RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

APR 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's 2019 Report PRESSING PAUSE, FINDING BALANCE Based on the Top 1,000 respondents to RISMedia's 2019 Power Broker Survey POWER BROKER TOTALS FOR 2018 AGENTS OFFICES TOTAL TRANSACTIONS TOTAL SALES VOLUME BY MARIA PATTERSON M ANY COULDN'T BELIEVE what they were hearing. Home prices were grow- ing at the fastest pace since 2015, far outpacing wage growth, and the word "bubble" was once again mak- ing its way into media vernacular. Could the housing market really be headed for another crash less than 10 years later? But that was 2018. Now, with the first quarter of 2019 behind us, the outlook is quite a bit different. Sales have flat- tened, prices have calmed and a sense of order seems to have been restored. And, for the 49 percent of Power Brokers who describe their market as "balanced," that's not a bad thing. Despite headwinds like afford- ability and low inventory, this year's Top 1,000 Power Brokers still re- ported a collective sales volume of $1,424,776,652,825 for 2018, more than $100 billion above 2017, and representing more than 100,000 transactions over 2017, as well. "I think 2019 will be a year of pause," says Pat Riley, CEO of Allen Tate Companies. "For us, builders are still way behind demand, ap- preciation rates are sliding back to normalcy, days on market are in- creasing, boomers are squatting, and first-time homebuyers are hav- ing a tough time getting out of their leases financially. What this all adds up to is an adjusting market, which means cautious optimism and a re- turn from a seller's market to a bal- anced market." Riley's comments reflect the feel- ings of the majority of this year's Power Brokers, 59 percent of whom describe their confidence level as "cautiously optimistic." While 43 percent of respondents reported their confidence level as "high" in 2018, this year, just 30 percent re- port such enthusiastic sentiments. And while a shortage of inventory still ranks as the No. 1 challenge to business for Power Brokers, the per- centage has dropped significantly from 71 percent of respondents last year to 49 percent of respondents this year. What's taking inventory's place among top broker challenges? The economy. Ranked as a concern by just 1 per- cent of respondents last year, in this year's survey, 25 percent of respon- dents reported economic uncer- tainty as the second-greatest chal- lenge to business. While most feel that the economy and job growth are faring well, it is tainted by a de- gree of instability brought about by an uncertain political environment that continues to toy with consumer confidence and the stock market. "This is the year of uncertainty," says Janelle Wohlfeil, manager of Real Living Kee Realty. "The inven- tory crisis seems to be ending, but what will the Fed do? I would not be surprised if market volume was down 15 percent or up 10 percent." "Governmental and economic un- 54 April 2019 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE 3,881,412 515,640 $1,424,776,652,825 8,887

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