July 2017 Newsletter


Americans will spend more than $100 billion on vacations this summer.  This represents a 12.5% increase from 2016, and is the first time spending has crossed the $100 billion mark in the eight years.  Spending varies widely by age, with members of Generation X (ages 35-54) leading the way with an average of $2,628 per person.  Baby boomers only spend $1,865 on average, while millennials spend $1,373.  Analysts believe the record spending is a direct result of lower gas prices and wider optimism about the economy.  Source: MarketWatch / Research: Allianz Global Assistance

Here’s an opportunity to obtain the interest of the next generation of retirees, GenX; while continuing to court the boomer market.  What a fantastic way to display your area to vacationers that can potentially become future buyers.  Are you up for the challenge?  Allow AARC to assist, become a “Seal of Approval” community, attend the AARC Conference in Wilmington, NC this fall Nov. 15-17, join The AARC and receive the latest trends, research and marketing opportunities to help you reach the mature market!



Andre’ Nabors Chair, The AARC

Registration is Open for the 2017 Annual Conference – Craig Lawn, Judy Randall Headline 2017 Annual AARC Conference In Wilmington November 15-17


WILMINGTON, NC – Two top real estate and travel and tourism consultants will headline the 2017 annual Conference of the American Association of Retirement Communities (AARC) at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in Wilmington, NC on November 15-17, AARC Executive Director Wade Adler has announced.

C.Lawn PicCraig Lawn of Asheville, NC will discuss emerging trends in sales and marketing for golf and resort communities, while Judy Randall of Mooresville, NC will present practical strategies on expanding travel and tourism activity at community and regional levels, Adler said. Both Lawn and Randall are internationally respected consultants, each with more than 25 years experience in their respective fields.J.Randall Pic copy

Lawn has helped more than 250 golf and resort communities maximize sales performance in the U.S., Mexico and Australia, and is the author of the industry’s best-seller, Shut Up & Sell. Randall is president/CEO of Randall Travel Marketing, Inc. and has conducted comprehensive visitor research studies for over 150 small, medium and large destinations. She is the co-author of The Top Ten Trends in Travel and Tourism, published annually since 1995.

This year’s conference – with the theme of ‘Catch the Wave’ – will feature an expanded line-up of educational workshops, panel discussions and research presentations, headed by an all-star team of retiree recruitment experts, economic development professionals, real estate developers, specialized software consultants and publishers of print and digital retirement publications.

Presentations include:

  • Golf Courses: Turning what some consider a liability into an asset
  • The Challenging Club Paradigm: Membership Options for Today’s Retiree Club Member
  • Social Media Marketing: Today, Tomorrow & Beyond
  • 40 Years of Evolution: How One Retiree Home Builder Continues to Evolve
  • Real Estate Tech Briefing: How to Connect to Today’s Retiree Buyer

 Also on the agenda is an off-site visit to the nearby Compass Pointe community, where Legacy Homes by Bill Clark is building the 2017 Ideal Home featured in Ideal Living Magazine, with a reception to follow sponsored by the magazine. “Without question, this is the best and most informative AARC Annual Conference in our 20-plus year history,” Adler said. “Those who make the commitment to attend will be guaranteed a place on the inside track to the future of our industry.”

Early Bird Sign Up starts as low as $350, don’t miss your opportunity to attend at the lowest possible rate.  Visit the Sign Up Page now to assure your spot at the 2017 Annual Conference – Conference Sign Up Page




Labor Shortage Squeezes Real-Estate Developers

Peter Grant, Realtor.com | June 28, 2017

9b1627fbd10bd8b3400ba24107da2cabw-c0xd-w685_h860_q80About two-thirds of the contractors who are struggling with the labor shortages gripping the construction industry say it has become a challenge to finish jobs on time, according to a new survey.

More than one-third of contractors said they are being forced to turn work down and 58% said they are putting in higher bids, said the survey sponsored by USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Three-quarters of those who said they are having difficulty finding skilled labor said they are simply asking their employees to work harder.

“Basically they’re just making people work harder as a way to cope,” said Steve Jones, senior director of Dodge Data & Analytics, which was the research partner of USG and the Chamber on the project.

The survey was conducted as part of the development of a new economic indicator launched earlier this month named the USG + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index. It was designed to gauge such trends as backlogs, revenue projections, access to financing and labor issues.

Two-thirds of the contractors surveyed predicted there would be more workers in the next six months. But 61% of the respondents reported problems finding skilled laborers in such trades as concrete, interior finishes, masonry, electrical and plumbing.

“There is reason for concern in the lack of qualified talent,” said Tom Donohue, chief executive of the Chamber in a written statement.

Industry officials are warning that labor shortages will become more acute if the Trump administration moves ahead with its plan to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure. “We couldn’t absorb $1 trillion worth of brand new work,” said Mr. Jones. “We’re already strapped just dealing with the work we already have.”

Labor shortages are partly due to the increasing number of construction projects moving forward. During the first four months of this year, construction spending amounted to $359.5 billion, 5.8% more than the same period in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Also, tens of thousands of workers left the building trades during the economic downturn. Even before it hit, the construction workforce was aging, Mr. Jones said.

“You had an aging workforce in an industry that doesn’t lend itself to long careers because it’s hard, physical work and then you lose a whole bunch of people,” he said.

The USG and Chamber survey asked four questions on coping strategies to the 61% of respondents who said they’re having difficulty finding skilled labor.

New Homes Just Keep Getting Pricier, but Buyers Keep Coming

Clare Trapass0, Realtor.com, June 20e4e9751b5285d62d03603ffca29f6f8w-c0xd-w685_h860_q803, 2017

Looking for a deal on a newly constructed home? Well, you’re not likely to get one if current trends continue.

The median price for a new home hit its highest level in May, as builders put up fewer  affordable homes, priced under $300,000, compared with the same month a year earlier, according to a joint report by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

(Realtor.com® looked only at the seasonally adjusted numbers in the report. These have been smoothed out over 12 months to account for seasonal fluctuations.)

But the higher price tags didn’t dissuade buyers who purchased 610,000 brand-new homes in May—an increase of 2.9% from April and 8.9% from May 2016.

The median price of a newly built home was $345,800 in May—the highest it’s ever been. The price rose nearly 11.5% from April and 16.8% from the same month a year earlier.

That’s because builders must contend with higher land, construction worker, and material costs these days. It’s also harder for builders—smaller ones in particular—to get financing on these projects.

Only about 6,000 newly constructed homes priced between $150,000 and $199,999 were sold in May. That’s up a little from 5,000 in April, but well shy of the 9,000 that buyers closed on in May 2016. Buyers also scooped up fewer homes in the $200,000 to $299,999 price range, with just 14,000 sales. That’s down from 22,000 sales in April and 16,000 sales in May 2016.

(About 2,000 homes priced below $150,000 were sold in May—up from 1,000 in April and the same number, 2,000, as the previous year.)

However, the number of properties in the higher price ranges rose sharply—despite surging demand from cash-strapped buyers for lower-priced abodes.

New homes were nearly 36.8% pricier than existing ones (i.e., homes that have been previously lived in) in May. The median price of an existing home reached an all-time high of $252,800 in May, according to the most recent National Association of Realtors® report.

The majority of new-home sales were in the South, where the lower cost of taxes and living makes it appealing for both businesses and transplants. About 360,000 newly constructed homes were purchased in the region, up 6.2% from April and 15% from May 2016.

The West, home to Silicon Valley, had the second-most new-home sales, at 162,000. That was a 13.3% rise from April and a 14.1% bump from the same month a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the number of new-home sales dropped in the Midwest and the Northeast. In the Midwest, they plummeted to 55,000—down 25.7% from April and falling 23.6% from the previous May. This is the lowest they’ve been all year.

In the Northeast, sales also fell 10.8% from April and remained the same, at 33,000, as May 2016.

Clare Trapasso is the senior news editor of realtor.com and an adjunct journalism professor. She previously wrote for a Financial Times publication and the New York Daily News. Contact her at clare.trapasso@move.com.