Qa& In the Past Month
raymond Fleischmann is senior associate editor at Scotsman Guide. reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEO AND CO-FOUNDER
SENIORS REAL ES TATE INS TITUTE
home sales hit seven year high
WaShINGTON — Sales of existing U.S. homes rose this past
December, pushing sales numbers for this past year to the
highest level in seven years, according to the National association of realtors.
For 2013, there were 5.09 million sales of existing homes,
a 9.1 percent gain over 2012 and the highest level since
2006, when sales of existing homes was at an “
unsustain-ably high 6. 48 million,” Nar said.
home sales rose 1 percent from November to December to
a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4. 87 million this past
December, the trade group said.
Nar said the median price of a home in 2013 was $197, 100,
11. 5 percent higher than the median price for 2012 and the
highest annual gain since 2005, when the median prices for
the year climbed 12. 4 percent.
Foreclosures plunge in 2013
IrVINE, calif. — The number of U.S. properties hit with foreclosures in 2013 dropped 26 percent from 2012, realty Trac
realtyTrac said foreclosure filings, which include default
notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, affected 1,361,795 properties this past year.
The total was the lowest since 2007 and also was 53 percent lower than the peak year of 2010, when 2. 9 million
properties were involved with foreclosure proceedings. although most states had improved foreclosure rates in 2013,
there were 10 states with rates that climbed, some of them
significantly, realty Trac said.
housing starts drop dramatically
WaShINGTON — housing construction starts dropped dramatically this past December after a surge in November, the
U.S. commerce Department reported.
December’s housing starts dropped 9. 8 percent from this
past November’s revised seasonally adjusted annual rate
of 1, 107,000 units.
housing starts dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual
rate of 999,000 a month after they climbed an attention-grabbing 22. 7 percent.
In the same time frame, permits issued for housing projects
dropped 3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
986,000. Despite being down month over month, permits
issued this past December were 4. 6 percent higher than
Permits for single-family housing units declined 4. 8 percent below the revised rate of 641,000 this past November. For multiple-unit housing projects with five or more
separate living quarters, permits posted an annual rate of
350,000 this past December.
The number of completed housing projects this past December dropped 10. 8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 744,000 from the previous month’s revised rate
This past December’s completions were 10. 7 percent
above December 2012, however, when the annual rate was
homebuilders are less confident
WaShINGTON — a U.S. builders’ confidence index slipped
one point to 56 this past December, the National association of home Builders reported.
“Following an unexpected jump last month, builder confidence has essentially leveled out and is holding at a solid
level,” said NahB chairman rick Judson in a statement.
The NahB/Wells Fargo housing Market Index, which focuses on builder confidence in the market for newly built,
single-family homes, has held above 50 for eight months.
any number higher than 50 indicates that builders view
conditions as good rather than poor. Judson said the
upcoming months “bodes well for future home sales.”
BY RAYMOND FLEISCHMANN
aS MiLLionS oF BaBy BooMeRS aGe, SenioR-houSinG
pRoGRaMS GeT in The Spo TLiGhT.
In the mortgage industry, building business often comes down to finding new niches in which to
specialize. One niche in particular looms large on the horizon: senior-centric lending. according
to the Pew research center, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day for the next 16 years.
With that in mind, reverse mortgages and other senior-related housing products could become a
major facet of the mortgage industry in the near future. We spoke with Nikki Buckelew, cEO and
co-founder of the Seniors real Estate Institute, to learn more about servicing this niche.
how and why was the Seniors Real estate institute formed?
My husband and I built a successful real estate business in Oklahoma from 2000 to 2005.
We’d been selling homes for about 10 years, and we decided to specialize. So, we did that for
about five years, and in that time we were selling about 120 homes a year, and about 60 percent or so of those were [to] people over the age of 70.
as we did that, we started getting calls from people all over the country saying, “hey, we want to
specialize. can you help us?” Well, obviously, you can’t help everybody one-on-one like that, so
we started doing a series of telecourses, which tried to address some of the questions that agents
had, and over time, it morphed into a curriculum. It wasn’t something we set out to do. It really
came as a result of people asking for it. Then, at the beginning of 2013, we were encouraged by one
of my colleagues to create a designation, so we created what we call the certified Senior housing
Professional, specifically for real estate agents, brokers and managers.
What’s the makeup of the senior real estate market like, and how might it
change in the next few years?
It’s important for mortgage brokers to recognize that they have two distinct market segments.
You have the younger aging senior — which is the baby boomer — and then you have what
gerontologists call the “old old.” I hate to put an age on it, but statistically, [these are] people
in their 80s and up. The younger senior market is looking for housing options that are going to
allow them to either stay in their own home that they’re in now, or if they do decide to move, they
want something that is going to be equipped for them to stay in for the long term. Nobody wants
to move into assisted living or senior housing; that’s not something you see people wanting to
do. So, what I recognize is that — just based on some research I’ve done — we are overbuilding
across the country congregate senior living. It’s going to be needed for our older seniors, but in
the short term, what we have right now is a deficit in one-level and accessible homes.
When it comes to working with reverse mortgages, what are a few of the most
common questions you encounter from seniors?
Because we aren’t mortgage lenders, I don’t get questions, but I get concerns. One of the biggest
that I hear regularly — from realtors, even — is that, when they pass away, [the bank] will take
their house. and I hear literally that phrase: “They will take my house.” They don’t understand
the idea of what will happen when they pass away or if they decide to move. I also hear people
commonly say, “Well, if I do a reverse mortgage, I’ll no longer own my home,” and that’s because,
especially for that older age group, “owning their home” meant having it paid it off. It meant free
and clear. But to [the younger generations], owning your own home means that you could be
mortgaged to the hilt but you still own it. The bank has a lien on it, but you still own it. So, there’s
a difference in the terminology between our current generation and the older generation.
What advice would you offer for originators who are interested in pursuing
more senior-related business?
They have to be all about seniors. Not all about mortgages, but all about seniors. They have
to know not just the logistical issues or the housing issues, but what the emotional issues are
that go along with that. They have to educate themselves beyond their subject matter.
[There’s a book] written by David Solie called How to Say It to Seniors: Closing the
Communication Gap With Our Elders — it’s a short, paperback read — and he talks about the
two phase-of-life tasks that senior adults are going through and how to help them manage
dealing with those tasks as a professional. To [summarize the issues] concisely, [mortgage
originators] have got to get outside of the real estate and mortgage-lending bubble. They’ve
got to go out and advocate and learn about seniors and caregivers and what they’re going
through. Be an advocate for seniors first. Then, making the sale is easy, because they trust
you and they know that you have their best interests at heart.