Of all the sessions at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo, one that is always full and with standing room only is the Residential Economic Issues and Trends forum.
I, like many NAR members, am drawn to Dr. Yun’s sessions because his message is conveyed in a way that everyone can easily understand while also throwing in a little humor. To most of us, we refer to Dr. Yun simply as Lawrence.
Attendees come to find out where the real estate market and economy has been and where it is headed. Lawrence is the first to admit that he’s not always spot on with his predictions, but he is certainly in the ballpark. And many times that is sufficient.
Key points from this year’s packed house presentation:
- Lifetime wealth is at an all-time high
- Home ownership rate is at a 50-year low – 63.5 million as of Q3 2015
- First-time home buyer dipping in 2015 to 32%
- Lack of starter home inventory
- Priced out of higher end inventory
- Student loan debt has hit a high of 1.3 trillion dollars
- Housing starts ending 2015 close to 1.1 million
- Existing home sales 5.3 million in 2015
According to Lawrence, three reasons that home sales are on the rise as we end 2015: low home mortgage interest rates, housing equity is up for pent up sellers, and the boomerang buyers are returning to the buying market. No longer are homeowners using their homes as ATM machines.
The one statement that caused the crowd to erupt in cheers was the announcement that For Sale by Owner inventory is collapsing with a reported national level of only 8% of homes being marketed without a REALTOR®.
If you missed Lawrence’s session this year, you can always listen to the recorded session at PlaybackNAR.com.