthly payments
  • Too much existing debt

For many millennials, the data NerdWallet analyzed reveal that these reasons may be more perception than reality. The important thing is to look at your financial position, make positive changes/plans to prepare for responsible home ownership through personal fiscal responsibility.

Millennials have a few things to consider when buying a home:

  • Increasing rents make home ownership more attractive. Money saved was the reason 21% of millennials chose to buy a home per Ellie Mae’s Owners’ Key Insights.
  • This buying season Millennial first-time homebuyers will be up against seasoned repeat homebuyers who have already started their home search last year, so it is good to start the search early and be prepared. Make sure you set your budget and get pre-qualified. Check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau(CFPB) Home Loan Toolkit to get started.
  • The home inventory shortage means rising home prices which bring into account home affordability. In response to what is stopping you from buying a home 45% haven’t saved enough for a down payment per Ellie Mae’s 2017 Borrower Insights Survey. CNN Money recommends that Millennials move home for two years to save money, reduce their debt and save for down payments.
  • Lending requirements have tightened. Understand your budget and what you will need to save for your down payment. Click here for Zillow’s Home Affordability Calculator.
  • Interest rates are great for home buying. Rates have gone up 3 times since 2015, but even with these increases rates still make home ownership very attainable.

I am excited to see the rise in home search and ownership in millennials. As with anyone approaching home ownership, it is good to make sure you are an educated buyer, that you understand what you are getting into, and that you have someone you trust to work with as you embark on your journey.

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SOURCE:
http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/03/real_estate/millennial-homebuying/index.html
http://www.gallup.com/poll/190850/americans-say-real-estate-best-long-term-investment.aspx
https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/2017-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-03-07-2017.pdf
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/millennials-and-homebuying/
http://elliemae.com/millennial-tracker
http://elliemae.com/borrower-insights
http://elliemae.com/about/news-reports/press-releases/homeowners-seeking-both-a-high-tech-and-human-touch-mortgage-experience-ellie-mae-2017-borrower-insights-survey-finds
https://www.zillow.com/mortgage-calculator/house-affordability/
https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201503_cfpb_your-home-loan-toolkit-web.pdf
http://www.realtor.com/realestateagents
https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/
http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/13/pf/college/student-debt-home-ownership/index.html

Self-made millionaire: Not buying a home is the single biggest millennial mistake

According to CNBC not buying a home is the single biggest mistake of a millennial. Financial author David Bach says that, “millennials are making a big mistake by not owning a home.” According to his calculations today’s homeowner is on average 38 times wealthier than a renter.

Rent vs. buy
There is a lot of debate out there on if it is better rent or buy. According to Trulia buying is 28% less expensive than renting nationwide. For those of you in the Austin-Round Rock area buying a home is 45% cheaper than renting.

Trulia makes this calculation based on the following assumptions: a $1,650 monthly rent, $230,000 target home price, staying in the home for 7 years, a 25% income tax rate, and a 3.65% mortgage rate.

Zillow also offers a breakeven horizon calculator to calculate how many years it will take before the cost of buying will equal the cost of renting. For Austin, TX, using the same $1,650 monthly rent and $230,000 target home price, after 1 year and 11 months, buying will be cheaper than renting when you out 20% down. If you put 10% down, after 2 years and one month buying will be cheaper than renting.

Making the investment
Bach argues that you have to live somewhere for the rest of your life, so you might as well invest in a home that you could own permanently. By the time you spend all of your money on rent, you come up empty handed with no investment.

For those considering home ownership for the first time, here are a few tips offered by the financial author.

Tips for first-time homeowners:

  • Calculate your costs.
  • Your first home expense can be minimized with a studio or smaller home.
  • Make sure your total monthly housing cost does not take up more than 30% of your take home pay.
  • Put down at least 10%; The bigger your down payment the lower your loan rate.
  • Borrow 10-20% less than the bank’s willing to lend you.
  • Don’t buy if you plan to move in less than 5 years.

Remember, your first home is more than likely not going to be your dream home. This is ok. Get in a home and begin to build your wealth. Bach says that by the time you are in your 50’s or 60’s you should be able to retire off the money from your home.

The decision is yours
As with any financial decision you make, it depends on your personal situation. Home ownership needs to be the right decision for you and one that you enter into both prepared and cautiously. It takes financial stability and responsibility to be a homeowner, and you need to fully understand the cost associated with your home. Make sure you partner with a trusted lender to understand your financial situation, a REALTOR® as you embark on this decision, and title company to help you through the homebuying process. The American Land Title Association offers a Home closing 101 to help you through this process.

With home prices remaining moderate with only slight increases and continuing low interest rates, my bet is that the American Dream is still a safe bet – no matter what generation you are.

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SOURCE:
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/30/self-made-millionaire-buy-a-home.html
http://davidbach.com/
https://www.trulia.com/rent_vs_buy/
https://www.zillow.com/rent-vs-buy-calculator/
http://www.homeclosing101.org/

 

Top 10 issues affecting real estate

The Counselors of Real Estate® (CRE) announced on June 14, 2017 the CRE 2017-2018 Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate at the National Association of Real Estate Editors Annual Conference in Denver last week. In the presentation Scott Muldavin, 2017 chair of The Counselors of Real Estate,  revealed the Top Ten issues, and then broke out the impact on both residential and commercial real estate. Today I will cover how the Top Ten affects residential real estate according to CRE.

 

 

  1. Political polarization and global uncertainty

Watch any bit of news or fake news, and you know this one to be true, but how does this impact real estate? As we continue to see uncertainty about changes to trade, travel and immigration policy threaten cross-border investing, hospitality properties, retail and manufacturing supply chains. Middle class how ownership will also be impacted as interest rates rise.

The impact on residential real estate:

  • Consumer price index rise
  • Interest rate rise
  • Mortgages less affordable
  • Polarized communities.
  1. The technology boom

We have seen the boom in apps. It is now at an inflection point where the use of technology will totally effect the real estate industry. In 2016 2.7 billion was spent in real estate tech. This boom will change every aspect of buying and selling real estate, as well as the homes that we live in.

The impact on residential real estate:

  • Smart homes (thermostats, lighting, security…)
  • Wireless access and bandwidth key
  • Health and wellness attributes on the rise
  • Suburbs could benefit from new transportation models
  1. Generational disruption

Babyboomers and millennials are now about the same. According to CRE The Baby Boomers generation of approximately 74 million (born between 1946 and 1964) is now smaller than the Millennial generations of approx. 75.4 million (born roughly between 1980 and 1997.) A significant number of today’s real estate decisions, as well as those connected to the workplace and consumer spending are now made by people under the age of 40. For the first time people are living and working together (both old and young). Boomers are wanting to move to inner suburbs and want more of an experiential lifestyle. “Surban” areas are the new it. These are suburban urban areas that feel urban-esque. People are looking for an urban feeling in suburban areas.

The impact on residential real estate:

  • Younger renters/buyers’ income limits
  • Marrying later, moving to suburbs
  • Older owners downsizing, selling, moving back to cities
  • Design, amenities differ by age group, yet they will live side-by-side in the same properties and neighborhoods
  • “Surban” communities thrive
  1. Retail disruption

According to CRE, there is a trend toward transforming retail in to “experiential” continues and is offsetting the shrinkage in the physical “bricks mortars” consumer goods platforms. Half of all U.S. households are members of Amazon Prime. There is a fundamental behavioral change in how people shop. The emphasis is on “timely, fast delivery of goods to consumers. May retailers are adopting an “Amazon-like approach, creating new warehouses; new distribution methods; and new fulfillment models while, ironically “disruptive retailers” such as Amazon are opening physical stores. With these changes, up to 30% of malls expected to close, but with this comes opportunities to repurpose the malls Retails is not dying, it is just changing. It is resilient. This disruption is similar to when Sears had to reinvent themselves because of Walmart.

The impact on residential real estate:

  • Walking distance retail demand is up
  • Unique destinations in high demand
  • Retail disruptions is a residential value determinant
  1. Infrastructure investment

We don’t really know what is going on with infrastructure now with the political polarization. It is clear that infrastructure investment is critical. 200 billion was spent over 10 years. 80% of which was state and local government. Mass transportation is being zeroed out. Don’t typically do tax reform or infrastructure spending in a time of growth.

The impact on residential real estate:

  • More infrastructure jobs = more income for housing
  • Better access to housing, work, shopping; improved utilities
  • Improved delivery of purchased goods
  • Potential higher costs for access to privately owned infrastructure (roads, utilities)
  1. Housing: The big mismatch

Affordability is a big issue. In Cleveland you can still buy a house for 80K. But, where jobs are being created there are huge affordability issues, i.e. Denver, West Coast… According to CRE, “Safe, decent, affordable housing has been shown to have a stabilizing effect on urban economies, crime, and public health.  A current lack of inventory has  generated a spike in home prices and, as a result, declining affordability for many home buyers, particularly those in lower income sectors.   A critical disparity exists between housing needs and housing supply. Although improving home prices, economic growth, mortgage accessibility and rental development have improved housing access and affordability in many areas, a confounding series of supply-demand mismatches continues to severely impact markets worldwide.  While the United States increasingly wrestles with the issue, a recent study of 300 metropolitan areas around the world ranked North America as a market with far fewer affordability problems than most.”

The impact on residential real estate:

  • Lack of inventory
  • Few “starter homes” for young buyers
  • Spike in home prices
  • Rising rents
  • Declining affordability
  • Poor market for older, larger homes in suburbs hinders Baby Boomer downsizing and moves
  1. Lost decades of the middle class

According to CRE, “After successive post-recession years of insignificant gains, median household incomes in the U.S. rose in 2015 by 5.2% to $56,516. Still, despite this welcome increase, middle class incomes have yet to recover their pre-recession highs ($57,403 in 2007), and are actually hovering below inflation-adjusted levels from almost two decades ago ($57,909).  Battered by automation and outsourcing, middle class jobs are still under pressure as the U.S. economy transitions from manufacturing to services.”

The impact on residential real estate:

  • Lack of funds for home purchases = postponed home buying
  • Debt and rents of more than 40% of income makes saving for down payment difficult
  • Little disposable income to support retail, restaurants…
  1. Real estate’s emerging role in health care

According to CRE, “Building occupants are increasingly demanding that the space they inhabit be designed, constructed, and operated in ways that advance positive health outcomes. It makes intuitive sense that buildings could help or hurt health in that people spend 90% of their time indoors. Research from the Mayo Clinic also concludes that only 20% of health comes from health care, with environmental and behavioral factors accounting for 40%.”

The impact of residential real estate:

  • Rising health care costs put a strain on household spending and saving
  • Potentially increased access to medical services at malls
  • May see health buildings/homes increase in desirability
  1. Immigration

According to CRE, “New immigrants tend to rent, boosting demand for multifamily housing, especially in gateway cities.  Recent surveys suggest that immigrant populations aspire to own homes and to move relatively freely from cities to suburbs and back in the search for employment. Labor mobility and homeownership rates will be constrained by limiting immigration. Industries like tech that demand highly skilled workers may be forced to innovate and substitute capital for labor if they cannot fill vacancies by recruiting foreign workers – constraining job growth. Longer term, if the entry of immigrant populations that tend to have larger households is curtailed, there will be a limit on the so-called demographic dividend for economic growth, with less of a labor force to support an aging population.”

The impact on residential real estate:

  • Fewer immigrants = fewer new household formations
  • Fewer renters
  • Fewer homebuyers
  • Fewer larger immigrant families = fewer larger homes needed
  • Affects urban and suburban areas alike
  1. Climate change

According to CRE, “In January 2017, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a new report based on the most up to date scientific evidence on sea level rise that more than doubles the 2013 forecasts of potential sea level rise by 2100 from 2.2 to 4 feet to 6.6 to 8.6 feet.  Sea level rise is caused by both the thermal expansion of the oceans—as water warms up, it expands—and the melting of glaciers and ice sheets.  These dramatic rises were due largely to new research on the role of the Antarctic in sea rises as well as improved forecast models.  The Atlantic (Virginia Coast North) and western Gulf of Mexico Coasts’ sea rise is projected to be greater than the global average by .3 to .5 meters by 2100.  Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are projected to be 0.1 to 1 meter lower.

While a potential rise of sea level by 6.6 to 8.6 feet by 2100 may seem far in the future, NOAA also estimates that annual frequencies of disruptive and damaging flooding would increase 25-fold with only a 14-inch increase in local sea level rise.  Major cities such as Miami, New York, New Orleans, Tampa and Boston are projected to have the most costly problems, with South Florida and most coastal areas all exposed to differing levels of sea rise risk and cost.”

The impact on residential real estate:

  • Property value declines
  • Property insurance too costly or not offered in impacted areas
  • Potential early home sales before next climatic event to protect ‘nest egg” equity for retirement
  • Particularly in cities like Miami, NYC, New Orleans, Tampa, Boston, South Florida

CRE also identified three issues to watch including: tax reform and monetary policy, other policy issues and the cannabis.

The CRE Top Ten list is developed annually by members of the CRE organizations’ External Affairs group. The Counselors’ 1,100 members around the world undertake an extensive dialogue on current issue and trends to identify the final list. Click here to see the full list or follow #CRETopTen on Twitter.

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SOURCE:
https://www.cre.org/
https://www.cre.org/news-releases/political-polarization-global-uncertainty-top-cre-2017-18-top-ten-issues-affecting-real-estate-list/
https://www.cre.org/external-affairs/alert-the-cre-2017-18-top-ten-issues-affecting-real-estate/
https://www.cre.org/external-affairs/cre-2016-2017-top-ten-issues-affecting-real-estate/

 

The state of Texas’ South Region

Texas is almost like a country in itself with 12 economic regions including: High Plains, West, Northwest, Metroplex, Upper East, Capital, Central, Southeast, Upper Rio Grande, Alamo, Gulf Coast and South.

Today I would like to take a look at what we Texans call “the Valley”, to look at our economy and job growth.

The much talked about border towns of Texas are growing, as is the opportunity for jobs. Texas’ South Region is comprised of the 28 counties covering the Gulf Cost and Mexico border and offers a “young, growing workforce”. According to the Texas Comptroller, “the South Region added more than 138,600 jobs from 2004 to 2014, led by Hidalgo County. Its 26 percent job growth accounted for 37 percent of the region’s net new jobs.”

Here is how South Texas ranked against Texas and the US on Job Growth.

Job growth 2004 – 2014
South Texas – 20.1%
Texas – 21.7%
U.S. – 5.5%

In the Texas Comptroller’s Regional Snapshot, they conclude that “The South Region is one of Texas’ fastest growing and most diverse. It overlies a portion of the Eagle Ford Shale that has helped fuel the state’s energy resurgence. It also serves as a hub for shipping, farming and manufacturing. Meanwhile, tourists flock to shoreline destinations such as Corpus Christi and South Padre Island.

The region offers a dynamic workforce. Both birth and graduation rates top state averages. It has also added jobs at a faster rate than Texas as a whole, though wages lag significantly behind the state average. Rapid growth, coupled with drought conditions, has strained the region’s water supplies.

Thriving cities, agriculture and mining helped drive Texas’ largest consumption increase over the past decade. In all, the region offers much promise. It will remain relatively young and culturally dynamic  while supporting some of Texas’  key industries.”

Here is the rest of the story from the Comptroller.

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SOURCES:
http://stedc.tamucc.edu/rei/
https://www.comptroller.texas.gov/economy/docs/regions/region-10.pdf
http://eaglefordshale.com/

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