By Ernie Durbin, SRA, CRP, RAC Member
Wikipedia describes the metaphor “the elephant in the room” as, “an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.”
Somehow, recent events in the valuation space have deflected attention away from the elephant in the room, customary and reasonable fees. Real estate appraisers are resilient folks. They can adapt to change as well as any other professional. But like everyone else, they don’t want to do more work for less pay. Most of the issues facing the valuation space today point to one simple problem- customary and reasonable fees. It’s time to address this obvious problem and the risks that it poses to our industry.
Enjoy the full article here.
We’re excited to announce that RAC and Worldwide ERC are partnering up to hold an appraisal report writing contest, where relocation appraisers can showcase their professional expertise to the world. The winners will be announced to members of Worldwide ERC® and RAC as well as their constituents. The contest will provide terrific exposure to the best relocation appraisers in the business.
You can get all the details here: Worldwide ERC and RAC Appraisal Report Writing Contest.
Emeryville, California-based Jamba Inc. — which owns and franchises Jamba Juice stores — plans to relocate its headquarters to Frisco’s Hall Office Park, which will bring 100 corporate jobs to North Texas.
Jamba has signed a lease for about 25,000 square feet of office space at 3001 Dallas Parkway in Hall Office Park, which will include about 19,000 square feet of office and meeting space, as well as about 6,000-square-foot test kitchen and retail store front.
Read the entire story at the Dallas Business Journal.
Mobility Magazine of Worldwide ERC, April 2016
By Don Mueller, CRP, RAC Member
Northern Utah, aka the Wasatch Front, is a metropolitan region in the north-central part of the state, consisting of a chain of cities and towns stretched along the Wasatch Range from approximately Nephi in the south to Brigham City in the north. Roughly 80 percent of Utah’s population resides in this region, as it contains the major cities of Salt Lake City, Provo-Orem, West Valley City, West Jordan, and Ogden.
The Wasatch Front is long and narrow. To the east, the Wasatch Mountains rise abruptly several thousand feet above the valley floor, climbing to their highest elevation of 11,928 feet (3,620 m) at Mount Nebo. The area’s western boundary is formed by Utah Lake in Utah County, the Oquirrh Mountains in Salt Lake County, and the Great Salt Lake in northwestern Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and southeastern Box Elder counties. The combined population of the five Wasatch Front counties totals approximately 2,125,000 according to the 2008 census estimate.
Although most residents of the area live between Ogden and Provo – a distance of 80 miles – which includes Salt Lake City proper, the fullest built-out extend of the Wasatch Front is 120 miles long and an average of five miles wide. Along its length, the Wasatch Front never exceeds a width of approximately 18 miles because of the natural barriers of lakes and mountains.
The region on the other side of the Wasatch Range, including cities such as Park City, Morgan, Heber City, and Midway, sometimes referred to as the Wasatch Back, has recently shared in the rapid growth of the region.
Utah’s first settlers of European decent were the Mormon pioneers, who migrated from the Midwest in 1847, led by Brigham Young, the prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. Upon entering the Salt Lake Valley, Young made this declaration: “This is the place.” (Some say he said, “This is the right place.”) The famous statement still holds true today in regard to real estate values and investment in the Wasatch Front.
The trends noted here are for Salt Lake County but also reflect the adjoining Wasatch Front area. A report in February by the Salt Lake Board of Realtors notes that real estate agents in Salt Lake County sold 13,323 existing single-family homes last year. This is a nine-year high surpassed only before the Great Recession with 15,317 homes sold in 2005 and 15,283 the following year. The combined value of single-family homes sold in 2015 rose 22 percent over the previous year, to $4.1 billion. The upward trend in housing prices persisted last year, logging an increase of almost 7 percent over 2014 for a single-family home, to a $272,000 median sales price, and 8 percent for a multifamily unit, to $189,000.
“There is still room for moderate house-price increases, provided mortgage rate increases are gradual,” says Cheryl Acker, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. The board report characterizes real estate in Salt Lake County as “still relatively affordable” for qualified buyers, as a family earning the median household income and devoting 30 percent of its income to a mortgage payment could afford 56 percent of the homes sold in the county in 2015.
The Salt Lake Board of Realtors expects an 11 percent gain in total residential home sales of all types this year in Salt Lake County, to more than 19,000 units. An increase of 5 to 7 percent in the median single-family home price, to $290,000, is predicted as housing demand continues to exceed available inventory.
The number of homeowners with negative equity has now dropped to 2.5 percent of all mortgages. In previous years, homeowners were locked in to their current home and could not move up. Hence, in 2015 the move-up market was again supporting higher levels of sales, which put upward pressure on prices.
Another benefit of improving market conditions is the huge reduction in the sale of distressed homes (short sales and foreclosed properties). For five years, the “fire sale” prices of distressed homes dragged down overall housing prices. In 2011, one-third of all homes sold in Salt Lake County were distressed properties; it’s no coincidence that 2011 was the year of the largest decline in prices, 9.5 percent. The near elimination of short sales and REO sales by 2015 was also a contributing factor to the acceleration of price increases in 2015.
There is no sign of a bubble – both prices and sales are sustainable. There is very little inventory, and prices are increasing. The market is free of REO and short sales. From a market perspective, Utah and Salt Lake County seems to be “the right place” to buy and invest in a single family home.
Don N. Mueller, CRP, is a professional appraiser and real estate consultant based in Ogden, Utah, and a member of RAC (Relocation Appraisers and Consultants). He can be reached at +1 801 479 6123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sure, the low taxes, relaxed regulatory environment and Central Time Zone are nice. But none of those factors tops the list of reasons Toyota decided to plant its North American headquarters in Plano, bringing in more than 3,000 jobs, mostly from California.
The main driver of Toyota’s move from Torrance, California, was housing costs, according to Albert Niemi Jr., dean of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, who has inside knowledge about the move. Niemi shared the anecdote at an SMU Cox Economic Outlook Panel on Friday morning.
“It wasn’t so much that we don’t tax income,” he said. “It was really about affordable housing. That’s what started the conversation. They had focus groups with their employees. Their people said, ‘We’re willing to move. We just want to live the American Dream.’”
Toyota did the math and found that housing costs in Los Angeles County, where Torrance is located, are three times per square foot the cost of a house in Dallas-Fort Worth.
“They’re paying the same salary,” Niemi said. “So in real terms, they’re going to triple the affordability of housing they can buy if they move to Texas.”
Read the entire article at the Dallas Business Journal.
Four Texas metro areas together added more people last year than any state in the country except for Texas as a whole, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today. The population in these four metro areas increased by more than 400,000 people from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015.
The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro areas added about 159,000 and 145,000 residents, respectively — the largest gains of any metro areas in the nation. Two additional Texas metro areas adjacent to each other — Austin-Round Rock and San Antonio-New Braunfels — were each also among the 16 nationwide to gain 50,000 or more people over the period.
These four Texas metro areas collectively added about 412,000 people. Texas as a whole gained about 490,000.
Eight counties drove Texas’ metro area growth and were among the 20 counties nationwide that gained the most population between 2014 and 2015. Altogether, they added 306,736 people:
- The Dallas metro area contained four of these counties: Tarrant, Dallas, Collin and Denton.
- The Houston metro area contained two: Harris, which led the nation by gaining more than 90,000 people, and Fort Bend.
- Bexar, in the San Antonio metro area.
- Travis, in the Austin metro area.
While not related to the relocation industry, I found this very interesting and wanted to share it with everyone. I hope you enjoy.
Few material possessions speak to “having” as do acres upon acres of one’s own land. Land to ranch, to fish, to hunt, to farm, to grow timber, or merely to wander over or gaze upon is like almost nothing else. It concretizes place-ness in most of our minds, and it’s the finite raw material without which we’d have no home building or residential development.
Here’s the 2015 Land Report 100, a 5th annual analysis that profiles America’s 100 leading individual landowners. It’s a production and publication of Fay Ranches Inc., a land broker.
Researched by Jeremiah Jensen, Lisa Martin, Katy Richardson, and Roxanna Thompson, the piece profiles John Malone, Ted Turner, and the 98 other families, dynasties, and individuals who own the millions of acres of America’s most pristine tracts, whatever the purpose.
“THIS IS GOOD NEWS FOR THE HOUSING MARKET AND FOR THE SALES OF TRANSFEREE’S HOMES.” Michael Cook, MAI, SRA, RAC Past President
Mortgage News Daily, February 1, 2016
Mortgage rates were in line with the best levels in 8 months as of last Friday. Although they moved slightly higher to begin the new week, today is still the 2nd best day in the past 8 months. Lenders continue quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates of 3.75% for the most part with 3.625% being the next most prevalent rate.
In general, rates are taking cues from the big picture economic considerations and global financial market turmoil. Low oil prices and volatile stock markets have been helping. Most of the more focused economic data has been falling short of its usual potential to move markets. An exception will certainly be made for this Friday’s Employment Situation report, which is the most important economic report of any given month. In the bigger picture, the trend toward lower rates continues, but any day that rates bounce slightly higher (like today) can mark the end of that trend.
View the full article at: Mortgage News Daily