Financial Outlook

June 29, 2018

New Home Sales increased 6.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 689,000 units in May, the highest level since November 2017. Sales in the South, which accounts for the bulk of transactions, rebounded 17.9% to a rate of 409,000 units in May, the highest level since July 2007. However, sales dropped 10.0% in the Northeast and 8.7% in the West. They remained unchanged in the Midwest.

At May’s sales pace it would take 5.2 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, down from 5.5 months in April. Nearly two-thirds of the houses sold last month were either under construction or yet to be built.

Pending Home Sales Dropped 0.5% in May, and were 2.2% lower than May of 2017, as buyers react to an increasingly pricey and competitive housing market. Sales have now fallen on an annual basis for five straight months. Pending home sales are a forward indicator of closed sales in June and July, and with mortgage applications currently down, sales are not expected to increase over the next few months.

4 Tips for Working with a Diverse Generation of Millennial Homebuyers

Despite the lack of housing inventory, millennials are eager home buyers but many real estate agents having trouble understanding their habits and preferences. Here are four overarching trends to consider when working with millennial home buyers.

  1. Millennials prioritize convenience and want to live in proximity to entertainment, work and downtown.
  2. Millennials are upgrading from apartments and want dynamic living areas with spaces like formal dining rooms and either a large yard or convenient access to parks for their pets and children.
  3. This young generation is educated and self-sufficient, so they want you to help them as a research partner.
  4. Don’t forego face-to-face communication altogether or assume communication preferences. Many millennials prefer to communicate via social media, texts, and emails after an initial face-to-face meeting.

Foreclosure Starts Rise in 43% of Markets

Counter to the national trend, several housing markets saw foreclosure starts rise year over year last month. Forty-three percent of local markets saw an annual increase in May in foreclosure starts. While most foreclosure starts were in the rise in Houston following Hurricane Harvey, tying with Hurricane Katrina at a 153% jump from a year ago, other areas where foreclosure is on the rise include Savannah (up 52%), Dallas-Fort Worth (up 46%), Charleston (up 44%), Birmingham-Hoover (24%), and Atlanta (up 7%).

Certainty Home Loans offers renovations loans for your homebuyers that would like to finance the purchase and renovations and/or repairs into one home loan. We also have loans for home buyers purchasing in federally declared disaster areas such as Houston. Please contact me if you would like to discuss these options with you and our buyers.

See the foreclosure starts in your market >

Foreclosure starts May 2018

Three Secrets of Successful Family-Owned Builder Businesses

According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, about 90% of American businesses are family-owned or controlled. Family businesses face struggles such as cash flow distribution, capitalization challenges, and overwhelming government regulations. They also must deal with the perception by non-family employees who feel as though they are constantly receiving the short end of the stick. They cannot gain equity or move up the business later, they see family-only parking spots, expense receipts for family outings, and a culture that rewards family members for mediocre performance simply for having the right last name.

In many cases, these employees are right. However, they do not understand the means of running a family-business such as the struggle to make payroll or mortgage a home to finance a company. Business drama often unfolds in between the employees’ assumptions and the owner’s understanding. Thankfully, there is hope for family-owned businesses. These three tips were actually developed by companies like FedEx and Xerox in their early days and have proven to be more effective decades later because they stabilize the foundational layer of the company and establish key ground rules for scalability.

  1. Solidify your corporate culture with intent so that it doesn’t shift as you grow your company
  2. Ensure that key processes are formalized and monitored for consistent execution
  3. Build team dynamics that are increasingly collaborative and cohesive shape.

Tips To Improve Your Working Relationships with Trades

Builders who are overcoming the shortage of skilled trade contractors have created business systems that attract and retain the most professional, well-managed tradespeople—those who consistently deliver high-quality work on time and within budget. Properly managed and implemented, those systems will also make the builder more efficient, with a healthier bottom line.

ProBuilder interviewed builders to see what’s working for them and their trade contractors:

  1. Builders have good scopes of work, clear plans and specs, and super-organized schedules.
  2. Builders have formal systems for communicating with trades.
  3. Builders listen to and implement feedback from trades.
  4. Builders pay quickly.



Information Courtesy of Jason Browning – Certainty Home Loans 

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