What’s New

2015: Year of the First Time Home Buyer

First-time home buyers are expected to re-emerge in the new year after mostly staying out of the market in the aftermath of the housing crisis. That’s one of realtor.com®’s five top housing predictions for 2015. “The residual financial effects of recession-driven job losses and subsequent unemployment have impeded Millennials’ entry into the home-owning market,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for …

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10-Year Review: How’s Housing Really Doing?

The housing market has made some strides in recent months, but how has it performed compared to 10 years ago? Has the real estate market really dug itself out of the housing crisis? The National Association of REALTORS® on its Economists’ Outlook blog recently used the latest October housing data to compare existing home sales, median sales prices, and inventory …

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60% of Realtors® Make the Deals

Forty percent of REALTORS® did not close a single transaction in the first six months of this year, according to a newly released REALTOR® Productivity Study of Multiple Listing Service activity conducted by the WAV Group and sponsored by the REALTORS Property Resource®. The survey reflects responses from nearly 335,000 REALTORS®. “We thought the numbers would reflect the 80/20 rule,” …

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5 Real Estate Predictions for 2015

Expect the home-purchase market to strengthen along with the economy in 2015, according to Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for November. “The good news for 2015 is that the U.S. economy appears well-poised to sustain about a 3 percent growth rate in 2015 — only the second year in the past decade with growth at that pace …

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FHFA to Set Guidelines on Mortgage Fees

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it will propose a new framework early next year for how mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will set their so-called G-fees. These are the fees that the GSEs charge lenders, and some housing analysts have been concerned that a rise in G-fees could prove more costly to consumers, since lenders likely …

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Buyers: Tech Makes us Smarter House Hunters

Seventy-six percent of house hunters say technology has made them smarter home buyers, and 69 percent say it’s made them more confident in and satisfied with their decisions, according to a new poll of more than 1,000 buyers commissioned by Discover Home Loans. Nearly half say technology helped them save money, and 92 percent say it helped them save time. …

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NAR 360: An Overview of Achievements

NAR 360 is an hour-long forum led by 2014 President Steve Brown and featuring the NAR Leadership Team. Take a look at an overview of association achievements. It’s a great way to get a high-level view of what’s going on at the National Association of REALTORS®.

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Why QRM is Such a Big Win for Real Estate

Much of what NAR does in Washington is defensive: it works with Congress to prevent curbs to the mortgage interest deduction or to prevent elimination of federal backing of conforming mortgage loans. The qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule that federal regulators released last week falls into this category in some respects, because regulators at first wanted to require a qualified mortgage …

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IRS Announces 2015 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

The Internal Revenue Service has announced cost‑of‑living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2015. Many of the pension plan limitations will change for 2015 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. However, other limitations will remain unchanged because the increase in the index did not …

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QRM Rule Opens More Doors for Consumers

The mortgage-financing environment for households could improve as a result of a rule federal regulators put in place Tuesday. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the first of six financial regulators to release the final version of the long-awaited qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule, which stems from the big 2010 banking reform bill the federal government enacted after the financial …

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3 Industry Trends to Watch This Fall

The housing market is expected to heat up this fall, despite buyers showing greater signs of being conservative in their home purchases. Bankrate.com recently highlighted some of the following trends to watch this fall in the nation’s real estate market: 1. An overall pick up in housing activity. Low inventories of homes for sale in many markets have been blamed …

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Ello, the Latest Social Network? Plus, Social Networking Field Guide

Every junior high kid seems to have a Facebook page. Why should you, a real estate professional? Learn about social networking websites, see how other real estate agents have embraced social networking to increase their presence on the Internet to attract more clients, learn about the variety of social networking websites and much more. Ello: The Latest Trend Meet Ello, …

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