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Current Real Estate News

Pending Home Sales Rocket to 10-Year High

Pending home sales rose for the third consecutive month in April and reached their highest level in over a decade, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. All major regions saw gains in contract activity last month except for the Midwest, which saw a meager decline.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, hiked up 5.1 percent to 116.3 in April from an upwardly revised 110.7 in March and is now 4.6 percent above April 2015 (111.2). After last month’s gain, the index has now increased year-over-year for 20 consecutive months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says vast gains in the South and West propelled pending sales in April to their highest level since February 2006 (117.4). “The ability to sign a contract on a home is slightly exceeding expectations this spring even with the affordability stresses and inventory squeezes affecting buyers in a number of markets,” he says. “The building momentum from the over 14 million jobs created since 2010 and the prospect of facing higher rents and mortgage rates down the road appear to be bringing more interested buyers into the market.”

On the topic of mortgage rates, which have remained below 4 percent in 16 of the past 17 months, Yun says it remains to be seen how long they will stay this low. Along with rent growth, rising gas prices – and the fading effects of last year’s cheap oil on consumer prices – could edge up inflation and push rates higher. For now, he foresees mortgage rates continuing to hover around 4 percent in the coming months, but inflation could potentially surprise the market and cause rates to increase suddenly.

Adds Yun, “Even if rates rise soon, sales have legs for further expansion this summer if housing supply increases enough to give buyers an adequate number of affordable choices during their search.”

Following the housing market’s best first quarter of existing-sales since 2007 (5.66 million) and a decent increase (1.7 percent) in April, Yun expects sales this year to climb above earlier estimates and be around 5.41 million, a 3.0 percent boost from 2015. After accelerating to 6.8 percent a year ago, national median existing-home price growth is forecast to slightly moderate to between 4 and 5 percent.

The PHSI in the Northeast climbed 1.2 percent to 98.2 in April, and is now 10.1 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index declined slightly (0.6 percent) to 112.9 in April, but is still 2.0 percent above April 2015.

Pending home sales in the South jumped 6.8 percent to an index of 133.9 in April and are 5.1 percent higher than last April. The index in the West soared 11.4 percent in April to 106.2, and is now 2.8 percent above a year ago.

“This report rounds out a triple crown of April home sales reports with existing home closings, new pending contracts, and new home sales all solidly up as the spring buying season ramped up,” says realtor.com chief economist Jonathan Smoke. “Across these metrics, the pace of total home sales is up more than 10 percent over last year, putting 2016 in the pole position to earn the standing of the best year in a decade.”

For more information, visit www.realtor.org.

All About Leads: Generation, Conversion and Everything in Between

All about leads! Dive deep into the stages of lead gen, capture, cultivation and conversion in the next installment of RISMedia’s highly-anticipated webinar series, “All About Leads: Generation, Conversion and Everything in Between.”

What: RISMedia’s Broker Best Practices Webinar Series: “All About Leads: Generation, Conversion and Everything in Between”

Sponsored by





When: Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. CT / 1 p.m. MT / 12 p.m. PT

Who: Featuring Anthony Marguleas, Amalfi Estates; Mark Seiden, The Mark Seiden Real Estate Team; Joe Sesso, Homes.com; Jim Metz, VoicePad; moderated by Verl Workman, Workman Success Systems

Register now!

For live coverage of the webinar, follow @RISMediaUpdates and use #RISWebinar.

About Our Presenters

Anthony_MarguleasAnthony Marguleas, owner of Amalfi Estates in Los Angeles, Calif., has sold close to $1 billion in his career, ranked #100 out of one million agents by The Wall Street Journal and profiled by several outlets, including Consumer Reports and The Los Angeles Times.

Mark_SeidenMark Seiden, founder and CEO of the Mark Seiden Real Estate Team, has consistently ranked among the top three agents—and No. 1 in 2008, 2014 and 2015—in single-family home sales in Westchester and Putnam County, N.Y., and has been featured in many publications, including The New York Times.

Joe_SessoJoe Sesso, national speaker and regional director for Homes.com, has spoken to more than 25,000 REALTORS® in almost every state on the science of real estate business strategy and marketing. Formerly an agent and investor, Sesso authored the award-winning “The Foreclosure Revolution” in 2008, forecasting the market crash.

Jim_MetzJim Metz is the senior vice president of Strategy Development and national sales manager for VoicePad. With more than 20 years of experience in real estate technology, Metz oversees “in-the-cloud” telecommunications solutions for many of the nation’s most profitable brokerages and agents.

Verl_Workman_Newer_100x100Webinar moderator Verl Workman, founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, has delivered seminars, webinars, keynotes and more to thousands of real estate professional across the globe. Drawing on his experience in sales, marketing, promotion, management and technology, Workman has empowered the masses to expand their knowledge and achieve their goals.

Each month, RISMedia’s webinars draw over 1,000 agents from across the country eager for exclusive insight from the industry’s most profitable professionals. To view our last webinar, “Bet on Buy-In! Proven Strategies for Agent Tech Adoption,” visit RISMedia’s Housecall.

See You at the 2016 REALTORĀ® Broker Summit!

One of the most important real estate events of the year for brokers is approaching fast: the 2016 REALTOR® Broker Summit, June 9 – 10 in Denver, Colo. First established by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) in 2013, these events have offered business-building insights and advantages to attendees.

“The REALTOR® Broker Summit is designed to help brokers hone the specific management and entrepreneurial skills they need to make their businesses thrive,” says National Association of REALTORS® President Tom Salomone. “We are excited to provide attendees with inspiration from keynote speakers, new insights into the brokerage industry from presenters, and incredible networking opportunities.”

NAR recognizes brokers wear many hats, and are challenged to tackle everything from retention to growth strategies, competition to changes in legislation, and much more. With an overarching focus on management, the REALTOR® Broker Summit delivers on multiple levels:

-New insights into the brokerage industry from peer leaders and related specialists
-Incredible networking opportunities with fellow brokers and NAR leadership
-Inspiration from keynote speakers that sends attendees home further motivated for success

Attendees gain perspectives and insights about critical business strategies and tools for successfully running their brokerages, in sessions that include culture, recruiting, advocacy and technology.

Program highlights include:

Motivational speaker Mary Lou Retton, the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics, will discuss how sacrifice, hard work and perseverance are all necessary ingredients for success.

RISMedia’s Power Broker Roundtable will feature top brokers from across the nation discussing their strategies for recruiting and retention, as well as advice for building culture, led by RISMedia President and CEO John Featherston.

A presentation from your peers, highlighting the impact of advocacy at the federal, state and local level.

Discussion of key economic trends from NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

Update on independent contractor classification and how it impacts brokerages of all sizes from NAR General Counsel Katherine Johnson.

Thought-provoking panel on how the Internet is shaping consumer expectations, game-changing technologies and offices of the future.

The REALTOR® Broker Summit will be held at the Denver Marriott City Center in downtown Denver. Registration is open for $179 and will be capped at 600 attendees, so register now. For additional information, visit REALTOR.org/brokersummit.

Other Resources for Brokers

In addition to the REALTOR® Broker Summit, NAR offers many other business-building resources specially designed for brokers, including:

Emailed Newsletters—Among the many free monthly e-newsletters offered by NAR is REALTOR® Magazine’s monthly business tips newsletter. NAR members who are listed as the “Designated REALTOR®” in the National REALTORS® Database System (NRDS) receive a special version featuring broker-focused content. Call NAR’s Information Central at 1-800-874-6500 to see if you are the Designated REALTOR®.

Broker Audience Page at REALTOR.org—Find the latest news, resources and information of interest to brokers at REALTOR.org/brokers.

Broker Involvement Program—While you’re exploring various NAR resources for brokers, be sure to join other broker/owners in rallying agents on critical legislative issues affecting the real estate industry and presenting a united REALTOR® voice to members of Congress. To join the Broker Involvement Program, go to RealtorActionCenter.com and select the “For REALTORS®” tab.

2016 REALTOR® Broker Summit
Denver Marriott City Center • When: June 9 – 10
Registration ($179): REALTOR.org/brokersummit

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