Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors celebrated a strong 2016, with company sales volume of $844,644,683, making 2016 their best year ever. In addition, Ruhl Mortgage closed $148,531,635 in loan volume. “It takes a great team working together to provide our clients their best real estate experiences ever! Thank you for your caring service.” Ruhl told her team.
Chris Beason, Broker/Owner, and Caroline Ruhl, President, honored 203 award winners for their 2016 achievements at the Waterfront Convention Center on January 27, 2017. Over 300 agents, staff and affiliated business partners cheered on their co-workers. Top awards were awarded to:
Top Excellence in Service Award: Hannah Dolash, Clinton Office
Top Associate of the Year: Kurt Johnson, Bettendorf Office
Extraordinary Production Award: Gary Williams, Moline Office
New Associate of the Year: Adam Edstrom, DeWitt Office
Top Associate of the Year – Farm & Land: Eric Schlutz, Muscatine Office
Top Ruhl Mortgage Associate of the Year: Kyle Robinson, Davenport Office
Employee of the Year: Matt Schwind, Manager, Bettendorf Office
Top Community Involvement of the Year: Emilie Walsh, Iowa City Office
There is a complete list of all award winners on Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors’ website at www.RuhlHomes.com/News.
Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors 2016 Results
Ruhl shared with her team the company’s results in 2016:
1. Number of Properties Sold – Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors sold 5,276 properties in 2016, as either listing agent or selling agent.
2. Residential Sales Volume – Ruhl’s sales volume in 2016 was $844,644,683.
3. Revenue – Revenue in a real estate company is primarily gross commission income (GCI). Ruhl’s 2016 GCI was $25,187,679, or 2.1% up from 2015 revenue.
4. New Listings Taken – Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors listed 3,152 properties for sale in 2016.
5. Nationally Ranked Per Agent Productivity –On average our agents closed 17.8 transactions in 2016. This is the highest per agent productivity for a large broker in the region.
6. Great Agents and Staff – We ended 2016 with 296 residential agents. In addition, 57 employees work for the company.
7. Ruhl Mortgage – Ruhl Mortgage closed $148,531,635 in loan volume, which was generated by 849 loans. 80.6% were purchase loans and 19.4% were refinances.
8. New Construction Sales Volume – Ruhl&Ruhl agents sold 239 new construction homes or condos in 2016. The average sales price was $378,804, up from $359,788, resulting in sales volume of $90,534,115.
9. Insurance Referrals Sold – Ruhl agents referred clients resulting in 438 policies being sold by the Nelson Brothers Agency, Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors’ affiliated insurance company.
Regional Forecast for 2017
Ruhl told her team she expects buyer confidence to drive the market for 2017 with a surge in first-time homebuyers, especially millennials.
“At Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors we saw our first time home buyers grow from 22% of all buyers in 2015 to 26% of all buyers in 2016,” she said. “Hopefully, with rising interest rates and an improving job market we will get this big pool of potential buyers off the fence and into home ownership.”
We expect softer growth in 2017 than in 2016 partly due to the projected increase in mortgage rates. According to Real Estate Economy Watch, “We will likely see volatility in mortgage rates over the next few months… our forecast is for the 30-year fixed rate to rise above 4.5% by year’s end.”
As of January 26, 2017 mortgage rates with no points were:
15-year Conventional Fixed...........3.500%
30-year Conventional Fixed...........4.125%
FHA/VA 30-year Fixed...................4.000%
There’s a lot that buyers can do to mitigate the effects of rising rates, including looking for lower-priced homes, putting more money down, using a different loan product such as an ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage), paying points, and so on.
Ruhl predicts homes will continue to appreciate from 1%-3%/year in the region, varying by market and price range.
Overall we expect a more “normal” market in 2017. Affordable inventory will continue to be in strong demand.