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Real Estate in Brief: Broker alliances, rebranding and more

Friday, March 22, 2019

RE/MAX to partner with Redfin through referrals

RE/MAX announced in a March 18 press release that it had entered into a “strategic alliance” with Redfin to boost sales at both nationwide brokers through referral incentives. In about 5,000 ZIP codes around the U.S. where Redfin does not have a significant presence, the RE/MAX agents may accept leads through Redfin’s listing platform at a reduced commission split rate. In other markets, RE/MAX agents still have the option of joining Redfin’s Partner Program and accepting referrals at a different negotiated finder’s fee.

“The RE/MAX agents who are already our partners get some of the highest customer satisfaction scores in our program,” Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said in the press release, explaining the decision to partner with the brokerage. “Our own research has shown that RE/MAX agents are more likely to stay at their brokerage than agents at any other major traditional brokerage, and it is well known that RE/MAX agents are far more productive than the industry average.”

The partnership also extends to most provinces in Canada, where Redfin recently launched its listing platform. RE/MAX also noted that this new alliance is not intended to disrupt existing agreements that its franchises have already signed.

“Where both companies have agents, the current spirit of competition will continue, and the

agreement does not prevent either brokerage from serving clients anywhere,” the RE/MAX press release explained. “Where Redfin already works with Partner Agents from different brokerages, those Partner Agents can continue to participate in the Redfin Partner Program. Agents from different brokerages can continue to apply to become Redfin Partner Agents in areas not covered by the exclusivity agreement.”

Coldwell Banker launches first rebrand in 40 years

Coldwell Banker unveiled plans for its first global rebranding effort in almost 40 years, including a new logo and mission statement, part of an effort it calls “Project North Star.”

“We wanted every single one of our agents to be on this journey with us, so we decided to take the unconventional—but crucial—step of making this a transparent rebrand,” Coldwell Banker president and CEO Charlie Young said of the project, which was first announced at the company’s Generation Blue Experience convention March 18.

The company is also adopting a new mission statement: “We empower our people to leave their mark on the world of real estate.” The brand’s core values remain the same, according to the official press announcement: “home, awesomeness, ingenuity and excellence.” Coldwell Banker said in a survey of agents and even competing affiliates regarding the changes, that 80 percent felt the new logo and mission statement were “more innovative.”

Changes related to Project North Star are expected to be fully rolled out next year.

Opportunity Zones bring rapid price growth

A new tax credit opportunity available to real estate investors was among the most attractive features of the sweeping changes to the federal tax code passed late in 2017. Known as the Opportunity Zone program, developers and public policy experts were confident that it could spur economic growth in underdeveloped areas of the U.S.

That appears to be coming true so far, but only from one angle. A recent study by Zillow economists found that even before the full list of around 8,700 tax-advantaged Opportunity Zones was unveiled, property sales prices skyrocketed in designated Census tracts where developments are eligible for the new benefit. Compared to similar areas, tracts that ended up being designated Opportunity Zones saw real estate sale prices grow up to 30 percent on an annual basis. Meanwhile, similar areas that are not eligible for the new tax breaks saw prices grow at just a 2.5 percent annual rate as of the beginning of 2019.

Still, even certain Census tracts considered eligible for Opportunity Zone status that were not ultimately selected for the designation saw similar price growth trends as those that were selected. That could indicate a high degree of uncertainty in these trends, Zillow’s Alexander Casey explained.

“It’s crucial to note that Opportunity Zones are still very much in their infancy, and we are measuring very early signals of how the tax breaks may correspond to real estate trends,” Casey wrote. “It remains to be seen whether this uptick in Opportunity Zones is a flash in the pan, or the start of something larger.”

Homebuilder sentiment unchanged for March

The latest reading on homebuilder sentiment from the National Association of Home Builders remained unchanged in March compared to the prior month. The NAHB’s Housing Market Index, produced in conjunction with Wells Fargo, stayed put at 62, which still indicates mostly positive confidence levels among industry leaders. Analysts took this as a reassuring sign, particularly after new construction activity picked up at the beginning of 2019. Still, the HMI remains below its 2018 average of 67, and stuck around where it was in 2016.

Businesses sour on California’s hot home market

California is home to some of the hottest housing markets in the U.S., and its economy has taken off along with the dynamic tech sector. While that’s good news for those with a foothold already established, evidence is mounting that the state’s economy and property markets are almost too hot to handle. A March 19 Wall Street Journal article documented a rising trend of businesses moving out of California, often relocating to Texas, where the economy is still strong but real estate costs, among other expenses, are lower.

Paradoxically, California’s economy may be creating jobs faster than it can fill them. Housing availability has proven to be a key limiting growth factor: Around 80,000 homes per year have been built in California since 2009, far short of the estimated 180,000 homes needed to keep pace with population growth. In turn, home prices have risen faster than wages. Increasingly, employers with ample job openings are unable to convince prospects to relocate from more affordable parts of the U.S. The president of one state business development group called the situation “a crisis,” according to the Journal.


More Americans say now is a good time to buy a home

Friday, March 22, 2019

The state of the U.S. housing market has shifted rapidly in the last few months, but are consumers keeping up? A new survey from the National Association of Realtors makes the case that low mortgage rates and increased inventory did in fact move the needle in the home purchase market, making prospective buyers more serious about pulling the trigger. The question now is whether renewed optimism on housing will translate to sales.

NAR’s quarterly Homeownership Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey found homebuyer sentiment improving at the beginning of 2019. Out of more than 2,700 respondents to the survey, 65 percent agreed that Q1 2019 was a good time to buy a home. Most respondents in agreement (37 percent) felt strongly that conditions were good for homebuyers, a 3 percent increase from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, just over a third of respondents (35 percent) said they didn’t think Q1 2019 was the right time to buy.

According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, this increase in buyer sentiment is reflective of several positive trends: The economy is still relatively strong, sales inventory is up, mortgage rates are in check and even price growth is moderating. Yun also said this confidence was borne out in reports from Realtors, who noted an uptick in showing traffic since the start of the year.

Opinions varied between demographic groups and regions of the country. While a clear majority of respondents age 39 and above considered Q1 a good time to buy a home, only 51 percent of millennials (age 38 and younger) agreed. A similar pattern emerged geographically: Between 64 and 71 percent of respondents in the Northeast, South and Midwest said it was a good time to buy, while only 53 percent of residents in the West region said the same. Yun remarked on stark regional differences in other survey questions on the perceived health of the economy and home price changes.

“A high percentage of the Western population believes that prices increased in the past year, while – possibly for the same reason – a higher segment from the West compared to other regions say prices could fall in the next 12 months,” Yun said in a press release. “As to the broader economy, the perception is weaker and showing cracks in the Midwest.”

It’s not yet clear if this shift in sentiment will translate into sales, although there have been signs of a positive reaction. NAR’s pending home sales index grew 4.6 percent in January, an early indication that consumers were acting on more favorable market conditions. Mortgage interest rates have also continued to trend downward, to the point where the average commitment rate on the standard 30-year fixed loan was below year-ago levels by the end of February.

“The Federal Reserve’s decision to refrain from any foreseeable rate hikes was beneficial to potential buyers,” Yun said. “That move directly contributed to mortgage rates declining in quarter one, which provided a second-chance opportunity to those looking to buy who were priced out last quarter.”


New insight from Fed meeting could keep mortgage rates low

Thursday, March 21, 2019

In a positive sign for homebuyers planning on taking out new mortgages, the Federal Reserve sent its clearest signals yet that it will hold off on interest rate increases for the foreseeable future and perhaps the rest of 2019. However, other macroeconomic risks laid out by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell in a post-meeting press conference March 20 may send jitters throughout the financial market that could ultimately create a new drag on home sales.

In a document known as the “dot plot,” released at the conclusion of each bi-monthly Fed meeting to aggregate the central bank’s collective interest rate projections, a majority of the board of governors (11 out of 17) did not foresee any rate hikes this year. That marked a stark shift from December 2018, the last time the Fed raised rates, and when all but two members of the bank’s rate-setting body projected an average of three hikes in 2019.

“I think we’re in a good place right now,” Chairman Powell said in the press conference following the release of notes on the recent meeting. “We’re being patient, we’re watching, we don’t see any data pushing us to move rates in any direction. We’re going to watch carefully and patiently to allow events to evolve. And when they do clarify, we will act appropriately.”

Combined with other factors, this should keep mortgage rates from growing for now, and may even bolster the downward trend in rates that started late last year. The Fed controls the federal funds rate, which in turn plays a major role in the rates lenders charge to consumers on a host of credit types, from mortgages to auto loans.

Low rates tend to benefit the real estate sector. According to the Wall Street Journal, real estate stocks received a noticeable boost in response to the news that rates would probably remain unchanged for the next several months.

However, by the end of the day, the Fed’s decision seemed to have instilled more fear than hope in the economy overall. Because the Fed changes interest rates to influence economic activity, its decision not to raise rates could be seen as confirmation that the U.S. economy is entering a rough patch.

The Fed generally aims to raise rates when the economy is growing, in order to control inflation, but lowers rates to encourage borrowing when growth slows. While Powell and other economists don’t currently see a case for a rate cut in response to a serious financial downturn, the sluggish housing market has bolstered the case against higher rates. Financial malaise in China and Europe has added to stress on the American economy.

As in his last two press conferences, though, Powell played down the negative risks to the economy while advocating for a sense of cautious optimism across the board.

“The reason we’re on hold is that we think our policy rate is in a good place, and we think the economy is in a good place, and we’re watching carefully as we see these events evolve around the world and at home,” Powell said during the press conference.


Congress still trying to pass long-term flood insurance solution

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has been a subject of debate for years in Congress, gaining temporary funding multiple times without any permanent solutions. Recently, representatives across political lines have shown interest in finally reaching a long-term resolution, according to an article by HousingWire, although roadblocks remain ahead of a fast-approaching funding deadline.

The NFIP provides many renters, property owners and businesses with affordable insurance in order to “reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures,” according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website. In turn, the program also requires communities to approve regulations for floodplain management and maintain those regulations.

On Wednesday, March 13, The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing titled “Preparing for the Storm: Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program.” The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the program and hear from experts on the issue, including Mabél Guzmán of the National Association of Realtors and Collin O’Mara of National Wildlife Federation, according to HousingWire.

In her testimony to the committee, Guzmán estimated that the NFIP plays a role in 500,000 home sales each year and each of those home sales brings in $80,000 to the country’s economy, according to research done by the NAR.

Although recognized as an important program for homeowners, the housing market and the economy, the NFIP has received 10 short-term extensions since 2017’s fiscal year, according to California representative and Committee Chair Maxine Waters. These short-term extensions have done nothing but “kick the can down the road” in terms of keeping the program sustainable. These issues have only grown as flooding events from severe storms have increased in frequency and severity throughout the U.S.

Representatives on both sides of the aisle claim that they are ready to work together and find a solution, but conflicting views on the issue might end up leading to another temporary extension. Democrats want more government involvement in the program while Republicans want to reduce the government’s role and instead bolster the private market for flood insurance.

The current funding for the program expires on May 31, 2019, giving legislators just a few months to reach an agreement and find a permanent solution for the program or else pass another temporary funding extension.


Miami named an emerging US tech hub

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Miami is quickly becoming one of the most attractive destinations for technology professionals, thanks in large part to rapid job growth in this sector locally.

According to a recent nationwide report from RentCafe using federal data, the Miami metro area boasted the fifth-fastest rate of tech job growth of all major U.S. cities surveyed. Using the three most recent years for which federal employment data was available (2014-2017), RentCafe concluded that Miami’s IT sector grew more than 20 percent in that time, the equivalent of adding 55,820 jobs. Those tech jobs paid an average of $78,000 per year, a figure which was growing at a 4.6 percent annual rate.

Miami’s rate of tech job growth was higher than that of San Francisco (19.5 percent), where IT jobs account for a much larger portion of the market. It’s also above the epicenter of tech business: the San Jose metro area, which includes most of what is known as Silicon Valley. IT job growth came in at 16.6 percent in San Jose between 2014 and 2017, however, its average annual wage of $126,200 was far above Miami’s.

Miami’s affordability compared to other classic U.S. tech hubs may be a key driver of growth. As of 2019, according to RentCafe, average rent came to $1,660 per month throughout the Miami area. This was considerably more affordable than areas like San Jose, San Francisco and Seattle, but still unmatched by top emerging tech hubs like Charlotte and Madison, Wisconsin.


Remote workers more likely to own than rent

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

For most Americans, the average commute is less than 90 minutes. However, extreme commuters exist on either end of this spectrum, with telecommuters (who work from home) experiencing no travel time and so-called “super commuters” traveling over 90 minutes to their jobs.

Perhaps surprisingly, according to a new report from Apartment List, people who work from home are 27 percent less likely to be renters than the general population, and super commuters are 14 percent less likely. At the same time, Apartment List found telecommuters earn an average of 28 percent more than traditional commuters; making a median income of $55,000 per year. Super commuters earn 20.9 percent more than average, with a median income of $52,000 per year.

Both super commuting and telecommuting are becoming more popular, although both tend to be concentrated in certain cities. Since 2005, the number of Americans who work from home has increased 76 percent, while the ranks of super commuters have grown 32 percent. Much of this growth has been in tech hubs in the West and Northeast.

“Austin and Denver are becoming prime destinations for high-earning technical workers seeking greater affordability and a terrific quality of life outside of traditional, expensive, superstar cities,” Apartment List found. Its list of the top 10 cities for telecommuting, meanwhile, “feature a variety of mid-sized cities with booming economies and growing innovation hubs.”

Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows decreasing rental rates and a rise in homeownership all over the U.S. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, this past year has had the largest annual increase in owner occupied households since 2004, with 1.6 million additional homes. Conversely, rental rates have shown a decrease over the past couple years, a trend also reflected in the practices of extreme commuters.

While these commuting outliers may not be the only reason for the increase of homeownership and the decrease of rentals, they are playing a definite role in the housing market.

“With home price growth moderating and mortgage rates declining from recent highs, affordability conditions have eased slightly,” said the Mortgage Bankers Association. “The convergence of home-price and wage growth is a key development for increasing housing demand.”


Public data tools unlock Miami development opportunities

Monday, March 18, 2019

The affordable housing crisis facing much of the U.S. today is more like an affordable land crisis. In a city like Miami, the only affordable land available right now is that which is underutilized or vacant. Finding those opportunities is a key challenge for developers, investors and community leaders, but one project out of the University of Miami is demonstrating how it can be solved with technology.

On March 13, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council hosted an event focused on UM’s Miami Housing Solutions Lab, an initiative under the school’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement. The team behind the Housing Solutions Lab just launched a new digital application called the Land Access for Neighborhood Development tool (or LAND) that gives users an easier way to find parcels of land that may be prime development opportunities. It also segments those parcels based on who or what owns the land, whether its a municipal body like a school board or a private owner.

In the process of building and rolling out the LAND application, the UM Housing Solutions team said it found some 500 million square feet of vacant or underutilized land within Miami-Dade County.

“We often talk about the fact that land in Miami-Dade is unaffordable or that we don’t have any land left,” Robin Bachin, director of the CCE, said in an interview with the Miami Herald. “But we do have land. This tool allows us to identify it and shows us exactly where it is and who owns it.”

Much of those 500 million square feet are currently held by public agencies or nonprofit institutions, including Baptist Health, Habitat for Humanity or UM itself. Some parcels are even marked in public databases as “surplus lots,” meaning they aren’t considered useful anymore to the public agencies that still hold them.

The UM team and other housing policy experts say these land parcels present some of the best opportunities for affordable housing development, if only the right developers or agencies could find them. This challenge isn’t unique to Miami — all across the U.S., significant tracts of land remain vacant or underutilized. Projects like those undertaken by the Housing Solutions Lab help identify those areas and their owners. This often leads to a mutually beneficial partnership between landowners, like cash-strapped religious organizations and townships, and developers. It also makes local leaders more accountable, according to Office of Civic and Community Engagement program manager Jorge Damian de la Paz.

“With LAND, you can ask questions you couldn’t ask before,” he said according to the Herald. “Real estate developers already have this data. But now community advocates can directly ask their commissioners ‘Why is this land not being used?’”


This Week in Miami Real Estate: Market reports, team members and more

Monday, March 18, 2019

Rent growth picks up again in February

After a brief cooling period, average rents have begun rising again in Miami and most of the rest of the nation. According to the Zillow Rent Index updated for February, rent grew at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area, to a median of $1,918 per month. For comparison, the median rent nationally was $1,472 as of February, growing at a 2.4 percent annual rate.

Analysis from Zillow paints this as something of a correction after last year’s stagnant or even declining rents seen in much of the U.S.

“In September and October, the U.S. median rent was lower than it had been the previous year – the first time the market had posted annual declines since July 2012,” Zillow economist Jeff Tucker wrote. “Now that rent growth has picked up again – to a moderate pace compared to the breakneck growth of earlier years – it appears we’re in for a more vanilla, slow-growth market going forward.”

Hopkins Team grows with new recruit

The Hopkins Team at Coldwell Banker announced the addition of Realtor David Lane to their group. Previously, Lane worked at Coldwell Banker’s Hollywood office and was ranked a top five producer between 2012 and 2018. He specializes in home buyers, resales, investment property, distressed properties, luxury homes and international real estate. “We are very pleased that David has joined our team,” said team leader Dondi Hopkins. “One of the top agents in Florida, he provides exemplary client service and professionalism, incredible knowledge of the South Florida real estate market, and years of experience.”

William Raveis president honored

Ryan Raveis, president of William Raveis’s mortgage arm, has been named one of “The Nation’s Top 100 Most Influential Mortgage Executives of 2018” according to Mortgage Executive Magazine, marking his fifth consecutive year on the list. Regional vice president and mortgage banker with WRM Andrew van Dyk has also been recognized by the magazine with the 2018 Top 1 percent Mortgage Originator Award for the seventh consecutive year. The award is given annually to mortgage originators who close at least $30 million in loans. “We are proud to be honored among the elite mortgage bankers in the country,” said Raveis. Raveis has also been named one of the “Most Influential Leaders in the Residential Real Estate Industry” by Swanepoel Power 200 for the last three years.


Real Estate in Brief: Lender sentiment, housing starts and more

Friday, March 15, 2019

Lender optimism jumps as rates drift lower

The latest survey of mortgage industry sentiment from Fannie Mae found lenders markedly more optimistic about their business prospects at the start of 2019. While still negative overall, the results of Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey rebounded considerably in the first quarter of 2019 so that on net, only 8 percent more respondents were more pessimistic than optimistic about profit expectations. Contrast that with fourth quarter 2018 results, when net sentiment was negative 34 percent, or mostly pessimistic.

On closer analysis, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist Doug Duncan said most survey respondents had overwhelmingly negative expectations for growth in the purchase loan sector in the last three months. However, much of that pessimism was counterbalanced by confidence in the three months ahead.

“Lenders’ improved demand outlook going into the spring selling season bodes well for our forecast of relatively flat mortgage volume this year following the double-digit drop in 2018,” Duncan said in a press release on the survey.

Unexpectedly low mortgage rates at the start of the year may be contributing to renewed faith among lenders that profits won’t continue to slide. The day after Fannie Mae’s lender sentiment survey, Freddie Mac’s weekly report on mortgage interest rates found the 30-year fixed commitment rate fell to fresh lows.

“At 4.31 percent, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is at its lowest since February of last year,” according to Freddie Mac’s March 14 report. “While these low rates will certainly get the attention of prospective homebuyers, the supply of homes for sale remains stubbornly low.”

Housing starts spike, new construction sales stumble

The U.S. Commerce Department, which releases a number of regular reports on key economic indicators including construction starts and new home sales, is still catching up from a data backlog caused by the prolonged government shutdown earlier this year. Based on those reports, U.S. homebuilders are playing catch-up themselves, with some positive results. A March 8 release of January home starts indicated a sharp rebound in construction activity after a dismal December. Single-family starts grew 25.1 percent between December 2018 and January 2019, and were also up 4.5 percent from last year. Home completion rates also grew on an annual (2.1 percent) and monthly (27.6 percent) basis.

“It didn’t take long for the wounds left by December’s starts and permits data to heal,” Zillow economist Matthew Speakman wrote of the new data. “It was a difficult end to 2018, but builders appear primed for better days ahead.”

On the other hand, January’s new home sales data, released just a few days later, were less inspiring. The Census Bureau reported new construction sales were down 6.9 percent from December and 4.1 percent lower for the year. Prices on new homes also fell 3.8 percent year-over-year, although inventory grew 14.3 percent. On the heels of strong builder data, Speakman said the new home sales figures were disappointing but not entirely surprising.

“The partial federal government shutdown and the harsh winter weather that affected much of the country both weighed on economic activity,” he wrote. “But our bet is that buyers will prove resilient as winter turns to spring, and throw their hats into the ring with the benefits of falling mortgage rates, falling home prices and rising inventory.”

Realogy taps new CFO, hopes to woo Wall Street

Realogy Holdings Corporation announced March 11 that it had appointed Charlotte Simonelli as its new chief financial officer, as well as treasurer and executive vice president. Simonelli most recently served as CFO for the medical devices arm of health and retail giant Johnson & Johnson.

Replacing interim CFO Tim Gustavson, Simonelli joins Realogy at a challenging time for the largest real estate franchisor in the U.S. After a poor quarterly earnings report last month, Realogy’s stock price sank to an all-time low. NRT, the largest brand in the Realogy portfolio that includes Coldwell Banker, Corcoran, Century 21 and Sotheby’s International Realty, was primarily responsible for the company’s lower earnings.

“Realogy is an industry leader with unmatched scale, and I look forward to working with the team to leverage the company’s resources, including technology and data analytics, to drive improved business results going forward, Simonelli said in a press release announcing her appointment.

Is open concept falling out of favor?

Throughout homes, apartments, offices and more, open concept floor plans have become among the most popular of all design trends. Removing walls or designing without them has come to define modern building. But as a recent feature in the Boston Globe points out, open concept is not without its detractors, and now real estate agents and homebuilders say they are hearing more complaints about it from clients.

“The pendulum is swinging back,” one local builder told Globe reporter Beth Teitell. “The reality is that life can be loud.”

Teitell spoke with several local real estate professionals as well as residents, one of whom was in the process of adding some walls back to her kitchen after having them removed in a remodel. The owner said she and her husband had experienced what is becoming a trend all its own: open concept remorse.

“Buyers are moving away from uninterrupted views,” said Loren Larsen, a Compass agent in Boston. Larsen said clients often cite a desire for privacy in their requests for more traditional floor plans, as well as concerns about clutter that can be hard to hide when wall space is limited.


Buyers finally get upper hand in hottest housing markets

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The real estate frenzies in West Coast cities have become the stuff of lore: buyers jostling at open houses, homes getting offers sight unseen, bids coming in hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking.

That’s all over now.

Just ask Kelly Randall, an Amazon employee who listed her renovated Seattle condo for $539,000 -- a bargain compared with the $615,000 her friend got last year for a smaller place in the same building. Almost four months and four price cuts later, Randall’s still waiting for an offer.

“My timing sucks,” she said. “It’s a little frustrating.”

For the first time in years, the U.S. is entering its key spring house-hunting season with buyers holding the upper hand. Nowhere is the shift more pronounced than in once-hot areas such as Seattle, San Francisco and Denver, where bidding wars are vanishing, time-on-market is climbing and prices are flattening, or even falling. These western cities, the center of the recent housing boom, are now leading the slowdown.

The reasons are varied, from last year’s spike in mortgage rates to volatility in technology stocks. But the simplest explanation is that years of soaring values have put housing in many areas out of reach to all but the most affluent buyers. In many parts of the West, home prices have more than doubled from the recession while incomes have climbed far less.

“There’s a huge disparity,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. “People can’t catch up.”


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466 Articles Found

Friday, March 22, 2019

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More Americans say now is a good time to buy a home
The state of the U.S. housing market has shifted rapidly in the last few months, but are...

Real Estate in Brief: Broker alliances, rebranding and more
RE/MAX to partner with Redfin through referrals RE/MAX announced in a March 18 press...

New insight from Fed meeting could keep mortgage rates low
In a positive sign for homebuyers planning on taking out new mortgages, the Federal Reserve...