Real Estate Technology
Article | July 21, 2022
Impactful service-enriched housing programs and onsite supportive services build a foundation for serving the unique needs of a rental community’s tenant base. Quality services that address the individual concerns of each resident help eliminate the challenges that force turnover and increased expenses for property managers. Service-enriched housing includes the incorporation of programs and services within a community that advances the social and economic skill set of tenants.
Meeting net operating income (NOI) and covering debt service obligations are key performance indicators for property managers. Tenants must be valued because they are crucial to improving the financial performance of a community or property. Without support in discovering a realistic path to self-sufficiency, these improvements made will not promote the stabilization of a tenant population.
The key outcome for a community through the implementation of service-enriched housing programs is internal revitalization. Tenants benefit socially and economically from services that support access to job readiness, education and financial growth. During this time of economic instability, our resident services coordinators help remove barriers that plague many living in rental housing communities. Through its partnership with Esusu, Rainbow has alleviated tenants’ significant economic hardship by bridging default payments with no-interest loans. Tenants can use the company’s rent reporting platform, which sends on-time rental payment data to the three major credit bureaus – allowing them to build and develop their credit scores.
Prioritizing tenant empowerment offers tangible and intangible changes in a property, leading to increased financial performance and improved tenant retention. It also reduces turnover costs for property management such as flooring, paint and reletting fees. Free programs and services also improve the marketability of a property to prospective tenants. Rainbow communities have seen a reduction in community vandalism since the implementation of youth enrichment programs that keep children engaged and supported in their education.
Quality service-enriched housing programs, such as those offered by Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation, provide direct access to resources that support the needs of physically and mentally disabled individuals, veterans, chronically homeless, single-parent households, families and seniors. Additionally, this type of outreach attracts the interest of local city, state and federal agencies as it helps stabilize the most vulnerable communities, cutting city and government expenses on a number of levels. This type of approval can even lead to further funding and support for initiatives that will enrich the future of affordable housing services.
Key programs and resources address life skills, financial intelligence, education, employment, youth and senior programs, resources to eliminate emergency situations, and social development in a multifamily community. The implementation of a professional, service-enriched housing program with onsite staff ensures that these offerings are tailored to each community and primed for longevity. A stable tenant base will determine the solvency of a community and reposition the financial performance of an asset.
Real Estate Technology, Asset Management
Article | May 30, 2023
The spring selling season might be pushed back for a couple of weeks or even months as lockdowns restrict activity in some states and territories, according to CoreLogic. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, sales and listing turnouts typically rise from September to November. Over the ten years to December 2019, the growth in new listings during spring averaged 15.7% while sales hit 6.8%.
CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said both sales and listings tend to be most seasonal in the capital cities, particularly in Sydney and the ACT. With the lockdowns, however, the in-demand locations might not witness the same level of activity this upcoming spring, which is only two weeks away. "Observing housing market performance through lockdowns reveals that both sales and listings volumes will fall through lockdowns," Ms Owen said.
What can be learned from last year's Melbourne lockdown?
The extended lockdown in Melbourne last year could provide a glimpse as to what could happen in this year's lockdowns. Melbourne was in lockdown from mid-July to late October. During the period, listings dropped consistently, hitting the lowest at 1,411 in the four weeks to September, which was 80.7% lower than the previous five-year average.
There are several factors that contributed to the slowdown during the period.
Aside from the obvious restrictions that have limited inspections and auctions to virtual sessions, the low levels of consumer confidence also dampened the overall market sentiment, with vendors being unsure whether they would get an optimal price for their properties. Mortgage repayment deferrals and other government support also contributed, as these prevented distressed sales. However, when restrictions in Melbourne got lifted by late October, there was a sudden shift in the market mood, with listings quickly recovering. "New listings volumes through December 2020 trended an average 40.4% higher than the previous five-year average, suggesting the spring selling season of 2020 was 'pushed back' into the final months of the year," Ms Owen said.
Lockdowns to only postpone market activity
Ms Owen said the trend in sales and listings through a lockdown indicate the relative stability of the economy and the housing market amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "This has meant that housing purchasing decisions were more likely to have just been postponed through lockdowns, rather than abandoned all together.” In fact, the muted sales activity through lockdowns actually led to an uplift in sales across Melbourne in December of 2020 and July 2021, a time when seasonally, sales volumes would usually be far more subdued.
"There are tailwinds in place for housing market demand to suggest this may happen again; household savings rates remain elevated, new average mortgage rates continue to reach new record lows, and many government fiscal stimulus and broader institutional responses have been resurrected amid renewed lockdowns," Ms Owen said.
Affordability might become a concern
The consistent surge in prices across capital cities in recent months have already resulted in the inevitable constraints in affordability. CoreLogic's Hedonic Home Value Index in July showed a 1.6% gain in dwelling values, a retreat from the previous growth of 1.9%. Ms Owen said some support schemes that supported consumer sentiment, such as JobKeeper and HomeBuilder have already ended which could dampen the expected rebound in demand.
The rising threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19 might also be a major headwind, as it could result in further lockdowns which will ultimately impact the incomes of Australian households. "With affordability constraints becoming a larger obstacle in the market, as well as the potential for tighter credit conditions further down the track, if buyer activity does not match the lift in listings we could see a gradual rebalancing between sellers and buyers," Ms Owen said.
Real Estate Technology, Asset Management
Article | June 15, 2023
Spring is here, and with it comes home buying season. If you’re in real estate, it’s about to get really interesting. There are also some unique challenges you and your buyers might be confronting in the market now. Let’s get to what you need to know.
The housing market has been red-hot for quite a while now. Sales for both new and existing homes have been on an absolute tear. But last month, both of these metrics took a step back.
One likely reason for this is no doubt a moderate increase in mortgage rates. However, it seems to me we talk about that enough. Today, we would like to spotlight another factor causing issues in the housing market and possibly even delaying construction of homes in some areas.
There’s a real shortage of the necessary materials for constructing and renovating homes at this point. According to a December report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 71% of builders were facing a shortage of at least one material.
That means the houses that were being built in December that may just be getting ready to come on the market now may either be delayed or come with higher prices. The material most in demand was lumber, with 31% of contractors experiencing a shortage.
Real Estate Advice
Article | June 7, 2022
For first-time homebuyers, making the transition from renter to homeowner can be exciting, overwhelming, and scary all at once. Yet as Gary Keller and Jay Papasan write in the second edition of Your First Home, “Those who live the most fulfilling lives base their decisions on facts, not fears.”
Below, we’ve outlined four powerful facts from Your First Home to help move anxious homeowners toward the fulfillment and abundance Keller and Papasan nod to. Delivered with empathy, care, and your expertise – these facts can help ease fears and move clients closer to experiencing all the bounties homeownership brings.
Fear 1: “I can’t afford to buy a home now.”
Fact: Until you do the math, you don’t know what you can or can’t afford.
If you are currently paying rent, generally you can afford to buy. From a financial point of view, in the United States, the tax savings on mortgage interest alone usually make up most of the difference between your rent and mortgage payments – the tax write-offs you get at the end of year will generally help you save a lot of money.
Additionally, depending on your credit score, you can end up affording more than you realize. Note: The credit scores used for mortgage lending tend to take on a much larger picture of your overall credit score.
Finally, although there may be a higher initial cost to buying a house, if you’re planning on staying in one place for a few years, the equity you build can end up being a financial boon.
Fear 2: “I should wait until the real estate market gets better.”
Fact: There is never a wrong time to buy the right home.
Whether “right” means the right price or the right property for you, waiting for the perfect market timing seldom works to your advantage. If you don’t believe us, look back to the Great Recession when the bubble around the housing market burst, GDP declined 4.5% and unemployment rose to around 9.5%. Everyone still feels the impact of this incredible financial event. But, like those who endured the Great Depression, the people who lived through the Great Recession made it through, and benefited from an era of financial growth. In fact immediately following the Great Recession, the United States entered the longest period of rising prices and general prosperity since World War II. The fact of the matter is, even the biggest economic downturns are, well, normal. Even when there were some events that threatened to dampen the economy, like the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing market still continued to thrive.
In the end, there are two ways to make money in real estate: timing and time. That is you happen upon the right moment to purchase your home before the price appreciates, or you hold it for a long enough time so that appreciation makes your purchase investment right. If you miss the first, you can most certainly count on the second.
Fear 3: “I don’t have the money for a down payment.”
Fact: There are a variety of down-payment options available to you.
While many people believe that making a home purchase requires a substantial down payment, as as much as 20%,, this is seldom true. Options are always available to you that require much less than this number, as low as 5%, some even less. Moreover, most states have down-payment assistance programs that can help you afford to buy.
House-hacking can also be a great way to make homeownership a more affordable option. House-hacking is when you purchase a piece of real estate and lease out one of the bedrooms or units. This rental income can then be applied toward your mortgage. Or, you can participate in home rental programs like Vrbo or Airbnb. While it may not be ideal all of the time, you could always make your month’s mortgage payment by renting your place while you’re on vacation.
Fear 4: “I can’t buy a home because my credit score isn’t good.”
Fact: A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily prevent you from buying a home.
Although it’s valuable to have a good credit score, a poor one shouldn’t necessarily prevent you from talking to lenders to explore your options. You can expect that a good loan officer (or mortgage specialist) will be able to help you resolve your credit challenges, often simply by showing you how to move or consolidate your debts, or by referring you to a credit counselor who will put you on a plan.
If you’re facing the challenge of having no credit history because you are new to the workforce or have not made regular purchases on credit, there are still possible solutions that you may want to explore. One is to secure financing with the help of a cosigner, such as parents or a close relative, who is willing to stand by your ability to make the payments. Another can be finding a lender who is willing to use alternative forms of history such as student loans, rent, and utilities.
Looking For More Homeownership Resources?
Head over to the Your First Home webpage for freebies, including information on how to build out your real estate dream team and for your clients, a resource on how to determine their homeownership criteria.