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housing market

Spring is Coming!!!

The Spring Market is Coming!

In years past, we have written blogs about Spring cleaning and preparing homes for a brisker housing market.  This year, all signs are pointing to a stronger market than in the past several, with more options for a more motivated set of buyers.

 

The whys:

Fewer Under Water Sellers:  As the housing market improves the number of people owing more on their home than its current value is decreasing.  According to CNBC, Americans today have three trillion dollars more equity than they did when the market last bottomed out in 2012.  People are no longer trapped in a home that they cannot sell without bringing money to the closing.

Housing Starts Are Sporadic: As more and more markets recover, the number of available existing homes competing for home purchasers increases, cutting into demand for new options.

Interest rates will likely be rising: One thing that has been largely missing over the past several years has been urgency to take advantage of remarkably low mortgage interest rates.  With no increase on the horizon and uncertainty in the market place, there were more tire kickers than trigger pullers.  With the rates likely to rise, and the economy showing positive signs, this has all changed.

Rental Rates are Still Rising: According to Apartment List, rents are up month-over-month in 57 of 100 largest cities. As they rise, it is making more and more sense to buy, where your monthly interest is still deductible and your monthly payment stays constant.

While the market is improving, it is impoHome Garden Imagertant for home sellers to do their homework and not test the waters too high for too long.  Today’s buyers are savvy, with more on-line tools to get a good overview of each market.  As a buyer, you too will need to be on top of things.  Today’s homes that are priced appropriately will sell fast.  Be ready with a mortgage pre-approval and a good understanding of what your payment will be for any given price and the monthly cost per $1,000 increase in mortgage amount.

If you are a transferee, make sure your Realtors at both ends are responsive and forthcoming with actionable information.  Home buying and selling can be very stressful.  But, the better prepared you are, the quicker you can get through it and focused on the next adventure!

Analytics and the Review Process

Reviewing your mobility program requires more than an overview of numbers. It needs to include a deeper dive into why those numbers may be changing.  In addition to helping you determine if exceptions are getting out of control, or one cost center is being more generous that others, sometimes, a statistical change can be misinterpreted if not looked at from every angle.

Recently, a client reached out, concerned that, although initiations had not increased, the year to date expense had taken a notable spike.  On the surface, their conclusion was correct.  While expenses increased over 16% over the same period last year, overall initiations were actually down almost 7 percent.

 

The first thing I did was break out the expenses by category.  Immediately, I could see the culprit.  While other category expenses stayed in line with the previous year, the homesale expenses increased significantly, mirroring the year over year expense variance. Additionally, while there was a small increase in average sale price, this uptick in homesale expenses was more due to the number of sales completed during the two periods.

 

This is where I found the good news.  Looking at the average days on market for each home that sold over the past two years, I was able to see a positive trend. Homes are selling faster.  In the past 12 months, homes sold in an average of 32 days on the market, verses 59 days in the previous year.

 

Additionally, I found the average program cost went down almost 30 percent over the same period!  Logically, this makes sense, if you think about it.  The biggest drag on a relocation program is the homesale piece.  In addition to typically being the biggest ticket item, it also impacts other benefits when the market is soft.  When transferees cannot sell their home, you find they need to use more temporary living, home trips, loss on sale benefits and exceptions.

 

analytics over review

 

So, in the example above, what appeared to be a negative program development, is in actuality a sign of an improving economy and an indication of future savings.

 

Should this positive trend continue, employers should look at those benefits used to entice potential candidates in a slower, uncertain market and grant them by exception, or remove them outright. By removing these benefits (which no longer make the difference between accepting or refusing the move), employers can cut costs further.

 

When you look at your historic program data, do you have a clear understanding on the cause of trends?

Why You Really Need to Review Your RMC

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”  That’s how the expression goes.  But, it’s time to evaluate the definition of broken.  I’m willing to bet that there are a number of factors why you have postponed reviewing the job your relocation management company is doing.

Real Estate Round Up

Ever since I began working in the relocation industry, I’ve had a deep fascination for all things real estate. Makes sense if you think about it, right? We help transferees move all over the world! Selling and buying (or renting) a home is obviously an integral part of the relocation process and so I like to keep up on real estate trends both in the country and out. I typically like to choose one specific topic to share my take on but this morning, during my daily scour of the New York Times, I found too many great articles offering amazing advice and insight. So rather than share my take on one, I’ll just share the articles themselves.

2017 Housing Market Snap Shot

Every year, Zillow conducts research to predict the top ten housing markets for the next 12 months. Real estate experts consider home values, unemployment rates, and income growth before making the top ten list. This year, most of the list is comprised of western cities but 2017’s number one “hottest housing market” is Nashville, TN.

New York’s Second Avenue Subway is Open! What Does This Mean for Renters?

I may not live in New York City, but I’m still a New Yorker at heart and that means that I fully understand how vital the New York subway system is to both its residents and its visitors. It transports nearly six million people every single day! It was no surprise that New Yorkers cheered for joy when the mythical Second Avenue Subway finally came to life on New Year’s Day. But will this long awaited track lead to a major increase in rent?

Millennials and the Housing Market

I started looking into buying a home when I realized that I was paying in rent for a two-bedroom apartment more than I would pay in a mortgage for a three-bedroom house with a yard in a better neighborhood! A few people told millennials and the housing marketme that I was perhaps a little too young to buy a home. I am an infamous millennial and recent trends have shown that adults my age have been putting off home ownership. But times are changing (again). In fact, research from Zillow shows that millennials are actually driving and diversifying the housing market across the nation.

Your Transferee Must Do This One Thing Before Listing Their Home

The home selling process is at the top of your transferee’s list of stressful relocation tasks. There is a lot to consider and a lot to do both before and during the marketing period. Sure, your transferees know to clean and organize the1-thing-your-transferee-must-dohome and work on the curb appeal before the Realtor shows it to potential buyers, but do they know that they should take the time to talk to their local government to check on the accuracy of information on file?

Three Issues to Tackle to Make the Relocation Decision Easier for Transferees

When it comes to relocation, I think we all want the same thing: an employee that is happy, focused and engaged in their work at the new location. With the ever-changing relocation environment and a less than ideal economy, however, many companies have made major cuts to policies offered to transferring employees. In addition to corporate changes, the same issues have led employees to evaluate relocation opportunities even more carefully than they have in the past. So, the question is, how can you design relocation policies to fit your company budget but also attract your necessary talent?

It’s a Seller’s Market, Buyers Just Live In It

It’s almost that time, the busy summer moving season. In just a few short weeks, transferees around the country will Seller's Marketbe packing up their homes and preparing to go through the relocation process. With a solid program and help from a quality Relocation Management Company, the process should be relatively seamless and smooth but the home finding/buying step is always a little stressful. Unfortunately, this year may be even tougher because in many parts of the country, there is a lack of homes for sale. Because of this, it’s really important to provide as much support and as many resources as possible for your transferee, especially if they happen to be buying for their first time.

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MIKE CANNING
VP, Client Services

RICK CALANNI
VP of Business Development Northeast Region

 

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