Trulia Real Estate Blog

articles about “housing market

Get Some Of Your Sunday Back: Our Redesigned Apps Make it Easier Than Ever to Identify the Must-See Open Houses

We’ve all been there: you scan your phone throughout the weekend looking for open houses, only to be disappointed when you actually drive through one of the neighborhoods (this part of town doesn’t seem too safe) or notice that the home you’re in doesn’t quite look like the one you saw online or on your mobile app (the bedrooms are so small!). You aren’t alone. It’s a common problem that we at Trulia wanted to help solve. And that’s why we’re excited to announce the redesign of our iPhone and Android apps, just in time for the spring house hunting season.

According to NAR, the real estate information buyers find on their mobile devices is now just as important as visiting an actual open house. With the newly redesigned iPhone and Android apps, house hunters can get some of their Sundays back. Instead of schlepping through a slew of open homes that may or may not actually help with their search, home buyers will now get must-see properties – the best of the best – which means less time driving around in a car and more time working on an offer.

We believe our apps are now so visual and immersive; it’s almost like being at the open house without even leaving your couch. Everything you want and need for your house hunt is in one place:

  • With this mobile makeover, house hunters will get a comprehensive view of what a home and neighborhood are like with large, beautiful pictures and easy-to-navigate photo galleries.
The newly redesigned iPhone and Android app showing the full bleed images

The newly redesigned iPhone and Android app showing the full bleed images

  • Home buyers can also quickly identify local amenities and important neighborhood info like crime, schools, and average sales prices for nearby homes – data that can be hard to come by at an open house.
Heat map of crime on both iPhone and Android

Heat map of crime on both iPhone and Android

  • As you evaluate each home, you can save listings you love. This information allows us to recommend the right homes for buyers and sellers as they come onto the market.
Easily scroll through the homes that match your criteria

Easily scroll through the homes that match your criteria

Be sure to download or update the Trulia iPhone or Android app today, and look forward to a little extra free time this weekend.

The complete redesigned mobile features

The complete redesigned mobile features

0 comments

Market Leader Open Platform Now Accepts Leads From More Than 8 National Sources

This summer, Market Leader announced major additions to the company’s Smart Lead Technology including the ability to accept leads from Trulia, Zillow, HouseValues.com, RealEstate.com, JustListed.com and Realtor.com, as well as from major franchise websites. Now, the company is further expanding its Site Stream feature, making leads available from 2 additional sources, including RealtyNow and Active Rain, expanding the utility of Market Leader’s open platform.

In addition, Trulia and Market Leader have been working together to provide additional value to real estate professionals using the combined company’s products. Beginning this week, leads from either the Trulia Local Ads product or Trulia Mobile Ads product, will be captured in Market Leader’s leading customer relationship management (CRM) software with even more data, automatically triggering real-time alerts for the agent.

Market Leader Professional and Business Suite feature Smart Lead Technology, which is designed to help agents generate, engage and manage all of their leads. Site Stream is just one part of Smart Lead Technology, and its enhancements are making it easier for agents to receive all of their Trulia leads in the Market Leader CRM, enabling agents to quickly and intelligently engage and convert more of them into clients.

“It’s easy to increase productivity and income with one system that engages thousands of local leads at once” said Andrew Johnson, REALTOR® from Touchstone Realty in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

With Market Leader, agents have access to sophisticated follow-up tools to manage engagement with leads while they establish a relationship. For example, agents can share relevant content with prospective clients, such as custom listing alerts, based on their unique home search criteria, and send them polished email and print campaigns.

Look for the combined Trulia and Market Leader team in booth 719 in the South Hall at Moscone Center for the REALTORS® Conference and Expo, in San Francisco from November 8- 11. Visitors will have a chance to meet the Altman Brothers and also learn how Trulia and Market Leader branded products and services complement each other.

Agents interested in more information, please contact your Trulia and Market Leader sales teams.

0 comments

Where The Price Is Right On Trulia Local

It’s important for serious home buyers to understand everything they can about the houses and neighborhoods they’re looking at during their home search. We often hear from users who love our Trulia Local maps, which can help identify everything from the crime in a particular area to where natural hazards are prone to strike. Today, we’re thrilled to announce three new maps to help engaged home shoppers with their house hunting journey: median sales prices, median listing prices, and price per square foot.

This trio of new maps will inform buyers what homes cost across the country – green means it’s cheaper to live, while red indicates that an area is more expensive. Additionally, depending on the zoom level, users can easily view data by county, zip code, and block group (a Census geography suited for high zoom levels). Check out the images below to see how the map works.

Image of Median Sale Price in San Francisco

Image of Median Sale Price in San Francisco

Image of Median listing price in San Francisco

Image of Median listing price in San Francisco

Image of median price per square feet in San Francisco

Image of median price per square feet in San Francisco

You can see from these maps that it’s rather pricey to live in San Francisco! In fact, the latest housing study from Trulia Trends shows that only 14% of the homes for sale in the San Francisco metro area are within reach of the middle class. This is why location is so important.

All in all, homeownership affordability ranges widely both within and between metros. More than 80% of the for-sale homes in the MidWest are within reach of the middle class, but in parts of New York and California, less than 20% of the for-sale homes would be considered affordable. To find a neighborhood that fits your budget, check out the latest maps in Trulia Local under Home Prices.

0 comments

With 15 New Partners Trulia Accelerate Program Goes Into Overdrive

This morning Trulia announced it has expanded the Trulia Accelerate program to 16 partners overall, reaching nearly 70,000 agents total. For Trulia, this is an important milestone, while it executes on its strategy to engage partners across the industry and make its products and services available to real estate agents and brokers through important relationships with brokerages and franchises.

Trulia signed a major partner, leading franchisor RE/MAX LLC., when it originally launched the program in July. Since then 15 brokerages from across the country have decided to join the program and grow their businesses. Because Trulia Accelerate is a flexible set of products and resources, the company works with each partner to find the right mix of options that will help them meet their specific business goals.

Trulia Accelerate Program

New Partners: 15

Real Trends 2013 ranking by Volume

BH&G Gary Greene

62

Century 21 Award

70

Coach Realtors

Top 250 RIS Media

First Team Real Estate

11

Gloria Nilson

101

Hunt Real Estate ERA

94

Keyes

60

Mel Foster

284

Michael Saunders

55

Prudential New Jersey Properties

105

Prudential Preferred Realty – PA

116

RE/MAX DFW Associates

135

RE/MAX Results

433

Realty ONE Group

10

Realty World Northern California, Inc.

Leading Franchisor

For example, participating brokers receive free resources including premium branded profiles for their agents on Trulia’s Find An Agent directory. They also have the option to receive an agent training curriculum focused on connecting and converting online leads or valuable marketing and advertising products that help brokers and franchises build their brand with consumers and expand their market share.

Ultimately, Trulia’s business goals are in line with those of their broker partners. Trulia has spent years building a popular consumer product offering and a large consumer audience, with 35 million unique visitors per month reported during the second quarter of 2013.

This valuable audience of home searchers is looking for information on neighborhoods and properties, using leading services such as Trulia Suggests to browse homes or Trulia’s popular map products that visualize commute times, crime statistics and other relevant neighborhood data. And now with Find an Agent, consumers can find useful information about agents and brokers who would be well-suited to help them with their unique real estate needs.

Trulia’s goal is to connect this group of engaged home searchers to real estate agents and brokers. It does this by serving as a technology partner, providing tools that agents and brokers use to win more listings and sell more homes.

To learn more about the benefits of partnering with Trulia, call 1-877-776-9521 or email brokersolutions@trulia.com.

0 comments

Trulia Welcomes Market Leader To The Family

Today is a very exciting day for Trulia as we welcome Market Leader into the family. Technology is rapidly transforming the real estate industry and we believe that Trulia’s vibrant marketplace combined with Market Leader’s comprehensive suite of technology and marketing solutions is the real estate industry’s leading platform. We can deliver even more value to our customers and partners and help them utilize technology to be more successful.

Together, we will help brokerages and franchisors harness the power of technology to reach consumers and enhance the productivity of their agents by offering them the most comprehensive end-to-end solution via the web and mobile devices.

Benefits for Franchisors and Brokerages:

  • Today, Market Leader and Trulia each have deep partnerships with hundreds of real estate brokerages and franchisors.  Market Leader’s SaaS solution allows franchisors and brokerages to provide leading-edge productivity and daily workflow tools to their agents, while Trulia’s broker and franchisor partnerships help agents close more business by promoting their listings and generating leads from Trulia’s transaction-ready consumer audience.

Benefits for Real Estate Agents:

  • Real estate agents will now benefit from the industry’s first end-to-end solution.  As the Trulia and Market Leader products integrate over time, customers will combine unmatched data with leading edge tools to better serve buyers and sellers. Agents who use the combined platform will see every lead become more valuable, realize greater visibility into their clients and gain more opportunities to sell homes.

Benefits for Consumers:

  • Home buyers and sellers will benefit from improved responsiveness and better service from the agents with whom they work.  Trulia anticipates that increased agent responsiveness will result in more consumer delight on Trulia’s web and mobile properties.

Trulia will operate Market Leader as a wholly owned subsidiary of the company and the combined company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock ticker TRLA.

To learn more about Market Leader’s comprehensive market and technology platform, please visit www.marketleader.com.

For information about Trulia’s marketing solutions please see www.trulia.com/business/.

Thank you, as always, for your support.

0 comments

New Find An Agent Directory Makes Life Easy For Consumers, Provides New Opportunities To Pros

It’s amazing to consider how much has changed in the last 20 years in the real estate industry. In the 1990’s most real estate search took place on newspapers and magazines.

An enterprising real estate searcher would use the Sunday paper classifieds, a landline telephone, a marker and a paper map to search for interesting properties and reach out to agents accordingly.

In retrospect it was a painful, time consuming process.

Finding a home today is an entirely different experience. Consumers use Trulia on the web and powerful mobile devices to gain insights not just on homes with color photos and stats but also neighborhoods with crime rates, average commutes, and amenities.

And with this engaged, consumer audience, Trulia also provides an ideal platform for real estate professionals to promote themselves and their listings to connect with new clients.

Technology has fundamentally changed the experience of searching for a home, but finding a real estate professional has remained primarily a referral process, with little insight into the actual expertise of the agent that helped sell your Mom’s home, for example.

The new find an agent directory from Trulia is improving the experience of searching for an agent, just as Trulia helped change the way people search for homes.

faa_landingFind an agent directory home page

The agent directory makes it easy to search for and find the right real estate agent with at-a-glance results and the option to filter searches based on relevant experience, local expertise, sales history, and client recommendations as well as see advice they have provided to other people within the Trulia Community.

For example, if you want to find an agent that both speaks French because your husband doesn’t speak much English, and has experience with single family homes in Palo Alto, you can use the property types, language and ZIP code filters to find the right match.

palo_alto

Find an agent filters are at the top of the page

For real estate professionals, the new directory provides agents with a place to easily connect with a large audience of qualified buyers and sellers who are seeking out the guidance of real estate professionals. Agents can differentiate themselves by showcasing their local expertise, demonstrating the number and location of homes sold and listings.

Even agent interactions on Trulia, such as providing advice to consumers in the Trulia Community are also searchable and view able in the new agent directory. In addition, agents can improve their ranking and visibility in the directory through a number of factors, such as responding quickly to leads and posting more sold homes and listings on Trulia.

 

0 comments

Trulia’s Real Estate Crystal Ball for 2012

Jed Kolko, Chief Economist
December 21, 2011

As we wrap up 2011, Trulia’s Chief Economist looks ahead at what’s in store for the battered housing market and which cities have a big reason to celebrate the New Year.

My crystal ball is never as crystal-clear as I’d like, but I do think that we can expect a gradual economic recovery to move the housing market a few steps back toward normal in 2012. Even so, we still have a long ways to go. As we exit 2011, prices still not have rebounded after their huge declines, inventories are still well above normal, and the foreclosure rate is still far higher than before the bubble. Even the best possible 2012 won’t get us halfway back toward normal.

Before getting into the predictions, let me be upfront about what I’m assuming. After 14 months of job gains, I expect the economy to continue its slow but determined recovery. I don’t do my own macroeconomic forecasts, but every single one of the fifty-ish economic forecasters surveyed by the Wall Street Journal expects the economy to grow throughout 2012, and that makes sense to me. Of course, any unexpected severe political or financial crisis could tip us back into recession, and then all bets are off. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t happen.

My five predictions for housing in 2012:

1)  Delinquencies will go down, but foreclosures will go up. Fewer borrowers will fall behind on their payments next year, thanks to the strengthening economy and refinancings. The share of delinquent borrowers is already down more than a quarter from the peak a couple of years ago. But many borrowers who fell behind on their payments during the housing crisis are still in limbo: last year’s robo-signing controversy threw a wrench in the gears of the foreclosure process. That means that some delinquent loans haven’t yet entered the foreclosure process, and even fewer moved all the way through foreclosure — especially in Florida and other states where foreclosures require a longer legal process. Once a settlement is reached with banks over robo-signing in those states, we’ll see a new wave of foreclosures and foreclosure sales that’s long overdue. It’s a necessary step in getting the housing market back to normal even though it will be painful for people who lose their homes — and will rattle American’s confidence in the housing recovery.

2)  Rents will rise – which is a bad thing. With fewer people buying homes and more people losing their homes to foreclosures, the rental market is only going to get tighter especially in older, dense cities like New York, Washington DC and San Francisco. High rents will hold back economic growth if businesses can’t pay workers enough to have a roof over their heads. Squeezed city-dwellers won’t get relief until late 2012: that’s when a wave of new multi-unit construction projects that started late this year will be completed and available for rent. To tackle growth-killing high living costs in the priciest cities head on, local governments need to get rid of height restrictions and arduous permitting processes, which hold back urban construction and push development to the suburbs.

3)  Mortgage rates will inch up – which will probably be a good thing. A stronger economy will push Treasury bonds and mortgage rates up because inflation becomes more likely and investors demand higher rates to hold bonds. The Fed’s “Operation Twist” will prevent rates from rising too much, but other forces could push rates up higher or, alternatively, send them falling. If investors think the U.S. government will have trouble paying its debt – which they might if the government can’t agree to raise the debt ceiling or narrow the deficit — they’ll demand higher rates because of that risk; but global economic uncertainty – even here at home — could lower American interest rates if investors think American bonds are safe relative to other investments. Got whiplash yet? You’re forgiven. Lots of factors can push rates up or down. For the housing market, which direction rates go is less important than why. Gradual economic recovery is good news for the housing market even if it means higher mortgage rates – that’s what I think will win out next year. We’ll have higher rates for a reason we can cheer.

4)  Government will sit on its hands. In election years, politicians don’t take risks: they’re more talk and less action, so don’t expect any bold housing policy reforms next year. What’s more, with the housing market now recovering, we’re not in enough of a crisis to force political opponents together. The time has passed for bold government action on housing. We’ll look back wistfully on the modest policy wins of 2011: borrowers who’ve kept up their payments can now refinance under the expanded HARP program, and the government is planning ways to sell or rent out vacant homes it owns (which will probably be announced in early 2012). But these targeted policies won’t move the needle on national foreclosures, sales or prices.

5)  Smart cities are hot. In 2012, the local housing markets that will enjoy rising prices, new construction or both, are those that start the year with stronger job growth and fewer empty homes holding back the market. Based on these factors, along with other leading indicators, here are my top five cities to watch:

Austin, TX, and Houston, TX. The bloom’s not off the yellow rose of Texas. Steady job growth and a construction revival make Austin and Houston two of my five cities to watch. Texas isn’t hung over from the housing boom like the other big states of the South and West, so there’s little to hold back growth. Honorable mention to Fort Worth and San Antonio.

San Jose, CA. Wasn’t California at the center of the foreclosure crisis? Didn’t prices there fall more than everywhere else in the country? Yup. But there’s no such thing as the California housing market: California is almost as diverse as the U.S. Even though prices plummeted and foreclosures skyrocketed in inland California, the coast is another world. San Jose’s perennially tight housing market makes it faster to bounce back. The San Jose market –which includes most of Silicon Valley – has rapid job growth and the lowest vacancy rate in the country.

Suburbs of Boston, MA. This Cambridge-Newton-Framingham market just west of Boston has a strong jobs engine and, like most of New England, missed the worst of the housing bubble. Honorable mention goes to Worcester, one step further west, and Boston’s northern suburbs around Peabody. These areas all benefit from offering more bang for the buck than crowded, expensive Boston: this is because most people looking to move are searching in more suburban or smaller areas than where they live now.

Rochester, NY. That’s my hometown, and knowing what’s happened to Kodak and other pillars of the local economy, I was surprised when Rochester scored on the top 5 list. (I applied the same formula to all cities and did not have my thumb on the scale.) Prices – which fell little during the boom – are stable, and the economy has weathered blow after blow and is expanding.

What do these markets have in common? Three – Austin, San Jose, and the area west of Boston – are technology centers. In those three metros, as well as in Rochester, a center of high-skill manufacturing industries, education levels are well above the national average. As the recovery proceeds, smart cities are leading the way. During the housing boom, the go-go cities tended to be lower-skill, lower-education metros. But in 2012, smart is hot: it’ll be the revenge of the nerds.

Links to Trulia Insights blog posts:

Jobs Report Bodes Well for Housing

Asking What Our Country Can Do For Housing

Where Construction Activity is Rumbling

The Federal Government’s Re-Fi Plan: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Renting Out Government-Owned Homes is the Right Move – But Probably Wouldn’t Make Any Difference to You

Where Vacancies are High

0 comments