June 2014 Newsletter

Jeff Fleming headshot 2012

Greetings!  Happy Independence Day!  Your retirement is your ticket to independence.  Where will you spend it?  What matters most to you?  A hike in the woods?  Kayaking?  Golf?  Swimming?  Find the place of your dreams in an AARC Seal of Approval community at www.retirementdestinations.org.  AARC works hard to bring you the very best options.  It’s your best source for all the latest trends in retirement amenities.

Watch for details and make plans to attend the AARC annual conference in Memphis to learn more about retirees and current homebuying trends. 


Jeff Fleming, Chair

The AARC Announces Annual Conference in Memphis, Tennessee – October 15th – 17th

MemphisThe American Association of Retirement Communities’ Conference Planning Committee has been working on our 2014 conference.  After polling existing members and past conference attendees the committee sought out a city that would be an ideal host for this information packed conference.  The committee is working to finalize speakers and more information will be released in the coming month.  If you have suggestions for speakers or other conference feedback please provide it to the committee at info@the-aarc.org.


Finger-lickin’ barbecue, live music that makes your hips move, world-famous attractions like Graceland and Beale Street – Memphis has all of this and so much more. Think funky shops, neighborhoods with personality and history you can’t find anywhere else. It’s all waiting for you in Memphis.


  • GracelandLove Memphis
  • Memphis Zoo
  • BBQ – Rendezvous in Downtown Memphis or venture out to hot spots like Central BBQ, A&R Bar-B-Que, Bar-B-Que Shop, Cozy Corner, Corky’s etc, etc, etc.
  • National Civil Rights Museum
  • Memphis Riverboat Tour
  • The Peabody’s Duck Palace
  • Gibson Guitar Factory

See you in Memphis!

July Webinar

July 30th 3:30pm (Eastern)

The AARC is excited to invite all members, VIPs and Guest to join us for an in-depth image001
look at options for today’s retiree purchaser to fund their ultimate retirement home.  This webinar is free to all members and non-members can join us for a small fee (which can be applied to your membership fee).  Find out unique financing opportunities to make your development or community stand out from competition.  This presentation will be hosted by Scott Cohen, a trusted industry leader.  Below you will find more information on Scott and his presentation.

To visit our Webinar Page and Learn More and Sign Up – Click Here

The Life Planning™ System for Boomers & Their Trailing Parents:

Covers estate planning issues, pertaining to conventional and reverse mortgages and how they play an important role in the fundamental re-balancing of one’s estate. Cash flow analysis and an improved asset position example are discussed. Collectively, increased builder sales will be achieved within this system.

The Later Life Planning® system for the Trailing Parents is covered, addressing issues that our elders face and how builder communities can increase their sales to this sector of our economy.

Scott Cohen, Certified Senior Advisor, has been in the Financial Services sector over 30 years, mostly creating loan products and underwriting guidelines, to owning and managing mortgage banking firms on a national basis. For the past 7 1/2 years, Scott has developed and implemented a system for seniors and their adult children, called Later Life Planning®.  He offers our senior parents a  “concierge” service, which includes aging at home with reverse mortgages. His systemic based strategy of increasing your cash flow and rebalancing your estate, has now migrated to Real Estate and the implementation of a boomer based consumer-realtor connection, which has proven to be the optimal way to downsize, by listing and selling homes. These services work in conjunction with other companies that offer senior services, such as; home health care givers, trust attorneys, elder law attorneys, financial planners, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.

Later Life Planning® also offers a placement service for skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities. This service includes facility evaluations, due diligence and client touring of facilities, for complete assessments of where your parents will reside for care giving and rehabilitation, temporarily or on a long-term basis.

To visit our Webinar Page and Learn More and Sign Up – Click Here

A “walkable” city sees pricier real estate

A distinct correlation exist between walkability and real estate values.  See which are the most walkable.

By Diana Olick, CNBC

© imagewerks/Getty ImagesCar shares, bike shares, improved rapid transit and teleworking. All are the product of a new generation that is more environmentally conscious than any before it and more willing to use its own energy to get around town, rather than tapping expensive energy sources.

Millennials prefer urban cores, even ones outside of major metropolitan areas, because they want to be able to walk or bike to work and stores. In turn, areas that offer so-called walkability should see more homebuyers and renters than those that don’t.

“Cities that want to thrive in our new economic and demographic realities will need to find ways to create and support more of these dynamic, productive walkable districts that are in high demand,” said Geoff Anderson, CEO of Smart Growth America, which, in conjunction with George Washington University School of Business, released a new report ranking the walkability of the nation’s 30 largest metropolitan areas.

There is, in fact, already a distinct correlation between walkability and real estate values, both commercial and residential.

“Walkable, urban for-sale housing is by far the most expensive housing in the country. The range, depends on the market, between 40 percent and 200 percent greater than drivable, suburban housing,” said GWU’s Chris Leinberger, author of the report. “Twenty-five years ago that relationship didn’t exist because walkable (cities back then) was not valued.”

Washington, D.C., wins as the nation’s most walkable city, according to the survey, which looked at the share of office and retail space located in a city’s “WalkUPs” — walkable urban places — through the first quarter of 2014. A city can have several different WalkUPs within its limits; metro New York contains 66, while San Antonio has just two.

WalkUPs still occupy a relatively small portion of the 30 cities’ land, just 1 percent on average. Still, these areas offer outsized economic benefit, according to the survey.

Commercial office space in walkable areas has an average 74 percent price-per-square-foo​t premium over suburban business parks, according to Leinberger. For apartments, there is a 70 percent rental premium on walkability. That is likely why, in the current real estate cycle, 85 percent of all rental apartments have been built in walkable urban places.

In Washington, researchers identified 45 WalkUPs that occupy just 1 percent of the metro’s acreage but which account for 48 percent of its new office, hotel and rental apartment square footage. D.C. is also the only metropolitan region that has more than half of its WalkUPs in its close-in suburbs (which are classified as part of the metro market). Suburbs like Bethesda, Md., and Crystal City, Va., are seeing huge commercial development and rising real estate values, thanks to their focus on the new urban, walkable core.

In Crystal City, developers are luring tech start-ups, selling them on the walkability of the area.

“The young millennials are obviously into sharing a lot more, so we’ve got bike sharing here, we’ve got Car2Go, and we’ve got Zipcar and we’re also working with the folks from WeWork to create a sort of community-environmen​t for living,” said Mitchell Schear, president of D.C. operations for realty trust Vornado.

Walkability also drives recovery. Home values have bounced back higher and faster in walkable neighborhoods than in the so-called exurbs. Cities that focus on walkability will likely see more retail, restaurant and office investment. Researchers compiled a “future ranking” on walkable urbanism and put Boston at the top of the list. The vast majority of Boston’s development in this real estate cycle has been walkable urban.

Existing-Home Sales Heat Up in May, Inventory Levels Continue to Improve

WASHINGTON (June 23, 2014) – Existing-home sales rose strongly in May and inventory gains continued to help moderate price growth, according to the National Association of Realtors. All four regions of the country experienced sales gains compared to a month earlier.

Total existing home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 4.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million in May from an upwardly-revised 4.66 million in April, but remain 5.0 percent below the 5.15 million-unit level in May 2013. The 4.9 percent month-over-month gain in May was the highest monthly rise since August 2011 (5.5 percent).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said current sales activity is rebounding after the lackluster first quarter. “Home buyers are benefiting from slower price growth due to the much-needed, rising inventory levels seen since the beginning of the year,” he said. “Moreover, sales were helped by the improving job market and the temporary but slight decline in mortgage rates.”

Total housing inventory2 at the end of May climbed 2.2 percent to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down slightly from 5.7 months in April. Unsold inventory is 6.0 percent higher than a year ago, when there were 2.15 million existing homes available for sale.

The median existing-home price3 for all housing types in May was $213,400, which is 5.1 percent above May 2013. “Rising inventory bodes well for slower price growth and greater affordability, but the amount of homes for sale is still modestly below a balanced market. Therefore, new home construction is still needed to keep prices and housing supply healthy in the long run,” Yun added.

Earlier this month, NAR reported new home construction activity is currently insufficient in most of the U.S., and some states could face persistent housing shortages and affordability issues unless housing starts increase to match up with local job creation.

Distressed homes4 – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 11 percent of May sales, down from 18 percent in May 2013. Eight percent of May sales were foreclosures and three percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18 percent below market value in May, while short sales were discounted 11 percent.

The percent share of first-time buyers continued to underperform, representing less than one- third of all buyers at 27 percent in May, down from 29 percent in April; they were 29 percent in April 2013.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.19 percent in May from 4.34 percent in April, and is the lowest since June 2013 (4.07 percent).

NAR President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc., Realtors® in Dayton, Ohio, said housing fundamentals are showing slight improvement in markets across the country. “Many potential buyers were left on the sidelines beginning last summer as affordability declined amidst rising home prices and interest rates,” he said. “The temporary pause in rising interest rates and more homes for sale is good news – especially for first-time home buyers – who likely have a better chance in upcoming months to make a competitive offer that’s in return accepted by the seller.”

The median time on market for all homes was 47 days in May, down from 48 days in April; it was 41 days on market in May 2013. Short sales were on the market for a median of 125 days in May, while foreclosures typically sold in 57 days and non-distressed homes took 44 days. Forty-one percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month.

All-cash sales comprised 32 percent of transactions in May, unchanged from last month and down from 33 percent in May 2013. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 16 percent of homes in May, down from 18 percent in April; they were 18 percent in May 2013. Sixty-eight percent of investors paid cash in May.

Single-family home sales rose 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.30 million in May from 4.07 million in April, but remain 5.7 percent below the 4.56 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $213,600 in May, up 4.9 percent from May 2013.

Existing condominium and co-op sales remained unchanged in May from April (as well as May 2013) at an annual rate of 590,000 units. The median existing condo price was $212,300 in May, which is 6.6 percent higher than a year ago.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 3.3 percent to an annual rate of 620,000 in May, but are 3.1 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $256,700, down 0.9 percent from May 2013.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales jumped 8.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.13 million in May, but are still 7.4 percent below May 2013. The median price in the Midwest was $165,900, up 4.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South increased 5.7 percent to an annual level of 2.05 million in May, but are down 0.5 percent from May 2013. The median price in the South was $184,800, up 4.4 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West rose 0.9 percent to an annual rate of 1.09 million in May, and are 11.4 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $297,500, which is 8.4 percent above May 2013.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.