Keller Williams Realty is a technology and international real estate franchise with headquarters in Austin, Texas. It presents itself as the largest real estate franchise in number of agents and sales volume for 2018 and 2019. Founded in 1983 by Gary Keller and Joe Williams, it grew from a single office in Austin to approximately 940+ offices with over 180,000 associates worldwide as of May 2018. Michael Frangedis is a real estate agent in the state of Florida who spoke to The National Herald.
TNH: With geopolitical instability in other parts of the world, as well as inflation and increasing interest rates here; could you discuss the effects on real estate?
Michael Frangedis: I look at the United States as a whole because with the interest rates being so low still, there’s a lot of movement, which creates both a buyer’s and seller’s market – which is unique because we have not experienced this in probably 38 years. Since the interest rates are so low right now, it creates a phenomenal opportunity for buyers to come out and buy their dream house. At the same time, this is good for sellers because they’re getting multiple offers on properties, creating a seller’s market. The highest I’ve had to date was 51 offers on one property. I had to put everything on an excel spreadsheet to look at it to make every offer equal and sustainable for the seller. I think there’s still a market here in this country for real estate, and I do have a lot of investors as well that want investments in the United States, whether that’s multi-family, commercial buildings, or one family housing.
TNH: How do you see real estate this quarter and what are the trends for the months to come? What do you see happening in Manhattan markets these days, or any other markets around the United States you work on?
MF: I do see a lot of volatility in the Manhattan market. There’s a lot of financial advisors that I’m always in contact with and they are stating that the New Yorkers are leaving in huge volume and selling all they have coming down to Florida basically because of tax benefits and better living quarters. Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, which is a big benefit. You have people selling their houses for $2,000,000 to $3,000,000 and coming down to Florida and buying a $800,000 house which in New York would be much more expensive. I think we’ll continue to see that market primarily from New York, from Manhattan and the boroughs out to the suburbs and to other states. We’ve had over half a million people move to our state just last year, which was the number one state for growth in the country. The majority of the people came from New York. Some people are motivated because of the political arena and that’s another deciding factor. Besides taxes, people make decisions based on their political views. In terms of trends, I see that interest rates went up three times, and today they crawled up again. When this happens, it slows down the buying power, meaning that where somebody could buy a house for $400,000, now their buying power goes down to $385,000. What that means as far as trends is that the market will shift and will have less buyers on the table. Less buyers means more inventory for housing. More inventory for housing means less offers, which means less people will get what they’re asking for. That’s a trend that I see gradually developing. I think that trend will probably play out for the next three quarters and being that it’s the midterm elections coming up, you may see the interest rates level off or even come down a little bit just to create some excitement in the market.
TNH: The rental market has experienced a frenzy phase. What are your thoughts on that and what would you advise your clients in terms of buying vs renting?
MF: Definitely, 100 percent do not rent. I would highly recommend to anyone moving to Florida or any area go stay in an Airbnb, for a week, a month. Go check out the area and see what you like, talk with realtors that have been in the business for at least minimal 10 years. A lot of the new realters don’t know the industry, don’t know how the interest rates work, how the consumer price index works. All these are market indicators, on how you make a decision. It is not just a house; it is an investment.