Average Rent Breaks $1,000 Threshold

For the very first time, the average rent in the United States, as calculated by the US Census Bureau for the third quarter is reported to exceed $1,000.

According to the Census Bureau, the median asking rent during the third quarter of 2018 was $1,003, which is an increase of $52 over the second quarter of 2018 and a $91 increase over the same time in 2017.

This is a 10% increase in just one year, which back in 2017 was reported to be $912.

Perhaps this is the most historic rise in the last three years, since in 2015 rents were $200 less per month than they are right now.

This is having a definite impact upon new home buyer’s ability to put away a down payment.

The largest increase was reported in the Northeast, where rents are typically some of the highest in the country. In the Northeast, according to the US Census Bureau, asking rent climbed from $1,134 in the second quarter of 2018 to $1,210 in the third quarter. An interesting glitch in the statistics is that the asking rent in the third quarter of 2017 for the Northeast was actually higher, $1,279, which could be a function of the flattening-out of the New York City rental market.

Rents in the West also rose from $1,345 in the first quarter of 2018 to $1,382 in the third quarter of 2018.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

Attorney Brief: Get Visibility, Keep Visibility

Attorneys should always consider ways to get their message and their value out to their prospective clients. two people shaking hands

Most clients of attorneys don’t go shopping for an attorney before they need one. So that is the reason why attorneys need to take a more pro-active position when marketing their services to prospective clients. Ranking by specialty is one way to achieve this. The tool that accomplishes this means of demonstrating credibility with access is the simple press release.

I recently came across an attorney who put out a press release to celebrate his anniversary for his 3 decades of legal practice.

Within the press release, he identified the offerings of his law firm: personal injury, bankruptcy, criminal and estate planning, as well as real estate, foreclosure defense, short sales and title insurance services.

In the press release, the attorney identified the communities that he had served for the 30-plus years he had been practicing.

This attorney even went so far as to emphasize his commitment to Christian values to not only meet the legal needs of his clients but also “provide spiritual and emotional support.” By doing so he set himself apart from other attorneys within that particular market niche and demographic. The final piece of information that he provided within this press release is the invitation for individuals to visit his website which gives additional information regarding what his practice provides and how he does it.

So if you know of any attorneys who want to increase their visibility, press releases are great ways to achieve this.

For further information please contact Anthony DiMaio of Anthem Communications. Anthony is a marketing consultant and brand specialist who has been practicing since 1991.

 

Builder Sentiment Goes Neutral

Moody’s Home Building Sentiment Flattens 

Moody’s announced that it had lowered its outlook for home building for the next 12 months. Moody’s indicated that its projections went from positive to just stable, indicating that trends will be expected to slow down over the next year. The slowdown is not believed to move into negative territory.

Moody’s sentiment remains in the positive territory of 6-8% for 2019, but it is not believed to be moving into the double-digit territory it has been in over the past 12 months or so.

The Moody’s Housing Market Index includes, which includes estimates for such builders as D.R. Horton and Lennar Corporation, projects that revenues will exceed expectations, while revenues for Hovnanian will be negatively impacted by the slowing trend.

The U.S. Census Bureau also indicated that construction spending maintained stable levels through September 2018.

Overall, the expectation for construction in 2019 is expected to be a healthy 6-8% due to the continued positive consumer confidence levels, strong employment figures, low unemployment, continued and sustained buyer demand, low cancellation of new housing and strong backlogs.

In addition, inventory remains low, with average monthly inventory of homes for sale in the 3-5 month range, which is lower than generally accepted levels of 6 months. The low inventory factor has been impacting the number of sales for over 18 months now, and is considered to no longer reflect the buyer demand moving forward.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

Zillow Offers Expands into Houston

Zillow continues to roll out plans to buy and sell homes in additional markets.

Zillow announced the expansion of its Zillow Offers program into the Houston market this week. This represents the fifth market where Zillow Offers is available. The program began in Phoenix back in April 2018 and now is operational in Las Vegas, Atlanta and Denver.

Zillow expects that Zillow Offers will also be operational in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina within the next few months.

The concept of Zillow Offers is that Zillow will present a no-obligation cash offer to purchase the home. Should the sellers accept the offer, Zillow directly looks to market the house and prepares it for showing.

According to a number of sources, Zillow has already seen nearly 20,000 homeowners request an offer from Zillow to purchase a home.

The functionality of Zillow Offers is that it looks to provide a quicker process for the seller and Zillow brokers can begin to market the property on their own timeline.

Zillow’s program does not look to compete with local real estate agents. Zillow works with local real estate agents during every part of the transaction and pays a commission to local agents when it buys and sells each home.

The Zillow Offers program is looking to promote its Premier Agent, which allows real estate agents the chance to acquire new listings by connecting them with motivated sellers who have taken direct action to sell their home.

As Zillow completed its acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America, it continues to integrate additional components of the real estate process into its growing platform. Zillow expects to rebrand Mortgage Lenders of America.

The appointment of Allen Parker as chief financial officer, effective Nov. 16. Mr. Parker joins from Amazon.com Inc., where he served in various finance roles, indicated that Zillow is definitely on track with building-out it current platform model.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

Shortage of Flipperable Homes Suggests a Market Top

Higher purchase costs, higher material costs, higher labor costs, and less available and buildable land point to potential Market top.

According to Adam Data Solutions, the flipping volume has been falling yearly buy a double-digit percentage for 3 out of the last 6 months.

According to the analysis the number of Home flips decline within the last 12 month. By 18% in August as compared to 2017.

It appears that even flippable homes have appreciated significantly over the last 12 months to reduce the profitability margins for home flippers.

There also seems to be the reduction in potential home buyers due to the increase in mortgage rates.

According to this recent report, in California home flips fell by 22% annually.

Also, the report the single-family rental business now is booming. According to the report it is taking much longer to sell a flipped home, which now average is 186 days from purchase to cell. This is the longest span of time since June of 2006.

The inventory that flippers have to choose from has also been greatly reduced. With the national foreclosure rate at historic low levels, all the homeowners are staying put at a higher rate than normal.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

Mortgage Bankers Association Project Higher Multi & Commercial Originations

The Mortgage Bakers Association [MBA] projects commercial and multifamily mortgage originations.

The MBA is projecting such originations to total $532 billion in 2018.

This represents a $2 billion increase over 2017’s last year’s record volume of $530 billion.

Mortgage banker originations of just multifamily mortgages is forecast to climb 7% in 2018.

MBA projects total multifamily lending to reach $302 billion.

The MBA projects that multifamily lending is expected to rise 2 percent in 2019.

As property incomes and values continue to grow, the amount of capital available for investment in real estate and debt remains strong.

According to the MBA announcement, “Commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding is expected to continue to grow in 2018, ending the year more than 6 percent higher than last year.”

 

Veteran Homelessness Decreases

Veteran homelessness decreased by 5.4% since 2017, according to the annual homeless assessment report of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This trend has shown improvement since 2010, when there were 74,000 homeless veterans, to just 37,878 homeless veterans in 2018.

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, this trend is the direct result of the agency working to reduce the number of homeless vets who have returned home and find the transition difficult to make.

The 2018 estimate found that it was 37,878 veterans who were homeless. This compares with 40,020 that was reported in January 2017.

HUD’s the total number of reported veterans experiencing homelessness in 2018 at 23,312 and another 14,566 veterans living in places not intended for human habitation.

According to the report, in some states and communities veteran homelessness has been eradicated completely. According to the report Virginia, Delaware and Connecticut have ended veteran homelessness, along with 64 other U.S. communities.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

Rising Home Prices Put Squeeze on Buyers

Despite the slight let-up in the number of transactions of homes and properties, the median existing price for a single-family home increased by 4.8% on an annual basis to $266,900. Even though this represented a slight easing from the 4.9% recorded in the second quarter of 2018, it still represents a continuation of the appreciation of real estate across the board.

According to the National Association of Realtors, home prices increased across the country, rising in 93% of the markets that were measured in the third quarter. This measurement represents 166 out of 177 metropolitan areas. Approximately 10% of the metro areas saw price increases again in the double digits.

In addition to the higher prices buyers are being forced to pay-up, there continues to be a shortage in inventory and an increase in the mortgage rates that have been rising for the last year-and-a-half.

The basic theme is insufficient supply of available and affordable housing. The continued growth trend in real estate values does not seem to be attracting other sellers to enter the into this lucrative market. According to the NAR, total existing home sales, which includes single-family homes and condos, fell by 2.4% from 5.4 million sales in the third quarter of 2017.

The strong economy continues to drive the market higher with less inventory to satisfy the actual demand that it is within this market.

The bright spot on the horizon in this market, as reported by the NAR is that inventory crept up ever so slightly from the third quarter of 2017 to the end of the third quarter of 2018. According to the published report, the average supply of homes for sale was 4.3 months during the third quarter of 2018. This also is an improvement from 2017, which came in at 4.2 months supply.

This tracks with the national family median income increase to 76,800 in the third quarter.

Affordability is still a key driver in this market. Middle-class home buyers are facing a sparsity of selection and home builders are finding it difficult to keep up with demand, considering the labor shortages across the board.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

Debra Balak Joins Counsellors Title Agency

Licensed Title Producer Adds Senior Level Strength to Counsellors Growing Sales Force

TOMS RIVER, NJCounsellors Title Agency, Inc., www.counsellorstitle.net, is pleased to announce that Debra Balak has joined the agency’s sales force of licensed title producers. Debra Balak comes to Counsellors Title with a broad and distinguished knowledge of the title insurance industry, representing over two  decades of professional title experience.

Brings Infusion of Entrepreneurial Passion to Counsellors Title’s statewide network that includes branches in Morris, Monmouth, and Union Counties

Debra brings an extraordinary wealth of knowledge and experience within the title insurance and settlement services industry, including 10 years of experience as an owner-operator of a full-service title & settlement agency; 5 years as a manager for a midsize title agency with multiple branches throughout the state; and numerous years’ experience in search, settlements and file coordination as a processor.

Debra’s expertise also includes managing and coordinating employees working on multiple files with lenders, attorneys and real estate agents on a daily basis to coordinate timely examination of files, title commitments and closings.

“Counsellors Title is truly privileged to have Debra Balak join Counsellors Title Agency with her 20-plus years of title insurance and settlement experience. Her knowledge and her reputation within the industry are invaluable assets that will contribute to Counsellors Title’s success as an agency in the years to come. We look forward to her becoming part of Counsellors’ success as it extends its business throughout the state.”

Counsellors Title Agency currently serves all 21 counties in New Jersey through its four county locations: Ocean, Morris, Monmouth and Union.

About Counsellors Title
Counsellors Title Agency was founded in 1996 by Ralph Aponte. His hard work and collegial enthusiasm grew the title/escrow agency into one of New Jersey’s premier property title agencies, writing thousands of policies for home owners, businesses and institutions since inception. He is a lifelong New Jersey resident and businessman. With over 30 years’ experience specializing in title insurance and title research, Ralph has built his repertoire of business tools to include management, commercial and business development. Counsellors Title Agency [CTA] maintains an outstanding customer retention record of over 95 percent. Today, CTA’s impeccable track record over the last 21 years is one on which hundreds of attorneys, loan officers and Realtors have come to rely. Counsellors Title Agency, Inc. has consistently provided swift and knowledgeable title insurance settlement and search expertise for thousands of New Jersey’s attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, borrowers and purchasers. CTA’s detail-oriented team of professionals streamlines the complexities of a real estate transaction to make each one stress and glitch-free.

Counsellors Title Agency is a full service agency specializing in delivering reliable, professional title insurance and settlement services to the New Jersey real estate industry and those who serve it. For more information, please contact Ralph Aponte, 732.914.1400 or go to the company website for a free quote or more information.
                                                                                                                # # #

Amazon Continues to Disrupt Industries

What has proven to be the typical trend within business today is that a small business may decide to come together on a partnership basis with Amazon, and then within time, Amazon then decides it’s going to buy that business and make it part of its jungle of businesses.

Last week TRI Pointe Group, which is described as a family of home builders, indicated that it received and partnered with Amazon to begin constructing new smart homes. Attention should be given to the kind of homes that will now be built: Smart Homes. Amazon is not only looking to be your first source of retail products but it also appears to be looking to impose its artificial intelligent technology into your home. Amazon wants to be living in the kitchens, living rooms, play rooms, and bedrooms of every American.

TRI Pointe Group is a home builder which operates a number of different brands across a number of different states. Those states include Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Texas, Colorado, Maryland and Virginia. TRI Pointe Group will now begin to offer home buyers these Smart Homes featuring Amazon Alexa, which will include:
■ Home activation appointment with an Amazon expert
■ Echo, Echo Show, Echo Spot, Echo Dot or Fire TV
■ Lutron Smart Switches
■ Honeywell Lyric 2 Smart Thermostat
■ Ring Video Doorbell Pro

And another half-dozen other technology and features.

This is the second time Amazon has sought to partner with a home builder. The first time it did so was with Seattle-based Quadrant Homes in April of 2018.

An amazing metric is that according to Statista, a portal that collects statistics and studies from more than 22,000 sources, about 32% of US homes will be smart homes by the end of 2018. That figure is expected to rise significantly and hit over 53% yt the year 2022.

In addition to its relationship with TRI Pointe Group, Amazon announced earlier this year that it was working with Lennar, the nation’s largest home builder, to provide Amazon experience centers. These centers are high-tech artificial intelligence showrooms for all of Amazon’s smart-home products.

It appears that Amazon is seriously considering moving into the mortgage business. Artificial intelligence appears to be on the cutting edge of being able to apply for and secure a mortgage for individuals just by asking for it.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

Zillow Takes the Plunge

Many of those within the industry have just been waiting for the move to be announced. They knew it was coming but they just didn’t know when. 

Well, finally Zillow announced that it completed the acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America. This represents Zillow’s first step into the lending industry in America.

It’s very apparent that Zillow is looking to leverage its online platform into a number of different verticals in order to reap its broad distribution network.

It seemed to be one of the early groups to provide instant offers to home sellers. That was back in May 2017 when it initiated a home selling business called Zillow Instant Offers.

The program is limited to just a few markets right now but it is probably looking to expand into every available segment of the marketplace.

Zillow not only attracted investors to join it in this initiative but also became an investor itself. Currently, Zillow is directly buying homes from sellers in Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

With the completion of its acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America, Zillow is now looking to go beyond just providing listings of potential properties but most likely to be a complete real estate destination.

The Zillow game plan is to help streamline and simplify the home buying and selling process for the consumer looking to purchase homes through Zillow Offers.

Mortgage Lenders of America will continue to provide its line of business, including mortgages to consumers, while participating in Zillow’s mortgage marketplace.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

1 2 3 45

Subscribe

Place an Order Today