November 14th – This day in history
Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick was published.
Nellie Bly set out to beat Jules Verne’s fictional Phileas Fogg’s time of 80 days to travel around the world. She did it in 72.
The British Broadcasting Corporation began its domestic radio service.
Apollo 12, the second manned lunar expedition, was launched.
The U.S. federal government began a partial shut down of government services after the U.S. Congress could not pass a budget.
Nancy Pelosi of California became the first woman to lead a party in Congress.
The most distant object ever found in our solar system, named Sedna, was discovered by astronomers at the Mount Palomar Observatory.
There’s a ton of real estate intel on the interwebs. (Why, you’re looking at some of it right now!) But even if you consider yourself the most research-savvy digital consumer of all time, you may not know everything you need to make the wisest decisions when negotiating a real estate transaction. Maybe you’re already familiar with real estate terms like “escrow” and “easement.” But we’re not just talking about a few words that test your real estate vocabulary. We’re talking about processing the bazillions of details you’ll deal with to buy or sell a home. Here’s a quick list of things you may not already know that could put, or keep, money in your wallet while you’re in the real estate game… https://www.houselogic.com/sell/real-estate-facts/
Realtor.com® Lands 11-Year Industry Win Over Patent Troll
November 9, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial to move forward on a patent infringement case involving real estate mapping technology has brought the lengthy legal fight—which had been happening for more than a decade—to a close this week.
© BCFC – iStock/Getty Images Plus
Patent Trolls Prey on Small Businesses
The Real Estate Alliance Ltd. sought hundreds of millions of dollars in licensing fees from the real estate industry’s use of a technology for locating available real estate for sale or lease using a database of properties and then using a “zooming” technique to display the approximate location on a map. REAL claimed a patent to the technology and infringement from Move Inc., and later declared the National Association of REALTORS®, the National Association of Home Builders, and many brokers, agents, rental property managers, MLSs, and technology companies to be in violation.
Lower counts found the patent infringement accusations to be invalid, and the Supreme Court’s decision on Nov. 5 to reject the case marked the conclusion to the 11-year legal fight. Further, the court’s dismissal of the Move Inc. case also freed brokers, agents, and MLSs of any potential liability or infringement fears.
“This is a win not only for Move and realtor.com®, but also the entire real estate industry,” says Move CEO Ryan O’Hara. “REAL used the patent litigation system to target real estate professionals and companies who were engaging consumers in today’s dynamic online environment. We are very proud to have championed this cause in support of the real estate industry, and the successful resolution of this case will benefit the professionals in that industry and the consumers they serve.”
In 2005, REAL sued a real estate broker and Move customer, accusing them of patent infringement. They created a class of patent infringement defendants, which included realtor.com® customers. Move then sued REAL in April 2007 to dispute claims that realtor.com® and other real estate–related websites infringed on REAL-owned patents related to online real estate property searches.
“When this patent troll sued brokers, agents, and MLSs across the country in a class-action lawsuit more than 10 years ago, realtor.com® stepped up on their behalf to fight this infringement claim,” said Katie Johnson, NAR’s general counsel and chief member experience officer. “Those defendants waited on the sidelines while realtor.com® took on the burden and expense of litigating this case to its bitter end. Because of realtor.com®, those members and MLSs named as defendants will not have to incur expenses related to this lawsuit, and this patent troll can no longer target our industry.”
Source: REALTOR® Magazine
Why Home Buyers Need to Hurry
October 24, 2018
While there have been signs recently that the market may be shifting toward the favor of home buyers, prices are still on the rise in many areas around the country. The median sales price in July was $230,411, up 5.8 percent year over year.
© 10’000 Hours – Royalty-free / Getty Images Plus
But if your buyer clients are hoping to wait it out, you might want to remind them that mortgage rates are also increasing. The typical mortgage payment jumped 13.1 percent over that same one-year period, due to a nearly 0.6 percentage point increase in mortgage rates, according to new data from CoreLogic, a real estate research firm.
Mortgage rates are expected to keep rising, too. CoreLogic researchers predict a nearly 10 percent increase in buyers’ mortgage payments by next July, twice the rate expected for home prices. Rates are expected to increase by about 0.43 percentage points between July 2018 and July 2019. Housing forecasters predict median home sale prices to continue to rise by 1.8 percent in real terms over that same period.
Based on these projections, CoreLogic researchers predict the inflation-adjusted typical monthly mortgage payment to rise from $937 in July 2018 to $1,003 by July 2019. Furthermore, real disposable income is expected to increase by only around 2.5 percent over the next year. That means “home buyers would see a larger chunk of their incomes devoted to mortgage payments,” CoreLogic researchers note.
To calculate the typical mortgage payment, CoreLogic researchers use Freddie Mac’s average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment (not factoring in taxes or insurance). The typical mortgage payment standard is used to help judge affordability since it shows the monthly amount a borrower would have to qualify for to get a mortgage to purchase a median-priced U.S. home.
Nevertheless, while mortgage payments are on the rise, they’re still low by historical standards, CoreLogic researchers note. In July 2018, the typical inflation-adjusted mortgage payment still remained 26.8 percent below the all-time peak of $1,280 in July 2006. The average mortgage rate in June 2006 was 6.7 percent compared to 4.5 percent in July 2018.
Source: “Homebuyers’ ‘Typical Mortgage Payment’ Rising at Twice the Rate of Prices,” CoreLogic Insights Blog (Oct. 17, 2018)
1. In Anglo-Saxon times, November was known as Blotmonaþ (blood month or sacrifice month).
2. November is the only month used to represent a letter in the phonetic alphabet.
3. Although the word November dates back to Old English, the first known use of Novemberish, was by Robert Burns in 1793.
4. According to research published in 2008, serial killers are more likely to be born in November than any other month.
5. US Presidential elections are held every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
6. According to the 17th-century astrologer Richard Saunders: “In this Moneth [November], Melancholy much increaseth.” He recommended eating eggs and honey and vomiting sometimes.
7. In the US state of Indiana, November is the most likely month for a car to collide with a deer.
8. “November’s sky is chill and drear, November’s leaf is red and sear [withered].” Sir Walter Scott.
9. In the USA, November is sweet potato awareness month.
10. In Finland, November is called “marraskuu” or “month of the dead”. It is the time of souls in Hell.
Millennials Boosting U.S. Homeownership Rates
November 1, 2018
A larger number of Americans—notably fueled by millennials—entered homeownership during the summer months. The national homeownership rate rose to 64.4 percent in the third quarter—a half percentage point higher than a year ago, the U.S. Census Bureau reported this week.
The increase was largely attributed to a rise in first-time buyers as more millennials entered homeownership. The ownership rate among those under the age of 35 climbed from 35.6 percent in the third quarter of 2017 to 36.8 percent in the third quarter, according to the bureau’s report.
“More people are choosing homeownership over renting, and a large part of that story is the historically large number of first-time home buyers,” says Tian Liu, Genworth Mortgage Insurance’s chief economist. “In the past two years, first-time home buyers have purchased at least 1.9 million homes each year. That is more than the pace of household formation over the same period, meaning that the transition from renting to owning is the more powerful driver of housing demand.”
Liu says that has been an often overlooked reason for the rapid increase in home prices. “Paradoxically, the rise of first-time home buyers, which has pushed home prices up, also is slowing home sales today.” Liu says. “These events caused the homeownership rate and home sales to diverge this quarter.”
However, the homeownership rate among several age groups did see a drop in the third quarter. For example, the ownership rate of those between ages 35 to 44 dropped slightly from 60 percent in the second quarter to 59.5 percent in the third quarter. The ownership rate of those between the ages of 45 to 54 years old also saw a drop, decreasing from 70.6 percent in the second quarter to 69.7 percent in the third quarter.
On the other hand, Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 and those who are 65 and older both saw increases in ownership rates in the third quarter.
Despite the overall uptick in the ownership rate in the third quarter, homeownership still remains far from its all-time high of 69.1 percent set in 2004. The homeownership rate has shown gradual improvement since hitting bottom at 62.9 percent in 2016.
Source: “American Homeownership Increases Again as Housing Market Looks for Balance,” MarketWatch (Oct. 31, 2018) and “Millennials Drive Homeownership Rate Increase in Q3,” HousingWire (Oct. 30, 2018)