2019 was one of the most exciting years for real estate. Technology took center stage this year, making once far-off visions for real estate transactions a reality. Industry media outlets reported on these changes in real-time and gathered insights from readers and contributors alike to get a crowd-sourced understanding of what these changes mean for the industry today and tomorrow.
Next month, leaders from the top real estate media outlets will take the stage at the FORE Summit to discuss their predictions for real estate trends that will take shape in 2020. HousingWire CEO Clayton Collins will be among the panelists providing his take on what’s to come. We spoke with Collins ahead of the summit to get a better sense of marketplace changes and sentiment in 2019.
QUALIA: HousingWire serves more than 7 million unique visitors every year. Which real estate technology topics made the biggest splash with your readers in 2019?
COLLINS: The biggest and most impactful technology topic for HousingWire readers has been right at the intersection of real estate and housing finance. Our readers have been extremely engaged with the developing iBuyer trend, and the potential disruption that instant offers may have on the real estate market. With several top iBuyers building or buying mortgage-lending capabilities, this theme has the attention of the entire housing economy.
QUALIA: What sort of sentiment are you seeing from your readers around the rapid changes taking place in the industry?
COLLINS: HousingWire subscribers are a highly progressive and innovative group of mortgage lenders and real estate professionals. We’re seeing full-on adoption of an “innovate or die” mentality. At all levels of their organizations, we’re seeing our readers engage with topics and content focused on innovation, which demonstrates their commitment to leading their organizations into the next era of digital real estate transactions and serving the rapidly evolving demands of today’s homeowner.
QUALIA: HousingWire sources first-hand information and insights from a variety of real estate market participants and leaders. What was the most notable surprise in 2019 that you and your collaborators wouldn’t have predicted this time last year?
COLLINS: A red-hot low rate environment! In Q4 2018 we had top economists at real estate firms and trade associations talking about rising interest rates and dramatic slow downs in home price appreciation. Independent mortgage banks were in the middle of a highly unprofitable quarter, and all players had overall uncertainty about what was to come in 2019. Low interest rates and the rising tide of strong first-time homebuyer demographics powered the market, and saved a lot of players from what could have been a dire year.
To hear more from Collins and other media leaders on real estate technology predictions for 2020, join us at the FORE Summit January 14-16 in Austin, Texas.