The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a white paper on Wednesday calling for an overhaul of the system by which residential appraisals are determined. The group made a number of recommendations, some of which members of the National Association of REALTORS® have supported in the past, including the implementation of licensing and certification standards as well as minimum education requirements. However, another in their list of recommendations could have serious consequences for the role of the multiple listing service (MLS) in home sales.
A section of the white paper focused on data technology criticizes local MLSs for becoming “less reliable” in recent years. The solution to this, and the more general problem of a lack of data standards that apply across the country, is what NAHB refers to as “the development of a real estate superhighway.” The group proposed creating this in four sections:
- Terra.gov – NAHB proposed “a national real property registry… with access by all stakeholders.” They named this as the site of an “official record of the factual details of both the structure and the regulatory constraints on the land.” Some of the specific items mentioned as included in such a database were time stamped photographs, satellite images, and floor plans. As of Friday afternoon, the Terra.gov domain name remained unregistered according to WhoIs.com. Continue reading »
At a briefing during the group’s annual conference, NAHB Vice President of Survey and Housing Policy Research Paul Emrath was upbeat about the recovery of housing targeted toward seniors and baby boomers. He noted in particular that builder confidence in new, single family homes in the 55-plus market tripled in the third quarter of 2012 as compared to the same time in 2011.
“Everything is up, year-over-year,” Emrath said. “It’s an indication that we’re starting to dig out of the hole we fell into in 2009.”
In NAHB’s forecast, boomers and seniors are projected to grow their share of the market over the next few years. By 2020, the group expects the market share of U.S. households in the 55-plus age bracket to grow more than four percent, to 46.6 percent.
Yet Emrath warned that the future of NAHB’s reporting on boomer and senior markets is in peril because the Census Bureau changed the way that they collect generational information.
“The forecast that you just saw is at risk right now,” Emrath said. “When I get back to Washington, I’m going to spend a lot of time writing letters trying to persuade [HUD and the Census Bureau] that they were misguided in removing these 55-plus questions from their surveys.”
In addition to the economic data, Emrath hit a few of the boomer and senior highlights of NAHB’s new consumer preference survey, called What Home Buyers Really Want. Continue reading »
By Erica Christoffer, Multimedia Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine
But today’s new-home buyer may surprise you.
Let’s start by looking at a few builder and consumer statistics presented during the International Builders’ Show in Orlando Thursday.
The average start size increased from 2,381 square feet to 2,522 square feet and the average sales price rose from $264,900 to $274,400 in 2011.
New homes have more amenities, too. More houses built in 2011 had four or more bedrooms, three or more bathrooms, three-car garages, finished basements, patios, and two stories.
Is the buyer profile becoming clear?
“It’s sort of counterintuitive to what we’re hearing and reading about consumers,” said Rose Quint, assistant vice president of research with the National Association of Home Builders. “The answer is in who is able to buy.”
In the tightened lending environment, buyers have had to be a “superstar” qualifier, says Quint, with at least 20 percent down, a high credit score, well-documented income, and proof of established employment history. Continue reading »