Keeping Up With the Data: The top 5 housing data resources for real estate agents
The past few years have been a roller coaster ride for all of us in the real estate industry.
Our social media feeds have been filled with alarming news like lockdowns, inflation, a potential housing recession… This news affects everyone – and if we as real estate experts can’t cut the noise from the reality, imagine how general consumers feel.
As real estate professionals we have a great responsibility, and privilege, to be the go-to resource for our clients. To help them make sense of all the data and reporting flooding their feeds.
And, since it’s probably safe to assume most of us aren’t advanced data scientists who can whip up reports and analyses on our market instantly, I’ve pulled together some of my go-to resources to help arm you with a sound knowledge of what’s going on in and around your market so you can help reassure your clients when they ask us the tough questions.
It’s all about the numbers
One great thing about the real estate industry is that we have to A LOT of data, and A LOT of great people to analyze that data. A simple Google search for “Top Housing Market Indicators” will show an entire treasure trove of data and industry commentary that you can use to help you feel confident when you talk to your clients about the current state of the industry.
Here are a few resources I use to be informed on what’s going on, especially during turbulent times:
NAR Pending Home Sale Index (PHSI)
This sounds like a no-brainer, but why not go to National Association of REALTORS® for insights on the market. The NAR has spent years coming up with indicators for our market – which they now make available to us via the PHSI.
According to the NAR, the PHSI “measures housing contract activity, and is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops.”
What’s great about the PHSI is that you can switch between national and regional data to see what’s going on in and around your local market. In the peaks of the pandemic, we saw drastically different economic activity on the West Coast vs in the South.
You can use this data to help give your clients insight into what’s really happening in your region – versus what they might have heard on the news.
Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI)
WARNING: Fannie Mae’s HPSI is very data-intensive, but if you love to get yourself into rabbit holes this is your resource! I fall into that category, and the reason why is because it’s one single score to gauge consumer confidence while using a lot of data from their National Housing Survey.
Fannie Mae surveys A LOT of consumers on 6 metrics related to current economic conditions and the housing market. The questions span from things like “Will my home’s price drop in the next 12 months” to “Will I lose my job in the next 12 months.”
The HPSI is perfect to understand consumer sentiment at the national level and once you’ve read it a couple of times it’s easy to understand.
MoxiWorks Home Sales Predictors (HSP)
The Home Sales Predictor is such a cool resource to have at your fingertips – and it’s totally free. The HSP correlates data between the activity happening inside MoxiWorks products with closed listings across the country. That enables MoxiWorks to predict the total number of transactions countrywide in the next two months.
The MoxiWorks data team has been compiling this data for years and has really dialed it in with an accuracy of within nearly 5% on average each month. That’s incredibly accurate. It’s also a really good reminder of how the work you put in now will pay off soon.
The HSP makes it easy to see how the market is ebbing and flowing throughout the year, and in previous years, to help you plan ahead. Additionally, you get easy-to-understand commentary that you can relay to your clients.
You can see the latest Home Sales Predictor and sign up for future updates at https://moxiworks.com/hsp.
Another great resource for data analysis is Mike DelPrete. If you’ve been in the real estate space for any amount of time you are probably familiar with Mike’s work. You can subscribe to Mike’s newsletter where he delivers analysis of everything from iBuyers, what’s happening around the big players, and overall industry insights. You can read his latest analysis and subscribe if you want more here.
The Gardner Report
Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, is another fantastic resource for understanding the data. Matthew analyzes and interprets economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level and provides those insights via the Gardner Report.
During the pandemic, Matthew also began a new series called Monday with Matthew via YouTube. Each month Matthew provides a new update on data like ‘Homeowners & Renters Moving Patterns,’ ‘The Current State of the U.S. Housing Market,’ ‘The Impact of Rising Mortgage Rates’ and more.
There are countless more resources for data, but hopefully this gives you a great jumping-off point if you are just dipping your toe into absorbing the plethora of data there is to help make sense of the current state of the industry.
So now what do you do with all this newfound information? It’s time to educate your clients.
Spread the Word!
We will never stop preaching the importance of nurturing your sphere of influence and sharing insights from all of this data is a great way to do that. Spend time this week emailing, calling, or texting your clients to give them your take on the industry and what it means for them nationally, regionally, or locally.
You are the trusted expert who can advise them on whether or not it’s a good time to buy, sell, add to their portfolio, or just stay put. Use your Moxi tools to help send out these insights in bulk, but still feel like it’s personalized.
Whether the market is up or down or a confusing mix of the two, data can help you make sense of what’s happening – and reassure your clients that you’re helping them make smart decisions with their biggest assets. We hope these resources help.