Fannie Mae makes major rule change

Plus, new hot city for millennial buyers

Stats to Track

Welcome back! We hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

We’re into the home stretch now. As we make that final push to the end of the year, we know you’ll be keeping a close eye on your numbers. Then again, we know in our business, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the data out there.

So which numbers are the most crucial to track? There are the obvious ones, but then there are others that definitely need our attention.

If you scroll down to today’s Foundation Plans, you’ll see we list several key statistics to keep an eye on as we close out the year, and especially as we plan for 2024.

We wish you all the best as we all try to close out this year strong!

- James and David

New home sales fell 5.6% in October


New home sales fell in October, dropping 5.6% from September’s revised 719,000 to an annual rate of 679,000 sales. According to Zillow, although the level fell month-over-month, October’s rate was 17.7% higher year-over-year. These are the key takeaways from October:

  • By the end of the month, mortgage rates reached the highest level in more than 20 years. As a result, affordability conditions deteriorated further and buyers pulled back in parts of the country. 

  • New home sales fell month-over-month in the Midwest (-16.4%) and the West (-23.3%), and climbed in the Northeast (+13.2%) and South (+2.1%). 

  • Despite the month-over-month variation across the country, all four regions saw a higher rate of new home sales in October than one year ago, with increases ranging from 8.5% to 19.2% year-over-year

  • The median sales price of new houses sold in October was $409,300.

  • The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 439,000, a supply of 7.8 months at the current sales rate.

Our take

We don’t see this slowdown in new home sales as a sign of things to come. New home sales are likely to be the key factor propelling total home sales in 2024. Mortgage rates are already on the way down from their October peak, and builders are offering up small price cuts and other incentives like rate buydowns and closing cost credits. This should get hesitant buyers to get in the game. Start making friends with developers and builders, as they will help you drive transactions next year.

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Fannie Mae’s new down payment rule has kicked in

Source: Clever Real Estate

Fannie Mae now allows 5% down on 2-4 unit properties. The company announced this rule change in October, but it only took effect this month. Here’s what to know:

  • The new policy took effect on November 18, 2023

  • The past policy required 15%-25% as down payment to purchase a multi-unit property

  • The new policy allows buyers to put 5% down

  • The new policy applies to several Fannie Mae mortgage types including conventional and renovation loans

  • Buyers who use Fannie Mae loans are not subject to FHA loan amount restrictions or closing cost fees

Our take

This is a great opportunity for first-time buyers and anyone wanting to get into real estate investing. In the past, buyers only had two options: a) get an FHA loan that allowed for a 5% down payment but required living at the site for 1 year or b) buy it as an investment property and put down the required minimum 20%. With this new policy, buyers can avoid those restrictions AND qualify for bigger loan amounts than FHA regulations allow. This is a big deal. Agents should familiarize themselves with this new program and show it to potential buyers, especially investors.

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Top metros where millennials are moving

Millennials, according to SmartAsset’s 2023 study of U.S. Census data, are moving to the coasts, but not to the biggest cities. According to their definition of “millennial” as anyone between the ages of 25 and 44, SmartAsset determined that one in four millennials moved to a different city, many for work or cost of living concerns.

Here are the top cities where millennials moved this year:

  1. Cambridge, MA

  2. Santa Clara, CA

  3. Seattle, WA

  4. Sunnyvale, CA

  5. Denver, CO

  6. Arlington, VA

  7. Bellevue, WA

  8. Killeen, TX

  9. Austin, TX

  10. Sandy Springs, CA

Our take

These cities may look a lot different, but they all have one thing in common: opportunity. These cities offer lower cost of living and a change of pace from the big cities, both attractive options for remote workers. Millennials’ preferences are changing too. More than half say it’s very important that the home they purchase has the potential for rental income. Be attentive to these trends and market yourself accordingly.

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The news that just missed the cut

San Diego, CA:

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

Real estate is definitely a people business, but it’s also a numbers game. This is why it’s crucial to keep track of your stats. Today, we’re going over some key metrics:

Year-over-year production – Compare your current performance to the previous year. This metric provides invaluable insights into whether your performance is aligned with your goals. It’s concrete data that enables you to make strategic adjustments to ensure continuous growth and success.

Active and future listings – Listings are king in real estate. Understanding current active listings provides insights into market trends, pricing strategies, and property availability. Future listings help in planning and preparing for upcoming opportunities. Being aware of active and future listings allows you to better match client needs with available properties, offer more tailored and timely options, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Conversion rate – It’s vital to know how effective you are in turning inquiries or leads into actual business. Monitoring this conversion rate helps in evaluating the efficiency of sales strategies, identifying areas for improvement in communication or sales techniques, and ultimately optimizing efforts to increase successful deals. This helps maximize your productivity and revenue potential.

Lead flow – We will say this till we’re dead. Never let your pipeline go dry. It’s critical to continuously generate leads, but you also need to know how effectively your marketing tactics are working. To do that, you need to track the number and quality of potential clients, as well as identify which lead sources are most successful. Tracking lead flow helps optimize your time and resources to maximize your chances of securing more deals.  

This is just the tip of the iceberg. To learn what other metrics to track, start here.

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For Blueprint subscribers, the course is 30% for a limited time. If you’d like to take our course to learn how to become the top 1% of your market click here!

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Mortgage News Daily

Thanks for reading today’s Blueprint! If you liked what you read, forward it to a friend. And whether you’re new to the community or not, drop us a line. We’d love to hear what you think. 

We’ll see you on Friday. Till then, hustle! Hard work never hurt anybody!

- James and David