The Ritter & Randolph, LLC Blog

New Report Predicts a “Seller’s Market” for Residential Real Estate in 2018

Aryeh M. Younger, Esq.A new report published by the real estate portal,, predicts that 2018 will be a “seller’s market” for residential real estate in the United States. This would continue the trend from last year. The report is based on the predictions of more than 40 independent real estate experts and specifically examines four different factors. These factors include: (1) changes in the average price of homes; (2) changes in the number of homes for sale; (3) changes in the labor costs of building a home; and (4) changes in the cost of materials used for home construction.

The overall national outlook appears to favor sellers: home prices are predicted to rise, the total number of homes for sale is expected to decrease, construction costs are expected to rise, and the cost of building material is expected to rise.

But not all regions are expected to follow the national trend. In fact, Cincinnati is cited in the report as a Northeastern city expected to favor neither buyers nor sellers. The price of homes in Cincinnati, unlike in seller friendly Cleveland or Columbus, is expected to remain mostly the same as in 2017. The number of houses on the Cincinnati market is expected to increase, but the cost of construction is expected to go down and the cost of building materials is predicted to remain roughly the same.

Nevertheless, according to one real estate expert, Jeff Baker, the Cincinnati market is slowing down “but it’s expected to rise back to more realistic pricing in the coming year.” If Baker is right, perhaps it is possible that the national “seller’s market” trend might eventually come to Cincinnati. Only time will tell.

Beneficiary Designations

Justin T. Precht, Esq.We generally recommend that our clients review their estate planning documents at least every three years, but major life events – births, adoptions, disabilities, deaths, marriages, divorces and moving – should also trigger a review and update of your estate planning documents. We also strongly recommend a periodic review of beneficiary designations.

Beneficiary designations are a crucial part of the estate planning process, though often overlooked, because they take precedence over the conflicting terms of a will or trust agreement and pass outside of probate.

Many clients also find that a significant portion of their wealth will pass at death by beneficiary designation. Common examples include life insurance, retirement plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), bank accounts and annuities. In Ohio, an individual may even transfer real estate at death pursuant to a Transfer-on-Death Designation Affidavit. For most people, these examples represent the majority of their total overall assets.

It is important to realize that while beneficiary designations are a valuable tool, they must be considered as one part of the overall estate plan. We strongly advise that when clients review their estate planning documents, they also review and update their beneficiary designations to ensure their assets are properly passed on.