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Real Estate in Brief: Tiny homes in big demand, technology makes for better customer service and more

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Americans are discovering the big benefits of smaller living as CNN Business reported the growing demand for tiny homes. A recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey found that over half of Americans would consider living in home with less than 600 square feet, and interest in tiny living among millennials has increased to 63 percent.  

 “Tiny is inevitable,” said Soren Rose, founder of the tiny house manufacturing company Klein. The manufacturer began communicating with experienced architects to design tiny homes in 2017.  

Not only is the market changing for tiny homes, but also regulations surrounding their production. According to the NAHB, the relaxation of building requirements in a recently updated building code with less strict rules on ceiling height and staircase specifications.  

“The future for residential housing has to change,” said David Latimer, a tiny home designer and owner of New Frontier Tiny Homes. “It is an idea whose time has come.” 

In other real estate news: 

  • A recent survey found that 54 percent of respondents believed rising interest rates to be the greatest concern for mortgage professionals in 2019. The Genworth Mortgage Insurance study found that the lack of affordable housing, at 37 percent, to be the next credited concern for the upcoming year. The data also found that 62 percent of surveyors said they did not believe changes in the regulatory policy within the next one or two years would effectively support the production of affordable homes, and that 85 percent of professionals believed that an increased use of technology in the loan application submission and closing process would improve customer service  
  • A J.D. Power study supported the benefits of technology use in customer service processes, as overall satisfaction with primary mortgage originators improved through the increased application of digital interaction. The J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study found customers use an average of 3.1 channels during the mortgage process, with phones, website, and email being the most frequently used methods.  
  • Compass announced its official expansion into the Nashville market after revealing its interest following the brokerage’s recent $400 million funding round. The New York City-based real estate brokerage has drawn 16 agents from a number of outside agencies, increasing its agent count to over 7,000 agents throughout 165 offices nationwide. The brokerage has launched into more than 12 new markets within the last year, and plans to expand internationally.  
  • RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. announced Executive Vice President Mike Ryan’s plans to retire from the company after 24 years of employment. Ryan joined RE/MAX, a section of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. and one of the globally recognized top franchisors of real estate brokerage services, in 1994 as director of operations. He is credited for advancing RSN into the broadcasting platform for RE/MAX Associates, RE/MAX University. Ryan’s retirement will be effective Jan. 2. Until then, he will transfer into the position of industry advisor to the company.

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