The Voice for Real Estate: HUD, Health of FHA & Improving Commercial and Residential Markets

In the sixth video in The Voice for Real Estate news video series, NAR Director of Broadcasting Stephen Gasque looks at this week’s live webcast with new HUD Secretary Julian Castro and NAR President Steve Brown. Their focus was on the health of FHA and addressing concerns over access to credit by first-time homebuyers and other households. The video also looks at the improving commercial and residential real estate markets.

ABR® Designation Course – Sept 4 & 5th – Register by 8/28 for Discount Pricing

ABRAre you ready to take the next step in your career and join the ranks of the best in buyer representation? Now is the time to earn the ABR® designation.

The ABR® Designation: For Real Estate Buyer Agents

The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is designed for real estate buyer agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients. When you decide to earn your ABR®, you gain:

  • Valuable real estate education that elevates your skills and knowledge in the eyes of home buyers.
  • Ongoing specialized information, programs and updates that help you stay on top of the issues and trends in successfully representing home buyers.
  • Access to REBAC members-only marketing tools and resources, which provide an additional competitive edge.

Date: Thursday & Friday – September 4 & 5, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Location: VPAR Headquarters Training Room A
1001 North Campus Parkway, Hampton, VA 23666

REGISTER ONLINE or call 757-599-5222

VPAR Member Discount (Regular Member Rate is $295)

Early Bird Pricing before 8/28 by NOON
Members: $255
Non-Members: $275
Register after 8/28:
Members: $275
Non-Members: $300
*On-site registration fee is $325

REGISTER ONLINE or call 757-599-5222

*Cancellations must be received within 48- business hours of course to receive a refund. Registrations are non-transferable.

Please notify us in advance if you have a disability that requires special services.

Lunch & Learn Series – “Building a Team…or get beat by one” presented by J. Alan Sappenfield

alan-01172007-retouchedJoin us on Thursday, September 11th from 12 – 1 p.m. for a FREE VPAR Lunch & Learn on “Building a Team…or get beat by one” Presented by J. Alan Sappenfield, a National NAR Instructor!

Alan will cover how leveraging your team mates can help you increase your per hour rate, free time for other pursuits and decrease the burnout! Learn how to develop your team and what are the big myths and the realities of it all!

Register Here Online or email Jo McNamara Daly at We are eager to have Alan at VPAR!

Improving Economy Slowly Brightens Outlook for Commercial Real Estate

Media Contact: Adam DeSanctis / 202-383-1178 / Email

Commercial logoWASHINGTON (August 26, 2014) – The strong rebound in economic growth during the second quarter and ongoing job creation are gradually improving the outlook for all of the major commercial real estate sectors, according to the National Association of Realtors® quarterly commercial real estate forecast.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says after many false starts, the economy finally appears to be turning a corner to firmer ground. “The job market has been the bright spot of the economy this year as employers are feeling more confident about their growth prospects and adding to their payrolls,” he said. “This gradual turnaround from being overly cautious to more optimistic should slightly boost the demand for leasing and purchase activity as well as new construction projects in the upcoming year.”

Yun adds, “The economy can handle the inevitable rise in interest rates as long as commercial rents steadily rise to generate investor returns.”

National office vacancy rates are forecast to remain unchanged over the coming year, mostly due to added inventory entering the market. Rising exports and a shrinking trade deficit should lead to a declining vacancy rate for industrial space (0.4 percent), while retail space is forecast to decline 0.2 percent behind favorable gains in personal income and consumer spending.

“New construction for multifamily housing has picked up in recent months and looks to be alleviating the short supply,” said Yun. “However, the demand for rental housing continues to show strength. As a result, rent growth will outpace broad consumer inflation in upcoming years.”

NAR’s latest Commercial Real Estate Outlook1 offers overall projections for four major commercial sectors and analyzes quarterly data in the office, industrial, retail and multifamily markets. Historic data for metro areas were provided by REIS Inc., a source of commercial real estate performance information.

Office Markets
Office vacancy rates are forecast to remain unchanged at 15.7 percent through the third quarter of 2015.

Currently, the markets with the lowest office vacancy rates in the third quarter are Washington, D.C., at 9.3 percent; New York City, 9.6 percent; Little Rock, Ark., 11.5 percent; San Francisco, 12.4 percent; and New Orleans, at 12.7 percent.

Office rents are projected to increase 2.6 percent in 2014 and 3.2 percent next year. Net absorption of office space in the U.S., which includes the leasing of new space coming on the market as well as space in existing properties, is likely to total 36.2 million square feet this year and 50.7 million in 2015.

Industrial Markets 
Industrial vacancy rates are expected to fall from 8.9 percent in the third quarter to 8.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015.

The areas with the lowest industrial vacancy rates currently are Orange County, Calif., with a vacancy rate of 3.5 percent; Los Angeles, 3.8 percent; Seattle, 5.9 percent; Miami, 6.1; and Palm Beach, Fla., at 6.6 percent.

Annual industrial rents should rise 2.4 percent this year and 2.8 percent in 2015. Net absorption of industrial space nationally is seen at 107.6 million square feet in 2014 and 104.9 million next year.

Retail Markets
Vacancy rates in the retail market are expected to decline from 9.8 percent currently to 9.6 percent in the third quarter of 2015.

Currently, the markets with the lowest retail vacancy rates include San Francisco, at 3.5 percent; Fairfield County, Conn., 3.9 percent; San Jose, Calif., 4.6 percent; Long Island, N.Y., 5.2 percent; and Orange County, Calif., at 5.3 percent.

Average retail rents are forecast to rise 2.0 percent in 2014 and 2.4 percent next year. Net absorption of retail space is likely to total 11.2 million square feet this year and 19.3 million in 2015.

Multifamily Markets
The apartment rental market – multifamily housing – should see vacancy rates slightly decline from 4.1 percent currently to 4.0 percent in the third quarter of 2015. Vacancy rates below 5 percent are generally considered a landlord’s market, with demand justifying higher rent.

Areas with the lowest multifamily vacancy rates currently are Orange County, Calif., Providence, R.I., and Sacramento, Calif., at 2.2 percent; and two Connecticut cities (New Haven and Hartford) at 2.5 percent.

Average apartment rents are projected to rise 4.0 this year and in 2015. Multifamily net absorption is expected to total 223,400 units in 2014 and 171,000 next year.

The Commercial Real Estate Outlook is published by the NAR Research Division. NAR’s Commercial Division, formed in 1990, provides targeted products and services to meet the needs of the commercial market and constituency within NAR.

The NAR commercial community includes commercial members; commercial real estate boards; commercial committees, subcommittees and forums; and the NAR commercial affiliate organizations – CCIM Institute, Institute of Real Estate Management, Realtors® Land Institute, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors®, and Counselors of Real Estate.

Approximately 70,000 NAR and institute affiliate members specialize in commercial brokerage and related services, and an additional 283,000 members offer commercial real estate services as a secondary business.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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1Additional analyses will be posted under Economists’ Outlook in the Research blog section of in coming days at:

The next commercial real estate forecast and quarterly market report will be released on November 24 at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

The Voice for Real Estate: HUD-1, FICO

In the fifth video in The Voice for Real Estate news series, NAR Director of Broadcasting Stephen Gasque looks at changes to the HUD-1 and Good Faith Estimate (GFE) forms, FICO changes that could help borrowers, antitrust risks, and why this summer is a good time to remind your members of Congress about mortgage cancellation relief and terrorism risk insurance.