Morning Briefing: Mortgage brokers may escape automation, realtors may not

by Steve Randall16 Sep 2015
Mortgage brokers may escape automation, realtors may not
A new study of hundreds of professions aims to predict the likelihood that they will be replaced by automation. The University of Oxford and Deloitte considered 366 roles from a wide range of sectors including legal, professional services and healthcare. The most at-risk job is telephone salesperson with a 99 per cent chance of being replaced by some form of automation, possibly a robot with artificial intelligence. For the real estate sector there is a specific mention of realtors and auctioneers while mortgage brokers would come under the financial advisor category. The analysts believe real estate agents and auctioneers are at “fairly likely” to be automated with a 68 per cent risk and coming 124th out of the 366 roles considered. Financial advisors are in a position that is “too close to call” with a 41 per cent risk and ranking 199th out of 366.
Young buyers want to walk
Walkable communities have rated highly among younger home buyers according to a study by the National Association of Realtors. The perfect neighborhood is a mixed-use walkable community across all age groups but it is a particularly strong requirement for younger Americans. With a changing culture towards less car usage in favor of public transit and services such as Uber, millennials rank walking 12 percentage points higher than driving.

Sally Johnson of Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors commented: “Younger buyers are looking for communities where they can walk to a restaurant and don’t have to drive to pick up their weekly groceries. However, it is not only millennials who are hoping to move into walkable neighborhoods; these preferences are seen across generations.”

Based on the survey, women of all generations are more likely than men to show a preference for walkability, with 61 percent saying that the availability of sidewalks in a community with stores and restaurants to walk to is very important to them. And 48 percent of all respondents answered that they would prefer to live in communities containing houses with small yards but within easy walking distance of the community’s amenities rather than living in communities with houses that have large yards but are driving distance to all amenities.
Californian housing markers slow pace as prices gain
High prices are tempering sales growth in California. The California Association of Realtors’ August figures show that single-family home sales were down 3.8 per cent from July to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 431,800. However that is 9.3 per cent higher than August 2014. The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home edged up 1 per cent in August to $493,420 from a revised $488,470 in July.  August’s median price was 2.5 per cent higher than the revised $481,240 recorded in August 2014.

“Home prices are finally increasing at a healthier pace, and the smallest year-over-year statewide median price gain in nearly three and a half years suggests that home prices are stabilizing,” said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. “Supply constraints in the Bay Area will continue to fuel appreciation for the rest of the year, but the upward pressure in price will be counterbalanced by sales increases in more affordable areas such as the Central Valley and the Inland Empire.”



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