5 Surprising Stats About Buyers

Millennial buyers are more diverse and mobile than their predecessors, and expect real estate professionals to be totally tech-savvy, right? According to certain data points from the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, that may not be universally true.

The report, which is based on a survey NAR mailed out to a random, though geographically weighted, sample of 145,800 recent home buyers last year, was released Wednesday. The respondents had to have purchased a home between July 2016 and June 2017, and provided information about their experiences during that 12-month period. Learn more about the survey here.

The study confirms trends that have been developing over the past few years, such as low inventory, rising prices, and the long-awaited entrance of millennials into the housing market.

“REALTORS® throughout the country have noticed both the notable upturn in buyer interest from young adults over the past year and the mounting frustration once they begin actively searching for a home to buy,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Prices keep rising for the limited number of listings on the market they can afford, which is creating stark competition, speedy price growth, and the need to save more in order to buy.”

However, the report also turned up a few unexpected data points. Here are five tidbits from the report that might surprise you.

Millennials’ first steps aren’t what you’d imagine. The stereotype that younger buyers are more likely than their older counterparts to head straight to the internet to initiate the home buying journey isn’t necessarily borne out in the data. While 40 percent of buyers aged 37 years and younger listed their first step in process as “looked online for properties for sale,” that same metric was 46 percent for ages 38 to 52 and 48 percent for ages 53 to 71. Fifteen percent of millennial buyers said their first move was to call a real estate agent.

Tech expectations may be flipping. While you might be planning on beefing up the tech offerings for your listings or creating your own brokerage app to appeal to millennials, such infrastructure might be more important to older buyers. Of all the age groups the Generational Trends study surveyed, virtual tours were most important to buyers between the age of 53 and 71. Only 43 percent of millennials ranked virtual tours as “very useful” in their home search, making them the least interested of all generations in the study. And older buyers are increasingly relying on mobile; more buyers age 63 to 71 found their agent through a mobile app than any other group. Finally, only 42 percent of millennials ranked technology as a very important skill for an agent to possess, lower than all other age groups.

A holding trend? Following years of move-up buyers mostly staying put, it seems those who bought homes between July 2016 and June 2017 are planning to stay even longer. Their expected tenure in homes has increased three full years from last year’s results, to a median of 15 years. Of course, this varies with age: For buyers 37 years and younger, the expected length of time in the home they’ve just bought is only 10 years, compared to 20 years for buyers aged 53 to 62.

Diversity permeates older groups, too: The 38 to 52 age group turned out to be the most racially diverse group of home buyers in 2017, with the most respondents of any group choosing ethnicities other than White/Caucasian. Also, the study found only 4 percent of buyers 37 and younger identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, while that number was 5 percent for buyers aged 38 to 62.

Millennials less mobile? The notion that young people are more willing to take a chance and move to a brand-new area doesn’t seem to hold up in the data. Buyers age 63 to 71 actually moved the farthest, typically choosing a new home at a median distance of 30 miles from their previous residence. For buyers age 37 and younger, the median was 10 miles.

Why Realtors® Should Care About Net Neutrality

Last year, the FCC issued a proposal to rollback the 2015 Open Internet Order and voted to dismantle its net neutrality regulations.

The repeal of the 2015 net neutrality rules become final 60 days after the FCC’s order is published in the Federal Register, a daily publication of the US federal government that issues proposed and final administrative regulations of federal agencies.

The rules have not yet been published so the time clock has not yet started. Once the roll back is final, we can expect supporters of net neutrality to file lawsuits challenging the FCC’s authority.

At the same time, Congress will consider legislation to write into law net neutrality protections. NAR supports legislation that will protect American businesses and consumers by preventing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking, throttling, or discriminating against Internet traffic and prohibit paid prioritization (fast lane) arrangements.

NAR has actively supported net neutrality for years.

Last year, the FCC issued a proposal to rollback the 2015 Open Internet Order and voted to dismantle its net neutrality regulations.

The repeal of the 2015 net neutrality rules become final 60 days after the FCC’s order is published in the Federal Register, a daily publication of the US federal government that issues proposed and final administrative regulations of federal agencies.

The rules have not yet been published so the time clock has not yet started. Once the roll back is final, we can expect supporters of net neutrality to file lawsuits challenging the FCC’s authority.

At the same time, Congress will consider legislation to write into law net neutrality protections. NAR supports legislation that will protect American businesses and consumers by preventing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking, throttling, or discriminating against Internet traffic and prohibit paid prioritization (fast lane) arrangements.

NAR has actively supported net neutrality for years.

  • April 2015: The FCC published a rule implementing open internet regulations that prohibit the blocking or degrading of lawful content on the internet by internet service providers.
  • November 2017: The FCC released a plan to dismantle these landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content and to curb access to some websites.
  • December 14, 2017: The FCC voted to dismantle its net neutrality regulations.

Why Net Neutrality is Important for REALTORS®

The business of real estate is increasingly conducted online. Streaming video, virtual tours and voice-over-internet-protocol are just some of the technologies that are commonly used by real estate professionals today.

In the future, new technologies will be adopted which will no doubt require unencumbered network access.

On Dec. 14, 2017, the FCC voted to dismantle its net neutrality regulations.

A rollback of net neutrality rules could raise costs on business owners, like real estate professionals, who make heavy use of technology and online platforms. In particular, paid-prioritization models and other anti-competitive practices could put small businesses at a significant disadvantage.

For example, larger companies could pay for internet fast lanes that deliver content to consumers faster on some websites than from others.

Don’t Panic Over Stock Market Mayhem

The housing market likely won’t be deeply affected by the sharp decline in stocks over the last two days because underlying economic fundamentals remain strong, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®. Jobs are being created, workers are seeing wage gains, and there’s no recession on the horizon. Those data trends don’t support the theory that the stock market drop indicates a larger underlying problem with the economy, Yun says.

Right now, the effect of the dive in stocks is mainly psychological. But if it becomes a prolonged slowdown, it could cut into the buying power of households who have exposure to stocks—and many do, primarily through 401(k) and other retirement accounts. It could also lead to job and wage cutbacks, but Yun says it’s premature to draw conclusions.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index fell by more than 4 percent Monday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined nearly 5 percent. As of late Tuesday, the S&P was down by almost 1.2 percent since the first of the year, although that comes after a year of double-digit gains. Yun points out that even with the drop, stocks remain well ahead of where they were a year ago. A correction is a natural part of the stock market’s cycle, Yun notes.

One metric to watch is long-term bond rates, which historically have gone up as stocks go down. That link, however, hasn’t been as strong in the past few years. Investors tend to increase demand in bonds as an alternative to stocks, driving up yields, which can lead to higher mortgage rates. Since the start of the year, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage has risen about 30 basis points, from 3.95 percent to 4.22 percent, according to Freddie Mac. That’s still low by historical standards.

ACBOR Supporting UVM Children’s Hospital

ACBOR members can make a HUGE difference in supporting the UVM Children’s Hospital during the 2018 Big Change Roundup!

The Big Change Roundup is the largest signature event for the UVM Children’s Hospital This event is an important fundraiser, but also brings the entire North Country together to help pediatric patients and their families. In 2017, the event collected and counted 2.35 tons of change. EVERY DIME makes a difference!

ACBOR member offices will each receive a jar to collect the spare change of anyone coming into their offices. The coins will be donated to the UVM Children’s Hospital to support special patient programs, life-saving equipment, education and research to find cures for childhood diseases. ACBOR’s goal for 2018 is to raise $1,000!

For more information about the Big Change Roundup, click here.

Net Neutrality Rollback Puts Consumers, Main Street Businesses on the Defensive in Digital Era

WASHINGTON (December 14, 2017) – The Federal Communications Commission today announced a rollback of net neutrality rules, sparking a swift rebuke from the nation’s 1.3 million REALTORS®.

“The internet as we know it today is a fair and open platform that puts everyone on a level playing field,” said National Association of REALTORS® President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation REALTOR® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. “FCC’s rollback of the Open Internet Order will mean higher costs and slower service for millions of American consumers and businesses. REALTORS® have strong concerns about what that might mean for the way consumers search for homes online and real estate is transacted.”

The FCC’s Open Internet Order went into effect in 2015. The rule required that broadband networks remain free of restrictions on content and platforms, while treating all content that flows through the network equally. What that means is internet service providers aren’t allowed to block, throttle or discriminate against internet traffic, such as streaming video or drone photography, among other applications.

Earlier this year, however, the FCC announced that it would reconsider those rules.

REALTORS® raised concerns with formal comments (link is external) to the agency in July that a rollback of net neutrality rules could raise costs on business owners, like real estate professionals, who make heavy use of technology and online platforms. In particular, NAR noted that paid-prioritization models and other anti-competitive practices could put small businesses at a significant disadvantage. For example, NAR said, larger companies could pay for internet fast lanes that deliver content to consumers faster on some websites than from others.

NAR believes consumers would suffer from downgraded services across the internet in such a scenario. At the same time, small businesses that either couldn’t pay the new fee or couldn’t negotiate such an arrangement for themselves would face a significant competitive disadvantage, losing customers to faster websites.

Mendenhall says that the majority of REALTORS® operate small businesses, with typically no more than two principals, and that NAR will fight for its membership on this issue with the hope that net neutrality rules will be reinstated.

“The last thing small businesses need today is additional costs and competitive disadvantages that put them on the defensive,” Mendenhall said. “This isn’t just an issue for Silicon Valley or large telecommunications shops. This is a main street concern that affects businesses and consumers across the country. We intend to make our voice heard on this important issue.”

NAR Green Designation – Get the Expertise You Need

NAR Green Designation – Get the Expertise You Need

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to get your NAR Green Designation in Vermont!

This designation comes as a result of the growing demand for REALTORS® to understand green concerns of clients and implement sustainable practices in their day-to-day business. NAR’s Green Designation is a unique program that provides vital training, support, and information to real estate professionals who are looking to advance their businesses and raise awareness in their community about the cost savings, health benefits, and overall value of homes with green features. NAR’s Green Designation does more than introduce REALTORS® to this important topic, it encourages dialogue amongst industry professionals about the positive change in housing toward smarter, healthier, more sustainable homes and neighborhoods.

NAR’s Green Designation counts as credit toward earning the ABR® designation awarded by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). A copy of the course completion certificates is required to receive credit towards your ABR® designation.

January 17-18, 2018
8:30am-4:30pm
Hampton Inn and Suites, Manchester Center, VT
$250 VR Members. |  $275 Non-Members
10 hours CE (Pending)

REGISTER TODAY!


Course Overview

DAY 1 – Green priorities for new and existing homes

Resource efficiency is a top consideration with new construction, but existing homes are about 90% of the market. Through this designation you’ll learn to identify client preferences that align with the benefits of resource efficiency. You’ll also learn how to guide clients to make greener choices when upgrading existing homes, and how new construction homes can meet and exceed green standards.

DAY 2 – Green homes are here to stay

Gain the knowledge that distinguishes you as a source for resource-efficient homes. This designation features content that focuses on the needs and  references of today’s homebuyer, such as cost savings, home health, and security. Discover the most effective ways of positioning a resource-efficient home on the market. The ability to bring the green aspects of a home to the forefront will make you an invaluable advisor to sellers.


Instructor: Craig Foley

Craig Foley is the chief of energy solutions for RE/MAX Leading Edge, and a co-founder of inCharge Energy. Craig joined the RE/MAX Leading Edge team in January of 2012 as a Realtor® with 12 years of experience, and as a leading advocate for high-performance buildings in New England. Craig is the architect of RE/MAX Leading Edge’s, a top five residential real estate company in MA, successful green brand and strategy.

Craig’s combination of real estate and energy management skills give him a unique perspective about sustainable energy solutions.

It’s Not Too Late To Influence Congress on Tax Reform

Thanks to our members’ engagement, REALTORS have helped positively influence tax reform in some key areas.  For example, both the House and Senate have agreed to maintain deductibility of state and local property taxes up to $10,000, and to maintain Section 1031 tax-deferred exchanges in their present form for real estate investments.

BUT OUR WORK IS NOT DONE. REALTORS have an opportunity to influence Congress to help make the tax reform bill more favorable to homeowners and consumers.  Now that both the House and Senate have passed The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, a Conference Committee will begin to address the differences between the two bills. Important improvements in the legislation are possible by encouraging Congress maintain the current law for the mortgage interest deduction and capital gains.  Congress can also address the State and Local Tax Deductibility issue by expanding the provision to include income taxes, raising the cap and indexing the cap to inflation.  These changes and retaining the current law makes the bill more favorable to homeownership.

Take action to tell Congress to protect middle-class homeowners.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Get the Information You Need About License Renewal

IMPORTANT RENEWAL DATES
Broker License Renewal – MARCH 31, 2018
Salesperson License Renewal – MAY 31, 2018

SALESPERSONS LICENSE REQUIREMENTS
Salespeople need 16 hours of Vermont approved continuing education credits in order to renew. REQUIRED

  • Vermont Real Estate Commission 4-hour Mandatory Course (Note: This course counts towards the 16 hours needed for your renewal)
  • 12 hours elective courses (can include NAR Code of Ethics). Elective courses must be VREC approved courses.

NAR Code of Ethics
The National Association of Realtors® requires the NAR Code of Ethics every two years. This can be taken online or in classroom. To get VT CE and the NAR fulfillment, you need to be sure the class is approved by NAR and the Vermont Real Estate Commission (VREC). If approved by the VREC, the CE counts toward your 12 Elective hours of CE. Click here for the NAR COE training.

BROKER LICENSE REQUIREMENTS
Brokers need 24 hours of Vermont approved continuing education credits in order to renew. REQUIRED

  • Vermont Real Estate Commission 4-hour Mandatory Course (Note: This course counts towards the 24 hours needed for your renewal)
  • 20 hours elective courses (can include NAR Code of Ethics). Elective courses must be VREC approved courses.

NAR Code of Ethics
The National Association of Realtors® requires the NAR Code of Ethics every two years. This can be taken online or in classroom. To get VT CE and the NAR fulfillment, you need to be sure the class is approved by NAR and the Vermont Real Estate Commission (VREC). If approved by the VREC, the CE counts toward your 12 Elective hours of CE. Click here for the NAR COE training.

Additional Resources
Did you know that you can download your real estate CE class certificates online? Your class certificates are available for any class taken after May 15, 2015 for classes that are offered through Vermont Realtors®. For all other education providers, you will need to contact the provider for your certificate.

Download Instructions

  1. Login by clicking here
  2. Hover over “Events”
  3. Click on “My Classes”
  4. Click on “Details” under the desired class
  5. Click on Certificate
  6. Save to your computer or print your certificate

Questions: Contact Katrina DeLabruere at (802) 229-0513 or at katrina@vermontrealtors.com

VR EDUCATION CALENDAR
Vermont Realtors® offers a full slate of educational opportunities throughout the state. You can view the current course offerings by clicking the button below. Please check back often as VR adds new educational opportunities throughout the year.

GO TO THE VR EDUCATION CALENDAR

ONLINE EDUCATION
Vermont Realtors® has partnered with educational affiliates to offer continuing education opportunities online. Get the courses you need, at your convenience! (Note: Please make certain that classes are approved by the Vermont Real Estate Commission if you are taking these classes for your license renewal).

MORE ABOUT ONLINE EDUCATION

Don’t Miss the 2017 Green Real Estate Symposium

Join us for the 2017 Green Real Estate Symposium

Appraising, Selling, and Financing Buildings with Energy Efficient and Renewable Energy Features

The Green Real Estate Symposium is a one day event designed to bring together Realtors®, appraisers, mortgage lenders, & home builders from Vermont and New Hampshire to educate all parties involved in the process of the green home movement.

Featuring powerhouse speakers and leading instructors in the real estate industry.

October 25, 2017
Lake Morey Resort
Fairlee, Vermont

Registration: $125
Includes lunch

REGISTER

Continuing Education Credits
Appraising Energy Efficient Homes (for Appraisers) – 8 hours VT and NH CE
Green Symposium – 7 hours VT and NH CE
Selling Energy Efficient Residential Properties – 8 hours VT and NE CE
Special Note: Upon completion of this course, attendees will be placed on the Energy Efficient Qualifications Registry (EEPQR.com).

Symposium Overview

8am – Registration

8:30am-5pm – Classes

Appraising Energy Efficient Homes (for Appraisers)

This class provides practitioners with a step-by-step, bulletproof methodology for appraising energy efficient homes. It includes proprietary forms and terminology that can be integrated into appraisal reports. We share valuable phrases that will help clearly identify the limitations of the appraiser’s observations; reduce liability for all parties, while providing the tools to accurately value energy-efficient homes.

This seminar is designed to provide those that successfully complete the course with the ability to complete appraisals that will be acceptable to the secondary mortgage market, even when comps do not exist.

Green Symposium

Energy efficiency is a growing concern among homeowners. This symposium will address a myriad of topics that are relevant in today’s marketplace with the emphasis on what is particularly relevant to Vermonters. The symposium will cover: Consumer demand for green and sustainable homes; trends and regulations; codes, certificates, labels and the MLS; solar energy and what you need to know; and much more!

Selling Energy Efficient Residential Properties

This course is designed to build an agents competency in the energy efficient homes market. For real estate sales professionals this includes; understanding the appraiser’s role described herein; and preparing the property for sale by compiling the appropriate documentation demonstrating the intrinsic value of the energy-efficient home.

1pm – Lunch

Classes resume following lunch

How the Equifax Breach Could Hurt Home Sales

The recent Equifax data breach, which exposed the personal information of about 143 million Americans—one of the largest hacks on record—could put home sales at risk. For consumers trying to get a mortgage, the data breach, which compromised people’s Social Security numbers, addresses, and credit card information, could stall their loan approval or put them at risk for having their information stolen and used in unlawful real estate transactions.

Scammers could also use stolen Social Security numbers to open up new credit cards and rack up debt under a person’s name, which could ruin the victim’s credit score. “If you have your identity stolen, it causes a lot of problems,” Don Frommeyer, a mortgage loan officer at Marine Bank in Indianapolis, told realtor.com®. “You have to prove it wasn’t you.”

Rob Douglas, an identity theft expert, predicts there will be an increase in fraudulent mortgage and refinance applications due to the Equifax breach. Loan officers may have to put additional vetting procedures in place, which, in turn, could slow down the loan approval process and burden borrowers with extra costs.

What Consumers Should Do

For your clients to better protect themselves, security experts recommend taking the following steps:

  • Check your exposure. To see whether the Equifax breach affected you, go to https://trustedidpremier.com/eligibility/eligibility.html
  • Freeze your accounts. If you have been affected, contact each of the big credit-reporting companies immediately to freeze your credit, security experts recommend. You can either do this online or by calling them. Equifax: 800-349-9960; Experian: 888‑397‑3742; TransUnion: 888-909-8872. You will still be able to use your credit cards, even with freezes in place, but no one will be able to check credit scores and personal information without your permission. You can also undo the freezes at any time, though that does often require a small fee.
  • Continue to monitor your credit. “It might be worth signing up for a credit monitoring service,” says Pete Mills, senior vice president of residential policy at the Mortgage Bankers Association. “It’s certainly easier to undo a fraudulent account within a few days” than to wait a few months to address it.

Source: “Why the Equifax Breach Might Make It Harder to Buy a Home – and What You Can Do,” realtor.com® (Sept. 15, 2017)