84 Percent of Americans See Homeownership as Good Investment, Affordability a Growing Concern

Washington, D.C. – July 12, 2017 (nar.realtor) According to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey, concerns over housing affordability show clear demographic divides especially among unmarried and non-white Americans. More than five out of 10 unmarried and non-white Americans view the lack of available affordable housing as a big problem, compared to only 40 percent of married and white Americans.

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The survey, measures consumers’ attitudes and concerns about housing issues in the nation’s 25 largest metropolitan statistical areas and found that 84 percent of Americans now believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision – the highest number since 2007. Yet six in 10 said that they are concerned about affordability and the rising cost of buying a home or renting in their area. Housing affordability was ranked fourth in the top-five issues Americans face in their area behind the lack of affordable health care; low wages and debt making it hard to save; and heroin and opioid drug abuse, and ahead of job layoffs and employment.

Nationally, 44 percent of respondents categorized the lack of available affordable housing as a very big or fairly big problem. In the top 25 densest markets, more than half see the lack of affordable housing as a big problem, an increase of 11 percentage points from the 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey. Low-income Americans, renters and young women most acutely feel the housing pinch. There is also greater concern about affordable housing among the working class (65 percent) than for public servants such as teachers, firefighters or police (55 percent).

“Despite the growing concern over affordable housing, this survey makes it clear that a strong majority still believe in homeownership and aspire to own a home of their own. Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood remain the top reasons to own a home,” says NAR president William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties.

Eight out of 10 believe that the most important financial reason to own a home is that the money spent on housing goes towards building equity rather than to a property owner. Paying off a mortgage and owning a home by the time you retire is the next most important financial reason for buying a home followed by ownership being a good investment opportunity to build long-term wealth and increase net worth.

When asked about the amount of down payment needed for a mortgage, four in 10 respondents believe that a down payment of 15 percent or more is necessary. Seventy percent feel that a reasonable down payment should be 10 percent or less, according to the survey. Misperceptions about higher down payment requirements were most prevalent in bigger cities and by older adults.

Apparent confusion about down payment requirements most likely added to non-owners concerns about affordability. NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that the median down payment for first-time buyers has been 6 percent for three straight years and 14 percent for repeat buyers in three of the past four years.

Over 50 percent of respondents strongly agree that homeownership helps build safe and secure neighborhoods and provides a stable and safe environment for children and family members.

The survey also found that four in 10 Americans say paying their rent or mortgage is a strain on their budget. Those most likely to say their mortgage is a strain have incomes under $60,000, are residents of New York City or the Pacific coast, are under the age of 50 and non-white. Just over half, 51 percent, of respondents said they were willing to strain their budget for a better living environment and would pick a neighborhood with better schools and job opportunities even if housing prices are a bigger strain on their budget. Those most willing to strain their budget are disproportionately married, upper income and living in the suburbs. Overspending on homes is more prevalent in Northeastern cities (36 percent), the Mountain West (34 percent) and the Pacific coast (33 percent).

The 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey is conducted by American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services for NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program, which aims to position, educate and help Realtors® promote housing opportunities in their community, in both the rental and homeownership sectors of the market. The telephone survey polled 1,500 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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

Foreign Buyers and Immigration Expected to Drive Future Demand for U.S. Housing

Washington, D.C. – May 19, 2017 (nar.realtor) U.S. real estate markets are increasingly becoming international, and changing demographics brought forth by immigration and growing interest from foreigners are positioned to bolster home sales activity and prices. That’s according to speakers at an international real estate forum organized by the REALTOR® University Richard J. Rosenthal Center for Real Estate Studies session here at the 2017 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

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NAR’s Danielle Hale, managing director of housing research, was joined by Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst at the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute, to share insight on the current and future impact of foreign buyers and immigration on the U.S. housing market.

According to Nowrasteh, the rising U.S. population is being bolstered by a growing number of immigrant households, and their presence will continue to transform the housing market. Referring to data from the 2015 American Community Survey, Nowrasteh said of the roughly 321.4 million residents in the U.S., 278.1 million are born here (natives) and the remaining 43.3 million – made up of 20.7 million naturalized citizens and 22.6 million non-citizens – are foreign-born.

“Immigration affects rents and home prices far more than it affects the labor market,” said Nowrasteh. “An expected 1 percent increase in a city’s population produces a 1 percent uptick in rents, while an unexpected increase results in a 3.75 percent rise.”

Nowrasteh, pointing to studies conducted on immigration and housing, explained that the effects of immigration on real estate are localized, with most of the impact felt where immigrants tend to reside: low-to-middle income counties. Each immigrant adds 11.6 cents to housing value within that county. In 2012, 40 million immigrants added roughly $3.7 trillion to U.S. housing wealth.

Referencing the Legal Arizona Workers Act that went into effect on January 1, 2008, Nowrasteh said the decline in population resulting from the law likely exasperated the drop in home prices the state experienced during the downturn. Fewer households purchasing or renting property subsequently lead to higher vacancies and lower prices. “Immigration is the best way to increase population, housing supply and prices,” he said.

Presenting some of the key findings from NAR’s 2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate released last July, Hale said foreigners increasingly view the U.S. as a great place to buy and invest in real estate. She noted the upward trend in sales activity from resident and non-resident foreign buyers(1) in the past seven years, with total foreign buyer transactions increasing from $65.9 billion in 2010 to $102.6 billion in the latest survey.

“A majority of foreign buyers in recent years are coming from China, which surpassed Canada as the top country by dollar volume of sales in 2013 and total sales 2015,” said Hale. “Foreign buyers on average purchase more expensive homes than U.S. residents and are more likely to pay in cash.”

Perhaps foreshadowing where a bulk of future home purchases from immigrants will come from, Hale said that in NAR’s latest survey roughly over half of all foreign buyers purchased property in Florida (22 percent), California (15 percent), Texas (10 percent), Arizona or New York (each at 4 percent). Latin Americans, Europeans and Canadians – who tend to buy for vacation purposes in warm climates – mostly sought properties in Florida and Arizona. Asian buyers were most attracted to California and New York, while Texas mostly saw sales activity from Latin American, Caribbean and Asian buyers.

NAR’s 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate survey is scheduled for release this summer. Looking at the past year, Hale said monthly data from the Realtors® Confidence Index revealed a rise in responses from Realtors® indicating they worked with an international buyer.

“Chinese buyers are once again expected to top all countries in both total dollar volume and overall sales,” said Hale.

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.

# # #

1. 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.

Media Contact:

Adam DeSanctis
(202) 383-1178

Redfin Names the Best College Towns to Buy an Investment Property

Redfin Compiled Median List Prices, U.S. News and World Report Ranking, Tuition Cost and Fees and Walk Score® Data to Find the Top College Towns to Buy an Investment Property

Seattle, WA – April 14, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) Investing in a home near a college has some undeniable perks–rent prices are typically stable and there’s always a new pool of tenants looking for rentals. Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage, narrowed down the most affordable college towns near schools that offer low tuition, a high-quality education and walkability. Redfin’s methodology includes median list price for homes near the school, tuition cost and fees, the most recent U.S. News and World Report ranking and data from Walk Score®, a Redfin company.

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“It’s always great to invest in a location where there is a large pool of tenants, which is exactly what you get when you invest in a property near a school like Georgia Institute of Technology,” said Redfin real estate agent Rory Haigler. “The pool of potential tenants is also stable with new students coming in every year, so a property owner really doesn’t have to worry about where they will find the next tenant. I’ve had a lot of clients looking to invest in property near Georgia Tech, but the problem is that because it’s such a hot market, homes aren’t listed often.”

Here are the 20 best college towns to buy an investment property:

1. Atlanta, Georgia

2. Chapel Hill, North Carolina

3. Baltimore, Maryland

4. St. Louis, Missouri

5. Columbus, Ohio

6. Houston, Texas

7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

8. Rochester, New York

9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

10. Cleveland, Ohio

11. Austin, Texas

12. Providence, Rhode Island

13. Madison, Wisconsin

14. Nashville, Tennessee

15. College Park, Maryland

16. Minneapolis, Minnesota

17. Provo, Utah

18. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

19. Ann Arbor, Michigan

20. Chicago, Illinois

To read the full report, complete with more information on each city, please visit: www.redfin.com.

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. 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 through 2016.

For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center.


Redfin Journalist Services:
Alanna Finn
(917) 822-5087

U.S. Home Flipping Increases 3 Percent In 2016 To A 10-Year High

Average Gross Flipping Profits and ROI at New Record Highs; Number of Investors Flipping at 9-Year High, Share Financed by Flipper at 8-Year High; Median Age of Homes Flipped at New High, Median Square Footage at New Low

Irvine, CA – March 9, 2017 (PRNewswire) ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s largest fused property database, today released its 2016 Year-End U.S. Home Flipping Report, which shows that 193,009 single family homes and condos were flipped — sold in an arms-length transfer for the second time within a 12-month period — in 2016, up 3.1 percent from 2015 to the highest level since 2006, when 276,067 single family homes and condos were flipped.


Home flips in 2016 accounted for 5.7 percent of all single family home and condos sales during the year, up from 5.5 percent in 2015 to a three-year high but still well below the peak in 2005, when 338,207 single family homes and condos were flipped representing 8.2 percent of all sales.

The report also shows that 126,256 entities — including both individuals and institutions — flipped homes in 2016, up less than 1 percent from 2015 to the highest number since 2007, when 143,266 entities flipped properties.

Meanwhile, the share of flipped homes that were purchased by the flipper with financing increased to an eight-year high of 31.5 percent in 2016 while the median age of homes flipped increased to 37 years — a new high going back to 2000 — and the median square footage of homes flipped decreased to 1422 — a new record low going back to 2000.

Real Estate Infographic

“Home flipping was hot in 2016, fueled by low inventory of homes in sellable or rentable condition along with a flood of capital — both foreign and domestic — searching for the returns and stability available with U.S. real estate,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “The combination of more home flips and a greater share of financing for flip purchases resulted in a 18 percent jump in the estimated dollar volume of financing for home flip purchases, up to $12.2 billion for the flips completed in 2016 — a nine-year high.”

“Investors in search of flipping returns are increasingly willing to move to secondary and tertiary housing markets and neighborhoods with older, smaller properties that are available at a deeper discount,” Blomquist continued. “Given that many of these markets are more affordable, we are also seeing a higher share of the flipped homes sold to FHA buyers, with that share reaching a four-year high of 19.6 percent in 2016.”

Home flipping profits reach new record high in 2016

Homes flipped in 2016 sold for a median price of $189,900, a gross flipping profit of $62,624 above the median purchase price of $127,276 and representing a gross flipping return on investment (ROI) of 49.2 percent. Both the gross flipping dollar amount and ROI were the highest going back to 2000.

Among 117 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 250 home flips in 2016, there were 11 with an average gross flipping profit of $100,000 or more in 2016.

“Our strong wage growth is still supporting rising home prices, which when combined with the historically low number of homes for sale in Seattle, gives home flippers substantial returns on their investments,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, covering the Seattle market. “I believe flipping serves as a negative for any housing market because it further erodes housing affordability, but if there’s a demand for it in the market, it’s a trend we will continue to see.”

39 zip codes where at least one in five home sales was a flip in 2016

In the Los Angeles metro area, which accounted for six of the 39 zip codes with a home flipping rate of at least 20 percent in 2016, the best opportunity for flipping is in lower-priced neighborhoods with properties that need significant repairs, according to Brett Chotkevys, co-founder of Helpful Home Solution, which flips properties in Los Angeles and other parts of Southern California.

“We do pretty much a full gut on the houses we buy. Most of those we buy are pretty nasty … they’re falling down, there are druggies living there,” said Chotkevys, noting that a typical rehab for his Los Angeles flips will run $40,000 to $50,000, and it’s not “inconceivable” for him to spend six figures on a Los Angeles fix-and-flip. “We like south central (Los Angeles) a little bit more. The barrier to entry is lower. We can pick up properties in the 200s. … There are normal people not making gobs of money that can afford to buy these houses.”

To get the full methodology please click here.

Media Contact: jennifer.vonpohlmann@attomdata.com

Data Licensing and Custom Report: datasales@attomdata.com

HomeUnion Analyzes How Far a $100,000 Down Payment Goes in the Most Sought-After Investment Housing Markets

Investors who leverage a $400,000 investment in Jacksonville, Fla., rental properties get twice as much space, and collect 1.5 times the rent as those who buy a NYC condo. Similar values are found throughout the South.

Irvine, CA – Oct. 11, 2016 (PRNewswire) HomeUnion, an online real estate investment management firm, has released a new report comparing investment property values in 10 of the most sought-after markets among HomeUnion’s clients. The company analyzed what a total of $400,000 will buy a single-family rental (SFR) investor in these popular markets: Jacksonville, Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte and Austin; versus what a real estate investor can acquire for the same price in the non-HomeUnion markets of Denver, Washington, D.C., Seattle, New York and Oakland, which are frequently coveted by investors.


When using leverage at 25 percent, markets in which HomeUnion operates are more affordable, offer renters and investors significantly more square footage, and provide investors with the ability to earn much higher monthly rental returns. “Our study confirms that investors’ dollars go much further in the South and one of the biggest metros in Texas than they do in Oakland, New York, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Denver,” says Steve Hovland, director of research for HomeUnion. “Not only do investors get more for their money; they can buy a larger home or homes in a nicer neighborhood, allowing for the potential to capture higher rental income in the Austin, Charlotte, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Dallas markets.”

Here’s what a 25 percent down payment on a $400,000 investment will buy in 10 of the most sought-after U.S. housing markets:

Metro Area

Portfolio Price for
2 Rental  Assets

Portfolio Monthly
Rent Collected


Square Footage

Price Per

Square Foot


























Metro Area 

Sales Price for

1 Condo




Square Footage

Price Per

Square Foot






Washington, DC















New York





HomeUnion Research Services

In August, leveraged investment home prices rose 12 percent on a year-over-year basis, reaching a median price of $261,900. “As prices continue to soar for investment housing, and inventory remains low in many major metro areas, it has become increasingly difficult to find sound, profitable investments,” adds Hovland. “To assist our clients, we’ve done a deep dive into our data on more than 110 million homes nationwide to reveal just how far $100,000 down will go across the United States.”

To see how far an investor’s dollar can stretch in these 10 markets, visit here.

About HomeUnion:

HomeUnion is an online real estate investment management firm. Based in Irvine, Calif., it provides all the services needed for individuals to invest remotely in single-family rental (SFR) properties. The company uses a combination of research and proprietary analytics to incorporate data on over 110 million homes and 200,000 neighborhoods into their database, and then delivers its solutions to an on-the-ground infrastructure that currently serves 18 locations. HomeUnion’s role spans the lifecycle of the investment transaction: identifying sound investments, handling all aspects of acquisition, maximizing income, protecting asset value, and selling the asset when the time comes.

Investors Shift to Niche Properties; Fewer Paying all Cash, C.A.R. Survey Finds

Location tops main reason to buy

Los Angelese, CA – April 14, 2016 (PRNewswire-USNewswire) More real estate investors are turning to niche properties and away from investing in single-family homes and multifamily properties than they have in recent years, according to a CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) survey of its members about their interactions with real estate investors.

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C.A.R.’s 2016 California Investor Survey found 10 percent of investors purchased commercial, land, mobile homes, or other types of properties in the past year, up from 7 percent in 2015 and 6.7 percent in 2014.

Given a lack of inventory of distressed homes on the market, the share of single-family homes being purchased by investors has been declining gradually since 2013. Seventy percent of investors purchased single-family homes in 2016, down from 78 percent in 2013.

The share of investors who purchased multifamily properties also declined slightly, dipping from 21 percent in 2015 to 19 percent in 2016.

Among the reasons investors cited for buying include good location (38 percent), followed by rate of return (30 percent), good price (17 percent), and future development potential (7 percent).

Additional findings from C.A.R.’s “2016 Investor Survey” include:

  • As real estate deals become increasingly harder to find, the investment climate in California has gotten more competitive. With the listing price and final sale price nearly equal, the number of days the property was on the market has declined, and a larger share of investment properties was located outside of the urban and suburban markets they previously dominated.
  • With fewer available distressed properties, the share of equity transactions has increased steadily, rising from 70 percent in 2014 to 87 percent in 2016.
  • Fewer investors (62 percent) are renting out their properties in 2016, compared to last year (65 percent).
  • Twenty-six percent of investors are flipping their properties, unchanged from last year, but down from 28 percent in 2014. Twelve percent plan to leave the property vacant, use it as a vacation rental, or other use.
  • More than three-fourths of investors remodeled their properties, and the median cost of the remodel increased from $10,000 in 2015 to $13,500 this year.
  • As a sign of optimism, the vast majority (76 percent) of REALTORS® working with investors believed the property would increase in value in one year. This also applied to the long term with 71 percent saying the property would increase in value in five years.
  • Investors in 2016 are planning to hold the property for longer–an average of 8.1 years, up from 6.1 years in 2015.
  • While investors own fewer properties on average in 2016 (5.6), down from 6.4 in 2015 and 8.3 in 2014, a higher proportion of them own other properties. A record share of these other properties is located outside California (15 percent in other states and 2.4 percent in other countries).
  • With higher real estate prices and more investors purchasing other properties within the past year, the share of investors who obtained financing jumped sharply from 34 percent in 2015 – where it had been holding steady for the past three years – to 45 percent in 2016.
  • Conversely, fewer investors paid cash in 2016 (55 percent), compared to last year (66 percent). Investors cited personal savings (46 percent) as the primary source of cash funds, followed by proceeds from a previous investment (19 percent), and private investors (19 percent).

California Investor Survey Slides (click links to open):

C.A.R.’s “2016 California Investor Survey” was conducted in February and March 2016 in an effort to learn more about the role of investors in the California housing market. The online survey sampled random REALTORS® throughout California who had worked with investors within the 12 months prior to March 2016.

For complete survey results, visit www.car.org

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.