“As new multifamily supply catches up with demand and slows rents, some large investors may begin putting their holdings of affordable single-family homes up for sale, which would be great news, particularly for first-time buyers,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®.
A jump in apartment construction has slowed rent growth for many multifamily buildings across the country, but single-family landlords are still mostly reaping profits. Invitation Homes Inc., the nation’s largest single-family landlord, owns more than 80,000 properties. It is forecasting its revenue growth to be about 4 percent to 5 percent in 2018, which far outpaces rent-growth projections for apartments, according to Green Street Advisors LLC, a research firm.
Homeowners may be surprised at how some extra costs really add up. A new survey by Bankrate.com shows that the average homeowner spends an average of $2,000 per year on maintenance services.
Sixty-three percent of more than 2,200 respondents recently surveyed say they use at least one recurring maintenance provider. Thirty-five percent say they use two or more.
The most common services and their average monthly costs for homeowners are:
Further, researchers found that usage of such home maintenance services tends to increase with age and income.
“These figures illustrate the hidden costs of homeownership, and it’s important to note they don’t include repairs such as a broken refrigerator, washing machine, or air conditioner,” says Taylor Tepper, a Bankrate.com analyst. “These are just ongoing, routine tasks like keeping your house and yard clean. Make sure to factor these costs into your new budget when you buy a house. Or do them yourself to save thousands of dollars each year.”
Home buyers say they want the latest design trends in their next property—but 70 percent admit to having outdated features in their current house, according to a new consumer survey by home builder Taylor Morrison. The most common of these outdated features are:
“This is why real and virtual house hunting is so popular,” says Taylor Morrison Chair and CEO Sheryl Palmer. “We all love to daydream and envision ourselves in a beautiful new environment. But keeping up with ever-evolving preferences for paint colors, home features, new technologies, and how we expect to use our homes over the years is difficult. We also know that home interior preferences vary by generation, by home style, by region, and even by city.”
Taylor Morrison found that the features home buyers say they most desire are:
Also, the interior features home shoppers called most essential are:
Source: “Home Is Where the Shag Carpet Is?” BUILDER (Nov. 16, 2017)
Porches Are Making a Comeback
More new homes are coming equipped with front porches. Sixty-five percent of new single-family homes started in 2016 included a porch, according to a Census data analysis from the National Association of Home Builders. It’s only the second time since tracking began that new single-family homes with porches have moved back above 65 percent. For comparison, in 2005, 54 percent of new homes had porches.
Read more: The Fabulous Front Porch
Certain regions of the U.S. are showing higher preference for porches. For example, the East-South-Central region of the U.S. had the highest share of new homes started in 2016 with porches at 86 percent.
The Census data from the Survey of Construction report does not indicate much information about the look of the porches. However, the NAHB reports that the Annual Builder Practices Survey, conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs, shows that front porches on new homes tend to be more common than side porches. Also, most new home porches are open rather than screened.
The average size of a front porch on a new home is about 60 square feet, according to the report. The materials used often tend to be concrete and treated wood. However, some regions—like the Mountain and Pacific areas of the U.S.—tend to favor redwood over treated wood for their front porches.
Source: “Share of New Homes With Porches Back Over 65 Percent,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (Oct. 5, 2017)
For-sale-by-owners tend to sell their homes for lower prices than homes sold through traditional agents via the MLS, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate, according to a new study by Collateral Analytics.
The study examined the price differences between homes sold through traditional agents versus those sold by FSBOs from 2016 to the first half of 2017.
Some homeowners may be tempted to try to avoid commission costs to a broker and try to sell the home on their own. But that can backfire and turn into a much lower sales price, the study found.
Even successful FSBO sellers achieve prices “significantly below” those from similar properties sold more traditionally via REALTORS®, the study found.
The authors found that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales is “remarkably close to average commission rates.” A FSBO sale, on average, nets nearly a 6 percent lower price than an MLS sale for a similar property.
“Assuming that both buyers and sellers pay the commission, one might have expected something less than this average,” the researchers note. “It appears that many sellers are avoiding commissions while netting home prices less than they would with an agent-represented MLS sale. They are avoiding commissions at any price, even one that exceeds a commission rate.”
Source: “Saving Real Estate Commissions at Any Price,” Collateral Analytics Research (Aug. 16, 2017)