Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: NAR pushes to turn MLS green


Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news coming across the HousingWire weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues.

Lack of information about solar electric systems in homes is making it difficult to determine the value of the home, according to a release from the Center for Sustainable Energy.

Solar systems became popular in the last five years, and have the potential to save homeowners a lot of money. The initial investment pays for itself within six to eight years, leaving the homeowner with about 20 years of free solar electric power, the release states.

The company’s calculations show it could add about $17,000 to the home’s value if it was bought, rather than leased. That being said, it is still difficult to determine the exact premium that the solar power adds to the home due to lack of available information from other sales in the area.

In order to promote what the National Association of Realtors calls “greening the MLS,” it released this guide on how to add the solar power details and features to Multiple Listings Service systems.

In addition, the Center for Sustainable Energy says real estate agents and appraisers should add this information in the comments section in MLS, in order to more accurately determine the value of the home:

  • Solar system size: number of panels and kilowatt capacity
  • Estimated annual production: system output in kilowatt-hours
  • Type of ownership: owned, owned with loan, leased or power purchase agreement
  • Utility bill savings: either from utility or third-party system owner
  • Photos: show the system as well as any home energy ratings or green certificates

Houston Housing Authority chairman Lance Gilliam just announced his plans to retire in social media as well as in a letter to the mayor of Houston, Texas, according to an article by Erin Mulvaney for Chron.

The announcement comes less than two years before the end of his term, and just after a disagreement with the Mayor over an affordable housing project in an upscale neighborhood, the article states.

The mayor appoints the Houston Housing Authority board, and mentioned in a City Council meeting last week that he intends to change leadership.

Federal and state officials blocked almost all of the authority’s proposed projects in the past three years, the article explains.

While the mayor expressed his disappointment at the lack of affordable housing from the board, Gilliam stated in his resignation less that 4,000 families were added to the voucher program as well as 1,100 veterans’ affairs housing vouchers.

Houston’s housing market started off the summer with new highs in its median home price and solid buying activity among its mid-range housing in June, according to a monthly report by the Houston Association of Realtors.

Although the presidential candidates haven’t been focused on housing, Hillary Clinton’s new running mate comes from a background in law in fair housing issues, according to an article by Nikelle Murphy for CheatSheet.

Before starting his life in politics, Hillary Clinton’s vice president pick Tim Kaine was an attorney, according to the article.

From the article:

His first client was a black woman who had been denied housing because of her race. As Raw Story reports, that case became the basis for much of Kaine’s career focus. Roughly 75% of his law firm’s cases were focused on fair housing issues, many of which were taken on a pro bono basis.

One of his victories includes a $100.5 million settlement from Nationwide, which was accused of restricting insurance provisions in minority neighborhoods. 

Whereas in many markets to an area where you can get around without a car comes at a premium, the same can’t be said about homes in the luxury market, according to an article by Leigh Kamping-Carder for The Wall Street Journal.

Redfin, a Seattle-based real-estate brokerage, rates homes by giving them a walk score between zero and 100. The higher the walk score, the more accessible the area is without a car.

The median sale price of a home in the markets surveyed rose 0.9% or $3,250 for a one-point gain in walk score, according to the article. On the other hand, luxury homes, defined as the most expensive 5%, the premium was only 0.55%, or $6,800.

The lower premium in luxury markets is primarily due to buyers in the Midwest, Texas and parts of California valuing square footage and acreage, the article states.

Orange County, California was the only market where the walk score actually hurt high-end home values. The median sale price of luxury homes fell 0.03% for an extra walk score point.

Lastly, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. did not close any banks this past week. 

Most of all, the Olympics started Friday night, so enjoy your week and keep cheering on TeamUSA!

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