Author: Steve Murray

Is There a Market Slowdown Coming?

By Steve Murray, publisher In virtually every market in the country, inventory levels are at record lows, absorption rates are at all-time highs, and prices have risen far faster than the rate of increase in household incomes. Each of these factors had a hand in the NAR report that says existing home sales were down back in April; so was the pending home index. We are more likely than not headed for a slowdown in housing sales in the near term. In the past, housing sales dipped due to slower economic growth or rising interest rates. Now, it’s due...

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Iceberg Report: Single-family Investment Market Study

New study looks at the demographics and size of the single-family residential investment market. By Steve Murray, publisher Andrew Waite, former publisher of Personal Real Estate Investor and a partner in two previous studies with REAL Trends, has finished a new report about the U.S. single-family investment market. Entitled the “Iceberg Report,” this soon to be released study looked at not only the size of the single-family residential investment market but the demographics, attitudes and behaviors of those who won single family homes as investments and the companies that serve this market. Some highlights: There are approximately 22 to...

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First Person Perspective: The Zillow Challenge

Now that some in the industry think that Zillow Group is going to take over the world, let us offer some perspective. by Steve Murray, publisher If housing consumers didn’t like Zillow, the company would not exist. Zillow wouldn’t have agents, brokerage firms and mortgage lending firms paying them nearly $1 billion in revenues. They would have no audience, and no one would care what they do. Zillow built a substantial audience with housing consumers before they had the preponderance of listings on their site. In addition to the Zestimate, Zillow had other features that consumers found attractive. If...

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Possible Impacts of Amazon Moving Into the Real Estate Industry

  Recently, Amazon teased the industry by first launching—then removing—a new “Find a Realtor®” service under its home and professional services segment. Pundits jumped all over it. Zillow Group’s shares declined and brokers were left to wonder what’s next. I recall sitting in Zillow co-founder Rich Barton’s offices a few years back when he commented that while our industry seems to be scared of Zillow, he was worried about firms like Amazon, Google and Apple entering the industry is some fashion. We reported on his observations at that time. No one commented then. Perhaps we are all smarter now. There are three true fundamental building blocks that undergird our industry: What percent of consumers use an agent to buy or sell a home? How do consumers find and choose a real estate professional? Do consumers think that the commission-based compensation method is fair to them? The only way large changes can occur in our business is if any of these “big three” change.  It doesn’t take a change in all three, it only takes a change in one to have a big impact on our business. Amazon entering our business with a potential “Find a Realtor” can obviously impact the second factor. Over 60 percent of all consumers report that they chose a real estate professional through a personal connection.  This number is down somewhat from ten years ago...

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: A Personal Note From Steve Murray

A Personal Note from Steve Murray Last month, we celebrated the 30th year of REAL Trends at the Gathering of Eagles conference. We had nearly 350 friends and colleagues come to hear Jim Collins, Hoddy Hanna, Dave Liniger and Ron Peltier, among other great presenters. We expressed our appreciation to them personally. For the many friends who could not be there, let me express my sincere thankfulness to every person with whom we’ve had the pleasure of knowing over these past 30 years of REAL Trends and 40 years of my career. None of us can achieve real success...

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