2017 Real Estate News, Trends, and Stats: The Year in Review
By Matthew Bushery
About Agent Basics
There were many 2017 real estate news stories, trends, and statistics that shaped agents’ and brokers’ businesses during the year.
From the tax bill that spawned a million think pieces from real estate influencers to continued disruption in the form of countless new tech tools, the industry experienced considerable change over the 12-month period … and we’re here to recap it all for you.
Continue reading to discover the 2017 real estate news that could significantly impact your 2018 marketing and sales strategy.
The online-centric agency decided to venture into new territory by expanding its business model to include a new mortgage lending arm. The goal of the move was to streamline the home purchase process.
Zillow announced APIs to make it easy for Multiple Listing Services and other real estate entities to tap into its wealth of housing data. Meanwhile, Realtor.com released Sign Snap, an app that gives buyers listing info when they photograph for-sale or rent signs.
While the overall homeownership rate remains stagnant nationwide, the pace of home purchases by those in the Hispanic community rose, according to data from the Hispanic Wealth Project and National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.
Lender restrictions remain a barrier for home buyers to secure mortgages, per the Urban Land Institute. The organization’s Housing Credit Availability Index showed little growth in terms of home loans among those with poor credit standing in early 2017.
Our latest round of funding is helping us build world-class real estate marketing tools and services for agents, brokers, and teams. New features rolled out this year include SSL encryption for our websites and enhanced real estate CRM software.
Cities held the crown for highest residential growth rates over the past decade. However, that reign came to an end, according to real estate news released by the Wall Street Journal. The publication reports jobs moving out of metros and to the suburbs was one factor.
Homeowners spent more money on remodeling projects from February 2016 to February 2017, HomeAdvisor reports. The home improvement resource notes Millennials and Baby Boomers accounted for most of the homeowners investing in residential upgrades.
While Hong Kong and London were deemed the premier, high-end housing markets worldwide, New York and Los Angeles came in third and fourth, respectively, according to a study by Christie’s International Real Estate.
Data from RealtyShares and Harris Interactive show investments in residential real estate outperformed purchases of stocks since 2000. Just 15% of Americans invest in homes beside their own, but 77% note home-flipping is a strong investment opportunity.
Housing affordability remains a roadblock for many consumers looking to buy homes, per Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Tight supply is one major reason for the continued sluggishness in the for-sale sector, the organization added.
Thanks to a hefty round of funding, interior decorating app Houzz has been able to continue to build upon its popular app. The real estate tech tool released an augmented reality feature in 2017 as well to allow users to design homes with furnishings.
International investors continued to pour money into U.S. real estate during the course of 2016-17, NAR reports. Purchases of residential property across the country jumped roughly 50% on a year-over-year basis, with 285,000 units bought during the period.
More households were renters in 2016 than any point since 1965, Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data revealed. About two-thirds of households featuring 35-and-under residents leased their homes in 2016 — up from 57% in 2016.
Real estate Facebook advertising has been a boon to many industry pros over the years. It seems the social media giant has finally taken notice, making real estate news waves by offering a Dynamic Ads service geared toward helping agents promote their listings.
Natural disasters are unfortunately occurring with far more regularity in recent years, and 2017 proved no exception. Puerto Rico and Texas bore the brunt of Irma and Harvey this summer, and the real estate markets in these areas and parts of the south suffered tremendously.
Homeownership rates among various demographics are still near recession-level numbers. Millennial homeownership, in particular, remains down, a TransUnion study notes. The income gap between Millennials and older generations influenced this figure, the report adds.
Another factor affecting younger generations’ ability to finance a home purchase is the student loan crisis. The National Association of REALTORS reports 83% of consumers with student loan debt cite that debt as a reason they’ve delayed homeownership.
The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report from NAR finds that home sales among single female buyers accounted for 18% of purchases in 2016 — the second-most for any demographic, trailing only married couples (65% of all sales). Single men accounted for just 7% of purchases.
Out of 78 major metro markets studied in 2017, Seattle tops them all in terms of residential satisfaction, a PricewaterhouseCoopers report indicates. Strong economic and housing outlooks for the city, plus the growth of Seattle’s young, educated workforce contributed to this victory.
Janet Yellen has been replaced by Jerome Powell to head up the Federal Reserve. The new nomination has sparked plenty of conversation in the real estate and mortgage industries, leaving them to wonder how Powell will handle interest rates in the future.
In other government group real estate news, Richard Cordray has resigned as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB has long been in charge of regulating the finance industry to make sure consumers are fairly treated by financial institutions, like mortgage lenders.
Whereas hurricanes ravaged one side of the U.S., wildfires have devastated another. California dealt with numerous wildfires in 2017 — ones that have ruined tens of thousands of homes and threatened to destroy countless more, including in the L.A. area.
Housing inventory nationwide decreased roughly 10% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the same period a year earlier. In addition to a low number of low-cost residences on the market, the Trulia report notes premium properties have also been sparse in supply.
Incorporate these trends into your 2018 real estate marketing strategy with help from our team of experts:
Published on December 27, 2017
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.