NAR Economist Yun Criticizes Recent Fed Rate Increase
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, has warned that the Federal Reserve’s tenth interest rate hike in a year may negatively impact banks and the housing market. Yun argues that the continual rate hikes are causing the balance sheets of many small regional banks to become “zombie-like,” which could leave them unable to lend even to good businesses. Yun suggests that only by stopping the rate hikes or even reversing them later in the year if inflation calms will small banks have a better chance of survival against the big banks.
The Federal Reserve has hinted that it may pause its streak of rate hikes soon. According to CNBC, mortgage rates aren’t the only rates rising, with the average annual percentage rates for credit cards now over 20%. Moreover, Bankrate reports that home equity lines of credit are now as high as 7.99%.
AI is Now Writing Property Listings
Real estate agents have traditionally struggled with writing compelling property descriptions for listings. Still, new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tools, such as Restb.ai and chatbots like ChatGPT from OpenAI, are helping agents automate this process. Restb.ai uses computer vision to extract information from photos submitted by listing agents and write a complete description that automatically populates the agent’s multiple listing service platform. At the same time, ChatGPT responds to questions, prompts, and a list of features provided by the agent and produces listing descriptions within seconds. However, AI-generated narratives still pose accuracy risks and may require agents to customize or verify the information.
- Automates a time-consuming task for real estate agents
- Provides a logical outline and can point out details agents may not have considered
- Can write descriptions in multiple languages and styles
- Can identify a wide range of features, taking descriptions beyond typical listing details
- Accuracy risks and potential misinformation if the information isn’t verified
- AI-generated descriptions may require tweaking by agents
- Restb.ai’s descriptions may be too long for some properties
- Data is drawn from public records, which may contain errors
Survey: Most Homebuyers Undeterred By Seller’s Market
Bank of America’s 2023 Homebuyer Insights Report shows that younger Americans are still optimistic about buying homes, despite the current challenges posed by high prices, interest rates, and limited inventory. According to the survey conducted between March 29 and April 3, more than half of potential homebuyers believe this year’s market is more competitive than last year’s. However, 54% plan to buy a home when they originally planned or speed up the process, and this percentage rises to 62% for Gen Zers and 55% for millennials. Wealth-building is a big motivator, with 47% of potential buyers wanting to purchase a home due to rent increases and 28% wanting to start building equity.
“The market is less frenzied as rates have moderated, and that may be impacting perception,” said Matt Vernon, head of retail lending at Bank of America. “And low inventory is still creating a highly competitive environment. Homebuyers are doing the right thing by taking time to understand the market, weigh their priorities and determine what fits into their budgets.”
Many hopeful buyers are staying active, with 67% actively looking at homes and 52% scrolling through housing marketplace apps. The survey suggests that homebuyers are taking the time to understand the market, weigh their priorities, and determine what fits into their budgets.
Vaimberg, Ron. “Weekly Newsletter – January 6, 2023.” Ron Vaimberg International, Ron Vaimberg, 6 Jan. 2023, https://rvionline.thinkific.com/courses/take/rvi-weekly-newsletter/texts/41523497-weekly-newsletter-january-6-2023.