With 2016 rapidly coming to a close, it’s time to begin planning for the blank slate and new challenges that always come when the calendar turns to January 1.
With the real estate markets around the country now fully recovered from the recession of a few years ago, certain trends have begun developing that are driving the market anew. Some of these trends began in 2016 or earlier, but others are just now coming to the surface.
So let’s examine a few of the things that experts say to be on the lookout for in 2017:
First Time Homebuyers Multiplying. According to data, more than one-third of the people purchasing homes in 2015 were first-time buyers, but that number is expected to increase to more than half in 2017. This means that the competition for affordable starter homes may increase exponentially, as more than 60 percent of first-time homebuyers are expected to be millennials less than 35 years old. Something to keep your eye on for sure.
Barriers are Changing. Mortgage qualification issues, including credit scores and down payments, are expected to be the biggest barriers to homeownership in 2017. So expect to work a little harder with your clients when trying to get them qualified for loans. There are many options, of course, and you may need to examine several of them in 2017 to get over this hurdle.
What Buyers are Looking for. In a recent survey, prospective home buyers were asked what attributes they were looking for in new homes, with large yards, quality construction and safe neighborhoods coming out on top. Millennials are also looking for single-family homes with extra space for starting families. No condos for them!
Spring and Summer is Still King. Most prospective buyers have indicated that they plan to buy in the spring and summer months, when the weather is warmer and moving to a new home is more convenient. This trend is obviously nothing new in our area, but it’s still worth noting.
So there are a few trends that experts are expecting to either occur or continue in 2017. Trends change every year, of course, and each market is different (think coastal) but these are things worth watching for in the next calendar year.
Welcome to another edition of the monthly SCAORcard. Before I begin, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve the membership as CEO. It is a honor to lead such a progressive group of real estate professionals. As the holidays approach, I wish you and your family a safe and healthy holiday season.
First, Rick Tull, with CPA firm Lank, Johnson and Tull presented the FY 2015 Audit. No major concerns were presented to the BOD; however Mr. Tull did note that SCAOR was in a good financial position with $1.4mm in reserves. Second, a discussion to purchase 4,200 Sentrilock Bluetooth lockboxes for $359,000 was tabled until the January 18 BOD meeting. As CEO, I was asked to review future tax implications and report back to the BOD before an official vote takes place. Third, the BOD voted to join Bright MLS in 2017. Bright MLS is a regional MLS that will combine 36 REALTOR Association shareholders in six states plus the District of Columbia. Monthly MLS fees are anticipated to increase to $35. The official conversion date has not been decided by the BOD; however it appears a late 2017 date will be considered. Please contact me if you would like to know more about Bright MLS.
Lastly, the BOD approved the FY 2017 Operating Budget at $598,500 with $12,000 in reserve expenses. Over 50% of the income, $370,000, is from dues with the remaining 50% of income from a variety of non-dues categories. On the expense side of the Operating Budget education will cost the organization $27,000, Marketing/Public Relations/Website $21,000, and travel to local, regional and national conferences at $35,000. For more information on the SCAOR Operating Budget, please contact me at email@example.com or call the SCAOR office.
Rental Affairs is looking to revise the application process for the Alma Ashley award, updating the Rental checklist to get out to towns in January instead of May. Looking to become more active in the conversation involving VRBO s and preparing for the trade shows in January a.d March.
Public Policy will be gearing up again in January with continued plans for our Road Rally fundraiser and watching and engaging in conversations surrounding the Sussex County Comprehensive Plan as well as the Park Avenue extension project.