Financial Friday – Economic Outlook

Builders Respond To Housing Shortfall With Increased Permits And Starts

U.S. single-family homebuilding which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, jumped 5.3% to a rate of 930,000 units, the highest level since September 2007. In another hopeful sign, single-family home permits rose 1.4% to 862,000 units, a level not seen since August 2007.

Overall housing starts increased 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.297 million units, 12.9% ahead of the same month last year and the highest level since October 2016.

Homebuilder Confidence Highest Level In 18 Years 

Confidence among the nation’s homebuilders jumped unexpectedly from 69 to 74 points in December on expectations for a stronger economy. This is the highest reading since 1999. Of the index’s three components, buyer traffic jumped 8 points to 58. Current sales conditions rose 4 points to 81. Sales expectations in the next six months increased 3 points to 79.

Existing Home Sales Hit Highest Level In 11 Years 

The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales surged 5.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million units in November, the highest level since December 2006. They rose 3.8% on a year-on-year basis in November.

Despite the recent gains, existing home sales remain constrained by a shortage of entry-level houses, which is keeping prices elevated and sidelining some first-time buyers, who accounted for 29% of transactions last month. The median house price is up 5.8% from a year ago to $248,000 in November, the 69th consecutive month of year-on-year price gains. 

Targeting Content for Every New Client Prospecting Stage 

Whether you are posting open houses to social media, writing informative blogs on the home buying process, or requesting that clients post a testimonial to your Zillow page, knowing how to utilize various pieces of content to guide potential customers from Awareness (of you) to Consideration (narrowing down agent options) to Decision (selecting you as their agent) will help you to decide what to write and deploy when. 

  • Awareness stage content: blogs, social media posts, handouts and worksheets.
  • Consideration stage content: customer testimonials, a fact sheet about your business, webinars or video tutorials to demonstrate the process of buying or selling or what it’s like to work with you.
  • Decision stage content: personalized articles, step-by-step checklists, recently closed transactions and collections of properties a potential buyer likes in the neighborhood

18 Things Real Estate Agents Should Do Before 2018 

The countdown to the new year has begun. Use this time to wrap up any loose ends, reflect on the year’s hits and misses, and focus your business planning on creating realistic goals and the tactics that will help you to achieve them.

9 Home Features Your Buyers Don’t Know They Need

If you show potential buyers how these features, products, or design elements can provide the comfort, convenience, and an overall better quality of life for their family, these features can be top selling points and upgrade opportunities. 

  1. Open space floor plans
  2. Customizing kitchens with design, products and appliances
  3. Home automation
  4. Spa-like luxury bathrooms
  5. Storage solutions, particularly in the kitchen and bedroom
  6. Lighting fixtures and adding recessed lights
  7. Pet-friendly features such as fenced-in yards, doggie doors, and durable flooring
  8. Private outdoor living space
  9. Community amenities move beyond clubhouses and tennis courts to the functional and unique

Do Homeowners Want a Shower, Tub or Both?

For many people, the bathroom is one of the most important rooms of the home. And while fixtures like a toilet and sink are staples of the space, one other major feature is up for debate. Should you install a shower or tub – or both? Some clients will opt for larger walk-in showers with the special showerheads, full-body sprayers, and a bench seat. Others want the opulent claw-foot tub or jetted tub to create a spa experience home. Builders and designers reveal how they have accommodated their clients’ preferences.



Jason Browning 
Area/Branch Manager 
Certainty Home Loans | NMLSR# 2146 
6860 Dallas Parkway, Suite #450 & #455, Plano, Texas 75024 
office: (972) 599-5287 | cell: (214) 587-0003 
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