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The Rilliet Report May 2016

May 27 2016
May 27 2016



May 2016 looks positive for property owners. Pending home sales rose in February to their highest level in seven months, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the NAR, states, "the latest data is encouraging in that a decent number of buyers signed contracts lured by lower mortgage rates and a modest uptick in inventory. Looking ahead, the key for sustained momentum is a continuous stream of listings quickly replacing what is being scooped up by a growing pool of buyers."

Yet would-be buyers are becoming wary of high asking prices. Remember the adage, "price it high, watch it die - price it low, watch it go." Buyers are savvy about comparable sales and want to make sure they are getting a fair deal- otherwise many take a wait-and-see attitude.

There is no time like the present to sell or buy. Let's talk.



Q: Student loan discussions are front and center in politics now. Does this issue affect real estate?

A: Yes. According to, home ownership among those aged 25 to 34 years old is nearly 10 percentage points lower than it was a decade ago.

The nation continues to wait for younger Americans to make a move. NAR's Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, says, "The rising student loan debt is holding back first-time buyers, still hovering around 30 percent of all home loans rather than the typical 40 percent."

That causes rental stress as would-be homeowners drive rent prices up. "Rental affordability remains a big problem in many places," according to a U.C. Berkeley study.

These stats underline the frustration many millennials are feeling.

Note: Home ownership is highest in the Midwest where homes tend to sell for much lower prices.



When I ask a buyer what their priorities are for a new property, inevitably, the question of schools comes up. Is that true with you too?

Even if you don't have school age children, the question must be addressed for resale possibilities. We need to evaluate public schools, private schools, charter schools, and homeschooling.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates homeschooling is increasing in popularity at the growth rate of 7 to 15 percent per year. Since many states don't require registration of these students, the extent of growth is difficult. Yet most agree that there are between 900,000 and 2,000,000 children being home schooled.

That said, if you want to know the school boundaries for a home, one online source is Researching schools in your neighborhood is a snap with this interactive map tool. Enter an address to see school attendance and district boundary lines.

I am available to share info on this at any time.



According to the National Association of Home Builders, by the end of 2017 the top 20 percent of the largest states will reach at least 102 percent of normal single-family production levels.

Should you build or buy a home? Or buy a "tiny home"? With the popular new trend of "tiny homes", finding a vacant lot and moving in a prefab home or building your own is on the rise.

An increasing number of Americans are expressing interest in smaller-space living, with some even owning homes under 100 square feet! One indicator of the trend is that instead of saying that tiny house owners are "downsizing", those writing and speaking about little homes have coined the term "rightsizing", which more aptly describes how many view their choice to go small.

Rising costs of energy, the recent mortgage crisis, and student debt have all contributed to the tiny house trend, but the tiny house owners don't describe a sense of loss with the space change. Instead, they feel they have traded in square footage for an increase in the richness of their lives.

So, if this sounds like a good alternative, maybe we should be looking at lots?


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