Foreign investment in U.S. real estate surges 49 percent; Illinois in top 10

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Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate reached a new high from March 2016 to April 2017, according to a annual survey released by the National Association of REALTORS® earlier this week.

Foreign buyers amassed $153 billion in residential property compared to the same period a year before, according to the NAR 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate. Transactions grew in each of the top five countries where buyers live (China, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and India) and almost half of all foreign sales were in Florida, California and Texas. Rounding out the top five states were New Jersey and Arizona, while Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia and New York were top destinations. Members can login in see the report or the press release.



Watch for Illinois REALTORS® June housing report Monday

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings

Monday morning, Illinois REALTORS® will release its June 2017 housing report, with data breakdowns for the state of Illinois, city of Chicago and the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA). Also included will be a housing market forecast by Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

Members of the statewide association can access member-only market statistics by using their passwords.

Champaign County Association of REALTORS® to celebrate 100th anniversary July 27

On July 27, the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® (CCAR) will host a 100th Anniversary party from 2 to 4 p.m. at its office at 305 Burwash Avenue in Savoy.

Photos and videos will be used to tell the story of the organization and how it’s grown since its founding in 1917. Cake and punch will be served.

More than 450 members serve consumers in the Champaign County area. The current officers include:

  • President Jim Waller of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group of Champaign,
  • President-elect Max McComb of RE/MAX Realty Associates of Champaign,
  • Secretary-Treasurer Eric W. Porter of RE/MAX Realty Associates of Champaign, and
  • Immediate Past President Stefanie Pratt of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group of Champaign.

The Association Executive is Linda Green.

The Board of Directors includes:

  • Jayme Ahlden of RE/MAX Realty Associates,
  • Scott Bechtel of Keller Williams Realty,
  • Kimberly Krisman of RE/MAX Realty Associates-Champaign,
  • Liz McDonald of the McDonald Group,
  • Alex Ruggieri of Sperry Van Ness/Ramshaw Real Estate and
  • P.J. Trautman of Champaign County Realty.

CCAR is the “Voice for Real Estate in the Champaign County area of Illinois, whose more than 400 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. CCAR is the leading resource for REALTOR® members and an advocate for homeownership and private property rights. The association strives to be recognized as a community and education-focused resource comprised of ethical real estate professionals.


Michael Phelps to speak at REALTOR® Conference & Expo Nov. 4

Michael Phelps

Retired American swimmer Michael Phelps will headline the REALTOR® Conference and Expo by speaking and meeting attendees on Nov. 4 at the McCormick Place Convention Center West Building.

Phelps is the most decorated athlete in Olympic history with 23 gold medals, three silvers and two bronzes.

Phelps will appear during the Expo from 1 to 3 p.m. at NAR Booth #2825. Attendees can meet him and have their photo taken by a professional photographer. Photos will be available for purchase but no “selfies” will be allowed.

The general session begins at 4 p.m. with an industry address by NAR President Bill Brown, recognition of the REALTORS® of the Year and the Good Neighbor Award Winners, followed by Phelps’ address.


Changes to National Flood Insurance Program need serious consideration says REALTOR®


With the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, the Illinois REALTORS® and about 42,000 Illinois homeowners who live in a flood plain are watching closely to see what action Congress takes in the meantime.

Several bills have been prepared by Congress to sustain the program, and at least one includes the possibility of raising premiums on flood insurance, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. But the program faces debt problems incurred from large-scale catastrophes like Hurricane Sandy, and relies on feedback from policyholders and communities to keep flood plain maps up to date, pass ordinances limiting the construction of new homes in flood plains and to price the product accurately. Resolving shortcomings in many of these areas and streamlining the process would help, says Shorewood REALTOR® Karen Robertson.

Further, a McHenry County official says if the program isn’t renewed by Sept. 30, future home sales in flood prone areas could be delayed. Read the Tribune article, “If flood insurance program lapses, it’ll be ‘total chaos,’ warns official.”

Why the National Association of REALTORS® supports the National Flood Insurance Program.