Morning Minute: New Census report offers snapshot of U.S. housing landscape

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Did you know that there were nearly 133 million housing units in the U.S. in 2013 and 87 percent of those were occupied? How about the fact that the median monthly costs for those occupied housing units decreased between 2013 and 2011?

The 2013 American Housing Survey released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau offers a snapshot of the country’s housing environment from the strength of neighborhood social life and disaster preparedness to characteristics of today’s homes.

A HUD news release offers a roundup of some of the key data findings but here are a few of the highlights:

  • Sixty-five percent of housing units were occupied by owners; 35 percent by renters
  • 20 million households use some form of public transportation
  • More than half (50.7 percent) of people strongly agree that they get along with their neighbors
  • By 2013, the median size of a single-family detached home was 1,800 square feet with a median lot size of .25 acres.

Morning Minute: Singles and their impact on the housing market

Trend alert: Half of American adults today are single and living in one-person households and the preferences of this growing demographic could mean changes to future housing needs and trends, reports Daily Real Estate News on a recent article from Builder Online, which took a closer look at how these singles could shape future home building and design.

In other headlines:

3 Industry Trends to Watch This Fall – Daily Real Estate News

Why retirement savers should track the housing market – MarketWatch

IAR members meet to map association’s future in Bloomington-Normal

Members of the Strategic Planning Committee are meeting in Bloomington-Normal throughout the day on Oct. 8, 2014.

On the agenda: Updating the roadmap for the association to follow in the years ahead. The day will feature discussions of compliance with NAR’s Core Standards, and opportunities for the association which represents 41,000 members engaged in all aspects of the real estate business.

The association regularly reviews its master plan, adjusting it as needed to meet new opportunities in the marketplace.



IAR members

Three things real estate agents should know before arming themselves


The horrible news out of Arkansas where REALTOR® Beverly Carter was killed during a showing has prompted a lot of discussion in the industry about carrying a weapon for protection.

After all, REALTORS® often meet people they don’t know, and they may have to visit vacant or remote properties.

Before you arm yourself, make sure you know the rules, whether they are state laws or policies your managing broker might have in place. Here are some things to consider:

1.     Illinois’ Concealed Carry law went into effect in 2013. To obtain a license, applicants must have 16 hours of training by a certified instructor, have a Firearms Owner Identification card, and meet residency requirements, among other items. (The Illinois State Police have a list here).

2.     Know your office’s policy. Does your office allow you to carry a weapon on showings, and if so, what are the protocols for doing so? Some brokerages have a policy which outlines what the rules are. Check your office policy manual or with your managing broker to make sure you are clear on the rules. In absence of a brokerage policy or guidance, state regulations prevail.

3.     Be aware that some property owners may expressly prohibit agents carrying guns on their property.

Want to learn more? IAR has a number of resources to help you.