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Home Builder #MarketingMondays: Zillow Research Trends & Tools

September 25, 2017

Happy Monday! Every Monday at Meredith Communications is Home Builder #MarketingMonday where we focus on marketing tips specifically for home builders. I recently spoke at and attended the Women In Residential Construction Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. It is an amazing conference and I highly recommend it. I’m already planning to attend next year!

At the conference, I had the opportunity to hear Skylar Olsen, the Senior Economist at Zillow, present current market and economic trends in residential real estate. You can learn more about these trends, find your local market info, and much more at https://www.zillow.com/research/. Take a look at #6 & #18, I found those two very interesting!

She presented a ton (yes, that’s my very scientific description of a very data driven talk) of data. These are the main takeaways that I found interesting and applicable to home builders.

  1. Home values have passed their pre-recession peak. Homes are now more expensive than they have every been and moving very aggressively still.
  2. And yet, appreciation remains very strong. Nationally average appreciation is at 6.8%. If you want to research your local market numbers go to Zillow.com/research.
  3. Urban homes are worth more than suburban homes, and urban home values are growing faster.
  4. Younger Americans want to buy homes, and think homeownership is valuable and necessary part of the American dream. 34% of millennials believe owning a home is necessary to live the American dream.
  5. The median age of the first time home buyer is 32. The largest cohort (grouping) of millennials are 20 – 24 years old — that group hasn’t hit the home buying market yet.
  6. The median age of building a new construction home is 42.
  7. 53% of those who purchased a new construction home had already placed a bid and lost on another property.
  8. Homes are selling much more quickly.
  9. Inventory shortages are particularly acute among the bottom and middle price tiers.
  10. Part of the reason for the home inventory shortage, is due to the rise of single-family rentals.
  11. Sales of new homes, in particular, have struggled to get back to pre-recession levels.
  12. Skilled construction labor has not gone back to pre-recession levels. Construction jobs were slow to bounce back during the recovery.
  13. New construction is trending towards bigger house, smaller lot.
  14. As the housing stock ages, consumers are willing to pay more for new construction.
  15. Zillow already accounts for storm impacts in their forecasts so they don’t see need to make a long-term adjustment for Houston or FL  from the recent storms. 9% of Houston’s homes are damaged. Short-term there are a lot of impacts of course, but long term it is already figured in the projections.
  16. Nationwide, buying is more affordable than renting, but there are significant barriers to buying.
  17. Credit availability has improved since the recession but it still at very low levels compared to where it was during the housing bubble.
  18. Highly “favorited” homes on Zillow sell faster and for more money. More than 40% of home listings that get 30 favorites in a week, typically sell in 2 weeks or less and for more than their list price.

I hope these trends help you with your new home marketing and sales strategy. Come back next week for more Home Builder #MarketingMonday tips and tricks.


Meredith Oliver is a digital marketing expert, sales and marketing professional speaker, and author. If you’d like more information on speaking engagements or books, visit MeredithSpeaks.com For sales and marketing tips, you’re at the right spot! Take a look around Meredith Communications. Follow her on Twitter: @MeredithCSP and follow her killer shoe collection on Instagram: @MeredithsShoes22.

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