Syndication Change for Zillow and Trulia

Staring at choices making decisions

The syndication options Zillow and Trulia will now be combined and renamed as “Zillow Group” in the Flexmls export/syndication options.

The setting to send listings to Zillow, Trulia or both will now be found under one option in Flexmls. Zillow’s syndication policy has changed to no longer support two separate feeds to distinguish between Trulia.com and Zillow.com through Flexmls. This means that now, instead of selecting Zillow and/or Trulia to send your listings, there is one option for both called Zillow Group.

Before and After:

before-after

Do I Need to Do Anything?

• If you had Zillow and Trulia selected for your listing, nothing is required from you.
• If you had Zillow selected but not Trulia, the listing will be automatically enrolled as Zillow Group and begin syndicating out to both Zillow and Trulia.
• If you had Trulia selected but not Zillow, you will need to manually select Zillow Group and the listing will be sent out to both Zillow and Trulia.

To adjust your settings, see the Export tab on each listing from the Change screen.

Zillow Group may not be an available option as this option is a broker-level decision.

MLSSAZ (TARMLS) / ARMLS Data Share Ending

MLSSA (TARMLS) building

The MLS of Southern Arizona (MLSSAZ), formerly known as TARMLS, has given notice to ARMLS® that the data share agreement between both parties will end on August 8, 2016. Due to their future technology plans, MLSSAZ needs to remove their feed from ARMLS search options.

ARMLS Subscribers will no longer be able to search TARMLS/MLSSAZ listings from Flexmls and conversely, TARMLS/MLSSAZ users will no longer be able to search ARMLS listings.

Flexmls Association screenshot

The data share only consisted of publicly available fields, therefore Subscribers wishing to view listings in the Tucson/Southern Arizona areas can visit MLSSAZ.com. The possibility of a data share agreement in the future will remain open after MLSSAZ completes its technology upgrade.

STAT Market Update: June 2016

Canadian maple leaf

Each month Tom Ruff of The Information Market gives his stellar commentary on the housing market. Tom is armed with Pending data of which others do not have access. His insights are below. Read the full issue of STAT for the accompanying graphs.

One of the things I love about using real estate data is the ability to identify emerging and actionable trends. The economic factors of prior years can and will have a cause and effect on our current market. Five years ago the housing market in Maricopa County saw an influx of Canadian and institutional buyers. This month, we’ll take a quick look at how this impacts our market today and how using this knowledge might improve your marketing efforts.

First – the Canadians
Canadian buyers accounted for 5.95% of the homes purchased in Maricopa County at their peak in April of 2011. The Canadian dollar (CAD) was worth more than the US dollar and Canadians were purchasing at the bottom of our market. Today, the stronger US dollar buys 1.29 Canadian dollars turning our Canadian friends into mostly sellers rather than buyers.

In reviewing buyer/seller addresses on recorded affidavits of value in Maricopa County for the first six months of 2016, we see that for every one Canadian purchasing a home there are nine selling. The fear of some is now confirmed – our collective hockey IQ is falling. Currently in the MLS there are 388 active listings and 109 pending listings with Canadian owners according to mailing address on file with Maricopa County. Of these listings, 65% were purchased between 2009 and 2013 with 20% of the current listings having been purchased in 2011. Buying at the bottom of the market with a strong CAD, seeing significant appreciation gains since and now selling through a stronger USD has to be better than winning Sir Stanley’s “eh.” In short, Canadian sellers who purchased at the bottom are cleaning up and out.

The two charts on the next page will give insight into this phenomenon.

CAD Graphs

The Institutional Buyers
Large institutional buyers made their presence felt in our market in a big way starting in 2011 and increasing their significantly in 2012 until they pulled back in August 2013. The purpose of their purchases was to create large rental pools. According to data from The Information Market, large institutional investors currently hold 12,629 homes in Maricopa County. We have only seen a small number of the homes purchased by these institutions sell, but we have heard rumblings.

In a recent Bloomberg article, John Bertling, the Chief Executive Officer of Invitation Homes states that “Invitation Homes expects to cull about 5% of its properties annually”. More notably, the article states “about 25% of Invitation Homes’ renters who move out each year are leaving to become buyers,” according to the company. That’s similar to what other large firms are experiencing. Colony Starwood Homes has reported losing about 23% of departing tenants to home ownership and American Homes 4 Rent has said it’s figure is about 30%. All three of these companies have significant holdings in Maricopa County. Using the 25% figure, 3,163 new home buyers are coming from this rental pool each year. Can we say boomerang buyers?

Heat map of institutional holdings

Heat map of Canadian holdings

The ARMLS Pending Price Index (PPI) Our last Pending Price Index projected a May 2016 median sales price of $227,000 with the actual median coming in at $230,000 (off by 1.3%). MLS sales volume in June was 8,861 which was 187 more sales than June 2015 of 8,674. Looking ahead to July, the PPI Index projects a median sales price of $223,000. Last year between June and July we saw the median price dip and our model suggests a similar occurrence this year. I personally expect a modest decline in the median sales price in July, but probably not as low as $223,000.

We began July with 6,990 pending and 4,007 UCB listings giving us a total of 10,997 residential listings practically under contract. In comparison there were 10,761 of the same type of listings at this time last year. There are two fewer business days in July this year than last, so don’t be surprised if sales volume is slightly lower than the total last year of 7,914. Even though we have a higher number of residential listings practically under contract, a slightly smaller percentage will be successful.

Get Into The (Sales) Zone

Average subscriber area

The life of a Realtor takes them all over the Valley, but when it comes to sales area, the data points to a smaller area a little closer to home. The average Listing Agent tends to work within a radius of about 6.65 miles while Buyer’s Agents typically have a slightly bigger area of 7.25 miles. #NowYouKnow

Is This a Townhouse or Patio Home?

Blog-071216

When it comes to identifying the differences between a townhouse or a patio home, the consensus is somewhat lacking. The official ARMLS stance is similar to the bedroom definition, in that we don’t have an official definition for townhouses or patio homes. Listing agents (with guidance from their brokers) and their sellers get to make that decision. Subscribers will often report an error on this topic, but it is not a violation of our rules to select townhouse over patio home or vice versa.

Dwelling Types in the MLS
Patio homes and Townhouses are only two of the eight different dwelling types available in the MLS:

Single Family-detached
Patio Home
Townhouse
Apartment Style/Flat
Gemini/Twin Home
Mfg/Mobile Housing
Modular/Pre-Fab
Loft Style

Your Broker may be able to give you more concrete guidelines or definitions about Townhouses and Patio Homes.

SEER-ious about HVACs

HVAC system

‘Tis the season…for panicked calls to the A/C repair folks and $500 electric bills. If you’ve got a client who’s eager to get relief from the painful A/C bills of their current home, learning about SEER ratings and how to search them in the MLS could get you a cool customer.

HVAC
HVAC is an acronym that stands for Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning and is the mechanism or technology that controls the climate in a given location. Central air conditioning is an example of an HVAC system.

SEER
SEER is another acronym for a measurement of energy efficiency, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. You can calculate the SEER rating by dividing the cooling output by the total electrical input during the same period. Use the model number of the unit to find the SEER rating online. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 13 is the minimum SEER rating for units made today. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the unit is, resulting in lower energy bills. And as with most things designed to save you money, they typically cost more upfront.

SEER in Flexmls
If your seller wants to advertise their SEER rating, you can enter that information (whole numbers only) into Flexmls by going to the Cooling section under the Details tab when editing the listing, clicking HVAC SEER Rating and entering the number.

SEER-Flexmls-ARMLS-fields

If you’ve got a buyer who has a desired SEER number, you can find that field under the Cooling section. Once selected, you’ll be able to enter a SEER range (whole numbers only).

SEER field

Fourth of July Hours

In observance of Independence Day, ARMLS will operate according to the following holiday schedule:

Monday July 4: The ARMLS Helpdesk (480-303-7020) and the Tempe Support Center (130 S. Priest Dr., Suite 101, Tempe) will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. All other departments and Support Centers will be closed.

Tuesday July 5: All ARMLS locations will return to normal business hours.

Flexmls Helps with Open Houses

Row of open house signs

Open houses can be intimidating, but the tools in Flexmls can help decrease some anxiety with a few simple, effective steps.

Marketing Materials
You can create reliable flyers right from Flexmls. When you select the property and click the Print icon, you’ll be taken to the Listings to Print or Email screen. Make sure Detail Report is selected, then click on the arrow located on the Report tab to pick one of the five pre-made flyer templates that are available to you. The flyer will extract all of the listing agent information and replace it with your photo and contact info along with the Equal Housing logo.

Report section in Flexmls

Anticipate The Conversation
Sometimes a client walks into an open house and decides the property doesn’t meet their needs, however, they might want to learn about other properties in the area. Be ready with a handout sheet of active, nearby listings generated from Flexmls. While in search mode, select the Map tab, click the pushpin icon on the bottom of the map and enter the subject property address. After clicking Locate, select Radius Search, enter your desired radius and click Create Radius. Once your predetermined area is populated, click Print. Be sure to select All Results and not just Current Listing.

Radius search function in flexmls

Capture Their Name
Now that you’ve effectively passed out your contact info twice, once with the flyer and once with the other active listings sheet, it’s time to gather their contact info. Go with a traditional sign-in sheet and place it near the entry way.

Now that you have some simple tips to follow you can proceed with confidence. Happy open housing!

STAT Market Update: May 2016

Horseshoe Bend AZ

Each month Tom Ruff of The Information Market gives his stellar commentary on the housing market. Tom is armed with Pending data of which others do not have access. His insights are below. Read the full issue of STAT for the accompanying graphs.

Exactly ten years ago, the median resale home sale price rose to peak prices at $253,400 in Maricopa County when looking at tax records. In April of 2009, the median resale home price fell to $119,000 but rose steadily through 2010 propelled by tax incentives. When those ended, the median fell back to $112,000 in August of 2011 hitting its natural bottom, around 56% below its peak. Today, we refer to 2011 as the bottom of our market. A common topic among housing reports is comparing home prices today with the peak prices of 2006 using this barometer to gauge how far along various housing markets are in their recovery. This month in STAT we will use this common metric as it applies in Maricopa County using tax data.

The median sales price for all resale homes sold in Maricopa County for May 2016 was $225,000, or 89% of peak prices. There are pockets in Maricopa County where the current resale median is very close to the peak median, places where the peak has been surpassed and parts of the county where the median price is only 50% to 65% of the peak value. Arcadia and north central Phoenix are examples of areas where current median prices compare favorably to peak prices. ZIP codes which report favorably are: 85018, 85014, 85013, 85016 and 85257.

Using ZIP code 85014 as an example of an area fully recovered, the peak annual median resale price was $268,000 in 2006. The median resale price fell 58% before bottoming at $112,500. Prices since the bottom have risen 240%. The median resale price for the first 5 months of 2016 in 85014 is $270,000 or 101% of peak pricing. There is currently only 2.4 months supply of inventory listed. It’s a hot ZIP with sought after neighborhoods — a central location in the Madison Elementary school district with short walking distances to some of the newest and hottest restaurants in Phoenix.

Areas where the current median sales price is still well below peak prices can best be described as west central Phoenix and the far northwest Valley. The median resale prices in these areas fell more dramatically from peak to bottom, ranging from 60% to 85%. Examples of these ZIP codes are: 85009, 85355, 85396, 85342, and 85031.

Using ZIP code 85031 as an example of an area with a way to go, the peak annual median resale price was $190,950. The median resale price fell 80.6% before bottoming at $37,000. Prices since the bottom have risen 338%. The median resale price for the first 5 months of 2016 in 85031 was $125,000 or 65% of peak pricing. There is currently only 2.0 months supply of inventory listed. This was one of the hardest hit areas as evidenced by the 80.6% decline in prices as well as an area attractive to investors as evidenced by the 338% rise from the bottom.

As our resale median home values continue to rise we need to mention one important difference between our peak prices in 2006 and our current prices, mainly the cost of money. In June of 2006, the 30- year fixed rate mortgage averaged 6.68% as reported by Freddie Mac, where for the week ending June 9, 2016 the average rate was 3.66%. Interest rates today are 46% lower than they were in June 2006. When we apply these rates to a $200,000 mortgage, the interest paid in June of 2006 would have been $1,113 per month compared to $610 today.

We hope that this data has helped kill off some broad generalizations about how the market has changed in the last ten years with our reporting. Even if all the experts can’t agree about what has happened in the last ten years, we can at least agree that we are all ten years older.

The ARMLS Pending Price Index (PPI)
Our last PPI projected a May 2016 median sales price of $223,839 with the actual median coming in at $225,700 – off by 1.3%. MLS sales volume in May 2016 was 8,676 landing at 176 more sales than our projected volume of 8,500. Looking ahead to June, we predict a median sales price of $227,000. We begin June with 7,551 pending and 4,329 UCB listings giving us a total of 11,880 residential listings practically under contract. This compares to 12,076 of the same type of listings at this time last year. We expect sales volume in June to be very similar to last year with an accompanying increase in the median sales price. Our projected sales volume for May 2016 is 8,400.

Final Thought
In his report, “The New American Home”, Stephen Kim of Barclays Capital finds that trends from the US indicate the Baby Boomers are looking to downsize, while Millennials are choosing style over square footage. The net-net? The new American home is shrinking in size for the first time in 40 years. He examines how the US housing market has picked itself up after the global financial crisis of 2008 and is now changing in a very profound way… the nation’s two largest demographic groups now desire smaller, but well-appointed houses, termed “jewel boxes”.

What Does My Subscribership Get Me?

Girl Examines Her ARMLS Subscriber Benefits

On top of our obvious services like MLS access and the tax system, we offer a range of perks and benefits to our Subscribers. Whether you want to improve your lead generation, master ShowingTime or just get more familiar with the MLS, being a Subscriber can help get you to where you want to be.

Resources and Tools

Training 
Choose between Valley-wide classes, live and pre-recorded webinars, or scheduled office visits. You can also join our Facebook live events or catch them afterwards on our page.

Stats 
Our STAT newsletter is emailed to all Subscribers every month. The RBI product provides market statistical analysis at the MLS, Region, City and ZIP code levels. You can access RBI through the Products tab in Flexmls.

Support
Reach us on FacebookTwitter, email, by phone (480-303-7020), live chat or any one of our Support Centers.

Products 

Search Products
New Home Source Professional, Homesnap, Flexmls Pro Mobile (Apple / Android),  RL Brown Magic Professional and Realtors Property Resource all let you search for comprehensive information using a diverse set of tools.

Monsoon 
Monsoon is our tax records and MLS search application. Whether you’re a long time pro or just getting started, we offer training and update alerts to help everyone stay at the top of their game.

ShowingTime 
As an industry leading showing management system, ShowingTime simplifies the showing process and delivers control back to the Subscribers. Through its customizable platform, you can select your preferred contact method, schedule all showings online, map out bulk showing tours and more!

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