Redfin Migration Report: Home Affordability Continued to Shape Migration Currents as Homebuyers Looked to Leave Expensive Coastal Cities in the Second Quarter

The Bay Area, New York and Los Angeles ranked highest for net outflow of home searchers

Seattle, WA – August 10th, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) (NASDAQ: RDFN) — Twenty-one percent of Redfin.com users in the second quarter of 2017 searched mostly for homes outside the metro where they reside, slightly up from 20 percent in the first quarter, according to the latest migration report from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage.

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The Redfin Migration Report analyzed a sample of more than one million Redfin.com users searching for homes across 75 metro areas during the peak of the homebuying season from April through June. Redfin used IP addresses to identify the metros where home searchers likely reside and compared that to where users were searching for homes.

While 79 percent of Redfin.com home searchers looked to stay in their current metro, several key trends emerged among those looking to move to another metro:

1. There continued to be significant migration within the state of California, with the most common search patterns being buyers looked to leave the Bay Area and Los Angeles, heading to Sacramento and San Diego.

2. Several Rust Belt metros saw more than a quarter of local homebuyers looking at homes outside their metro with Chicago being the top destination.

3. Metros in the South and the Sunbelt remained popular destinations for migrants from expensive coastal cities.

4. Chicago, Boston and Seattle again had the highest share of residents looking to stay in their current metros.

“Home searches are early indicators of home sales. The migration patterns in our report closely correlate to actual purchases made by Redfin home-buying customers within and across metros,” said Taylor Marr, a Redfin data scientist who conducted the underlying research.

“Buyers who can’t afford a home in their current city are exploring what is available elsewhere,” said Marr. “We are already seeing strong buyer demand and competition in mid-tier cities like Sacramento, Phoenix and Atlanta. As home searches evolve into purchase offers and home sales, we anticipate prices and competition will continue to grow in those markets.”

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To read the full report, complete with an interactive data map of metro-to-metro migration trends and full methodology, click here.

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $50 billion in home sales.

Contacts

Redfin Journalist Services:
Alina Ptaszynski, 206-588-6863
press@redfin.com

Quicken Loans Study Shows Homeowners and Appraisers Don’t See Eye-to-Eye on Home Values

– Quicken Loans’ National HPPI shows appraised values 1.55% lower than homeowners estimated in July

– Home values rose 0.33% nationally in July, with a 4.21% year-over-year increase, according to the Quicken Loans HVI

Detroit, MI – Aug. 8, 2017 (PRNewswire) Homeowners across the country continue to view their property value higher than appraisers’ opinions. In July, the average spread between an owner’s estimate and the appraised value was 1.55 percent according to Quicken Loans’ National Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). Despite the national average, the range of perceptions varied across the country with valuations coming in higher than expected in some metro areas.

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Even with the varying opinions there has been a clear trend, with home values on the rise across the country. The Quicken Loans National Home Value Index (HVI) reported that appraised values increased an average of 0.33 percent from June to July. The growth is even stronger on a year-over-year basis, with home values rising 4.21 percent nationally from July 2016’s findings.

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Home Price Perception Index (HPPI)
The HPPI shows appraisers’ opinions fell short of homeowners’ expectations by 1.55 percent, in July. This shows a narrowing gap, as homeowner estimates in June were 1.70 percent lower than appraised values. HPPI tracks differing trends across the country as real estate often fluctuates on a local basis. On average, appraisals were higher than owner expectations – the inverse of the national trend – in some of the fastest growing housing markets, including Dallas and Denver. However, some metro areas in the Northeast and the Midwest regions reported appraised values lower than owner estimates at a higher rate than the national trend.

“The home appraisal is one of the most important data points in the mortgage process. It determines the level of equity the homeowner has and, if the owner’s estimate is too far from how the appraiser views the property, it can cause the mortgage to be restructured,” said Bill Banfield, Quicken Loans Executive Vice President of Capital Markets. “Our hope is that this index is eye-opening for homeowners. Their home equity could be thousands of dollars higher, or lower, than they realize. If they are aware of the perceived trends in their area it could help them better prepare for their home purchase or refinance.”

Home Value Index (HVI)
The National HVI, based solely on appraisal data, reported home values rose an average of 0.33 percent in July. The positive momentum was even more substantial for the annual measure, showing a 4.21 percent increase year-over-year. All of the areas measured also reported annual home value growth – ranging from a 2.65 percent annual increase in the Northeast to a 5.64 percent annual rise in value in the West.

“The regional differences in home value growth mirror the perception difference across the country. Areas with slower growth were more likely to have owners overestimating their home value, and areas with much stronger growth had higher appraisals than owners realized they would be,” said Banfield. “With home values constantly changing, and the rates of change varying across the country, this is one more way to show how important it is for homeowners to stay aware of their local housing market.”

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*A positive value represents appraiser opinions that are higher than homeowner perceptions. A negative value represents appraiser opinions that are lower than homeowner perceptions.

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*A positive value represents appraiser opinions that are higher than homeowner perceptions. A negative value represents appraiser opinions that are lower than homeowner perceptions.

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*A positive value represents appraiser opinions that are higher than homeowner perceptions. A negative value represents appraiser opinions that are lower than homeowner perceptions.

About the HPPI & HVI
The Quicken Loans HPPI represents the difference between appraisers’ and homeowners’ opinions of home values. The index compares the estimate that the homeowner supplies on a refinance mortgage application to the appraisal that is performed later in the mortgage process. This is an unprecedented report that gives a never-before-seen analysis of how homeowners are viewing the housing market. The HPPI national composite is determined by analyzing appraisal and homeowner estimates throughout the entire country, including data points from both inside and outside the metro areas specifically called out in the above report.

The Quicken Loans HVI is the only view of home value trends based solely on appraisal data from home purchases and mortgage refinances. This produces a wide data set and is focused on appraisals, one of the most important pieces of information to the mortgage process.

The HPPI and HVI are released on the second Tuesday of every month. Both of the reports are created with Quicken Loans’ propriety mortgage data from the 50-state lenders’ mortgage activity across all 3,000+ counties. The indexes are examined nationally, in four geographic regions and the HPPI is reported for 27 major metropolitan areas. All indexes, along with downloadable tables and graphs can be found at QuickenLoans.com/Indexes.

About Quicken Loans
Detroit-based Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation’s second largest retail home mortgage lender. The company closed more than $300 billion of mortgage volume across all 50 states between 2013 and 2016. Quicken Loans moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010, and now more than 17,000 team members from Quicken Loans and its Family of Companies work in the city’s urban core. The company generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Scottsdale, Arizona. The company also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit, as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Primary Mortgage Origination” in the United States by J.D. Power for the past seven consecutive years, 2010 – 2017, and highest in customer satisfaction among all mortgage servicers the past four years, 2014 – 2017.

Quicken Loans was ranked #10 on FORTUNE magazine’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in 2017, and has been among the top-30 companies for the past 14 consecutive years. The company has been recognized as one of Computerworld magazine’s ‘100 Best Places to Work in IT’ the past 13 years, ranking #1 for eight of the past twelve years including 2017. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rock Holdings, Inc., the parent company of several FinTech and related businesses. Quicken Loans is also the flagship business of Dan Gilbert’s Family of Companies comprising nearly 100 affiliated businesses spanning multiple industries. For more information and company news visit QuickenLoans.com/press-room.

Realtors® Report Finds 11 Percent Increase in Commercial Member Income, 19 Percent Increase in Sales Transaction Volume

Washington, D.C. – August 2, 2017 (nar.realtor) Commercial real estate markets continue to improve, with Realtors® specializing in commercial real estate reporting both an increase in member’s gross income and sales volume, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2017 Commercial Member Profile.

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The annual study’s results represent Realtors®, members of NAR, who conduct all or part of their business in commercial sales, leasing, brokerage and development for land, office and industrial space, multifamily and retail buildings, as well as property management.

“There has been an uptick in Realtor® members who choose to specialize in commercial real estate at the same time as commercial professionals report improvements in the market and their business activity,” said 2017 NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. “A stronger commercial market is a good indicator of a growing economy, so the outlook is positive for commercial members in the year ahead.”

The median gross annual income for commercial members in 2016 was $120,800, an increase from $108,800 in 2015. Brokers and appraisers tend to report the highest median annual incomes, while sales agents report the lowest among licensees. Those with less than two years of experience reported a median annual income of $31,500 in 2016, down from $43,400 in 2015; members with more than 26 years of experience reported a median annual income of $162,200 in 2016, down from $165,400 in 2015.

Commercial members completed a median of eight sales transactions in 2016, a decrease of one since 2015. A quarter of commercial members reported having one to four transactions, and 27 percent reported having more than 20 transactions.

While the number of transactions decreased slightly in 2016, the sales volume increased again this year. The median sales transaction volume in 2016 among members who had a transaction was $3,500,000, an increase from $2,931,000 in 2015. Only 7 percent of commercial members reported not having a transaction at all, which decreased from 8 percent in 2015.

The median years of experience in real estate increased to 24 years in 2017, up from 20 years in 2016, as did the median years of experience of members in commercial real estate – up from 15 years in 2016 to 19 years in 2017.

Forty-seven percent of NAR’s commercial members are brokers, and 30 percent are licensed sales agents, consistent with last year. Seventeen percent of commercial members have a broker-associate license while appraisal license holders account for 5 percent, also consistent with last year.

The median age of commercial members remained the same as last year, at 60 years old. Almost three out of four commercial members are male, identical to last year’s results. Men reported being active in any real estate capacity for a median of 25 years and in commercial real estate for a median of 20 years, the same as last year. Women have been active in real estate for a median of 19 years (up from 14 years last year) and in commercial real estate for a median of 15 years (up from 11 years last year).

Commercial members who manage properties typically managed 82,000 total square feet, representing 15 total spaces, up from 50,000 square feet and 17 spaces in 2015. Those who manage offices typically managed 25,000 total office square feet, representing seven total offices, up from 20,000 office square feet and five offices last year.

Thirty-three percent of commercial members were involved in international transactions in 2016, down 2 percent from 2015. Eighteen percent of commercial members reported an increase in international transactions, while only 1 percent had a decrease.

Sixty-five percent (up from 60 percent in 2016) of respondents are members of any of several commercial affiliated institutes, councils, or societies. These commercial organizations include the CCIM Institute, the Institute of Real Estate Management, the Counselors of Real Estate, the Realtors® Land Institute and the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors®.

In June 2017, NAR invited a random sample of 64,147 Realtors® with an interest in commercial real estate to fill out an on-line survey. A total of 1,926 responses were received for an overall response rate of 3.0 percent. All information in this report is representative of member characteristics in 2017 while sales and lease transaction values and income are characteristic of calendar year 2016.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Media Contact:

Cole Henry
(202) 383-1290
Email

Existing-Home Sales Retreat 1.8 Percent in June

Washington, D.C. – July 24, 2017 (nar.realtor) Existing-home sales slipped in June as low supply kept homes selling at a near record pace but ultimately ended up muting overall activity, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Only the Midwest saw an increase in sales last month.

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Total existing-home sales(1), https://www.nar.realtor/topics/existing-home-sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in June from 5.62 million in May. Despite last month’s decline, June’s sales pace is 0.7 percent above a year ago, but is the second lowest of 2017 (February, 5.47 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the previous three-month lull in contract activity translated to a pullback in existing sales in June. “Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” he said. “The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

Added Yun, “The good news is that sales are still running slightly above last year’s pace despite these persistent market challenges.”

The median existing-home price(2) for all housing types in June was $263,800, up 6.5 percent from June 2016 ($247,600). Last month’s median sales price surpasses May as the new peak and is the 64th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory(3) at the end of June declined 0.5 percent to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 7.1 percent lower than a year ago (2.11 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 25 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.6 months a year ago.

First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in June, which is down from 33 percent both in May and a year ago. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 2016(4) – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.

“It’s shaping up to be another year of below average sales to first-time buyers despite a healthy economy that continues to create jobs,” said Yun. “Worsening supply and affordability conditions in many markets have unfortunately put a temporary hold on many aspiring buyers’ dreams of owning a home this year.”

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate (link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage declined for the third consecutive month, dipping to 3.90 percent in June from 4.01 percent in May. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 28 days in June, which is up from 27 days in May but down from 34 days a year ago. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 102 days in June, while foreclosures sold in 57 days and non-distressed homes took 27 days. Fifty-four percent of homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month.

Inventory data from realtor.com® reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in June were Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., 23 days; Salt Lake City, Utah, 26 days; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 27 days; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 29 days; and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., at 30 days.

“Prospective buyers who postponed their home search this spring because of limited inventory may have better luck as the summer winds down,” said President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. “The pool of buyers this time of year typically begins to shrink as households with children have likely closed on a home before school starts. Inventory remains extremely tight, but patience may pay off in coming months for those looking to buy.”

All-cash sales were 18 percent of transactions in June, down from 22 percent both in May and a year ago, and the lowest since June 2009 (13 percent). Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13 percent of homes in June, down from 16 percent in May and unchanged from a year ago. Fifty-six percent of investors paid in cash in June.

Distressed sales(5) – foreclosures and short sales – were 4 percent of sales in June, down from both May (5 percent) and a year ago (6 percent) and matching last September as the lowest share since NAR began tracking in October 2008. Three percent of June sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales
Single-family home sales dipped 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in June from 4.98 million in May, but are still 0.6 percent above the 4.85 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $266,200 in June, up 6.6 percent from June 2016.

Existing condominium and co-op sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000 units in June (unchanged from May), and are 1.6 percent higher than a year ago. The median existing condo price was $245,900 in June, which is 6.5 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown
June existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 2.6 percent to an annual rate of 760,000, but are still 1.3 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $296,300, which is 4.1 percent above June 2016.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales rose 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.32 million in June (unchanged from June 2016). The median price in the Midwest was $213,000, up 7.7 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South decreased 4.7 percent to an annual rate of 2.23 million (unchanged from a year ago). The median price in the South was $231,300, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 0.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.21 million in June, but remain 2.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $378,100, up 7.4 percent from June 2016.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

1. 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 rebenchmarks 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 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40 percent 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

4. Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. Investors are under-represented in the annual study because survey questionnaires are mailed to the addresses of the property purchased and generally are not returned by absentee owners. Results include both new and existing homes.

5. 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 Realtor.org.

NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for June is scheduled for release on July 31, and Existing-Home Sales for July will be released August 24; release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

Media Contact:

Adam DeSsanctis
(202) 383-1178
Email

Redfin: Home Prices and Buyer Competition Hit New Highs in June as Inventory Drought Dragged into 21st Consecutive Month

New records set: 26.6 percent of homes sold in June went for more than their asking price and the typical home found a buyer in 36 days

In Denver, Seattle and Portland, the typical home sold in June was off the market in a week

Seattle, WA – July 13, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) U.S. home prices rose 7.3 percent to a median sale price of $298,000 in June, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. This is the highest national median sale price Redfin has recorded since the company began keeping track in 2010.

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Home sales increased 1.9 percent compared to last year, constrained by a long-standing inventory shortage. The number of homes for sale fell 10.7 percent, leaving just 2.5 months of supply—the lowest supply on record since 2010—and well below the six months that represents a market balanced between buyers and sellers.

Every record in market speed and competition that was set in May was broken again in June. The typical home that sold in June went under contract in 36 days, one day faster than in May, setting a new record-fast pace for home sales. Denver, Portland and Seattle were the fastest-moving markets, with the typical home in each market finding a buyer in just seven days. More than a quarter (26.6%) of homes sold above their list price, the highest percentage Redfin has recorded. The average sale-to-list price ratio hit a record high of 95.5 percent in June.

“This market is unlike any we’ve ever seen before,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Month after month, new records are set for the pace at which homes are going under contract. Demand continues to swell while supply troughs. For buyers competing in this market, it’s survival of the fittest. The strongest offers that are most likely to close quickly and smoothly rise to the top of the pile.”

Regional June Highlights

Competition

  • Denver, CO, Portland, OR and Seattle, WA tied for fastest market at 7 median days on market, followed by Grand Rapids, MI (8) and Boston, MA (9).
  • The most competitive market in June was San Jose, CA where 73.7% of homes sold above list price, followed by 70.6% in San Francisco, CA, 69.8% in Oakland, CA, 62.3% in Seattle, WA, and 52.6% in Tacoma, WA.

Prices

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL had the nation’s highest price growth, rising 15.6% since last year to $260,000, followed by Nashville, TN (14%), Seattle, WA (13.5%), Tacoma, WA (12.2%), and Deltona, FL (12.1%).
  • Two metros saw price declines in June: Greensboro, NC (-1.2%), and Tulsa, OK (-0.3%).

Sales

  • Ten out of 89 metros saw sales surge by double digits from last year. Poughkeepsie, NY led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 42.6%, followed by Camden, NJ, up 23.1%. Lakeland, FL rounded out the top three with sales up 16.3% from a year ago.
  • Buffalo, NY saw the largest decline in sales since last year, falling 26.9%. Home sales in Rochester, NY and Fort Lauderdale, FL declined by 21.2% and 15.5%, respectively.

Inventory

  • San Jose, CA had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 42.2% since last June. Rochester, NY (-29.7%), San Francisco, CA (-26.6%), and Tampa, FL (-26.5%) also saw far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.
  • Three metros in Utah saw the highest increases in the number of homes for sale. Ogden, UT had the highest increase in inventory, up 40.5% year over year, followed by Provo, UT (36.7%) and Salt Lake City, UT (30.1%).

To read the full report, complete with data and charts, click here.

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $40 billion in home sales.

Contacts

Redfin Journalist Services:
Alina Ptaszynski, 206-588-6863
press@redfin.com

Foreign U.S. Home Sales Dollar Volume Surges 49 Percent to Record $153 Billion

Washington, D.C. July 18, 2017 (nar.realtor) Fueled by a substantial increase in sales dollar volume from Canadian buyers, foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate skyrocketed to a new high, as transactions grew in each of the top five countries where buyers originated.

This is according to an annual survey of residential purchases from international buyers released today by the National Association of Realtors ®, which also revealed that nearly half of all foreign sales were in three states: Florida, California and Texas.

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NAR’s 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate, https://www.nar.realtor/topics/profile-of-international-home-buying-activity, found that between April 2016 and March 2017, foreign buyers and recent immigrants purchased $153.0 billion of residential property, which is a 49 percent jump from 2016 ($102.6 billion) and surpasses 2015 ($103.9 billion) as the new survey high(1). Overall, 284,455 U.S. properties were bought by foreign buyers (up 32 percent from 2016), and purchases accounted for 10 percent of the dollar volume of existing-home sales (8 percent in 2016).

“The political and economic uncertainty both here and abroad did not deter foreigners from exponentially ramping up their purchases of U.S. property over the past year,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “While the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in relation to other currencies and steadfast home-price growth made buying a home more expensive in many areas, foreigners increasingly acted on their beliefs that the U.S. is a safe and secure place to live, work and invest.”

Although China maintained its top position in sales dollar volume for the fourth straight year, the significant rise in foreign investment in the survey came from a massive hike in activity from Canadian buyers. After dipping in the 2016 survey to $8.9 billion in sales ($11.2 billion in 2015), transactions from Canadians this year totaled $19.0 billion – a new high for Canada.

Yun attributes this notable rise in activity to Canadians opting to buy property in U.S. markets that are expensive but still more affordable than in their native land. While much of the U.S. continues to see fast price growth, home price gains in many cities in Canada have been steeper, especially in Vancouver and Toronto.

“Inventory shortages continue to drive up U.S. home values, but prices in five countries, including Canada, experienced even quicker appreciation(2),” said Yun. “Some of the acceleration in foreign purchases over the past year appears to come from the combination of more affordable property choices in the U.S. and foreigners deciding to buy now knowing that any further weakening of their local currency against the dollar will make buying more expensive in the future.”

Foreign buyers typically paid $302,290, which was a 9.0 percent increase from the median sales price in the 2016 survey ($277,380) and above the sales price of all existing homes sold during the same period ($235,792). Approximately 10 percent of foreign buyers paid over $1 million, and 44 percent of transactions were all-cash purchases (50 percent in 2016).

Foreign sales rise in top five countries; three states account for nearly half of all purchases

Buyers from China exceeded all countries by dollar volume of sales at $31.7 billion, which was up from last year’s survey ($27.3 billion) and topped 2015 ($28.6 billion) as the new survey high. Chinese buyers also purchased the most housing units for the third consecutive year (40,572; up from 29,195 in 2016).

Rounding out the top five, the sales dollar volume from buyers in Canada ($19.0 billion), the United Kingdom ($9.5 billion), Mexico ($9.3 billion) and India ($7.8 billion) all increased from their levels one year ago.

This year’s survey once again revealed that foreign buying activity is mostly confined to three states, as Florida (22 percent), California (12 percent) and Texas (12 percent) maintained their position as the top destinations for foreigners, followed by New Jersey and Arizona (each at 4 percent). Florida was the most popular state for Canadian buyers, Chinese buyers mostly chose California, and Texas was the preferred state for Mexican buyers.

Sales to resident foreigners and non-residents each reach new peak

The upswing in foreign investment came from both recent immigrants and non-resident foreign buyers(3) as each increased substantially to new highs. Sales to foreigners residing in the U.S. reached $78.1 billion (up 32 percent from 2016) and non-resident foreign sales spiked to $74.9 billion (up 72 percent from 2016).

“Although non-resident foreign purchases climbed over the past year, it appears much of the activity occurred during the second half of 2016,” said Yun. “Realtors® in some markets are reporting that the effect of tighter regulations on capital outflows in China and weaker currencies in Canada and the U.K. have somewhat cooled non-resident foreign buyer interest in early 2017.”

Looking ahead, Yun believes the gradually expanding U.S. and global economies should keep foreign buyer demand at a robust level. However, it remains to be seen if both the shortage of homes for sale and economic and political headwinds end up curbing sales activity to foreigners.

“Stricter foreign government regulations and the current uncertainty on policy surrounding U.S. immigration and international trade policy could very well lead to a slowdown in foreign investment,” said Yun.

NAR’s 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate, conducted April 10 through May 1, surveyed a sample of Realtors ® to measure the share of U.S. residential real estate sales to international clients, and to provide a profile of the origin, destination, and buying preferences of international clients, as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by Realtors® in serving foreign clients. The survey presents information about transactions with international clients during the 12-month period between April 2016 and March 2017. A total of 5,998 Realtors® responded to the 2017 survey.

The 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate can be ordered by calling 800-874-6500, or online at www.nar.realtor/prodser.nsf/Research. The report is free to NAR members and accredited media and costs $149.95 for non-members.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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1. NAR’s international survey began in 2009.

2. Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Germany and Mexico all had higher appreciation in real terms than the U.S.

3. The term international or foreign client refers to two types of clients: non-resident foreigners (Type A) and resident foreigners (Type B).

Non-resident foreigners: Non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the United States. These clients typically purchase property as an investment, for vacations, or other visits of less than six months to the United States.

Resident foreigners: Non-U.S. citizens who are recent immigrants (in the country less than two years at the time of the transaction) or temporary visa holders residing for more than six months in the United States for professional, educational, or other reasons.

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Adam DeSanctis
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