Today's Headlines - Realty Times

NAR forecasts 4.26 million existing-home sales, and the median price will increase to a record annual high of $405,300 in 2024

Pending home sales in May slipped 2.1%, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The Midwest and South posted monthly losses in transactions while the Northeast and West recorded gains. Year-over-year, all U.S. regions registered reductions.
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* – a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings – decreased to 70.8 in May. Year over year, pending transactions were down 6.6%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.
“The market is at an interesting point with rising inventory and lower demand,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Supply and demand movements suggest easing home price appreciation in upcoming months. Inevitably, more inventory in a job-creating economy will lead to greater home buying, especially when mortgage rates descend.”
U.S. Economic Forecast
NAR predicts mortgage rates will remain above 6% in 2024 and 2025, even with the Federal Reserve cuts to the Fed Funds rate.
The association forecasts that existing-home sales will rise to 4.26 million in 2024 (from 4.09 million 2023) and to 4.92 million in 2025 (from 2024). Housing starts are expected to rise to 1.382 million in 2024 (from 1.413 million in 2023) and to 1.492 million in 2025 (from 2024).
NAR anticipates the median existing-home price will increase to a record annual high of $405,300 in 2024 (from $389,800 in 2023) and to $412,000 in 2025 (from 2024). NAR forecasts increases in the median new home price to $434,100 in 2024 (from $428,600 in 2023) and $441,200 in 2025 (from 2024).
“The first half of the year did not meet expectations regarding home sales but exceeded expectations related to home prices,” explained Yun. “In the second half of 2024, look for moderately lower mortgage rates, higher home sales and stabilizing home prices.”
Pending Home Sales Regional Breakdown
The Northeast PHSI ascended 1.1% from last month to 63.6, a decline of 2.3% from May 2023. The Midwest index dropped 0.4% to 70.4 in May, down 5.6% from one year ago.
The South PHSI lowered 5.5% to 83.7 in May, falling 10.4% from the prior year. The West index increased 1.4% in May to 56.7, down 2.1% from May 2023.
About the National Association of Realtors®
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The term Realtor® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

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*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.
Pending contracts are good early indicators of upcoming sales closings. However, the amount of time between pending contracts and completed sales is not identical for all home sales. Variations in the length of the process from pending contract to closed sale can be caused by issues such as buyer difficulties with obtaining mortgage financing, home inspection problems, or appraisal issues.
The index is based on a sample that covers about 40% of multiple listing service data each month. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.
An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.
                                                       
NOTE: Existing-Home Sales for June will be released July 23. The next Pending Home Sales Index will be released June 31. All release times are 10 a.m. Eastern. View the NAR Statistical News Release Schedule.

Posted On Sunday, 30 June 2024 09:11 Written by

A huge buzzword in today’s digital age is “AI” or “artificial intelligence.”

AI excites some people and strikes fear in others. Yet whatever your position, this Hard Trend is undeniable and will shape the future of your business or organization in some way.

Applications like ChatGPT, deep data algorithms, and others are changing the face of work and how we approach business practices at an unprecedented speed. So, what does that mean for the roles we have at work? Better yet, how do employers acquire talent with the skills necessary to keep operations progressing into the future? And finally, how do employees adapt when many of the tasks they are used to completing are being transformed by AI?

AI Is Moving Fast

Organizations and employees alike find comfort in their tried-and-true operations, but the business world is never constant — change is the only constant. According to a recent report completed by Goldman Sachs, 60% of the jobs available today did not exist in the 1940s. With the accelerated rate at which AI is transforming our current roles, today’s positions will be exponentially different in the next 5, 10, 15, and 20 years.

We do not have the luxury of sitting back and becoming complacent in our current roles, no matter what level they are at. Instead, we need to take an Anticipatory approach to work, looking at the future of AI technology in the workplace and proactively promoting the education of our workforce to develop essential skills.

Do Not Let AI Lead You — Be the Leader

Because AI is progressing at such an exponential rate and will continue to do so, many organizations are still finding it difficult to obtain as well as retain top talent. Likewise, workers are finding it difficult to assimilate to their new roles in a technology-driven workforce.

Adaptation to AI is certainly on everyone’s mind; however, there is a slight problem with the concept of adaptation. It is a complacent and reactive approach to this digital disruption, and it will continue to be. Essentially, using agility to face AI will continue to put you in a place of professional anxiety.

With the uptick in AI applications, many companies have allowed AI to come to them. As a result, they wind up disrupted and feel that AI is at fault. Let me be frank: AI applications are not sentient beings. They merely exist, and it is up to people to decide whether to put them into action.

It is up to you to apply AI within your business or organization. But applying it is only half the battle. There is the human factor of the equation, where your employees are affected by those AI applications. What ends up happening is business leaders either replace employees with those who have the technical skills necessary to work with AI or they force their current employees to learn these skills at unrealistic speeds.

But in reality, no matter the option you select, you are already behind at this point.

High-Level Skills and Technical Knowledge Is a Powerful Combination

Implementing AI applications in Anticipatory ways is definitely part of the equation, but as a leader, you are dealing with humans at your organization. Humans need to be taught how to work with these AI applications.

Teaching the essential skills at the heart of AI encompasses more than just technical know-how of coding languages, data sets, and machine learning principles. These are valuable skills, but employers need to teach how to leverage the higher levels of cognitive domain that human beings bring to the table.

In 1954, psychologist Benjamin Bloom developed a taxonomy of six levels to the cognitive domain. These are:

•  Knowledge
•  Comprehension
•  Application
•  Analysis
•  Synthesis
•  Evaluation

Knowledge and comprehension are the lower levels, while application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation are higher. By creating a space for employees to foster these higher levels, you not only encourage them to develop confidence in their use of these new skills, but employees will also have the advantage of examining data and filtering the most crucial information in a way that AI cannot. 

Bringing It All Together

Creative problem solving, decision making, and the ability to communicate effectively are key skills that AI cannot touch. A mastery of these skills gives you, your team, and your business or organization the competitive advantage in your industry!

As you can see, an Anticipatory approach to AI in your industry and others is not just about working AI into your system. Human employees will always be a valuable asset to any business or organization, but much like AI applications, they too need to evolve and “upgrade,” if you will.

Combine these high-level skills with modernized knowledge in your training, make it interactive, and give current employees downtime to explore and learn these competencies fully. How you mesh teaching critical thinking skills with learning new technology is the way of the future.

To learn more about how you can take advantage of AI and accelerated digital transformation while retaining high-value employees, join my Anticipatory Leader Membership. I dive deep into training about the future of AI and teach you how to use Hard Trend future certainties to turn disruption and change into opportunity and advantage!

Posted On Tuesday, 02 July 2024 00:00 Written by

Preparation and planning are important ingredients in a successful mortgage practice. Far too many in our industry live their entire careers in a reactive mode, and the stress and pain of always being behind the curve causes far more failure than it should. Right now, we are seeing the results across the country of those companies, branches, managers, team leaders, and originators who have failed to plan, prepare, and schedule themselves for success, and are now seeing that failure hitting their pipelines.

We have all heard the words that those who fail to plan, plan to fail; or those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it, but so many in our industry have ignored these famous quotes and are not prepared to succeed in the wave of activity that is out there or should be out there IF planning and preparation had taken place. I know this because there are people in the mortgage industry who are thriving because they were prepared!

I have stressed the importance of being aware. I point out things that may impact the markets and where the opportunities are being found by real people who are originating loans. The ability to overcome objections and deal with false narratives turns frustrations into opportunities. That said, you need to be prepared and aware of what those objections are, and why they are being presented. Each market can be different, but the reasons for success are in plain sight!

National news has an impact for sure, unemployment data and inflation information can certainly impact rates, and without knowing what is happening and why, you could be unaware or fail to share the big picture. Last week we saw how the price of gold versus the cost of homes and cars challenged the perception that homes are too expensive. We also have been hearing that “nobody” is going to get rid of a 3% mortgage to buy another house. If that is so, why are so many people doing it, not to mention the number of refinances taking place? 

Today we have unemployment numbers and GDP numbers, on Friday we will see PCE data. All of these numbers may impact the market. Also, next week is 4th of July holiday; do you have all your EV’s done for next week’s closings; are your PA clients going shopping? Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 01 July 2024 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 27 June 2024 11:47
Posted On Thursday, 27 June 2024 11:23
Posted On Thursday, 27 June 2024 10:41

-- Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.86 percent.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continues to trend down, hitting the lowest level in almost three months,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “By historical standards, the economy is in good shape, and we expect rates to continue to come down over the summer months, bringing additional homebuyers back into the market.”

News Facts

  • The 30-year FRM averaged 6.86 percent as of June 27, 2024, down from last week when it averaged 6.87 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.71 percent.
  • The 15-year FRM averaged 6.16 percent, up from last week when it averaged 6.13 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 6.06 percent.

The PMMS® is focused on conventional, conforming, fully amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20 percent down and have excellent credit. For more information, view our Frequently Asked Questions.

Freddie Mac’s mission is to make home possible for families across the nation. We promote liquidity, stability, affordability and equity in the housing market throughout all economic cycles. Since 1970, we have helped tens of millions of families buy, rent or keep their home. Learn More: Website

Posted On Thursday, 27 June 2024 09:49 Written by
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