Recently we received a research request from a member regarding national housing statistics and thought this presented a great opportunity to highlight some wonderful, *free* resources for housing and household statistics. For this project we researched answers to the following questions:
- How many rural versus urban households are in the United States?
- What is the average income of rural versus urban households in the United States?
- What is the average age of homes in the United States?
Thanks to the US Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau we were able to answer these questions in record time. If we had naming rights to United States’ National Treasures, Census Bureau would top the list.
Let’s start with the first question “How many rural versus urban households are there in the United States?” The US Census Bureau’s annual Income, Poverty & Health Insurance: Coverage in the United States report holds our answer. According to this report (see “Residence” section of Table 1, on page 6), in 2011 the United States saw 101,526,000 residences “inside metropolitan statistical areas.” In case you are not familiar with the term, Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA is another way of saying urban metropolitan area. In 2011 the United States saw 19,558,000 residences “outside metropolitan statistical areas” (i.e. rural).
Next, we tackle the question of average income of rural versus urban households in the United States. Income data is found in a variety of places, including the Census Bureau’s Income, Poverty & Health Insurance report, American Housing Survey, and American Fact Finder database. In the same “Residence” section of the Income, Poverty & Health Insurance report referenced above, we find the median family income for 2011 for all households of $50,054, where residences within MSAs show a 2011 median income of $51,574 and residences outside MSAs show $40,527.
Last we take a look at the average age of homes in the United States. For this we turn to the Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, most recently published in 2011. The Survey’s “Introductory Characteristics Table 2-1” offers 1974 as the median year of structure built for all total owner-occupied units.
We’ve covered a couple Census Bureau gems, but keep in mind there are many more. We recommend exploring the American Fact Finder database when you next have a little down-time to find oodles of great statistics.
Running, Millennials and Stress Management
In light of the tragedies this week, we turn to the running community for inspiration and hope. Runner and writer Jeff Edmonds shares a poignant and eloquent post on the triumph of the human spirit, as realized through running. If you are a runner, aspire to be a runner, or are simply interested in running we recommend Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. It is guaranteed to inspire you to lace up and hit the trails. As this week rolls on, we continue to keep our thoughts with Boston and hope those affected by this tragedy find hope, comfort, friendship, and support during this challenging time.
April is “Stress Awareness Month” according to the Health Resource Network in Baltimore, Maryland. The US National Library of Medicine offers some good information on stress management as does the Mayo Clinic. Check out eBooks in our library on work life balance and stress and time management (use the search box at top right to search for stress or work life balance. In the words of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we wish you a healthy and productive life!
Times are a changing. Time magazine published an article this week on Millennial home purchasing and lifestyle differences. Though marriage may come after home ownership with this generation, when the wedding planning commences, it commences on Pinterest. Perhaps rehabbed and converted firehouses might piqué their interest?
The question regarding new home owner expenditures crops up somewhat frequently here in the NAR Library. The NAR, NAHB, and BLS include some useful statistics to answer questions in this arena. For those not familiar with the acronyms: NAR = National Association of REALTORS®, NAHB = National Association of Home Builders®, and BLS = U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The first useful resource is NAR’s Jobs Impact of an Existing Home Purchase (uses data from 2010) report which offers that “one job is generated for every two home sales. Using that ratio, 1,000 home sales generate 500 jobs.”
The aforementioned report also includes this useful chart on the Impact of Single Existing Home Purchase, given a median home sale price of $173,000:
|Real Estate Industries||Related Industries
|$15,570 +||$5,235 +||$9,987 +||$27,738||= $58,529|
For a historical look, check out the 2008 version of this report here.
Further, the NAR publishes economic impact reports for each state. For example, in the economic impact report for Missiouri in February of 2012, it offers that “Additional expenditures on consumer items such as on furniture, appliances, and paint service is: $5,234.”
The National Association of Home Builders®’ report “Spending Patterns of Home Buyers” (2008) has some good statistics too, including details on average home buyer expenditures for the first year after purchase, and average new household appliance and furnishing expenditures. It then compares these figures by existing and new home sales versus “non-moving owners.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a nice chart on averange annual household expenditures. Here is a chart for 2011.
The NAR’s April 2012 report Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing is also useful. It focuses on this topic from a macroeconomic perspective, but may still provide the necessary data to help home buyers and sellers understand the value of home maintenance.
In considering the question of home sale preparation expenditures, the annual Cost vs. Value survey comes to mind, which offers statistics on average costs to repair items, and which repairs may bear the greatest fruit in a home sale.
Further, REALTOR® Magazine has a series of customer handouts, including one for sellers: 5 Things to do Before Putting Your Home on the Market. The Magazine’s 2009 article also provides some after costs for “boosting curb appeal” here and this article offers some guidance for Judging a Project’s Worthiness. HouseLogic offers this audio report on preping the home for sale.
A member recently contacted NAR’s Information Central to inquire after sales meeting resources. Below you will find a selection of resources on this topic.
A few articles from REALTOR Magazine :
- One Fantastic Year of Sales Meetings, Realtor Magazine, January 2011
- Can’t-Miss Sales Meetings, REALTOR Magazine, Feb 2009
- You’re the Coach, REALTOR Magazine, Sept. 2010
- Become a Chief Inspiration Officer, REALTOR Magazine, Nov. 2009
- Generate Ideas, Disney Style, REALTOR Magazine, September 2012
- Outside-the-Box Business Strategies, REALTOR Magazine, July 2012
- Your Most Creative Marketing Ideas, REALTOR Magazine, April 2010
We also have a few items in our library. For instant gratification, we have a few eBooks (download the free Adobe Digital Editions software first, then checkout and download eBooks):
- 77 Tips for Absolutely Great Meetings
- Manager’s Guide to Effective Meetings
- Manage Meetings Positively
- Plan and Conduct Effective Meetings
We also have a few books in the NAR Library (REALTORS can check out up to 3 books at a time for a period of 30 days; shipping $10):
Recently a REALTOR® contacted the NAR Library to inquire after studies and reports that demonstrate the positive impact of commercial real estate development and urban planning on communities. Here is what we found:
The Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA) Economic Impact Study database offers quite a few useful reports on the value of commercial real estate, including a report for each US state. A sample of BOMA’s work:
The commercial real estate industry is a significant contributor to the nation’s economic engine. In 2011, the office building industry contributed $205 billion to the U.S. economy. Real estate is one of the leading employers in the United States. Office building operations alone supported more than three million jobs in 2011. Firms in the commercial real estate industry employ building managers, asset managers, custodial staff, security staff, brokers and accountants and retain a myriad of other services through contract, such as legal consulting, landscape maintenance and window cleaning to name just a few. In addition, the nearly 10 billion square feet of office space located in the 94 markets served by BOMA’s 93 local associations provide work space for an estimated 44 million office jobs.
The value of commercial buildings is much more than the sum of their construction outlays or their assessed valuation. Commercial real estate development, construction and operations create a ripple effect in the economy. This contribution consists of annual direct spending for new development and construction and annual expenditures to operate existing buildings. Additional important economic benefits – the ripple effect – are also derived from the re-spending of the salary and wages supported by direct construction and operating outlays and purchases of construction-related materials and services from vendors. The combination of these direct and indirect (and induced) outlays constitutes the total output or contribution to the national economy.
Here are a few articles from the ProQuest database (members only access, required password information) that might also be of use:
Anonymous. (2007). Commercial real estate props up economy. Mortgage Banking, 67.10: 96.
The commercial real estate development sector not only has kept the economy from stalling in the face of the slowing housing market, but it is also been a significant driver of economic growth, according to a study commissioned by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Herndon, VA. The basis of commercial real estate’s ongoing sustainability lies in its three phases of development: 1. soft costs, 2. hard costs, and 3. building operations. The report also identifies the top 10 states by construction value in four categories — office, industrial, warehouse and retail — and by the number of jobs and increase in personal income tied to that construction.
Bell, J. (2012). Rust belt recovery. Mortgage Banking, 72.9: 64-68.
Currently, the rebound in the Midwest is revealing an economic spark in the heartland that may be missing elsewhere around the country. Three Midwestern cities — Cleveland, Detroit and Minneapolis St. Paul are evidence of just that: 1. Cleveland, once an outpost of the Rust Belt, is transforming itself into a bustling business and commercial center […] Real estate sources are anticipating moderate gains in commercial lending in Detroit for 2012 into 2013.
Sohn, D. W. (2012). The economic value of walkable neighborhoods. Urban Design International, 17.2: 115-128.
Williams, D. R., & Marks, J. (2011). Community development efforts offer a major opportunity to advance Americans’ health. Health Affairs, 30.11: 2052-5.
Large differences in the opportunities and resources that Americans have to be healthy have led to sizable variations in health by geography, race and ethnicity, income level, and education. By enhancing the opportunities for good health in the places where we live, learn, work, play, and worship, community development initiatives can be important drivers of improved health. As articles in this month’s issue of Health Affairs attest, community development and public health are two forces that often have the same goals. Because there has been little research to date documenting which aspects of community development could have the greatest impact on health, it will be increasingly necessary to rigorously evaluate the impact of various interventions to guide policy makers in identifying the most important measures to take in an environment of constrained financial resources.
We also have a few books in the NAR Library on the topic of urban renewal (check out up to 3 books at a time for a period of 30 days; shipping $10) :
- The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream
- Creating a Vibrant City Center: Urban Design and Regeneration Principles
- Terra Incognita: Vacant Land and Urban Strategies
For instant gratification, we offer a few eBooks on this topic too (download the free Adobe Digital Editions software first, then checkout and download eBooks):
- Community by Design: New Urbanism for Suburbs and Small Communities
- Sustainable Urban Planning: Tipping the Balance
Local governments and non-profit organizations frequently publish economic impact studies (or hire consulting firms to conduct the studies). For example, the Seattle Public Libraries hired a contractor to put together this economic impact study. A few other examples include:
Economic Impact Of Local Businesses vs. Chains: The following studies have found that locally owned stores generate much greater benefits for the local economy than national chains. Indie Impact Study Series: Salt Lake City, Utah — Civic Economics, August 2012” (Source: Institute for Local Self-Reliance).
Utah Valley University. (2010). Economic impacts of Utah Valley University.
Keywords (these are terms used to find the above resources):
- commercial real estate
- commercial real estate development
- economic impact
- economic impact study
- impact study
- commercial district development
- urban renewal
- urban policy
- city planning
REALTOR® Safety, Powering Gadgets, and Public Relations
September is REALTOR® Safety Month! In honor of this important topic, we’re reading a number of books on workplace safety, preventing identity theft, and more. Check out our library’s digital collection of safety related books here checkout books for free for up to 21 days. Speaking of free things, Kiplinger’s recent article details some of the best-of-the-best when it comes to freebies (the tip about Microsoft’s Security Essentials is particularly good–it is a great free resource for malware protection).
Has a bookmobile come to your neighborhood, or did you encounter bookmobiles as a child? This fun slide show showcases bookmobiles of past and present. What a great way to make libraries more accessible!
Most REALTORS® are very mobile–spending much time travelling between showings and the office. This makes powering the gadgets that fuel business difficult. CNN shares resources to help you stay connected. However, all the devices in the world will not protect you from bad PR and branding. This story of popular food chain Panera presents positive proof of the power of good branding and PR: how can you and your colleagues incorporate this ideology into your marketing mix?
Lactose intolerant? You can stop reading now. For the rest of you: the Daily Meal shares details on making the ideal grilled cheese.
From REALTOR® Magazine:
Marketing top-line features for luxury buyers, (REALTOR Magazine, Jan. 2011): “For Vanderbilt Residences, a year-old residential waterfront development in Newport, R.I., figuring out the defining luxuries inside each of the 16 furnished units was an important first step. There are a lot of vacation homes in the area, and an equally high number of listings along the water.”
Own your niche, (REALTOR Magazine, Jul, 2009): “He built an intricate database of people who owned homes or vacant lots there and then categorized properties by waterfront, lake view, and golf course. He launched a postcard campaign that gave home owners an Apple Valley State of the Market Report, he advertised in the community’s monthly newspaper, and he snapped up a memorable URL, www.applevalleyohio.com. The year after developing his niche, his team’s sales total climbed to 322. The next year, it surpassed his sale-a-day goal, with 380 transactions.”
Get creative with our listing, (YPN Lounge Blog, Feb. 9, 2011). “We’ve been in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and on every online venue we should be. We’ve targeted the agents selling high-end waterfronts with glossy mailers and e-mails. We spent a lot of money having two video tours done – the client didn’t like how the first one came out, so we had to hire a second videographer from New York for a reshoot. The new video came out great and really captures the essence and value of the property being a waterfront. The next step was to make sure people actually see the video. My partner created a killer website for the property. Our listing has a Facebook fan page and Twitter account where I upload new photos and host online contests, etc.”
The prospect warm-up, (REALTOR Magazine, Mar. 2011): “DeBord does that through his Web site and blogs. “We publish as much relevant and useful data for our clients as possible, from market updates to neighborhood guides,” he says. DeBord also writes a monthly blog post for his local newspaper analyzing price trends and reporting significant waterfront home sales.”
Multifamily attracting foreign investors, (REALTOR Magazine, Jun. 14, 2012): “It’s going to be a hot market for the next 18 months to two years” Fisher says. “If you can secure a multifamily property, it will bring off-the-charts money because that’s what buyers want in today’s marketplace […] Waterfront properties are also in high demand right now — I literally receive one or two calls a day from investor pools looking for waterfront multifamily properties.”
Man tries to sell not just home but life on eBay, (REALTOR Magazine, Aug. 13, 2012): “A man is offering up not just his Florida waterfront home and rental condo, but also basically all of his possessions and investments together on eBay, with the asking price of $3.5 million. Shane Butcher decided that instead of dying owning a bunch of his investments, he wants to cash out now so he can reap the financial benefits earlier. He’s offering up a waterfront Tampa Bay home, a rental condo, three cars, kayaks, video games, his gaming business called “RU Game?” with three chains, Blu-Ray players, kitchen appliances, paintings, TVs, and more. Butcher says his homes, cars, business and everything else is all paid off in full. He says he’s looking for a fresh start.”
Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Dept. of Env’l Protection: No Taking Found in Florida Case, (2010): “Florida law provides that the state owns all submerged land under navigable waters and the land between the low tide line and the mean high-tide line. Waterfront property owners own the land up to the high-tide line. These property owners have the right to access the water, right to receive “accretions” from the water, and the right to an unobstructed view of the water. A property owner receives ownership of land gradually added to his/her land through accretion (i.e., land created by deposits naturally added from the water source); however, sudden changes causing additional dry land on a beach is an “avulsion” and the state retains the ownership of that property.”
Articles in the ProQuest database:
Heinrich, J. & Kashian, R. (2010). Pricing the homebuyer’s proximity to open land. The Journal of Applied Business and Economics, 11.1: 80-88.
Wyman, D. & Sperry, S. (2010). The million dollar view: A study of golf course, mountain, and lake lots. The Appraisal Journal, 78.2: 159-168.
Clark, C. S. (2012). Hard sell. Government Executive, 44.5: 29-33.
Hoen, B., Wiser, R., Cappers, P., Thayer, M. & Sethi, G. (2011). Wind energy facilities and residential properties: The effect of proximity and view on sales prices. The Journal of Real Estate Research, 33.3: 279-316.
Cazzin, J. & Chapin, A. (2011). Dream city deals. MoneySense, 13.3: 69-72.
eBooks* in the NAR Library for free 21-day checkout to NAR members:
We also have numerous eBooks on sales and marketing topics, including this book, Selling Luxury by Robin Lent (2009). If you’re interested in checking out eBooks, first download the free Adobe Digital Editions software required to view/read eBooks.
Inman also has a few articles related to waterfront properties.
Books in the NAR Library’s print collection (accessible to all REALTORS®; order up to 3 at a time for a shipping fee of $10):
Below are some of the best of the library’s resources on short sales and foreclosures.
Titles in our eBooks collection:
- Fire Sale, (2010)
- Foreclosure Law 101, (2011)
- Foreclosures How To Boot Camp: The Fast and Easy Way to Learn the Basics with 104 World Class Experts Proven Tactics, Techniques, Facts, Hints, Tips and Advice, (2011)
- The all-new real estate foreclosure, short-selling, underwater, property auction, positive cash flow book [electronic resource] : your ultimate guide to making money in a crashing market, (2009)
- The Everything Guide to Buying Foreclosures, (2009)
- The 250 Questions Everyone Should Ask about Buying Foreclosures (2009)
Recent articles from the ProQuest database (REALTORS® can access this database for free; login to Realtor.org here for more information):
- Freddie Mac sees short sales climb in 2011; issues new servicer timelines, (Mortgage Banking, Jun 2012)
- Real Estate Reality: CHALLENGES AHEAD, (Mortgage Banking, Jun 2012)
- An enlightening mistake: Short-selling litigation, (The Economist, May 2012)
- Distressed Sales and Home-Price Trends, (Mortgage Banking, May 2012)
Additionally, the library has put together these guides:
Foods fit for a president, marketing musings, and more…
With the recent Supreme Court ruling on the health care law and the 2012 election campaigning running in full gear, there are a lot of rumors going around with regards to tax and real estate. Get the facts straight here and on our health insurance reform web page. The Washington Post also published a succinct and informative article on this topic today.
For a marketing class we read Kotler Marketing Group’s Q&A on marketing. “Satisfy the unment needs of target markets” made us wonder: what unfulfilled needs of your prospects can you satisfy? Perhaps connecting them with an energy efficient mortgage or energy efficient tax credits.
Colleagues in our marketing class have also discussed the pros and cons of holding open houses and using print publications. The concensus? It all depends on your location, the readership of print publications in your area, the generation of buyers and sellers in your area, and what is necessary to provide assurance to your clients that you are working hard for them, espeically when much of what you do is behind the scenes; maybe your clients need something tactile to feel at ease with the process? Our readings for this class include Sales and Marketing 101 for Real Estate Professionals and Marketing Real Estate Properties: The Science and the Magic.
Realtor.com helps homebuyers prepare for the zombie apocalypse with their list of stronghold estates.
And for fun, we give you: foods fit for a president (what the presidents ate when not at official functions). The one thing in common for all, regardless of political party? Indulgent and unhealthy!
Living with the ‘rents, sustainable design, and the economy joins us for lunch
Though the economy is showing signs of recovery, and housing inventory is down, many of us are still working with a tight budget. A Times economist offers some budgeting guidance on dining out. Speaking of recovery, we’ve noticed a lot of new construction in our downtown Chicago neighborhood, including this 1970s office building converted to green hotel. A $600/month eletricity bill for a 63 room hotel ain’t too shabby.
So you’ve moved back home since you can’t afford to buy a house. Are you killing the housing market? The Washington Post says “Yes.” What does this mean for the economy? “It has trimmed demand for housing.” However, looking at home ownership from a historical perspective, home ownerships rates appear to return to their historical norm.
Are you looking at confidential client information on your train or plane commutes? According to the New York Times, you may be inadvertently exposing sensitive client information–such as business deals, personnel issues, and clients list–to the general public. Data thieves target conferences, work commutes, and other public spaces to steal valuable competitive intelligence data.
We close out with a bow to Air Quality Week, a joint effort of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Though we all have our own opinions on the environment, we all breathe the same air and thus each have a stake in the need for high quality, clean air.