LATEST NEWS AND INFORMATION BROUGHT TO YOU BY LAFAYETTE TITLE

 

Purple lovers rejoice! Pantone has picked 18-3838 Ultra Violet as its 2018 color of the year.

According to an article by Joanne Friedrick at Home Furnishings News (HFN), the blue-based purple is described as “provocative, thoughtful and mystical” as well as “evocative of the night sky and the mysteries of the universe.”

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute in a statement for HFN. “It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to Ultra Violet.”

According to HFN, Pantone points to purple’s correlation to counterculture, unconventionality and artistic genius, evidenced in the likes of music greats Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix, who donned shades of deep purple to express their individuality.

Overview 
Inventory constraints that have fueled a sharp rise in home prices and made it difficult for buyers to gain a foothold in the market will begin to ease in 2018 as part of broad and continued market improvements, according to the recently released realtor.com® 2018 National Housing Forecast.

The easing of the inventory shortage, which is expected to result in more manageable increases in home prices and a modest acceleration of home sales, is being predicted based on developments first detected by realtor.com® in late summer 2017.

The annual forecast, which is among the industry's bellwethers in tracking and analyzing major trends in the housing market, also foresees an increase in millennial mortgages and strong sales growth in Southern markets.

"[2018] will set the stage for a significant inflection point in the housing shortage," says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com®. "Inventory increases will be felt in higher priced segments after the spring home-buying season, which we expect to take hold and begin to provide relief for buyers and drive sales growth in 2019 and beyond."

It may sound like an easy topic to address, but when you consider the growing number of platforms, real estate professionals need social strategies in place to capture their clientele. This starts with knowing your audience and knowing when they're active online.

As a real estate professional, it's important to be in tune with your community and your personal clientele via social media. Posting about local events and goings-on is one of the easiest ways to get social media engagement. But, there are some general social media facts to be aware of, like how 80 percent of the country's population live in the Central and Eastern time zones. Take timing into consideration when posting. Also, if your audience is older, you probably shouldn't post after 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., when most of your audience is already asleep.

With such a variety of social platforms now at your disposal, it can be dizzying trying to make sense of the best times to post. Here are some tips to follow for the most popular social media sites/apps:

Ask the 60-some percent of brokers in RISMedia's 2017 Power Broker Survey: Almost every housing market is plagued by short supply. In fact, inventory nationally for pre-owned properties is at 3.9 months, down 10.4 percent from last year, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently reported.

The challenge, according to realtor.com®, could moderate in the next year. Groundbreaking is projected to ramp up 3 percent, with single-family starts up 7 percent, realtor.com's 2018 National Housing Forecast reveals.

The catch? Activity won't kick up until later in the year, and many builds will be higher- and/or mid-priced—not an ideal scenario in the short term. Lower-priced homes, which were hit hardest in the recession, will be the last to recover.

"We are forecasting 2018 to set the stage for a significant inflection point in the housing shortage," says Javier Vivas, director of Economic Research for realtor.com. "Inventory increases will be felt in higher-priced segments after home-buying season [in the fall], which limits their impact on total sales of the year."

For the most part, social media platforms tend to promote permanent content. But there's one app that stands out for its ability to create an air of mystery by adding a shelf life to what you post: Snapchat. Although initially promoted as a social media platform for millennials, Snapchat is now being used by consumers of all ages, as well as real estate professionals. Here's how you can use Snapchat to increase your referrals and return real estate business.

Start a Following
Unlike Instagram, where you can view other people's posts without having that person follow you back, Snapchat users must follow each other in order to share content. This makes Snapchat a unique experience that tends to be more personal than other social media channels. Once you have a loyal following, you can start sending snaps to individual clients to continue building those relationships, or you can add content to your Story if you want to share en masse and set yourself up as a source for real estate information.

It's time for REALTORS® to review their 2017 business year and determine what needs to be done for an even more successful 2018.

With the proper apps in place, your business needs can match your on-the-go lifestyle, saving you time and improving your workflow.

Here are the top apps for 2018!

MailChimp
MailChimp lets you create, manage, and send email campaigns to all of your clients from one place. Create an email template that fits your brand's look and feel, customize email campaigns to target clients, and manage all your email lists and subscriptions to better suit your campaigns.

Pricing: Free "New Business" account, other plans starting at $10/month

The National Association of Realtors President Elizabeth Mendenhall said in a statement that "we remain concerned that the overall structure of this bill poses problems for homeowners and the broader housing market, but the conference committee has made some important improvements to the House and Senate legislation that ultimately will benefit some homeowners and communities."

Mendenhall went on to say "we are particularly pleased with the treatment of capital gains on the sale of a home and the preservation of deductions for second homes. We are also grateful that the positive changes for commercial real estate and real estate professionals from the Senate bill have survived."

Below is a summary from the NAR of key issues that will affect the real estate market and industry professionals.

EFFECTS OF THE TAX BENEFITS OF HOMEOWNERSHIP

Standard Deduction
The final bill follows the Senate bill and provides a standard deduction of $12,000 for single individuals and $24,000 for joint returns.

Confidence in housing made a near-record return in November in the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), derived from Fannie's National Housing Survey® (NHS). The HPSI overall posted 87.8 in November, 2.6 percentage points higher than the month prior. The Index hit all-time highs in February of this year, and again in June and September.

"In November, the HPSI rebounded to near its all-time high, returning the Index to its gradual upward trend and suggesting fairly stable consumer home-buying attitudes,” says Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president at Fannie Mae. "These results are consistent with our expectation that the housing market will continue its modest expansion going forward."

The share of homebuyers surveyed for the Index who believe now is a good time to buy rose seven percentage points to 29 percent, while the share of sellers who believe now is a good time to sell rose four percentage points to 34 percent. The share of those surveyed who believe home prices will go up rose six percentage points to 46 percent.

The Federal Reserve acted as expected on Wednesday, increasing the key interest rate one-quarter percentage point for the third time this year. The action concludes a hastened 12 months for the policymaker, which raised the rate in March and June, as well as once in 2016 and once in 2015. It forecasts three rate raises in 2018.

"Hurricane-related disruptions and rebuilding have affected economic activity, employment, and inflation in recent months but have not materially altered the outlook for the national economy," according to a statement by the Fed. "Consequently, the Committee continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will remain strong. Inflation on a 12‑month basis is expected to remain somewhat below 2 percent in the near term but to stabilize around the Committee's 2 percent objective over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely."

The most lucrative and rewarding real estate market in America today is not the luxury market, but the military market. According to Neil Brooks, a REALTOR®, a Navy veteran, and the branch manager of HomeSmart International in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Samantha Reeves, agent education manager at Veterans United Home Loans; and Denise M. Jelinski-Hall, the 3rd Senior Enlisted Advisor of the National Guard, veterans make the best homebuyers for a lot of reasons, including the benefits of a VA loan, and all the unique aspects of working with veterans.

What Is the VA Loan?
Many REALTORS® may have heard of VA loans, but still be unclear on what they are and who qualifies. "A mortgage loan is available to current service members and to veterans who meet time-in-service requirements," Reeves says. "The VA loan is issued by private mortgage lenders and guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. What that means is that the lender lends the funds and the VA guarantees a portion of the loan. This protects the lender in case of a default by the buyer. It also makes it possible for the loan to have some amazing benefits—including no down payment and no private mortgage insurance."