Financial Friday- Economic Outlook


January 5, 2018

Pending Home Sales Rose 0.2% in November

While prospective homebuyers continue to experience limited options and robust competition in many markets, the slight increase in November shows they are ready to commit when they find the right house. If you have home buyers that can’t find the perfect house, I’d be happy to speak with them about our renovation loans, so they can move into their perfect house.

As pending home sales is a forward-looking indicator, the National Association of Realtors® forecast that existing-home sales would finish 2017 at around 5.54 million, which is up 1.7% from 2016 (5.45 million).

Forecasting 2018 Indicators

  • The national median existing-home price is expected to increase around 6% (NAR)
  • Existing sales to have a minor decline (-0.4%) to 5.52 million (NAR)
  • Existing home prices to increase around 2% (NAR)
  • Housing starts of 1.25 million and 1.289 million, about 7% higher than they expected in 2017 (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac respectively)
  • The Federal Reserve is expected increase mortgage rates 3-4 times during the year (HousingWire)
  • 30-year mortgage rates expected to end the year around 4.5% (Mortgage Bankers Association & NAR)

How To Build Business Using A Niche

Many real estate professionals say that narrowing your customer base can provide opportunities for branding and marketing, and increase your business pipeline. For example, a Realtor® focused on waterfront properties would understand all of the issues surrounding those transactions, and would promote their expertise with focused content to attract owners and buyers of waterfront homes who want an expert with this knowledge.

Here are some niche categories to consider:

  • Social niches are created from your social circle. For example, maybe you coach a Little League team. To move this from a hobby to a niche, you might sponsor a team or tournament to connect with your clients’ children.
  • Geographic niches focus on a particular neighborhood, development, or area of town. Bring in a local leader for an informational meeting about nearby new construction, mail prospects specialized information about the neighborhood, or start a social media group just for neighbors to interact on.
  • Real estate niches focus on something you are passionate about and actively involved in, e.g. equestrian-oriented properties or historic homes.

Pay Attention To Be Successful in 2018

A lot changed in 2017 and the full implications of those changes will continue to emerge in 2018. Pay attention to which laws, regulations, services, and real estate expenses have actually changed rather than sensationally rehashed.

  • Real estate ownership will be impacted by changes to tax law, estate planning, resulting in neighborhood development, and interactions between these and many more elements.
  • Changes in the business world may impact qualification for financing, mortgage renewal, and real estate affordability.
  • Projected reductions in charitable donations for social and community support programs and organizations may have widespread impact in neighborhoods, community development, and in education.
  • Search out professionals who responsibly keep up with change within their profession.
  • Pay attention to what takes you off point, off track, and off goal to ensure you stay in control. You may blame others for distracting you, but it’s your powers of concentration that should be continually honed to keep you on track.

Winter-Weather Jobsite Gear

With much of the country experiencing a deep freeze this week, it’s not just builders in the north and Rockies that need to winterize job sites and workers.

Click through to see examples of job site tools, appliances, and apparel made to withstand wintery conditions and improve your workers’ comfort, safety and productivity.

Top 5 Kitchen Trends for 2018

Dust off the color swatches! Blue and green cabinetry, mixed finishes, and Pantone’s 2018 color of the year, Ultra Violet, are all on trend for kitchens in 2018.

  1. Kitchens will incorporate moody ocean-inspired shades.Using bold, unexpected colors such as Ultra Violet, can exude a feeling of luxury and elegance.
  2. Dark countertops in black, dark green and multi-colored rust tones.
  3. Mix-and-match finishes, for example, painting base walls or cabinets in a dark charcoal tone and upper cabinets and walls in creamy off-white tones.
  4. Marble countertops with high contrast bold veining are book-matching to create intense drama, or doing as a waterfall down the sides of the island.



Information Courtesy of Jason Browning – Certainty Home Loans 

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