Distressed Sales Hit a New Low

According to a new report issued by ATTOM Data Solutions, the share of third-party sales at foreclosure auctions reached a new high, comprising 28.5% of all completed foreclosure auctions in 2016, as compared with 23.5% in 2015.

The ATTOM report found that the remaining 71.5% went back to the foreclosing lender. A total of 96,438 single-family homes were sold to third-party buyers at foreclosure auctions in 2016.

The report indicated that distressed sales dropped to 16.2% of total market sales, which is the lowest point since 2007.

Fast Stats
Bank-owned sales dropped down to 8%, down from 10% in 2015
Short sales decreased to 5.5% of market sales in 2016, down from 6% in 2015
Distressed sales hit a nine-year low
Home prices have reached a 10-year high
Home sellers realized their biggest average profits since purchase nationwide in 2016
Distressed property sellers benefited from the hot seller’s market, with a record-high share of homes at foreclosure auction being purchased by third-party buyers

2016 New Jersey Industrial Market Scores

New Jersey’s industrial real estate market has enjoyed a great year.

Most of the independent research groups have reported that 2016 was the best all-around year for the New Jersey industrial market in over a decade. The uptick was no doubt partially due to its logistic proximity to New York City, which also had a fantastic year.

An Industrial Bull Market
Some Quick Stats
■ NGKF reported 1.7 million square feet were absorbed during the fourth quarter of 2016.
■ The increase in rented space caused the availability rate to go down to 8.7%, from 8.8% in the previous quarter — the lowest rate in 10 years.
■ NGKF found average asking rents increased to $7.11 per square foot, from $6.83 in Q3 2016.
■ They also reported a 13.8% annual increase in average asking rent from 2015’s Q4.
■ Transwestern reported that Q4 was the 15th consecutive quarter of positive net absorption, the longest stretch to date.
■ Cushman & Wakefield reported an overall vacancy of 5% for Q4 2016.
■ Cushman & Wakefield also reported a historically low vacancy rate of 4.5% for warehouse and distribution spaces.
■ Cushman & Wakefield reported a 4% increase in the rental cost from Q3 to Q4, bringing the average to $7.75 per square foot at the end of the year.
■ Cushman & Wakefield found an asking rent increase of 15.5% since the close of 2015.
■ JLL reported 6.9 million square feet under construction, in addition to 4.2 million square feet of speculative construction.
■ NGKF reported that 11.3 million square feet is under construction — more than double the amount one year ago.

More Results
■ The JLL research group reported 10.2 million square feet of net absorption for 2016, representing the highest annual net absorption since 2001.
■ Transwestern’s research team found 24 out of 25 industrial submarkets had an annual rent increase, with 60% of annual positive absorption occurring in central New Jersey.
■ Cushman & Wakefield reported that approximately 4.2 million square feet of industrial product was built during 2016, 27.3% more than a year ago.
■ Cushman & Wakefield reported that there have been 10 deals of 200,000 square feet or greater of warehouse space.

E-commerce demands further development
■ Every single year, e-commerce as a percentage of retail sales has increased over the past 10 or so years.
■ Amazon increased its footprint in the Garden State to almost 1.5 million square feet in 2016 according to JLL.

December Pending Home Sales Index Rise

The National Association of Realtors® reported that its Pending Home Sales Index [PHSI] jumped up 1.6% in December. The pop in the report was the result of improved sales in the South and West. Activity in the Northeast and Midwest was not as robust.

The PHSI climbed to 109.0 in December from 107.3 in November, which is now 0.3% above last December, which was reported at 108.7.

In December, sales were up approximately 10% as compared to December 2015 for homes sold at or above $250,000; the homes that sold between $100,000 and $250,000 increased by 2.3%. For the category of homes under $100,000, they were down 11.6% compared to 2015.

The PHSI in the Northeast declined 1.6% to 96.4 in December, and is 1.2% lower than in 2015.

The PHSI in the South rose 2.4% to an index of 121.3 in December.

The PHSI in the West jumped 5.0% in December to 106.1, and is now 5.0% higher than 2015.

In 2016, existing sales increased 3.8% and prices rose 5.2%. According to the National Association of Realtors® – existing-home sales are forecast to be around 5.54 million in 2017, which is an increase of 1.7% from 2016. Based upon such reports, 2016 was the best year of sales since 2006. The national median existing-home price in 2017 is expected to increase around 4%.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahgksow8VA4

Mastering Monday Jan 30

Great people are not normal; that is according to the book, Organize Tomorrow Today, by Jason Selk and Tom Bartow.

The trick is to learn to overcome average and become extraordinary.

In Major League Baseball, nothing spreads faster than a scouting report.

Once the “book” on a player has been established, news travels. If a guy murders inside fastballs – or can’t hit a curveball – it doesn’t take long for everybody in the league to know. Once everybody knows what a player can and can’t hit, it’s up to the player to make whatever adjustments that need to be made.

The word had gotten out that the player was struggling to hit breaking balls. Of course, almost immediately, all he started seeing in each at bat was breaking balls. His weakness had been exposed, and now it was getting exploited – big time. Every time the batter came to the plate, he would struggle to survive.

The issue was brought to the player, that he needed to learn to improve, but it seems the player had the same response: He had never been able to hit that kind of a pitch. He wasn’t paid to hit a breaking ball; he was paid to hit home runs off of the fastball.

But things got worse. When finally confronted he was told, “I know that you are a professional baseball player, and everyone knows that you kill fastballs. The problem is that no one is throwing you fastballs anymore, and if you don’t learn to do something about it, you will not only stop facing breaking balls, but you will also never see another fastball again.”

The only right answer is that if you are truly committed to victory, you need to be accountable for what you do and what you can’t do. Adversity must always be faced. The question is not only asking are you willing to face the adversity, but how are you going to make this adversity work toward your advantage.

Learning is always a process. Even when it doesn’t work the way you wanted it to, just remember that the same breaking balls aren’t going to stop just because you want them to.

Learn to adjust, pivot and profit.

Taken from the book, Organize Tomorrow Today, by Jason Selk and Tom Bartow.

NJ Single Family Sales Up 12 Percent

The number of homes for sale was drastically down in year-over-year comparisons, along with days on market and months of supply. Unemployment rates remain low, wages improved and, as the year waned, we completed a contentious presidential election and saw mortgage rates increase, neither of which are expected to have a negative impact on real estate in 2017.

• Single Family Closed Sales were up 12.2 percent to 6,492.

• Townhouse-Condo Closed Sales were up 7.5 percent to 1,968.

• Adult Communities Closed Sales were up 11.0 percent to 644.

• Single Family Median Sales Price increased 1.7 percent to $295,000.

• Townhouse-Condo Median Sales Price increased 2.0 percent to $250,005.

• Adult Communities Median Sales Price increased 7.7 percent to $172,250.

The overwhelming feeling about prospects in residential real estate for the immediate future is optimism. Real estate professionals across the nation are expressing that they are as busy as ever. There are certainly challenges in this market, like continued low inventory and higher competition for those fewer properties, but opportunities abound for hardworking agents and diligent consumers.

2015 2016 Change

New Listings 5457 5856 +7.3%

Pending Sales 4307 4923 +14.3%

Closed Sales 5785 6492 +12.2%

% of Px Rcvd 95.9% 96.6%

Days on Market 83 84 -9.7%

Homes for Sale 41197 33067 -19.7%

Months Supply 7.4 5.2

Improving Your LinkedIn Profile

Start with your profile description.

PROFILE Description
When you begin to describe yourself, make sure your deliverables are clear, and experience isn’t enough. Example: Headed up marketing for EYX Brokerage.

Better: Relaunched EYX Brokerage brand following 2008 market crash, increasing operating margins from 11% to 61% in 18 months.

If you have done it, don’t be afraid to talk about it. And never put in phrases such as “strategic communication,” “strategic planning,” or “entrepreneurship.” You might be better off with such terms as “niche brand development,” “product launching” or “lean start-up expertise.”

If you use strategy or strategic you are just a pack animal, sounding like everyone else in the pack, and that says you offer no differentiation.

Sell Your Community

How dynamic is your community? Just don’t sell how great you are, frame your success around your community and how you impacted the overall total value to your community.

Community can also include industries, as in my case, financial services and real estate. Depict or characterize your communities as dynamic and exciting and, at the least, growing.

Choose four or five of your top accomplishments and present them without a lot of buzz-words, but benefit words. Instead of words like ‘strategic’ and ‘efficient’ try ‘customer retention’ and ‘cost-savings’ and, of course, ‘increased revenue.’

Example:

Vice President, JP Morgan Chase Securities, NYSE Governor, JP Morgan New Technology Coordinator, beta-platform quality rollout. Led brokerage teams which out-performed revenue, service and profit targets, resulting in high customer retention.

More Quick Tips

■ Keep your profile paragraphs no more than 3 sentences.

■ Use bullet points when appropriate.

■ Since you keep a business journal (You ARE keeping a business journal to track goals and benchmarks), make sure that you are updating your profile where appropriate.

■ Make sure you customize your LinkedIn URL.

■ Proofread your bio. Look for typos and thinkos.

It’s All About Your Community

The dual mission of your LinkedIn profile is to create as many relevant links to your community as possible and to be able to build-out your community with intentionality.

LinkedIn Profile Tips

One of the important functions of Social Media is maintaining a profile, visibility, access and social proof.

As with anything else, people tend to forget what they no longer experience and see: names, relationships and experiences need to be regularly nurtured.

One platform that keeps you and your name ‘on the top of the pile’ is LinkedIn. The beginning of the year is a good time to do an audit on your profile page.

For some people, your LinkedIn profile is where they will draw their first impression of you, so brand and messaging are very important.

Things to check:

Your business deliverables

Skills| Services | Successes

Descriptions such as speaker, consultant, coach are 1990’s language

Make your brand “your client’s solution”

Not just a coach, The Million Dollar Real Estate Coach

LinkedIn Is Visual

Some people tell you that it has got to be a “professional photograph”; now that’s a loaded statement. What most people hear when they read that is, “I have got to spend money on a professional photographer.” But we all know that we don’t always get what we pay for. A picture has got to tell a story, otherwise it is just a ‘yearbook picture’ that people will thumb by.

One of the important functions of Social Media is maintaining a profile, visibility, access and social proof.

As with anything else, people tend to forget what they no longer experience and see: names, relationships and experiences need to be regularly nurtured.

One platform that keeps you and your name ‘on the top of the pile’ is LinkedIn. The beginning of the year is a good time to do an audit on your profile page.

For some people, your LinkedIn profile is where they will draw their first impression of you, so brand and messaging are very important.

Things to check:

Your business deliverables

Skills| Services | Successes

Descriptions such as speaker, consultant, coach are 1990’s language

Make your brand “your client’s solution”

Not just a coach, The Million Dollar Real Estate Coach

LinkedIn Is Visual

Some people tell you that it has got to be a “professional photograph”; now that’s a loaded statement. What most people hear when they read that is, “I have got to spend money on a professional photographer.” But we all know that we don’t always get what we pay for. A picture has got to tell a story, otherwise it is just a ‘yearbook picture’ that people will thumb by.

Trends For 2017 from Realtor.com

Trend No. 1: Microapartments are the tiny homes of cities

Everyone knows space doesn’t come cheap in the country’s most expensive cities. (We’re looking at you, San Francisco and New York.) Hence the spread of microapartments—fully appointed living spaces encompassing a measly 250 to 365 square feet.

The apartments are tinier than tiny houses—measuring a quarter to a third the size of the median apartment in a newly completed building with five or more units in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

More and more of these miniature dwellings are cropping up in big cities like New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles. They’re even spreading to smaller metros like Providence, RI.

What they lack in size, microapartments make up for in lower costs—usually. They typically run renters about 15% less than studio units in the same neighborhoods. But residents may wind up paying a little extra for the luxe amenities that many come with, like convertible furniture, free Wi-Fi, weekly housekeeping service, and sometimes even communal activities (whitewater rafting trips! happy hours!).

Trend No. 2: Co-living is coming to a city near you

The days of finding roommates on Craigslist and then praying for the best may be numbered. Co-living, a movement in which young professionals have their next housemates/BFFs carefully screened and live together in upscale, highly planned (would-be) harmony, is making its impact felt in major metros across the U.S.

The real draw for these “Real World”-esque quarters is the communal environment, where residents pay a little extra to mix and mingle with one another at Sunday artisanal potluck dinners, weekend art workshops, or various common spaces in the building. Other perks include shorter leases (some only three or six months) as well as housekeeping services to minimize disputes.

The spaces have been opening first in hipster-filled urban areas such as Brooklyn, NY; San Francisco; and Washington, DC. But they are also moving to smaller metros like Chattanooga, TN.

“It’s a neat, innovative market response to the higher cost of renting,” Susan Wachter, a real estate and finance professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, told realtor.com.

Trend No. 3: The hottest tiny houses are school buses

School bus loft

It’s a loft on wheels. And just look at that view! Don’t worry about the seat belts.

The tiny-house craze isn’t exactly new. With a half-dozen or so reality TV shows and a devoted following, the trend of downsizing into just a few hundred square feet is familiar to just about everyone. But why move into a tiny house when you could live in a school bus instead?

Trend No. 4: Housing prices are out of control, so why not live in a yurt?

With rents and home prices zooming ever higher, affordable housing seems like a fantasy. That’s where yurts come in.

These circular homes, which have sheltered Mongolian nomads for thousands of years, can cost quite a bit less than more traditional homes. (A roughly 700-square-foot model with a wooden frame and vinyl walls could go for around $20,000. That doesn’t include the foundation and utilities hookups.)

That’s a prime reason why over the past few years, sales of the structures have grown by about 10% annually at the Colorado Yurt Co., Ivy Fife, the company’s marketing manager, told realtor.com.

“We’ve seen quite a few retirees buy a piece of ground and put a yurt on it and get out of debt and have a little bit more freedom,” she said.

Working With Millennials

Tips and Hacks to Working With the New Buyers
Millennials represent the largest population tranche since the Baby Boomers. The Millennial population is entering their early 20s to late 30s.

Technology is not technology to them. They have never experienced life without it.

Social Media is to them what TV was to us. Information is what they have for breakfast.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, 89% of Millennials are chose to use a real estate professional in their home search last year.

1. Information is a commodity. Agents will need to brand themselves beyond the gatekeeper function.

In order to establish a relationship with Millennials, you will need to be able to help them navigate the marketplace in areas such as credit scores, neighborhoods, ways to help them identify the down payment they will need, and so on. They will need to know the various processes and professionals they will need to interface with: attorneys, mortgage officers, title officers, builders, developers, appraisers, inspectors, and others.

2. Authentic connections beat age.
Today information has really leveled the playing field. Whereas age might have offered an advantage in terms of experience, information and assets, today’s Millennial makes on average over $70,000 a year. And though they may have some student loan debt, they also have access to capital in the form of gifts or loans from parents or grandparents.

Agents should consider their role as one of a collaborator, looking to identify the right fit with the right finances.

3. Experience and trust become a one-two punch.
Buying a home is a big emotional hurdle.

Making an offer is quite intimidating, especially within markets that are very thin on inventory. Providing a ‘checklist’ of do’s and don’ts is critical to their peace of mind and a successful transaction.

Agents need to consider the unfamiliarity with the sales process and uncertainty attached to the part of real estate that makes it somewhat of a card game.

Probably the biggest hurdle is the 20% down requirement.

Here is where your backstory can really help them to see the finish line: you can relate to them a number of situations in which you have helped buyers achieve their objective by exploring the options not typically discussed.

4. Match their preferred form of communication.
It is common knowledge that most Millennials prefer to text; and if that is not the case with your buyers, find out. Ask them.

Some like email. A phone call is usually not the norm.

A Millennial also communicates well in person.

5. Another communication tip: don’t assume they don’t understand.
After you have taken the time to ‘educate them,’ give them the benefit of the doubt when explaining the details. Listen for their response. Then recap what you told them by fleshing out the next steps.

Housing Starts Beat Forecasts

U.S. builders broke ground on more U.S. homes than forecast in December, representing the seventh straight yearly increase, according to a report issued from the Commerce Department.

Fast Stats

■ Housing starts increased by 11.3% to a 1.23 million annualized rate

■ The annualized forecast was for 1.19 million starts, revised up from a 1.10 million pace

■ Permits for single-family homes rose 4.7%

■ Permits for multifamily homes declined 9%

■ Starts rose from prior month in three of four U.S. regions; construction in the South was the only region in which there was a decline

■ For 2016, there were a total of 1.17 million starts, up from 1.11 million from 2015 and the most since 2007

■ Single-family starts declined by 4% to 795,000 rate

■ Multifamily construction jumped 57.3% to 431,000

■ According to the U.S. Commerce Report, builder confidence is close to an 11-year high

■ The housing starts is seen as being held back due to a shortage of skilled workers and available ready-to-build lots

This report focusing on residential construction for the close of 2016 is seen as a sign that the industry will continue to move in a positive direction for 2017.

2016 Average American Finances

A Financial Snapshot of the Average American

American Earnings
The average American household income was $65,751 in 2015 according to the IRS. If this calculation is correct, we can expect to see that the U.S. median wage growth in 2015 and 2016 will come in at about 3% to 4%, respectively, translating into an average household income in 2016 of about $70,400.

American Debt
A recent article by the financial website NerdWallet calculated that the average household owes a total of $132,529, which includes all credit card, mortgage, auto loan, student loan, and other types of debt.

Americans are on track to surpass the amount owed at the beginning of the great recession by the end of 2016.

Other Stats

+ The average household with credit card debt pays nearly $1,300 in interest per year.

+ The average American with a 401(k) has $96,288 saved in their account.

+ The average 65-year-old can expect to withdraw just over $8,000 from their 401(k) each year if they want their money to last throughout their retirement.

+ The average personal savings rate in the United States as of Oct. 2016 is 6%.

+ This is a significant improvement from 2005, when the personal savings rate hit a low of 1.9%.

+ The 6% rate is nowhere near enough.

+ It is recommended that we save between 10% to 15% of your income.

The World of Homeownership

Owning a home is a big responsibility that comes with great rewards. Budgeting is important, so plan for sudden expenses that may arise in addition to your regular monthly expenses.

+ Property taxes and special assessments

+ Home/hazard insurance

+ Property maintenance

But before you can consider the Big “B” (Buy), it will require another Big “B,” which stands for Budget.

So the day you decide that you want to buy a home is a big day in anyone’s life. It is a good decision, but one that will involve a degree of effort, risk, education and endurance in order to bring you to that dream home and then keep it.

Budget

+ What is your current budget?

+ What additional expenses will you be expected to pay on a monthly basis?

+ What about a budget for unexpected expenses?

+ The first step necessary to take after you figure out your present budget is to estimate what your mortgage payment will be. This is where you can take advantage of some of the resources available to you online, especially if you live in New Jersey.

Affordability Calculator

The affordability calculator will help you to determine how much house you can afford. The calculator tests your entries against mortgage industry standards to determine the highest priced house you can qualify for, along with the down and monthly payments you would need to make in order to sustain homeownership. http://www.njrealtor.com/consumers/affordability-calculator/

Know Your Credit History

It’s no secret. Your credit history is an important factor that affects your ability to obtain a mortgage for the purchase of your home. Lenders want to see how you borrowed and repaid money in the past. This is reflected in your FICO score. FICO scores range from 300 to 850, and lenders believe that borrowers with higher scores are more likely to repay their loan. Homebuyers should obtain a copy of their credit report by contacting www.annualcreditreport.com.

Answer these questions:

Am I better off renting?

How much home can I afford?

How much can I save in taxes?

What is my monthly spending plan?

Is it better to rent or buy?

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