Richard Stein – Realtor®, Douglas Elliman, GREEN, SFR, CBR, eCertified®

Local Agent, Worldwide Marketing – Douglas Elliman Real Estate formerly Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Study: Top 10 Most Trusted Builders

According to Lifestory Research’s 2018 America Most Trusted Home Builder Study, homebuilder Taylor Morrison scored the highest in trust among new home shoppers. This marks the third consecutive year Taylor Morrison has ranked number 1 on the list. The survey factors in the opinions of more than 31,000 home shoppers who are actively searching for a new home and how much they trust the brands they encounter during their home search.

“Trust is the currency consumers are seeking from brands in the marketplace,” says Eric Snider, president of Lifestory Research, a market research firm. “The housing market is healthy and has many people searching for homebuilders they trust. Buying a home is not only a significant investment, but it is also the place people live out their personal stories, and as a result, trust is at the forefront of their purchase decision.”

The homebuilders in 2018 with the highest trust scores, according to Lifestory Research’s survey, are:

  1. Taylor Morrison
  2. Toll Brothers
  3. William Lyon Homes
  4. Richmond American
  5. TriPointe Homes
  6. K. Hovnanian
  7. Shea Homes
  8. Ashton Woods Homes
  9. David Weekley
  10. Century Communities

Source: Lifestory Research

Zillow Faces New Lawsuit Over ‘Zestimates’

In a lawsuit filed this week, a New Jersey brokerage is accusing Zillow of hiding its “Zestimate” home valuation tool on certain residential listings at the request of brokers who have special contracts with the site. The brokerage, EJ MGT, says Zillow’s actions violate federal antitrust laws.

The case stems from a listing the brokerage had in Cresskill, N.J., that appeared on Zillow. The eight-bedroom, 10-bathroom home was listed for just under $7.8 million, but the home’s Zestimate came in at $3.7 million. EJ MGT argues that the discrepancy in value caused a loss in business from several interested buyers. But EJ MGT asserts in its lawsuit that some brokers who partner with Zillow are able to “conceal” the Zestimates on their listings, which typically appears just below the list price.

“In essence, Zillow is disseminating misleading and inaccurate pricing information that has gained prominence because of Zillow’s market power, and charging downstream participants to hide this negative information that Zillow, itself, acknowledges to be inaccurate,” the lawsuit states. “Further, members of the public have no way to prevent Zillow from obtaining this information, and they cannot alter its display once Zillow presents it unless they hire a broker that is party to the Zestimate agreement.”

Zillow told GeekWire that some of its partnership programs do include the option of moving the Zestimate elsewhere on the page. However, the tool does appear on every listing except for those in which there is not enough data available, Zillow spokeswoman Emily Heffter says.

The company issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit: “We believe the claims in this case are without merit. The Zestimate is intended to be a starting point for determining a home’s value, which is why we provide it, for free, on more than 100 million homes across the country. As a company, we always seek to create advertising products that add value for consumers and advertisers, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves against this lawsuit.”

Last year, Zillow faced a lawsuit that alleged its Zestimate tool constituted an appraiser valuation and created a “tremendous roadblock” to selling a home. The case was eventually thrown out by a judge.

Zillow states on its website that its Zestimate is an estimate of a home’s value, which it calculates through a proprietary algorithm. Zillow updated its algorithm last year and has called its home valuation tool more accurate than ever before.

Source: “Zillow Sued Over How it Displays Zestimate Home Valuation Tool in Some Partner Listings,” (Jan. 16, 2018) and “Zillow Is Sued for Concealing Zestimates,” The Real Deal (Jan. 16, 2018)

Who stands to gain if Miami wins Amazon’s second headquarters?

Submitted sites include property owned by Michael Simkins, Mitchell Newman and Miami Worldcenter, says Miami’s mayor

Jeff Bezos and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (Credit: Pixabay, David Ryder/Getty Images, Wikimedia Commons)

Who stands to gain if Miami wins Amazon’s second headquarters?

Of five sites in Miami-Dade submitted in a regional bid, three are in or near Overtown, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told The Real Deal. Real estate investor Mitchell Newman owns one site; Michael Simkins owns the other – the Miami Innovation District property in Park West; and the third is the mixed-use Miami Worldcenter project site, Suarez said. Property records show Newman owns land just south of I-395 in Overtown.

Despite the challenges facing Miami – the increasing threat of sea level rise and a limited public transportation system – it made Amazon’s list of 20 cities it’s considering for the company’s $5 billion second headquarters.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties had submitted a joint bid for the project, targeting eight……………………………..

Full story at The Real Deal 

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