Archive for June, 2016

This year is, and will continue to be, a great year for residential real estate.

June 24th, 2016

The 2016 State of the Nation Housing Report was released Wednesday, June 22, 2016. This report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University analyzes the housing markets, demographic drivers, homeownership, rental housing, and housing challenges that affect our national housing market. We have certainly come a long way since the crash of 2007, but still have a long way to go.  Read the full report at:

From the report, housing starts continue to climb and have reached their highest level since 2008.  We have seen this in our own market area with a dramatic increase in new construction. New homes are also getting bigger, with the median size reaching 2,467 square feet. This same trend has been seen in our local market, with large two-story homes being built to accommodate growing families. We have also seen the Next Generation Home Concept, where large ramblers are being built to house two generations under one roof, each on their own floor.  These have kitchen and laundry facilities on both floors for separation, yet ample space for the entire family to enjoy meals and activities together.  The study also shows how labor shortages have put a damper on some construction activity around the country. After the housing crash, many skilled workers left the industry, shrinking the construction workforce by 20%. Finished lot inventory also shrank by some 30%.

Housing inventories continue to decline year over year.  Nationally, the supply of housing stood at 4.9%, well under the balanced market gage of 6%. The reduction in housing inventory, especially at or under the median price point, has kept some first time buyers on the sidelines. The stock of affordable housing units for sale continues to be extremely limited. Available homes in the bottom to middle value tiers shrank by 38% in the period of 2010 to 2015, while the median home price increased by 4.7% to $296,400 in 2015. This has been very difficult for buyers in our market – as homes are listed they may have multiple offers with bidding wars, which can price many inexperienced first time buyers out of the game. Read the rest of this entry »

June 10th, 2016

National Homeownership MonthNational Homeownership Month actually started as a week-long celebration of homeownership in 1995. In 2002 President George W. Bush proclaimed June as the official month of homeownership recognition. The goal was to help more families achieve the American Dream.

Locally, to celebrate Homeownership Month, the Minnesota Homeownership Center, Homestretch, and many members of the Homeownership Advisors Network are offering free or reduced prices on home buyer education to potential home buyers. Homeownership is the key to creating vibrant communities, and successful homeownership is possible through smart choices based on solid information. Make sure any home buyers you are currently working with know that the cost of home buyer education has been discounted for the month of June…Have them register today.



Fairway’s American Warrior Initiative Event

June 3rd, 2016

AWI Event June 2016

Our first local American Warrior Real Estate Professional training event was held Thursday, June 2 at Illumination Church in Burnsville. We were honored to have Louise Thaxton, Director of AWI; and Sean Parnell, Co-Founder of AWI and New York Times bestselling author of Outlaw Platoon in attendance to teach and train us on how to be more aware of the challenges facing our active duty military and veteran clients. It was a powerful and emotional event capped off by honoring the family of Keegan Iversen.

Keegan is a veteran, having served his country in the Air Force for six years, which included one tour in Iraq. He is husband to Amy, and loving father of three young children ages 6, 5, and 9 months. He served in the Honor Guard and as Chaplain for his local American Legion, has been active in his community, and volunteered for mission trips at his local church.

Keegan Iversen was involved in a serious motorcycle accident in the early morning of October 7, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas. He sustained multiple injuries: broken bones, internal injuries, lacerations, a collapsed lung, and a traumatic brain injury – he has a long fight ahead. With the donations of the Realtors in attendance, the local Fairway Branch network, and Fairway American Warrior Initiative, the Iverson family received a check for $20,000 to help offset the rising medical bills and specialized transportation needs they now face.

As Louise told us during the presentation, “It only takes one thing you can do today.” We rallied a group of Realtors for education, and discovered our one thing – to give what we could to help a veteran and his family. He served our country, and in our small way, we said thank you.