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Cooling down of housing market could be good news for buyers

Don’t call it a “buyer’s market.” Don’t call it a “correction.” But the fact is that a sobering change is taking shape in the housing market — an unmistakable cooling trend that defies an economy that is showing impressive growth, has the lowest unemployment rate in years and the highest home-equity levels on record.

Anyone thinking of selling or buying a home shouldn’t ignore it. Doing so could cost you money, time and maybe a great opportunity.

Call it a rebalancing. For years since the end of the financial crisis, prices in most markets have increased steadily — by single digits annually in most places, double digits in cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, Denver and others that have vibrant employment growth plus persistent and deep shortages of homes for sale. Sellers were in the saddle.

That was then. This is now:

●Sales of existing and new homes have been sagging for half a year. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, resales have been dropping since the spring compared with year-earlier levels. At the end of the third quarter, resales were 2.4 percent below their level at the end of the same quarter in 2017. That is despite growing inventories of homes available for sale in some areas, reversing the boom-time pattern of bidding wars that pushed prices to record levels and drove buyers batty.

Right at Home Pushing Conversion Strategy for 2019 Growth

Looking to build partnerships similar to the one it recently formed with Kindred at Home, home care franchise company Right at Home plans to push a new conversion strategy in 2019.

The reason for the strategy, Right at Home executives say, is to expand the company’s U.S. footprint, filling in geographic holes for further business appeal to Kindred and other potential partners looking for a one-stop-shop home care solution. The conversion approach — which transitions independent home care agencies to the franchise model — will also allow Right at Home to better serve the wave of aging baby boomers in the not-too-distant future, they say.

Several other home care franchise companies have in the past year launched conversion initiatives of their own with varying results. They include Cincinnati-based FirstLight Home Care and Gurnee, Illinois-based BrightStar Care.

Omaha, Nebraska-based Right at Home and its franchise partners provide a mix of medical and non-medical home services across nearly 500 U.S. locations. Despite strong location growth over the past couple years —  about 6%, according to industry estimates  — Right at Home still has plenty of “open spaces on the map,” Chief Development Officer Eric Little told Home Health Care News.