The town-and-country lifestyle is often depicted as simple, idyllic and inexpensive compared to big-city living — especially when it comes to housing costs. But is this accurate?

To look at how costly buying a house in a town can get, LendingTree analyzed housing data to find the 50 U.S. micropolitan areas — which we refer to in this study as “towns” — with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 that had the most expensive median home values. Many towns across the country are chock-full of expensive real estate, with home values that rival — and, in some cases, exceed — those found in major metropolitan areas.

In raw dollars, Vineyard Haven, Mass., Jackson, Wyo., and Breckenridge, Colo., are the towns with the most expensive real estate in the U.S. The median home values in these towns are $857,600, $670,100 and $641,900, respectively. 

Relative to income, homes in Vineyard Haven, Jackson and Hailey, Idaho, are the most expensive. In these areas, median home values are an average of 8.57 times higher than the median area household incomes.

Of the towns in our study, homes are the least expensive relative to income in Evanston, Wyo., Los Alamos, N.M., and Rock Springs, Wyo. The median home value in these areas is an average of 2.72 times higher than the median area household income

You can check out our full report here:

LendingTree's Senior Economist and report author, Jacob Channel, had this to say:

"Unfortunately, high housing costs can be very difficult for many small town residents to deal with. This is especially true in areas that are popular vacation destinations - like most of the towns that populate the higher end of our study’s ranking - where buyers who earn their money elsewhere and only live in a town part time can afford to outspend an area’s full-time residents.” 

Posted On Wednesday, 27 September 2023 06:37 Written by

Nearly four of every five (78%) respondents to a recent housing survey support policies that promote building more housing, according to a new report from Redfin (, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. But just one-third (32%) of the respondents who are pro-building would feel positive about an apartment complex built in their neighborhood, and 20% of them would feel negative about it. Nearly half (48%) would feel neutral.

Broken down by homeowners versus renters, 74% of owners support policies that promote building more housing, compared with 80% of renters. One-quarter (25%) of owners would feel positive about a new apartment complex built in their neighborhood, about on par with 28% of renters. Two in five (40%) owners would feel negative about a new apartment complex built in their neighborhood, and 35% would feel neutral. That’s compared with about one-quarter (24%) of renters feeling negative about the prospect of a new apartment complex nearby, and nearly half (49%) who would feel neutral.

This is according to a Redfin-commissioned survey conducted by Qualtrics in May and June 2023. The survey was fielded to 5,079 U.S. residents who either moved in the last year, plan to move in the next year, or rent their home. This report focuses mainly on the 3,949 respondents (78% of the total) who indicated they are “for” policies that promote building more housing.

The U.S. had an estimated housing shortfall of 3.8 million units as of 2021, and both buying and renting a home is more expensive in 2023 than it’s ever been. Prices continue to rise even in the midst of elevated mortgage rates and low demand because there aren’t enough homes for sale. Building more housing would narrow the gap between supply and demand, and help make housing more affordable. Policies that promote building include loosening zoning restrictions, allowing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and enacting tax incentives that would encourage developers to build.

“Personal preferences for things like a quiet neighborhood or old-fashioned charm are often at odds with building new housing,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Even though so many Americans believe in building new dense housing in theory, that ideology isn’t strong enough to outweigh their own desires–especially when they don’t stand to directly benefit from the building. That’s why it’s so difficult to overcome community opposition to dense new housing, even during a time when so many Americans believe in the Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) movement.”

Most Democrats and Republicans are pro-building–but not necessarily in their neighborhood

Broken down by political affiliation, the majority of both Democrats and Republicans support policies that promote building more housing. But a minority of both Democrats and Republicans would feel positive about a new apartment complex built in their neighborhood.

More than eight of every 10 (83%) of respondents who identify as Democrats are pro-building, compared with three-quarters (75%) of respondents who identify as Republicans.

Roughly one-third (34%) of Democrats would feel positive about a large new apartment complex to be built in their neighborhood, compared with 24% of Republicans. Just under one-quarter (23%) of Democrats would feel negative about a large complex built in their neighborhood, versus 37% of Republicans. Roughly two in five Democrats (43%) and Republicans (40%) would feel neutral.

While Republicans are more likely than Democrats to be against a large new complex in their neighborhood, the South–which is made up largely of Republican-leaning states–is building far more homes than other parts of the country. States in the South issued 576,000 single-family building permits in August, more than twice as many as any other region and up 10% year over year. That’s compared to 4% increases in the West and Midwest and a 5% decline in the Northeast.

“There are YIMBYs and NIMBYs on both sides of the aisle,” Fairweather said. “That’s part of the reason it’s so difficult to push through policies that promote dense housing. But all types of building ultimately help with housing supply and affordability, even building more single-family homes. The more homes that exist, the more likely it is a person can find one to fit their needs and their budget. So even though Republicans are more likely to oppose dense housing, the South is doing more than other regions to create more housing and help with affordability. Looking forward, governments in some red and blue states are prioritizing affordable housing. In Montana, for instance, a wave of bipartisan legislation to reform zoning is making its way through the government, and California lawmakers have eliminated barriers to building ADUs.”

Democrats are nearly twice as likely as Republicans to feel more positive if the apartment complex being built in their neighborhood was for low-income residents. About one-third (34%) of Democrats say they would feel more positive if that were the case, compared to 19% of Republicans. About half of both groups would feel neutral.

To view the full report, including charts and more details on the survey, please visit:

Posted On Sunday, 24 September 2023 06:45 Written by

We live in an amazingly uncertain world, but that uncertainty is brimming with certainty!

I know this may seem contradictory, but it is true, and worth the exploration. Yes, we do live in constant uncertainty. What will happen with certain businesses or industries if the economy shifts, if technology disrupts, or if a new product or service falls flat? There is no doubt that uncertainty breeds fear, anxiety, and even a type of mental agility that treads water until you feel all is clear.

But buried in these uncertainties are trends and data all around us that give us rather obvious information on what is to come if you know how to look for it! We may not know for sure how AI ChatBots like ChatGPT will be used in the future, but we do know that their use will only increase exponentially in both the business world and our personal lives!

This is a Hard Trend, whereas the “how” is a Soft Trend. My Hard Trend Methodology has helped many both navigate and anticipate the future, so they can innovate in a low-risk environment. Especially in business, separating future certainties from future possibilities and learning to leverage both are vital in giving us a competitive advantage, in arming ourselves to avoid disruption, and finding the opportunities in that disruption.

Using Consumer Behavior to Help Future Consumers

One powerful way that Hard Trends in disruptive digital technology help businesses stay ahead of the curve is by using new technology to meet customer preferences and needs. Truth be told, if we don’t, they will ultimately be met with someone who does.

The exponential evolution of technology, especially the dawning of breakthrough AI software, is a Hard Trend that has already begun to discern customer wants, needs, issues, and behaviors. Customers’ increasing needs for more digitized and personalized experiences are also Hard Trends. Neither of these will slow down, or somehow go in reverse, because technology itself continues to accelerate.

Because you cannot avoid these Hard Trend future certainties, you must learn to leverage them to your advantage, which in turn will keep you in tune with customer needs as a business leader. In the way of meeting customer needs by leveraging disruptive digital technology, you inadvertently position your organization to capture the interest of new customers as well!

How can you find the opportunity that disruptive advances in AI technology and other transformations bring? How can you be the disruptor instead of the disrupted, implementing technology as a tool to better the customer experience and produce the results they are looking for?

Don’t Confuse Complacency with Stability! 

Everyone needs a reminder every now and again that complacency is a company killer.

Failing to adapt to transformative technology and using it to your advantage is not always about what specific products you offer customers. It is a combination of that and understanding their behaviors to help stay up to speed with them and their evolving needs.

It may hurt to hear this, but what works for you now will not work for you in the same fashion in one year, let alone several. Technology is always changing, and, as a result, people change. But new technologies play major roles in the merger of individuals’ needs and technology that helps determine what they are.

You are very much a part of those paradigm shifts, but as a business leader, you have the power play. You can determine customer needs with ease by implementing said transformative technologies and better serving those customers while also drawing in new ones.

Ignoring Change Does Not Make It Go Away

Dell is an example of a company that not only missed the mark on adapting to technology that consumers wanted, but also in forecasting where their needs were headed.

Back in its heyday, Dell was an innovative leader in the sale of computers. When most tech companies were still selling in physical stores, Dell identified that the internet was on the rise as a Hard Trend future certainty. As such, their sales skyrocketed when they implemented eCommerce platforms to sell their computers while their competitors tried desperately to keep up with brick-and-mortar stores.

But after their whirlwind success for years regarding their customer service, Dell got complacent with its products. The miniaturization of devices started along with the exponential acceleration of connectivity, bringing smartphones and mobile devices to prominence. Dell stuck to its guns, assuming customers would always need a desktop computer, but as customer needs shifted faster than ever before, it quickly fell by the wayside.

Regardless of the circumstances, if organizations opt to stick with their traditional methods instead of proactively recognizing future prospects, they’ve essentially decided to welcome disruption. Dell failed to stay vigilant in spotting an unmistakable Hard Trend in the rapidly evolving technology landscape that was significantly influencing consumer preferences and demands.

Disruption as a Choice

I don’t like to leave my readers with a sense of doom and gloom lingering in their chests. Disruption in any capacity is always possible, and as mentioned earlier, a feeling of uncertainty will always be around.

However, certainty is deeply evident in everything that is uncertain about your industry and the world, and this makes being disrupted a choice.

The unfortunate reality is that not many see it this way when their businesses fail, or their customers choose the competition instead. Many see others’ progress as something they could have done, but hindsight does not breed successful and significant innovation.

In order for you to avoid becoming complacent, you must constantly be absorbing Hard Trend future certainties, understanding the difference between Hard Trends and Soft Trends, and then influencing those Soft Trends. This is especially true with regard to meeting customer needs.

You should expect customer needs to continue on the transformative path they have been on, and moreover, accelerate even more. While some companies may look at the likes of AI, generative AI like ChatGPT, Edge Computing, and other breakthroughs that can help you anticipate consumer needs effectively as fads, trust me when I say that they are not!

Business leaders need to ask themselves three questions right now: 

  • How will disruptive technology such as AI affect the landscape of our industry? 
  • What customer needs are currently not being met that can be met by implementing AI and other transformative technologies? 
  • Where are customer expectations headed, and how can we use accelerating technology to meet those expectations?

Once you understand how technology is evolving, and what impact it has on consumer behavior, you can effectively make strategic decisions, innovate in low-risk ways, and take control of your future!

Posted On Tuesday, 26 September 2023 00:00 Written by

The Federal Reserve Board meeting is over and there was good news and bad news. The good news is that they didn’t raise rates and held them where they were as expected. The bad news, well, there was more than just a little bad news, is the comments weren’t as encouraging as many had hoped, and the Fed “Dot Plot Chart” shows that they believe the Fed Funds Rate will stay above 5% for the rest of this year, possibly another hike this year, and the bad news doesn’t end there. The projections for 2024 rates are surprising. While 9 felt the Fed Funds Rate would fall below 5%, with the low projected at 4.25%; 10 members still have the Fed Funds Rate above 5% with even one projecting a rate that is past 6%!

I don’t believe you need to panic, the Dot Plot Chart has pretty much been a useless exercise, if you just look back at past projects, you would be safe to say that it isn’t a good piece of data to make any wagers on! The issues are, people and markets read it, social media folks will hype it, and sadly, some will make some poor choices because of it. But the markets have to deal with it, and so do you and me!

I still believe the Fed has over tightened. The fact that they are even considering another hike before the end of the year is very disappointing. The key for us is to share the news and share that it doesn’t appear that mortgage rates will be heading lower until the Federal Reserve Board starts looking at real time data and acting on actual information instead of seasonal adjustments and algorithms. 

 Remember when I said that those who didn’t act when rates moved out of the 3% range because rates were going to go lower? What about those at 4% or 5%? Do we even talk about 6% and 7%? Remember the bumper stickers with the patches I shared? Many of you laughed back then. Maybe those rates were better than we thought?

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 25 September 2023 00:00 Written by

Existing-home sales moved lower in August, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Among the four major U.S. regions, sales improved in the Midwest, were unchanged in the Northeast, and slipped in the South and West. All four regions recorded year-over-year sales declines.

Total existing-home sales[i] – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – slid 0.7% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.04 million in August. Year-over-year, sales fell 15.3% (down from 4.77 million in August 2022).

“Home sales have been stable for several months, neither rising nor falling in any meaningful way,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Mortgage rate changes will have a big impact over the short run, while job gains will have a steady, positive impact over the long run. The South had a lighter decline in sales from a year ago due to greater regional job growth since coming out of the pandemic lockdown.”

Total housing inventory[ii] registered at the end of August was 1.1 million units, down 0.9% from July and 14.1% from one year ago (1.28 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace, identical to July and up from 3.2 months in August 2022.

The median existing-home price[iii] for all housing types in August was $407,100, an increase of 3.9% from August 2022 ($391,700). All four U.S. regions posted price increases.

“Home prices continue to march higher despite lower home sales,” Yun said. “Supply needs to essentially double to moderate home price gains.”

REALTORS® Confidence Index

According to the REALTORS® Confidence Index, properties typically remained on the market for 20 days in August, unchanged from July and up from 16 days in August 2022. Seventy-two percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers were responsible for 29% of sales in August, down from 30% in July and identical to August 2022. NAR’s 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in November 2022[iv] – found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest since NAR began tracking the data.

All-cash sales accounted for 27% of transactions in August, up from 26% in July and 24% in August 2022.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 16% of homes in August, the same share as in July and one year ago.

Distressed sales[v] – foreclosures and short sales – represented 1% of sales in August, unchanged from last month and the previous year.

Mortgage Rates

According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.18% as of September 14. That’s up from 7.12% the prior week and 6.02% one year ago.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales waned to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.60 million in August, down 1.4% from 3.65 million in July and 15.3% from the previous year. The median existing single-family home price was $413,500 in August, up 3.7% from August 2022.

Existing condominium and co-op sales recorded a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units in August, up 4.8% from July but down 15.4% from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $354,600 in August, up 6.2% from the prior year ($333,900).

Regional Breakdown

At an annual rate of 480,000 in August, existing-home sales in the Northeast were unchanged from July but down 22.6% from August 2022. The median price in the Northeast was $465,700, up 5.8% from one year ago.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales increased by 1.0% from the previous month to an annual rate of 970,000 in August, down 16.4% from the prior year. The median price in the Midwest was $305,300, up 6.8% from August 2022.

Existing-home sales in the South faded 1.1% from July to an annual rate of 1.84 million in August, a decrease of 12.4% from one year ago. The median price in the South was $366,100, up 3.2% from August 2022.

In the West, existing-home sales slumped 2.6% from the previous month to an annual rate of 750,000 in August, down 15.7% from the prior year. The median price in the West was $609,300, up 1.0% from August 2022.


[i] Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR benchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90% of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40% of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

              The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

              Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

[ii] Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90% of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

[iii] The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

[iv] Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. The annual study only represents primary residence purchases, and does not include investor and vacation home buyers. Results include both new and existing homes.

[v] Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at

Posted On Friday, 22 September 2023 09:03 Written by

Today, we are in an era of drastic technological transformation. With the increasing use of digital technologies that include everything from 3D printing to various applications of extended reality, how we do business is constantly and dramatically transforming in ways that we have not seen since the industrial revolution!

While company leaders have long been questioning how to navigate this quickly changing landscape, Anticipatory Leaders are one step ahead, leveraging the ever-evolving digital landscape in front of us. In doing so, they are integrating artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), edge computing as it relates to data processing, and so much more.

As a business leader, it’s imperative to grasp that the ongoing technological revolution reshaping the business landscape is an indisputable future certainty—a Hard Trend that’s here to stay. While numerous technological innovations have already initiated substantial shifts in a wide array of business operations, some leaders and managers who prioritize adaptability over forward planning might entertain the notion of a forthcoming pause—a plateau where they can recalibrate and bridge any gaps. However, such a hiatus does not exist, nor will it ever materialize. The trajectory of technological evolution is constant and unceasing.

How we conduct business is changing right now and will only continue to do so with increasing velocity, so the key is to not only embrace the technological disruption, but to anticipate it and find a way to get your team excited about it! The second part of that should be easy, given the opportunities that are bountiful within the disruption itself.

Before all else, you need to transition into a role as an Anticipatory Leader to see where technology is headed in order to find the opportunity for your business. 

3 Hard Trends Transforming Technology and Business

Recently, there have been some specific technology sectors that are proving to be the most disruptive yet equally as beneficial for businesses and organizations that are leveraging them. These have been extensively explored in past blog posts I have written, but there are so many new applications for them that they are worth re-exploring.

  • Datafication 

Datafication involves leveraging data gathered from our daily activities to facilitate the creation of novel products or services, as well as the enhancement of existing ones. Our actions continually generate data across a spectrum of endeavors, ranging from the music we stream on platforms like Spotify to our interactions with digitally sophisticated vehicles during travel. In this context, edge computing stands out as a technological stride that enables data processing to occur in immediate proximity to its origin, presenting a substantial advantage. As 5G networks proliferate and data processing mechanisms streamline, the viability of such edge computing approaches is poised to amplify significantly.

While we are familiar with specific websites and smartphone apps that adeptly utilize your browsing history to facilitate ongoing purchases or engagement, like Amazon or Google, an even deeper evolution of customer service within organizations has been orchestrated by Vail Systems, Inc. This company employs basic data analytics extracted from customer phone calls to refine and enhance automated customer service systems. This innovative approach eliminates the need for painstakingly enunciating your responses when seeking assistance, heralding a more streamlined and efficient customer support experience.

  • Extended Reality

Extended reality may sound like an addition to mixed reality (MR), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR), but really, it is simply the umbrella term referring to any type of digital landscape or integration of digital assets into the physical world. Gaming and entertainment have certainly exploded in the past by incorporating MR, VR, and AR; however, I constantly find myself informing business leaders and executives of the many exponential ways these software applications can be utilized in their various industries.

The concept of any extended reality application is to create an immersive experience that brings the human sensory experience into the digital world on some level. But how can something like AR be used in something tactile like the beauty and cosmetics world — a sector said to be worth nearly half a trillion dollars by some? My Dior answered this inquiry with its smartphone app that projected lipstick colors on its users’ lips, allowing them to sample without ever hitting the “Buy” button!

  • 3D Printing

Another Hard Trend that has long been revolutionizing the business world is the rise of 3D printing, also referred to as additive manufacturing. Using a machine to produce three-dimensional objects off of a two-dimensional blueprint, 3D printing provides easy part customization options, quicker turn-around times, the ability to produce products on demand (minimizing having to ship products from overseas), and ultimately results in reduced manufacturing costs and a far more sustainable industry as a whole.

Auto manufacturers have slowly taken to 3D printed parts for many integral components of their vehicles, with Volkswagen being a notable leader. They not only produce parts for new vehicles, but they also have been known to 3D print tools and replacement parts for classic cars that are not in production any longer. When looking at the big picture, this can help preserve automobiles and ultimately cut down on large-scale litter of disregarded clunkers.

Find the Opportunity and Make It Your Own

Now that we have identified that the increasing use of datafication, extended reality, and 3D printing are fully predictable Hard Trend future certainties, the second step is to implement your own Anticipatory mindset in discovering exactly where these trends are headed for your industry and to find the opportunity they present to you and your team.

Unfortunately, many business leaders are afraid of where technology is headed, but it is my goal to ease this stress with the power of critical, exponential thinking and the many Anticipatory principles at your full disposal. I do not want you to fall behind the curve; I want you to be the disruptor instead of the disrupted!

What I hope this blog post has illustrated to you and your team is that keeping your opportunity antennae up is not only about looking at the digital disruptions themselves, but also being on the lookout for what other industries are doing with various technologies and how you might be able to adapt that to your industry. You may not be in the data processing, cosmetics, or auto industry, but there are indisputable ways that those same technologies can be critically leveraged to produce exceptional results for new products, services, or processes.

Also, it is time to do a deep dive into your current products, services, or processes themselves and see how today’s new technologies can help you redefine things — redefine your customer base, redefine your production methods, redefine your internal operations, and redefine your company overall. New is not always the answer, as sometimes you can simply rehash what already exists in profound ways.

Posted On Tuesday, 19 September 2023 00:00 Written by

Reporting back from the street has been very positive when it comes to the reaction from accountants to the calls about tax extensions. These conversations have caused some meetings and a few immediate referrals, and we are just a week removed from the plan. It is very interesting to see how a simple phone call and a brief conversation can change the perspective of other professionals. Most accountants don’t have much use for mortgage professionals until they come across mortgage professionals who understands their business and provides an important value added to them and their clients.

I am also seeing continued results from the back-to-school conversations as the final wave of kids head back to school. I actually think this year has been the strongest in the past three or four years when it comes to seeing these conversations turn into opportunities. Between functional obsolescence conversations and the awareness of the monthly cost of getting what people want and need has really taken this talk to a whole new level. Being able to frame the conversation around total monthly payments and not simply arguing rates has proven productive and profitable!

Oil prices will become an issue with inflation if the Fed chooses to make it an issue. The Fed meeting coming up next week is likely not going to move rates all that much, even if they leave rates unchanged as expected, it will be more about the tone of their remarks and if they signal a “pause” or “the peak” of the tightening cycle. We will have to see the details and let the markets react. We are in a very strange cycle now and it’s impossible to get a clear long-term picture at the moment, but doing nothing at this meeting will certainly be a good step into the future! 

As always, if you have questions or comments, it’s This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 18 September 2023 00:00 Written by

Some homebuyers got cold feet as mortgage rates hit the highest level in over two decades and prices continued to rise, but buyer demand and new listings have stabilized following months of declines

Residential real estate deals are falling through at the highest rate in almost a year as high mortgage rates give homebuyers sticker shock, according to a new report from Redfin (, the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

Nationwide, nearly 60,000 home-purchase agreements were canceled in August, equal to 15.7% of homes that went under contract that month. That’s up from 14.3% a year earlier and marks the highest percentage since October 2022, when mortgage rates surpassed 7% for the first time in two decades.

The average interest rate on a 30-year-fixed mortgage was 7.07% in August. At one point last month, it hit 7.23%—the highest since 2001—sending the typical homebuyer’s monthly payment up significantly from last year.

“I’ve seen more homebuyers cancel deals in the last six months than I’ve seen at any point during my 24 years of working in real estate. They’re getting cold feet,” said Jaime Moore, a Redfin Premier real estate agent in Reno, NV. “Buyers get sticker shock when they see their high rate on paper alongside extra expenses for maintenance, repairs and closing costs. Many of them would rather back out, even if it means losing their earnest money. A lot of sellers are also willing to let buyers slip away because they don’t want to concede to repair requests.”

Home Prices Post Biggest Increase in Almost a Year

The median U.S. home sale price rose 3% year over year to $420,846 in August, the largest annual increase since October 2022, and was little changed (-0.2%) from a month earlier. It was 2.8% below the May 2022 record high of $432,780.

Activity in the housing market is sluggish due to rising mortgage rates, but prices remain high because the buyers who are out there are competing for a limited number of homes.

“Home prices will likely remain elevated for the foreseeable future,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao. “The Federal Reserve still has more work to do in its battle against inflation, which means mortgage rates are unlikely to come down anytime soon. As long as rates remain high, homeowners will be reluctant to sell. And that lack of homes for sale will keep prices high because it means buyers are duking it out for a limited supply of houses.”

Home prices also posted a year-over-year gain in August due to the “base effect” from a year earlier; in August 2022, prices had recently started descending from their record high, which is contributing to the size of year-over-year increases we’re seeing now.

Buyer Demand Is Below Pre-Pandemic Levels, But No Longer in Freefall

Pending sales declined 0.6% from a month earlier in August on a seasonally-adjusted basis, and fell 18.1% year over year. While they’re no longer falling as rapidly as they were earlier in 2023, pending sales remain below pre-pandemic levels. They’ve been hovering below 400,000 since the end of last year, compared with nearly 500,000 just before the pandemic.

Pending sales have stabilized as the initial shock of elevated mortgage rates has moved further into the rearview mirror, but high housing costs are still keeping many buyers on the sidelines.

New Listings Tick Up Slightly, But Overall Housing Supply Remains at Record Low

New listings rose 0.8% from a month earlier in August—the second small uptick on a seasonally adjusted basis following nearly a year’s worth of declines—and were down 14.4% year over year.

“New listings have likely bottomed out,” Zhao said. “Most of the homeowners who feel handcuffed by high rates have already made the decision not to sell. That means many of today’s sellers are putting their homes on the market because they have to, in some cases due to divorce, family emergencies or return-to-office policies.”

Still, the total number of homes for sale hit a record low in August, falling 1.1% month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis and 20.8% year over year—the largest annual decline since June 2021.

Housing supply is at an all-time low because homeowners feel locked in to their low mortgage rates; for many, selling their home and buying a new one would mean taking on a much higher monthly payment.

August 2023 Highlights: United States


August 2023

Month-Over-Month Change

Year-Over-Year Change

Median sale price




Pending sales, seasonally adjusted




Homes sold, seasonally adjusted




New listings, seasonally adjusted




All homes for sale, seasonally adjusted (active listings)




Months of supply




Median days on market




Share of for-sale homes with a price drop


2.2 ppts

-1.7 ppts

Share of homes sold above final list price


-2.0 ppts

-1.5 ppts

Average sale-to-final-list-price ratio


-0.2 ppts

0.0 ppts

Pending sales that fell out of contract, as % of overall pending sales


0.5 ppts

1.4 ppts

Average 30-year fixed mortgage rate


0.23 ppts

1.85 ppts

Metro-Level Highlights: August 2023

  • Pending sales: In Boise, ID, pending sales fell 70.5% year over year, more than any other metro Redfin analyzed. Next came Hartford, CT (-57.3%) and New Haven, CT (-55.8%). Only two metros saw increases: Rochester, NY (0.9%) and McAllen, TX (0.5%). The smallest decline was in Detroit (-1.8%).
  • Closed sales: In Bridgeport, CT, closed home sales dropped 25.9% year over year, more than any other metro Redfin analyzed. Next came Stockton, CA (-25.8%) and Tacoma, WA (-25.7%). Closed sales rose in just one metro—Las Vegas (1.4%)—and fell least in North Port, FL (-0.1%) and Phoenix (-2.9%).
  • Prices: Median sale prices rose most from a year earlier in Newark, NJ (16.7%), Miami (14.6%) and Rochester (14.3%). They fell in 15 metros, with the steepest declines in Austin, TX (-7%), Boise (-5.8%) and Fort Worth, TX (-2.7%).
  • Listings: New listings fell most from a year earlier in Hartford (-46.7%), Allentown, PA (-46.6%) and New Haven (-38.8%). They rose in five metros, with the biggest increases in North Port (6%), McAllen (2.4%) and Albany, NY (2.2%).
  • Supply: Active listings fell most from a year earlier in Boise (-45.5%), Allentown (-45.4%) and Bridgeport (-45.1%). They climbed in six metros, with the biggest jumps in New Orleans (28.8%), McAllen (25.9%) and North Port (13.7%).
  • Competition: In Rochester, 77.1% of homes sold above their final list price, the highest share among the metros Redfin analyzed. Next came Hartford (71.9%) and Buffalo, NY (69.6%). The shares were lowest in North Port (7.7%), Cape Coral, FL (10.6%) and West Palm Beach, FL (13%).
  • Speed: The fastest market was Grand Rapids, MI, where the typical home went under contract in seven days. Next came Cincinnati (8) and Seattle (8). The slowest markets were New Orleans (61), Honolulu (60) and West Palm Beach (60).

To view the full report, including charts, please visit:

Posted On Friday, 15 September 2023 06:26 Written by

According to Realtors® and Prospective Home Buyers Across Races and Ethnicities.

The current real estate market’s high home prices and mortgage rates, as well as limited inventory, are the top reasons that Realtors® and prospective home buyers across races and ethnicities cite as barriers to purchasing a home, according to two new reports from the National Association of Realtors®.

In partnership with Morning Consult, NAR’s 2023 Experiences & Barriers of Prospective Home Buyers Across Races/Ethnicities report surveyed White, Hispanic/Latino(a), Black and Asian prospective home buyers about their experiences. NAR’s 2023 Experiences & Barriers of Prospective Home Buyers: Member Study surveyed Realtors® who focus on residential real estate regarding the latest buyer with whom they worked who has not yet purchased a home, and it compares findings with the consumer study.

“Home buyers face the most difficult affordability conditions in nearly 40 years due to limited inventory and rising mortgage interest rates,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR’s deputy chief economist and vice president of research. “The impact is exacerbated among first-time buyers who are more likely to be from underrepresented segments of the population.”

Among prospective home buyers, Asian (27%), Hispanic (24%), Black (20%) and White (15%) respondents say the main reason they have not yet bought a home is because they are waiting for prices to drop. White respondents (15%) are just as likely to say it is because they are waiting for mortgage rates to drop. Additional market-related reasons that prospective home buyers cite as barriers include waiting for mortgage rates to decline (18% - 25% of all four groups) and not enough available homes within their budget (19% - 24% of all four groups).

The top three reasons why Realtors® say buyers have not yet purchased homes are the same as reported by consumers: not enough homes available for purchase in buyers’ budgets (34%), buyers are waiting for mortgage rates to drop as higher prices affect affordability (18%) and buyers are waiting for prices to drop (9%). These three factors greatly impact affordability since limited inventory drives up home prices and higher rates increase monthly mortgage payments.

Saving for a competitive home down payment is also a primary obstacle for prospective home buyers (6% - 9% of all four groups). In terms of what holds them back from saving for a sufficient down payment, prospective home buyers across races and ethnicities cite as barriers current rent/mortgage payments (43% - 56% of all four groups) and credit card payments (38% - 57% of all four groups). Despite this, awareness about existing down payment assistance programs is low among prospective buyers saving for down payments. Only 8% - 15% of all four groups applied for these programs, 20% - 33% considered but did not apply to these programs, 21% - 32% did not consider these programs, and one-third (30% - 33% of all four groups) say that they are not aware of these assistance programs. For prospective home buyers who are aware of down payment assistance programs, the primary reason they did not apply for them is because they did not know enough about the programs (44% - 58% of all four groups).

Likewise, more than half of Realtors® (53%) say that at least one issue is holding their latest buyer back from saving a competitive down payment: most likely current rent or mortgage payments (23%) or credit card balances or payments (17%). Further, only 23% of Realtors® say that their buyers experiencing these challenges have applied for down payment assistance programs. This is most likely because their income is too high (30%), they did not know enough about the programs (19%), or they are worried about the competitiveness of their offers in multiple-bid situations (17%).

“Down payment assistance programs often fly under the radar for potential home buyers. Using programs – like FHA, VA or USDA loans – can make homeownership more attainable. Experts, such as agents who are Realtors®, can educate potential buyers about these programs. Doing so will bring in more first-time buyers and narrow the racial homeownership gap,” added Lautz.

Discrimination also plays a role in the homebuying process. About one in six (13% - 16% of all four groups) prospective home buyers across races and ethnicities report facing discrimination. More than half of Black (63%), Asian (60%) and Hispanic (52%) prospective home buyers who report this say it was due to their race or ethnicity. Of these, the largest proportions of every group are most likely to report that this discrimination manifests in steering toward or away from specific neighborhoods (36% - 51% of all four groups) and more strict requirements (32% - 48% of all four groups). Despite all of this, most discrimination during the homebuying process goes unreported: 47% - 81% who describe it did not report it to a government agency or legal aid organization. 

 Interestingly, only 1% of Realtors® who took the survey report that their buyers experienced discrimination during the homebuying process, while 13% are not sure. Those reporting discrimination are most likely to say this is based on race or ethnicity and lay this at the feet of lenders, saying that buyers experienced this in the type of loan product offered (43%) or that buyers did not receive a call back from lender(s) (29%). Of those who report discrimination, 57% report it based on race, 29% report it based on age and 21% report it based on familial status (including marriage or parental status). Just 7% say that the buyer reported the discrimination, which was on the basis of either race or religion or both, to a government agency or legal aid organization.

To help address discriminatory practices in real estate, NAR offers several resources to its members, including Fairhaven, an interactive training simulation based on real fair housing cases; Bias Override, an implicit bias training course with practical tips to override bias; At Home With Diversity, a certification course aimed at serving diverse consumers; and a confidential voluntary self-testing program for brokerages to assess agents’ compliance with fair housing laws. In Washington, NAR advocates for strong fair housing and fair lending enforcement, and policies aimed at closing homeownership gaps among demographic groups.”

Posted On Thursday, 14 September 2023 06:37 Written by

C-suite executives and leaders have a lot on their plates when it comes to successful management of their business or organization. They are in control of the organization’s image, a diverse team of individuals with diverse talents coming together to complete specific tasks, and the successful and timely implementation of multiple projects at any given time.

That is a lot to be responsible for, but as we all know, change is the only constant in the business world. My Anticipatory Organization® Model notes that digital disruption is starting to alleviate some of the need to manage traditional tasks that managers and other business leaders have long managed before. With this transformation, the tasks of managers and business leaders alike are starting to change as well.

What some leaders overlook now is their actual role as managers — the management of perception and distraction.

Perception and Distraction Affect Your Organization

Perception refers to how you and your employees view projects, the company, and customers. Conversely, perception is how customers view your company, its products, and how you solve their own troubles. How each of these elements interact with one another is a determining factor in the significance of your organization and, likewise, how perception turns into reality.

Put simply, perception originates internally and then extends outward. This implies that perception, much like disruption in an Anticipatory Organization, is within your control and can be managed by you and your team. The way you perceive yourselves and your team has a profound impact on your actions, strategies, and the success of the products you introduce.

These actions and products then determine the value customers attach to your organization and how they distinguish you from the competition. It does not happen the other way around. As such, the way you manage perception becomes either an asset to your organization or terribly detrimental!

Now, let’s shift our focus to managing distraction. Unlike perception, which involves creating transformation from the inside out, distraction often originates externally and moves inward, manifesting as disruption and change. Uncontrolled disruption becomes a distraction in its own right, diverting your attention from what truly matters and forcing you, as a leader, to handle crises with agility as an afterthought

So, since perception and distraction are what must be managed more frequently by the business leaders and managers of today, how can this be done to your strategic and competitive advantage instead of leaving them to cause you the stress of setbacks?

Skipping Problems with a Change in Perception

Perception often originates from within the organization, making it vital to see your team as a competitive advantage and a strategic asset for the business. Your team, comprised of critical thinkers and hardworking individuals, plays a significant role in the development and implementation of new products and services. It all starts with you, the business leader, viewing your team through this lens, which, in turn, will incentivize your employees to recognize and act as the valuable asset they truly are.

How does this impact perception of products, services, and customers? By becoming a positive outlook on the organization itself, the adjustment in perception affects how your employees perceive problems they encounter both at the organizational and customer level, tying in with my Skip It Principle.

Do customers perceive a product as being too pricey? Is your company software too slow? Or is it something different entirely? Having a team with a properly managed internal perception helps them effectively challenge the perceived problems that may be holding your organization back as a whole, especially since a perceived problem is not always the real root issue.

Venmo — an app owned by PayPal — allows friends, family, and others to exchange money electronically with no fees. To begin, Venmo had few users, but why was that? Was it a lack of necessity for customers? Was the app difficult to use? These were the questions facing the internal teams at PayPal.

While these questions were concerning, leaders and employees at PayPal refined their perception to skip those perceived problems and instead focus on the opportunity at hand. Customers liked the app, but what they needed most was convenience.

Thus, they launched a marketing campaign on how to use Venmo in stores with just a smartphone. No more need to go to ATMs for cash or carry countless credit cards, as Venmo does it all safely. As a result of this change in their perception of customer needs, Venmo exploded in popularity, becoming one of the most used apps for exchanging money.

Jump to Manage Opportunities Instead of Distractions

Because distractions come from outside of your organization in the form of various disruptions and changes, suddenly a business leader’s attention is held hostage and they have to crisis manage more frequently. Unfortunately, too much crisis management as a business leader shifts the company into neutral, where they become vulnerable to disruption rather than in control of it.

Instead of a reactive approach that involves managing disruption as it happens to avoid distraction, true industry leaders and innovators adopt my Anticipatory Leader approach, which centers on proactively staying ahead of disruption. I’ve taught this approach to many, and it has proven to be highly effective.

The Anticipatory Leader approach leverages Hard Trend future certainties with Soft Trend future possibilities to anticipate disruptions before they occur, turning disruption into opportunity. This doesn’t just minimize distraction, it allows leaders to manage opportunity instead!

Palo Alto Networks is a cybersecurity business that was founded using anticipatory thinking about the internet and digital technology. The need for businesses to protect classified information online is a Hard Trend future certainty, which the founders of Palo Alto Networks recognized and capitalized on as an opportunity to successfully launch their cybersecurity business.

What would have happened if the founders at Palo Alto Networks were left distracted by trying to avoid the issue of security breaches instead of pre-solving the problem the way they did? They likely wouldn’t exist!

In today’s era of transformation, prioritizing the management of a business or organization’s perceptions and distractions is crucial. However, it’s important to recognize that business leaders and managers have more on their plates to manage. While embracing digitally disruptive technology can streamline certain mundane tasks, effective management also entails attending to the very human aspects of leadership.

Take action now and prioritize fostering critical thinking within your team! Empower them to find a deep sense of significance in their contributions to the organization. This will be the key to staying ahead of disruption and minimizing distractions. Act today for a more innovative and focused future!

Posted On Tuesday, 12 September 2023 00:00 Written by
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