Existing (as opposed to new) home sales fell 1.2 percent as of January 2019, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). That works out to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.94 million units. Specifically, existing homes sales are a monthly measure of sales volume and prices of homes considered single-family, condos, and co-ops nationwide. Unlike new homes, existing homes are owned and occupied before being listed on the market. These type of homes make up more than 90 percent of total home sales. The data reported represents completed transactions. …

The number of store closings is expected to grow year-over-year, according to a new report from Coresight. However, the report states that the competition of digital sales is not entirely to blame — part of the problem could be poorly run brick-and-mortar locations. According to Coresight, store closures (5,524) actually declined in 2018. In 2017, the store closure total was 8,139. In 2019 so far, 2,187 have already closed. That’s an increase of 23 percent compared to 2018. After this report was published, Payless ShoeSource reported a plan to close …

As of January 2019, the Federal Reserve may be at the end of its rate-hiking cycle, as reported by CNBC regarding a statement from former Fed Chair Janet Yellen. “If there is a downturn in the global economy and that spills into the United States… It’s very possible we may have seen the last interest rate hike of this cycle,” she said at the National Retail Federation’s annual Big Show event in New York. Actually, two rate hikes were expected in 2019, according to projections from individual members of the …

Home list prices have soared 41.7 percent over the past decade, according to realtor.com. During this same period, median incomes have increased only 23.8 percent. The possible result: housing is becoming more unaffordable. The widely recommended ceiling of spending you should pay on a place to live: 28 percent. So where are the markets where homeowners are spending way more than that? Where are the widest gaps? Realtor.com studied median monthly housing costs in about 500 metros to see where homeowners are spending the most on their homes. The method …

One reason why the life sciences sector is hot and getting hotter: the silver tsunami, according to Bisnow. Aging baby boomers will drive the over-65 population higher in the United States, requiring further innovation in disease cures and pharmaceuticals. The evolving life science environment is driven by cutting edge technology and rapid growth in scientific innovation, writes The Commercial Observer: Emerging trends that are fusing bioengineering design and manufacturing are evidenced by advanced diagnostic testing, Modern Meadow synthetic biology experiments, Epibone’s tissue engineering, and even wearable technology to maintain precision …

This is just a partial list of some of the licensing changes happening in the industry starting this year. To find out what may be changing in your state, check with your broker, your state realtor® board, or the National Association of Realtors®. Arizona will permit online pre-licensing. With the passage of Arizona House Bill 2399, real estate pre-licensing requirements can now be done online, according to PDH Academy. Real estate CE has always been available online, but pre-licensing courses were only available in a classroom. Virginia adds new education …

Cybersecurity risk management and prioritizing resilience will be among the trends that help shape smart cities in 2019. This is according to The Urban Land Institute and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 40th annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate report. “[T]hink of this year’s trends as circles in a Venn diagram,” the report reads. “Trends will overlap, indicating that they interact, and over time those interactions (sometimes involving more than just two circles) foster new conditions that can alter either the features of the trend, its relative strength, and even its duration. We …

First, the common perception is that Millennials are not interested in buying homes and only interested in living in an urban environment. No suburbs. Renting only. Then came the surprising twist that this generation, reaching age 35, is starting families and revving their careers — and not only are they interested in home ownership, but it’s more than okay if the homes are located in the suburbs.  Rising pay and low mortgage rates also helped support this American Dream. Now, though, comes a disappointing turn: it’s not the Millennials who …

The most well-known company in commercial real estate office coworking is rebranding and changing its name in 2019. WeWork, which began as a modest startup in 2010 as a source for desk space, is now to be known as The We Company. The goal: to push beyond desk space and expand into creating residential and educational space as well. According to Fast Company, The We Company will be made up of three main business units: WeWork (its original office business), WeLive (for residential units), and WeGrow (which will include an …

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a benefit to the real estate industry in two significant ways, as discussed at the Commercial Legislation & Regulatory Advisory Board meeting at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in late 2018. The creation of Opportunity Zones. These areas have been officially designated by the IRS as lacking investment. Individuals, corporations, businesses, REITs, estates, and trusts can benefit from large tax incentives for investing in Opportunity Zone funds that support real estate development in these areas. For instance, Opportunity Zone investors can legally avoid …