New-home construction is picking up in housing markets across the country, helping to offset low inventories. More than 1 million residential permits were issued over the last 12 months; and experts believe pent-up homeownership demand, household formation, job growth, and an improved economy will give the construction industry a boost for many more years. In fact, national surveys reveal that buyers increasingly are searching for new homes alongside existing dwellings; and some buyers will consider newly built houses only. However, just a handful of real estate agents are trained and knowledgeable about the new-home market and have relationships with builders; but gaining new-home expertise could give agents a competitive edge. Big builders — which accounted for 53.1 percent of homes built nationwide last year — increasingly are seeking broker participation, offering excellent commissions to realty professionals who bring in buyers. Agents and brokers looking to partner with builders should pay special attention to infill development to forge relationships with smaller builders and investors, as well as senior housing, especially given the aging population and increased life expectancies. | Read More