Dympna Fay-Hart
Serving Chicago Area Sellers & Buyers

(773) 230-3800

Send me a message

Real Estate

Contract Signings Cool as More Buyers Are Priced Out

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 29, 2018 - 12:00am

But there are signs that inventories are rising in several large metros, which could help moderate price growth in the coming weeks. Read more from NAR’s latest housing report.

Categories: Real Estate

Why Homes in 8 States Have Lost Billions in Potential Value

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 28, 2018 - 12:00am

These areas boast some of the priciest real estate in the country, but increasing flood threats are chipping away at their desirability.

Categories: Real Estate

Downsizing Doesn’t Always Lower Housing Expenses

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 28, 2018 - 12:00am

Homeowners may think moving to a smaller house will trim costs, but economists say it's often not a cost-cutting move.

Categories: Real Estate

Yun: How We’re Doing 10 Years After the Great Recession

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 28, 2018 - 12:00am

NAR’s chief economist reflects on the road real estate has traveled over the last decade and how far the housing market has come.

Categories: Real Estate

5 Email Subject Lines Clients Won’t Click

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 28, 2018 - 12:00am

Be careful of these common gaffes when sending out a marketing message, and make sure you’re being as relevant to your subscribers as possible.

Categories: Real Estate

2018’s Most Reliable Housing Markets for Growth, Stability

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2018 - 12:00am

Colorado may offer buyers the best prospects for steady home appreciation over the long term, according to a new analysis.

Categories: Real Estate

Smart-Home Gadgets Buyers Will Pay Extra to Have

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2018 - 12:00am

Fifty-three percent of builders say they are equipping new construction with technology. But are they the kind buyers want?

Categories: Real Estate

Police Hunt 3 Suspects Who Robbed N.Y. Brokerage

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2018 - 12:00am

Two men and a woman stole jewelry, $8,000 in cash, a security system, and several credit cards from agents at the office.

Categories: Real Estate

Affordability Called Housing’s ‘Boogeyman’

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2018 - 12:00am

Economists and housing experts say increases in home prices won’t ease soon, but they knock down concerns of another housing bubble.

Categories: Real Estate

Airbnb Sues NYC, Says Law Infringes on Hosts’ Rights

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2018 - 12:00am

A New York ordinance set to take effect this winter would allow local officials to gather Airbnb hosts’ names and addresses.

Categories: Real Estate

Housing Deadline Looms for Displaced Puerto Ricans

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 27, 2018 - 12:00am

Federal aid intended to subsidize housing costs for Puerto Ricans who were displaced by Hurricane Maria is set to expire Friday.

Categories: Real Estate

Housing in 2020: Construction Costs Grow, Mortgage Rates Slow

RisMedia Consumer News - August 26, 2018 - 12:06pm

Where will housing be in 2020? According to the latest Metrostudy predictions, if all continues on its current track, construction costs could continue to increase, and mortgage rates could reel in.

While rates have increased in the last six months, impacting affordability, the rise is not significant according to historical trends, says Mark Bound, chief economist and senior vice president at Metrostudy, a provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and residential construction industries. In the long term, Boud predicts mortgage interest rates will top out at 5.8 percent in 2020 and 2021, eventually being pulled down by slower economic growth—and because of tighter lending practices, the market environment will not become as dire as the last housing bubble.

As for inventory, it is significantly under-supplied, while homes are increasingly overvalued; however, the risk of a price collapse is small due to the tight market, and Boud expects the cycle of under-supply to plateau in 2020. The lack of new inventory is, in part, in response to trade increases, as many of the imposed tariffs—specifically the 20-plus percent tariff on lumber imports, and 10 and 25 percent tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, respectively—directly impact construction efforts.

These factors could lead to an increase in overall construction timelines, as well as an increase in construction costs by at least $2,000 per house, according to Boud. More homes in the upper price ranges are being built, while inventory under $400,000 is lower, in some cases. Overall, the national market is becoming top-heavy, which typically only occurs where land is more expensive, such as in California, Boud says.

Remodeling activity continues to rise in response to homeowners staying in their homes for longer, as well as the continuing trend toward purchasing existing homes, which triggers renovations. According to Boud, this is most common in coastal markets, or markets that have high appreciation rates, such as Texas.

Something to watch? Inflation. Boud says inflationary pressures are slowly building—inflation rose from 2.4 percent in March to 2.9 percent in August—but in a few years, the national debt could slow economic growth, which, in turn, could slow down rising interest rates.

Another concern? The current downward trend of the 2-10 Treasury yield spread, which could see negative figures in about a year, may be a sign that a recession is in the cards.

However, the current economy is healthy, Boud says. In the past 12 months, 2.4 million jobs have been generated, increasing demand for housing and pushing the unemployment rate down. Additionally, housing starts are fairly stable, forecasted to be 1.28 million in 2018, and increasing to 1.33 million in 2019 and 1.345 million in 2020, before plateauing.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Housing in 2020: Construction Costs Grow, Mortgage Rates Slow appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Hurricane Lane Threatens More Than 48K Homes in Hawaii

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 24, 2018 - 12:00am

Some areas of the state’s Big Island are already reporting more than two feet of rain as of early Friday.

Categories: Real Estate

Study: Most Millennials Don’t Have a Qualifying Credit Score

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 24, 2018 - 12:00am

Sixty-one percent need to improve their credit in order to obtain lower interest rates when they’re ready to take out a mortgage, according to Experian.

Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Fall for Third Straight Week

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 24, 2018 - 12:00am

Mortgage rates are now at their lowest level since mid-April.

Categories: Real Estate

Inventory Drought Pushes New-Home Sales to 9-Month Low

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 24, 2018 - 12:00am

However, housing demand remains solid “due to economic strengthening and positive demographic tailwinds.”

Categories: Real Estate

401(k) Auto-Enrollment Connected to Early Withdrawals, With Housing Implications

RisMedia Consumer News - August 23, 2018 - 3:41pm

With Social Security trust fund reserves waning—predicted to be depleted by 2034, leaving Social Security unable to maintain full scheduled benefits—and the number of retirees expecting to receive benefits increasing, more and more Americans are relying on 401(k) savings to support their retirement living. In fact, Statista estimates there are 41.2 million households who presently own a 401(k) plan in the U.S.

How does auto-enrollment fit in with these tax-advantaged savings accounts? There’s a clear benefit, as recently determined by 401(k) record-keeper Alight Solutions LLC in its 2017 Trends & Experience in Defined Contributions Plans report. Far more individuals contribute to a 401(k) with an auto-enrollment feature (85 percent) than to plans without it (63 percent).

While that should lead to higher savings rates and stronger financial health for future retirees, there is a glaring concern: Increases in auto-enrollment are leading to more early withdrawals. According to Retirement Clearinghouse LLC, over 60 percent of 401(k) participants with balances below $10,000 liquidate their accounts after leaving a company, reports the Wall Street Journal.

What’s causing this increase in withdrawals (also known as leakage)? Job changes lead to low 401(k) balances, which are largely cashed out due to company payout checks that can easily be deposited. The alternative? Having to fill out burdensome paperwork to transfer the funds into a tax-advantaged account. Others use their funds as a type of loan regardless of penalties incurred.

Although small loans or early withdrawals may not seem like much in the grand scheme of funds necessary to support retirement living, these can add up to a costly dip in long-term savings. While statistics by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School show that most 401(k) borrowers pay themselves back (with interest), 10 percent default on nearly $5 billion per year.

How will this impact retirement-incentivized real estate? A survey conducted last year by The Hartford Advance 50 Team and MIT AgeLab found that 73 percent of surveyed adults over 45 strongly agreed with the statement “What I’d really like to do is stay in my current residence for as long as possible.”

That may not be achievable for a majority of retirees. Less funds to support retirement living may lead to more move-down buyers, as retirees struggle to pay off remaining mortgage debt on bigger homes while also maintaining their current costs of living. Additionally, aging in place no longer means simply staying in their current home, as improvements are necessary to ensure their safety and comfort, and these modifications can be costly.

Independent living in a safe format is merely one consideration. According to a Merrill Lynch Finances in Retirement Survey last year, the average cost to retire has increased to $738,400. The average balance in a 401(k) account is $102,900, according to Fidelity.

How much does auto-enrollment and early withdrawals impact retirement moving trends? Participating employees are more likely to reduce their potential auto-enrollment gains by as much as 42 percent, withdrawing an average of $850 more than employees who voluntarily enroll. This could lead to massive losses in retirement savings down the road.

When taking overall auto-enrollment savings into consideration, however, those who participated saved, on average, $1,200 more in eight years (in 2004 dollars) compared to employees hired only a year earlier but who were required to sign up on their own, according to the Alight report. Additionally, companies offering auto-enrollment are largely converting more employees, who would not typically contribute, into retirement savers.

Younger workers should start seeking employment with companies that offer 401(k) auto-enrollment now, and should refrain from pocketing low balances should they transfer jobs or withdrawing until they have reached retirement age. Additionally, in order to truly benefit from auto-enrollment and build up savings, Congress may have to impose added restrictions on low-balance payouts in response to job transitions, as well as make it easier for auto-enrolled contributors to transfer funds without the hassle of complex paperwork.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 401(k) Auto-Enrollment Connected to Early Withdrawals, With Housing Implications appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Challenged by a Down Payment? The Easiest Markets to Save For

RisMedia Consumer News - August 23, 2018 - 3:33pm

One of the biggest challenges for first-time homebuyers is saving.

Coming up with a down payment is a hurdle for the majority of millennials, shows study after study—but, there are areas where the average earnings are enough to save sufficiently, according to an analysis recently released by RealEstate.com. The easiest market? Chicago, where the average first-timer can save 20 percent for a starter in just over three years.

1. Chicago, Ill.
Annual Household Income for Millennials: $50,500
Annual Millennial Savings: $10,821
Median Starter Value: $177,300
Down Payment (20%): $35,460
Savings Timeline: 3 years, 3 months

2. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
Annual Household Income for Millennials: $50,600
Annual Millennial Savings: $10,843
Median Starter Value: $185,400
Down Payment (20%): $37,080
Savings Timeline: 3 years, 5 months

3. Detroit, Mich.
Annual Household Income for Millennials: $43,100
Annual Millennial Savings: $5,388
Median Starter Value: $96,700
Down Payment (20%): $19,340
Savings Timeline: 3 years, 7 months

4. Baltimore, Md.
Annual Household Income for Millennials: $54,300
Annual Millennial Savings: $11,636
Median Starter Value: $214,000
Down Payment (20%): $42,800
Savings Timeline: 3 years, 8 months

5. Indianapolis, Ind.
Annual Household Income for Millennials: $39,400
Annual Millennial Savings: $6,567
Median Starter Value: $122,500
Down Payment (20%): $24,500
Savings Timeline: 3 years, 9 months

6. Pittsburgh, Pa.
Annual Household Income for Millennials: $41,700
Annual Millennial Savings: $5,212
Median Starter Value: $103,600
Down Payment (20%): $20,720
Savings Timeline: 4 years

7. Cleveland, Ohio
Annual Household Income for Millennials: $42,900
Annual Millennial Savings: $5,362
Median Starter Value: $109,600
Down Payment (20%): $21,920
Savings Timeline: 4 years, 1 month

8. St. Louis, Mo.
Annual Household Income for Millennials: $43,200
Annual Millennial Savings: $5,400
Median Starter Value: $119,900
Down Payment (20%): $23,980
Savings Timeline: 4 years, 5 months

9. Austin, Texas
Annual Household Income for Millennials: $50,700
Annual Millennial Savings: $10,864
Median Starter Value: $249,700
Down Payment (20%): $49,940
Savings Timeline: 4 years, 7 months

10. Washington, D.C.
Annual Household Income for Millennials: $67,900
Annual Millennial Savings: $14,550
Median Starter Value: $343,000
Down Payment (20%): $68,600
Savings Timeline: 4 years, 9 months

The analysis factored in first-time homebuyers’ household income (median), plus the cost of a down payment on a median starter. (Twenty percent is ideal, but not a requirement.)

“Contrary to popular belief, millennials want to buy homes, but high home prices, low inventory and stagnant wage growth are some of the many factors that may be driving would-be buyers into delaying homeownership,” says Justin LaJoie, general manager of RealEstate.com. “However, in certain U.S. housing markets first-time buyers can find some relief; they just need to know where to look.”

RealEstate.com is part of Zillow Group.

For more information, please visit RealEstate.com.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Challenged by a Down Payment? The Easiest Markets to Save For appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Top Cities for Young Professionals to Call Home

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 23, 2018 - 12:00am

These metros offer the best prospects for 25- to 34-year-olds when it comes to employment, salary, and housing costs.

Categories: Real Estate

Jumbo Loans May Be More Practical for Average Buyers

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 23, 2018 - 12:00am

Interest rates for larger mortgages are becoming less expensive than those for conforming loans.

Categories: Real Estate