Monday, May 21, 2018

Flooding threat for the Mid-Atlantic and the Rockies

Moderate to major flooding is possible along the rivers in the Midatlantic and the Northern Rockies and Intermountain west with rainfall combined with snowmelt fueling the flooding potential. Janice Dean currently serves as senior meteorologist for FOX News Channel .

Flooding threat for the Mid-Atlantic and the Rockies curated from Real Estate News

Is mandatory minimum wage coming to real estate?

On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court rendered its decision in Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. This ruling may very well be the death knell of independent contractor (IC) status in real estate, not only in California, but possibly throughout the country.

Is mandatory minimum wage coming to real estate? curated from Inman

NAR’s new top-level domain .realestate launches in September for members

The National Association of Realtors today announced the launch of .realestate, a new top-level domain that will be available to its and the Canadian Real Estate members in September. This update comes four years after…

NAR’s new top-level domain .realestate launches in September for members curated from Inman

New York City’s rent stabilization laws are easily exploitable, NY Times reports

Weak rent stabilization laws in New York City are ripe to be exploited, a new piece published in the New York Times found. While there are still roughly 1 million rent stabilized apartments left in New York City, they’re starting to vanish one by one, according to the report.

New York City’s rent stabilization laws are easily exploitable, NY Times reports curated from Inman

Bitcoin Won't Encourage Cryptocurrency For Real Estate, But Cryptoeconomics Will

As Bitcoin enters the mainstream economy, a number of homebuyers and sellers are starting to use the cryptocurrency to conduct real estate transactions.   

Last year, Southeby’s International Realty sold one of the first single-family homes in Austin, Texas using Bitcoin. The Austin home was sold when Bitcoin prices were $3,429 in September 2017.

In addition to these transactions, other residential real estate properties are being listed for Bitcoin. A recent Forbes article describes how Canter Companies, a full-service investment firm specializing in real estate and asset management projects, recently listed two multi-million dollar homes for sale in Bitcoin. The homes are collectively priced at under $20 million in Bitcoin. And recently, a 27 acre piece of land in Silicon Valley has been  listed for sale in Bitcoin, Ether and XRP with a starting price of $16 million.

However, while there are a handful of homes currently listed for sale in Bitcoin, some believe that using Bitcoin for real estate transactions will not result in widespread adoption -- At least not until the real estate industry starts to utilize blockchain technology, which in turn will drive the adoption of cryptocurrency transactions.

While Bitcoin is stepping into society’s massive adoption as a decentralized cryptocurrency, the next-generation blockchain technology  brings a lot more to the real estate world than just a payment alternative. For example, Propy is based on the Ethereum blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around, while also representing the ownership of property. Ultimately, this enables title deed transfers to take place entirely online. Imagine a world where you can buy or sell your property while sitting on your couch - now this is a reality with blockchain technology, Natalia Karayaneva, CEO of Propy, told me.

According to Karayaneva, the only way to encourage homebuyers and sellers to take advantage of cryptocurrency for real estate transactions is to take a “cryptoeconomics” approach, which goes much further than simply putting homes up for sale in Bitcoin.

Cryptoeconomics lays out the framework for the way in which cryptocurrency ecosystems thrive and function across a decentralized network, known as the blockchain. These ecosystems are able to allow a number of entities who do not know one another to reliably reach consensus across an anonymous, trustworthy network through the use of cryptocurrencies. This is achieved by using a combination of economic incentives and basic cryptographic tools.

“Cryptoeconomics is like mechanism design. It starts with the desired end goal and works backwards to find the right set of mechanisms to align with the incentives of all participants in the system, to bring forth a common goal,” said Karl Floerch, a core researcher for the Ethereum Foundation.

For example, the international real estate marketplace, Propy, applies cryptoeconomics by incentivizing individual users to join the Propy platform to list properties, share properties on social media, upload title history into the system and more.

“Users on the Propy platform are rewarded with blockchain tokens that serve as “coupons” for the use of the platform’s services, while they are easily tradable online to other perspective users that want to obtain access to the services. Users have in their hands a secure, easy-to-use, comprehensive way for completing their real estate transactions,” Karayaneva said.

Bitcoin Won't Encourage Cryptocurrency For Real Estate, But Cryptoeconomics Will curated from Forbes - Real Estate

Buyers are giving up the search for that perfect starter home

According to Trulia’s latest market analysis, homebuyers and sellers are finally seeing eye-to-eye when it comes to the sales price.

Market mismatch — the measurement of the price gap between search interest and available listings — has dropped 15 percentage points quarter-over-quarter to an average score of 11.1 (0 being perfectly matched and 100 being completely mismatched). Although this is welcome news for buyers and sellers tired of wrestling back and forth during negotiations, there’s another story behind the decline.

During the same time period, the share of searches for starter homes fell from 31.1 percent to 28.7 percent, while the share of premium home searches ($500,000-plus) edged up to 41.1 percent from 38.4 percent the previous year — a sign that competition will begin to heat up at this end of the market as buyers begin to give up on finding an affordable starter home.

What does this market mismatch mean?

“The market mismatch in most places suggests that trade-up and especially starter-homebuyers have felt this pain most acutely, with limited options and lots of competition,” wrote Trulia housing economist Felipe Chacón in the report.

“If you are or have been a starter homeseller recently though, depending on where you live, your experience has likely been easy, with lots of interest in your home and possibly multiple offers to consider.”

“Premium homesellers are less likely to have seen that kind of action with a persistent surplus of inventory relative to search interest,” Chacón added. “These shifts in market mismatch suggest things may be getting a little easier for premium homesellers in the current peak homebuying season as interest has been picking up more quickly than in the starter and trade-up categories.”

Source: Trulia

Who’s winning out

Premium sellers in Ventura County, California; Austin, Texas; and Buffalo, New York, are benefiting the most from this market shift, as buyers in those areas are increasingly beginning to search for higher-priced homes.

For example, in Q1, 37.6 percent of all listings and 37.9 percent of all searches in Buffalo were for premium homes (great for sellers), but in the previous quarter (Q4 2017), 39.1 percent of listings were for premium homes, and 34.8 percent of search traffic was to them (great for buyers).

On the other hand, not all is lost for buyers — there are some key markets where they can nab an affordable starter or a moderately priced trade-up home.

Philadelphia offers the best options for millennial buyers in particular. The City of Brotherly Love is the 34th most affordable city among the 100 largest metros, and 26.8 percent of all listings in Q1 2018 were considered starter homes, while only 22.7 percent of searches were for these homes.

Millennial buyers are also doing well in San Francisco, where the market mismatch is only at 2.6 (0 is perfectly matched). Searches for starter homes have dipped by 10 percent over the past year, which is a signal of price fatigue. But, Trulia says, buyers in search of a starter home “are now not any worse off than homeshoppers looking in other price tiers.”


Note: The calculation for the market mismatch was adjusted from the first three installments of this report. This means the numbers between this installment and the previous one are not directly comparable. However, all the data presented in this report was pulled using the updated method.

Additionally, while the same price cut-offs are used to define starter, trade-up, and premium homes nationally and in the 100 largest U.S. metros as in the quarterly Trulia Price and Inventory Watch, the weights assigned to listings differ, resulting in some differences in the inventory make-up. This different weighting was necessary to ensure that we are only counting site traffic to properties when they are actively on the market.

The Market Mismatch Score was based on all the for-sale listings on Trulia, which were pulled on a quarterly basis beginning in Q1 2016. The distribution of prices for each metro and nationally was calculated by taking each active listing and adding up the number of days it was on the market during the quarter. All unique price points were consolidated and counted by summing these day & price combinations. In other words, if 10 properties were on the market for a combined 600 days at a price of $200,000, then the $200,000 price point would receive a weight of 600.

Site traffic from Trulia was matched to each unique property (and therefore price) on the market during the same time periods and added up for each quarter and price.

Email Marian McPherson

Buyers are giving up the search for that perfect starter home curated from Inman

ShowingTime launches new real estate messaging app

ShowingTime, a Chicago-based showing management and technology firm, last week launched a messaging app geared specifically toward real estate agents.

The agent-to-agent messaging system, which will allow agents to use an MLS feed and other ShowingTime products to communicate by text, instant message and email, was announced on Tuesday. ShowingTime President Michael Lane said the app will also help track real estate information like listings, sales and property tours.

“The biggest benefit added by this feature is that agents often need to correspond with each other prior to deciding whether to schedule a showing on a particular listing using ShowingTime,” Lane told Inman.

“Since we are already partnered with the MLS, ShowingTime has awareness of all of the relationships between agents and their listings, making it much more convenient for agents to reach each other,” he added.

A version of the platform will be available for the company’s MLS clients in June. An updated version, with more features including ShowingTime’s showings and analytics products, will be available by the end of 2018, ShowingTime Marketing Manager Cash Kruth told Inman.

“One major difference is that ShowingTime is already system-aware of the relationships between agents, companies and listings within the MLS,”  Lane said. “Agents will be able to look up other agents by last name, or by their listings.  For example, say a buyer’s agent is on a tour with their client to look at homes.”

With the new messaging platform, ShowingTime’s 950,000 real estate agents across more than 200 markets in the U.S. and Canada can meet and discuss their experiences using the company’s products, Lane said. As part of its mission to capture more MLS affiliates, the company has signed 35 new MLS-wide licenses across the country.

Since 2015, ShowingTime has expanded its tech offering to include MarketView Broker, a market analyzation tool, and has acquired 10K Research and Marketing and

Email Veronika Bondarenko

ShowingTime launches new real estate messaging app curated from Inman