Happy December!  2022 is winding down to its final month.  We want to express our gratitude for your support this year.  The central Florida real estate market has seen incredible ups and downs in the last 20+ years. We want to share this article below about the 10 potential market challenges in 2023.  However, even with these potential challenges, we are personally optimistic about the Orlando real estate market.  The desirability and soundness of home ownership is more evident than ever.  We have always maintained the view that our current market strength will not result in a repeat of the Great Recession.  We believe we can collectively resolve and mitigate many of the issues ahead.  Alysa and I plan to continue to invest in real estate.

We have been honored by the opportunity to help many of you navigate uncertain waters.
Going forward, we will continue to be your eyes and ears on the changing market.  We will continue to honor your trust by helping you make the best decision for your real estate needs.

Until next month, take care!
Yien and Alysa Yao
Copyright © 2022 Yien Yao, LLC, All rights reserved

RE Market: 10 Headwinds You’ll Face Next Year

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

Calling 2023 an “extraordinary era of unpredictability,” the Counselors of Real Estate identified 10 top concerns, some of which weighed heavily in 2022.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Both the residential and commercial real estate markets face an “extraordinary era of unpredictability,” William McCarthy, 2023 global chair of the Counselors of Real Estate, said last Friday at a session during the National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) annual convention in Orlando, Fla.

Whether it’s inflation, rising interest rates, geopolitical risks or labor shortages, issues of domestic and international importance have impact on real estate at the local level.

“Communities are reflected by the stability of their real estate market and the quality of people who choose to live and work there,” said McCarthy. Addressing these key issues and how they could reshape communities are paramount, he said.

The Counselors of Real Estate surveyed its members to uncover the top 10 issues affecting real estate in the next year.

2023’s top 10 issues:

1. Inflation and interest rates. These forces have a surmountable impact on the housing market and consumers’ pocketbooks. Mortgage rates have more than doubled over the last few months, and inflation is at a 40-year high.

“An economic slowdown is underway, and the greatest recession risk to real estate is whether rising unemployment and lower household income cuts demand for residential and commercial property,” the CRE report finds.

2. Geopolitical risks. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and cybersecurity threats, among other risks, are creating uncertainty for the financial markets.

“Continued geopolitical uncertainty provides significant headwinds to the economy,” the report notes. “The longer it takes to moderate, the greater the negative implications for real estate.”

3. Hybrid work models. Only 40% of workers in large metro areas have returned to the office since the beginning of the pandemic, the report finds. Nearly 80% of workers say they want to work remotely at least one day per week, and economists estimate that 50% of the workforce could continue working in a hybrid format in the future.

The long-term consequences of this shift could dramatically alter real estate, McCarthy said. Workers could leave urban hubs, where offices are plentiful, which would spark a rise in office vacancies and a decrease in surrounding retail. Also, cities could lose a crucial part of their tax base as more workers move to the suburbs or exurbs.

4. Supply chain disruption. Bottlenecks in the supply chain have created delays in new-home construction, renovation projects and home repairs. That’s also caused costs to rise. “While the general consensus is this is improving, we still have so much uncertainty right now, especially as we still need more workers,” McCarthy said.

5. Energy. Increasing demand for alternative energy is changing practices and expectations for healthy buildings and operations. Sustainability initiatives are addressing energy consumption, demand management, renewable energy, clean energy and carbon reduction. Commercial buildings are faced with the costs of retrofitting existing buildings with green energy or building new to adopt such measures.

6. Labor shortages. McCarthy pointed to data that shows a mismatch between the number of job openings and available workers willing to fill them. The pandemic may have accelerated trends like the “great resignation” and low birth rates, he added. The labor shortages are causing a dip in productivity – compounding supply chain issues – and demand for office space.

7. Housing imbalance. Studies estimate that more than 4 million new rental units nationwide will be needed by 2035, McCarthy said. The ratio of housing to workers is greatly unbalanced, with 3.9 jobs for every one house. “Homeownership can be the backbone of communities, economies and societies,” McCarthy said about the dire need to address shortages.

8. Regulatory uncertainty. Ever-changing regulations can add time, risk and cost to completing development projects and impose “new and often burdensome operating restrictions on existing properties,” the CRE report says. The regulatory uncertainty is occurring at all levels of government, particularly when it comes to land use and zoning, rentals, sustainable development and renovation requirements.

“The emerging conflict between state preemptive legislation and local control over land use – and the litigation from these conflicts – will create regulatory uncertainty for some time to come,” according to the report.

9. Cybersecurity. The number of both domestic and foreign cyberthreats, including ransomware and data breaches, is rising. As buildings add smart-home technology, risks are increasing even more, the report says.

“We will need to retrofit buildings to take into account the threat of hacks and data breaches,” McCarthy said. The CRE report warns that “we are entering the perfect storm from the confluence of decades of tech buildup, lack of skill sets, cultural ignorance, savvy bad actors and a dependency on commercial real estate as critical infrastructure.”

10. ESG requirements. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are playing a bigger role in the design, development and construction of new buildings, as well as retrofitting existing stock. Though environmental aspects get the most attention, ESG issues as a whole are having a greater impact on real estate, McCarthy said.

“Increased recognition of the importance of social factors like diversity, as well as health and wellness in commercial real estate are setting new expectations from investors, employees and the communities where real estate operates,” the report finds.

Source: National Association of Realtors® (NAR)
© 2022 Florida Realtors®

November 2022-  We hope you are enjoying the cooling weather as we approach the beginning of the holiday season!  With the uncertainties and questions about the future of the housing market, we want to share this new poll of economists and housing experts below.  Keep in mind that this article applies to our entire country.  Our local market is always different than the national average.  In 2022, Florida is still the number one destination for international buyers.  Strength and weakness in the market vary by factors and areas in Central Florida.  If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, talk to a member of our team to strategize the best plan!

Until next month, take care!

Yien and Alysa Yao
Copyright © 2022 Yien Yao, LLC, All rights reserved.

Poll of Economists: 2023 Buyer’s Market Likely

By Kerry Smith

With rent growth and inflation likely to continue, economists think a buyer’s market will emerge before the end of 2023 – but that will vary by U.S. location.

SEATTLE – High mortgage costs are driving down competition among home shoppers, and a market firmly in favor of buyers is expected before the end of next year, according to a majority of the 107 economists and housing experts surveyed by Pulsenomics for Zillow.The panel also expects rent growth to outpace inflation during the next 12 months, as priced-out potential homebuyers exert additional pressure on the rental market. Home values are ticking down slightly across the U.S. and more steeply in some of the most expensive metros, as well as metros that grew the fastest over the past two years.

The majority of the panel (56%) expects a significant shift in buyers’ favor by sometime next year, but 24% predicted that shift in 2024, 13% foresee 2025 and less than one in 10 (8%) expect it after 2025.

“After the frantic rush for real estate over the past two years, buyers are finally seeing a calmer market,” says Nicole Bachaud, senior economist at Zillow. “Those still able to afford homeownership are quickly regaining lost leverage, but this shift to a more balanced market is still in its early stages. Home shoppers priced out of the market are in a tight spot, though, as high and rising rents could cut further into their ability to save up for a down payment.”

Home price winners and losers:
Inexpensive Midwest markets – such as Columbus, Indianapolis and Minneapolis – are the least likely to see price declines over the next 12 months, according to survey economists. Fast-growing markets in the South, like Atlanta, Nashville and Charlotte, are also expected to retain their heat.

Markets projected to cool the fastest are those that saw some of the largest growth over the course of the pandemic, including Boise, Austin and Raleigh.

Suburban and exurban areas are predicted to do better than their downtown counterparts, and the economists expect them to retain their heat over the next 12 months. On the flipside, they think vacation areas are most likely to see price declines.

The direction of rent growth:
Rent growth should remain strong in the short term as high home prices keep many would-be first-time buyers in the rental market, the economists predict. Over the next 12 months, they think rent growth will outpace overall inflation, the stock market and home values. However, the panel expects the stock market to rebound over the next three years, and outpace growth in home prices and rents as overall inflation cools.

The panelists predict an average of 5.4% rent growth throughout 2023 – lower than the 8.6% annual growth they expect to see by the end of this year, but still higher than what Zillow data shows to be just under 4% annual growth in the years prior to the pandemic.

The demand for rentals has already spawned more supply in the pipeline. Builders responded to declining home purchases by ramping up construction on multifamily units, bringing starts to their highest level in years.

Home price appreciation:
The panel of economists expect a home-price appreciation rate of 9.8% – up from 9.3% in a previous survey – but all 107 survey respondents project a home price deceleration in 2023. The share of panelists who believe their long-term outlook might be too optimistic jumped up to 67% from 56% last quarter.

“U.S. home price appreciation is clearly easing up in response to the historic surge in mortgage rates,” says Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics. “Our expert panel’s mean projections indicate that residential rent price growth is expected to outpace headline CPI inflation over the coming three years and exceed home price growth through at least 2025. Despite softening house prices, this implies that affordability hurdles for prospective first-time homeowners will remain high and persist for years to come.”

© 2022 Florida Realtors®

October 2022- We hope you fared well during Hurricane Ian.  Seeing the devastation on the gulf coast, we are truly fortunate to be inland. If you have friends and families there, we hope they are safe and sound.  As we clean up, make repairs, and return to normality, We want to share a timely guide on how to make a property insurance claim.  We hope you find this helpful.

Until next month, take care!
Yien and Alysa Yao

Copyright © 2022 Yien Yao, LLC

Post-Storm: Making a Property Insurance Claim
By Kerry Smith


The storm has gone – what comes next? Here are the important benchmarks for an insurance claim, which can also be accessed in an easy-to-understand infographic.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On Thursday afternoon, Hurricane Ian headed into the Atlantic, leaving Florida homeowners their next task: Making repairs and filing insurance claims.

An infographic from the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida – The Life of a Hurricane Claim – provides an easy-to-understand synopsis of the steps homeowners should now take.

A broad look at the steps

-Survey damage and contact your insurance agent.

-Make and document (with photographs) emergency repairs that are necessary to prevent further damage.

-Contact the insurer, which will have an adjuster inspect the damage. After notification, an insurer has 90 days to pay a valid, uncontested claim.

-Once the insurer confirms the homeowner has a “covered loss,” they’ll cut a check – minus any deductible noted in the homeowner’s insurance policy.

-The homeowner then uses the funds to hire a contractor and make the necessary repairs – but before signing, they should confirm that contractor’s license status at MyFloridaLicense.com.

Avoid unscrupulous repair vendors

With promises of free roofs or other quick repairs after a storm, some vendors may state that signing an “assignment of benefits” (AOB) is the only way to resolve an insurance claim without delay.

However, this isn’t required for work to begin, and the AOB will actually transfer all rights under the insurance policy from the homeowner to the vendor, leaving homeowners completely removed from the own claim process. It could be a wise move to ease a homeowner’s stress, but less-than-honest repair companies have fallen short on their promises and, in some cases, homeowners have faced higher costs beyond their insurance reimbursement.

Legislation was passed in 2019, 2021 and 2022 to curtail predatory tactics by some vendors, but Floridians should still remain wary of any promise of free goods or services after a storm or at any time.

Other post-storm insurance concerns

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, offers AOB advice along with other important information:

-Flood claims require a separate policy from standard property insurance policies. Check this guide for navigating the flood insurance claims process.

-Homeowners who suffered damaged have an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) option. Owners should fully understand their obligations before signing any documents.

-What happens after a claim has been filed? The CFO offers an explanation of what to expect.


© 2022 Florida Realtors®

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