Lower splits lead to rise in dual agency transactions


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Rochbacher Bill Empowers Communities In U.S. To Regulate ‘Sober Living Homes’

Dr. Waller quoted in featured article below.

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Dr Waller comments on credit cards

Guaranteed Approved credit card story on Wallethub

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Dr Bennie Waller highlighted in ARES member profile

Bennie D. Waller Professor of Finance and Real Estate & Director of the Center for Financial Responsibility
College of Business and Economics, Longwood University, Farmville, VA
By: Jesse Saginor, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

Bennie Waller grew up in southern Virginia on a tobacco farm. He credits his work ethic to his parents as his motivation to pursue his education. Bennie’s parents worked incredibly hard for menial compensation as small farmers. Bennie received his undergraduate degree from Longwood in 1990 and thirteen years later, returned as a faculty member.

Upon graduating from Longwood, Bennie found jobs scarce, and most companies were looking to hire MBAs. As a result, he enrolled in the MBA program at UNC-Wilmington in the spring of 1991, completing it in 1993. While there, Bennie had an assistantship, where he worked closely with many faculty members, leading him to pursue his PhD and an academic career. In 1992, when Bennie was looking at PhD programs, one of his professors at UNC-Wilmington advised him to study real estate at Ole Miss with Dennis Tosh. Thus, in 1998, Bennie received his Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi with minors in real estate, management information systems, and quantitative methods.

Bennie’s first job after receiving his first PhD was to work with a start-up software financial service/valuation firm, FNC, founded by four of his professors at Ole Miss. While working with FNC, Bennie completed coursework for a second PhD in Management Information Systems. Then, after two years at FNC, Bennie took a job as an Assistant Professor at Francis Marion University in 1999. In 2002, Bennie moved to Auburn University-Montgomery as an Assistant Professor, where he met Ken Johnson, who provided him with MLS data for his dissertation in MIS. Ken was also a major motivating factor in reinvigorating Bennie’s passion for real estate research. After only a year, Bennie left Auburn-Montgomery to return to Longwood University due to his father’s poor health.

When Bennie arrived at Longwood University in 2003 as an Assistant Professor, there were no real estate classes offered. In 2005, Bennie offered a Principles of Real Estate course. By 2007, Bennie successfully lobbied his department to create a real estate concentration and became Chair of his department that also had only two Finance faculty members at that time. After three years of recruitment and program building, with high student demand for real estate courses, Bennie hired an additional real estate faculty person in 2010 and another in 2013 along with creating a Real Estate concentration in their MBA. Bennie often tells job market candidates that he would rather be associated with excellence, even if that excellence is brief, rather than endure mediocrity forever. His strategy is illustrated in his last five faculty hires from Penn State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of georgia, UNC-Chapel Hill and Northeastern University.

Bennie’s undergraduate student “honors research papers” program has proved so successful that he has researched and written papers with approximately 20 undergraduates, where the majority of them have been presented at academic conferences — many even published in peer-reviewed journals. One such publication with an undergraduate student was published in the Journal of Housing Research and featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Waller is also the co-author of two real estate textbooks: Real Estate Finance and Investment Decisions in Real Estate that resulted from an interesting story. In 2010, he received a voice mail from Phill Kolbe, a long-time ARES member, asking if he would be interested in becoming a co-author on his textbook, Real Estate Finance. Bennie’s response to Phill, was “Absolutely, I would love such an opportunity, but are you sure that you have the right person?” Phill laughed and told Bennie that his wife ginny recommended him because Ginny had attended a presentation of Bennie’s given in Memphis in 1996. During his presentation back then, Bennie mentioned that his goal was to become a real estate professor. Even before the 3rdedition of Real Estate Financewas completed, Phill invited Bennie to also become a co-author on the 8thedition of Investment Analysis for Real Estate Decisions.

In addition to currently being Professor of Finance and Real Estate (2003-present) and Department Chair (2007-present), Bennie is also the Director of the Center for Financial Responsibility (2013-present) at Longwood University. Dr. Waller’s research and consulting are largely focused on principal-agent and housing externality issues in residential real estate. His more than 30 articles have included publications in Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Real Estate Research, and Journal of Housing Economics. Furthermore, his research has been cited in top media outlets such as MSNBC.com, SmartMoney.com, NPR and the Wall Street Journal. In addition, he holds active real estate salesperson and appraisal educational licenses in Virginia. But most impressively, Bennie and his wife, Louise, are now the Co-Meeting Planners of ARES searching out great locations for future ARES annual meetings.

Bennie credits ARES as providing him with many opportunities through networking and camaraderie. Bennie met Ken Johnson in 2002, and from their numerous relationships evolved into friendships and significant research productivity with many coauthorships to include Randy Anderson, Shelton Weeks, Kim Goodwin, Bill Hardin, Jon Wiley, Geoffrey Turnbull and Velma Zahorivic-Herbert. Additionally, Bennie believes that ARES is in a unique position to be the foremost authority in thought leadership and redefine the importance of real estate in both academia and real estate professions in the future. Bennie and Louise now live in Farmville, Virginia with their daughter, Wellsley, and their three boxers: Buggs Island, Prestwould and Oxford.

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Longwood University Number 19 in Top Real Estate Publications

Longwood Real Estate faculty is ranked 19th internationally according to the Real Estate Academic Leadership (REAL) published by the Journal of Real Estate Literature for the period 2013-2017.  This ranking is based on the number of publication over the the period 2013-2017 in the top three Real Estate journals including the Journal of Real Estate Research, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics and Real Estate Economics.  Bennie Waller, Professor of Finance and Real Estate, captured the number 34 spot for individuals that published in the top 3 Real Estate Journals.


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5 Biggest Shocks Teens Get When Learning about Personal Finance: Lessons from a High School Economics Class

May 18, 2016

Parents of high school students get a chill when credit card applications first begin appearing in the mail addressed to their child. They worry whether their son or daughter is ready for the responsibility.

Dr. Bennie Waller
Dr. Bennie Waller


Judging from the confusion that Bennie Waller sees among the teens who come to his personal finance course, parents may have reason to be concerned.

“Until you are the one paying the bills, it’s difficult to understand the value of money,” says Professor Waller, director of the Longwood University Center for Financial Responsibility. “Young people today seem to have a lot of misconceptions about money that we need to change to help them get started off on the right personal and professional foot.”

In Virginia, every high school student is required to take a one-credit course in economics and personal finance to graduate. Longwood University is working with more than 20 schools across the state in delivering a dual-credit course (FINA250), allowing students to satisfy their high school requirement while also getting transferable college credit.

“The students we see are motivated students, many from honors programs,” says Dr. Waller. “And yet still their eyes are opened by what they learn about credit, loans and economic and financial issues.”

Here are the 5 biggest lessons learned by students in Personal Finance 250, according to Professor Waller.

The impact of student debt lasts far longer than expected.

While most student loan plans are meant to be repaid in ten years, recent research says the average student loan debt lasts for 21 years or more. This is analogous to a mortgage payment.

“Student loans are often seen as an easy means to an end, says Professor Waller. “But dragging high student loan debt for two decades can mean putting off buying a home or other big purchases. That is something many kids don’t think about when deciding how much to borrow for college.”

Paying your bills on time isn’t enough to get a good credit score.

While not paying charges for cell phone or electric bills on time can hurt a credit score, staying current won’t necessarily help when it comes time for a loan to buy a car or a home.

“Even a very high credit score is not valuable without a good credit history,” says Professor Waller. “It requires managing the right kind of debt wisely.”

Making minimum payments on credit cards can really cost you.

Credit cards are convenient and even a necessity in an increasingly cash-free, online economy. However, until you do the math, credit card charges can hide the true costs of purchases.

“When we look at a $10,000 credit card balance with a 21% interest rate, we see it will take more than 50 years to pay off when making only minimum payments,” says Professor Waller. “And statistics show that as many as 90% of people only make the minimum payment. That one really opens some eyes.”

A high credit score is about more than a good loan rate.

On TV, many companies today are selling the importance of monitoring credit scores. But what many young people don’t realize is how important a credit rating is to so many things, whether it is looking to get a loan or purchase insurance.

“For example, most insurance companies use credit scores to help determine rates,” says Professor Waller. “The belief is that if you are taking bad risks in your finances then you are more likely to be risky behind the wheel.”

Monthly payments are only part of the picture when getting a loan.

The moment a car is titled, the average automobile loses as much as 20% of its value. But that hasn’t stopped more and more people from financing auto loans over longer periods of time. After all, the monthly payment for a $25,000 car financed over five years is about the same as a $16,000 car paid for over three years.

“Too many people, even adults, think that if they can afford a monthly payment they got a good deal on the loan,” says Professor Waller. “What they don’t consider is the cost of  thousands of dollars more in interest they will pay over the additional years.”

Longwood is able to work with high schools to offer the dual-enrollment Personal Finance 250 course across the Commonwealth. For more information go to http://cfr.longwood.edu.

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Pricey Gas Leads to Lower Home Prices

Pricey Gas Leads to Lower Home Prices

When the cost to fill a tank is high, real-estate agents won’t drive as far to market a property, concludes a paper by faculty at Longwood University and Florida Atlantic University

A rise in gas prices can drive up the cost of everything from a gallon of milk to a cup of coffee. But it can reduce the cost of buying a home.

For every $1 increase in gas prices, home prices drop by $4,060, according to a working paper from faculty at Longwood University and Florida Atlantic University.

This effect is even more pronounced when a relatively inexperienced agent is handling the sale: The study finds that in such cases, a $1 rise in gas prices translates to a roughly $6,600 decline in house prices.

What accounts for this phenomenon? In part, says study author Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood, high gas prices may lead agents to market properties less aggressively. Specifically, when prices are high, agents may try to minimize the miles they drive in showing homes.

A high gas price is “a fixed cost for all agents, but older agents can spread it out over lots of transactions, whereas younger, less experienced agents don’t have a lot of transactions to spread those fixed costs over,” he says.

Dr. Waller and his co-author, FIU professor Ken Johnson, looked at 17,122 homes listed for sale on a central Virginia MLS between 1999 and 2009, correlating this data with average monthly per gallon gas prices for Virginia as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. Over the period studied, gas prices averaged $2.34 per gallon and ranged between a low of $1.11 and a high of $4.12.

Should sellers go to market before gas prices rise? No rush, says Timothy Hess, a petroleum markets analyst with the U.S. Energy Information Administration. According to agency projections, per gallon prices will average around $2.42 in 2015 and around $2.38 in 2016.


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Longwood University chosen as site of Vice-Presidential Debate

Once again, history will be made at Longwood.

The Commission on Presidential Debates has named Longwood to host the single vice‑presidential debate for the 2016 election.

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What will the U.S. housing market look like in 10 years?

HSH’s Standout Innovators and Thinkers

What will the U.S. housing market look like in 10 years?   It’s a surprisingly provocative question. Before the recession, the answer might have been wildly – and incorrectly – optimistic. Today we know better, but we also lack a crystal ball. To help separate hype from reality, we asked some of the most influential and innovative thinkers in the field of real estate, mortgages and housing economics about their forecasts and ideas. Internationally sought-after experts, they spoke of accelerating affordability issues, rising mortgage rates, a greater role for the rental versus ownership market, better natural disaster planning, and much, much more. To explore the future of homeownership in America, click on a profile below.  What’s your take on what housing will look like in 2025? Let us know your thoughts in our comment section.

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Area gas prices falling sharply

Area gas prices falling sharply – The Daily Progress: News

Area gas prices falling sharply

By Chris Suarez The Daily Progress

Anyone planning a late-summer road trip with serious mileage might be in luck — gas prices in Virginia and throughout the country are declining to some of the low levels that were seen at the beginning of the year and in 2009.

This time, however, the falling prices — nearing $2 per gallon — are not the sign of an impending financial crisis, as the overall economy is faring better than it did during the Great Recession.

Analysts attribute the plunge of gas prices nationwide to the declining price of oil, which had started to slide drastically last year, going from $107 a barrel last summer to as low as $43.46 in March.

The decline in gas prices this summer, however, has been fairly acute, as the price for a barrel of oil dropped by approximately 20 percent in July to similar lows vendors dealt with over the spring. Since early last week, oil was being traded for less than $50. The peak price of oil for the year, $61.43 a barrel, was reached June 10.

 “This could mean people saving more money that can be used to go out to restaurants or see a movie,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tammy Arnette. “As people usually go on vacation around this time of year, it also means people might make longer trips.”

There’s a variety of reasons why oil prices are down, but the main reason is the glut of oil reserves the U.S. holds, Arnette said.

“There’s been so much production that’s put downward pressure on the market,” she said.

Arnette also mentioned the recent nuclear deal with Iran is likely to increase supply globally, as Iran has been sitting on large oil reserves for several years due to trade sanctions.

Across Virginia’s metropolitan areas, most gas prices are rapidly slipping beneath $2.50 per gallon. On Monday, the average price for a gallon of self-service regular gas in Charlottesville was reported to be $2.38, a drop of 8 cents from last week, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

In August 2014, the national average was at about $3.50 per gallon and $3.21 in Charlottesville. Since then, the national average has dropped by about 85 cents to $2.65 per gallon.

People planning a driving trip for the holiday season might have even better luck than motorists traveling this summer, as prices could sink below $2 a gallon, according to analysts.

GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHann said Virginia’s gas prices historically have been lower than the rest of the country and neighboring states because of the relatively low gas taxes passed on to wholesale fuel sales.

“The big difference in gas prices is in the regions — for example, the Atlantic, the Gulf and West Coast,” DeHann said.

“The prices within these regions should be about the same, but those price differences are found in the taxes,” he said, using the roughly 30-cent price discrepancy between Virginia and Pennsylvania as an example.

But even with a bump in the state gas tax this year from 3.5 percent to 5.1 percent per gallon in wholesale transactions, prices in Virginia are still expected to be some of the lowest nationally.

Despite national news reports of increased sales of SUVs and pickup trucks, the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association does not expect lower gas prices to cause an increase in Virginia auto sales overall.

“People know that gas prices are cyclical,” said association spokesman Tucker Bloom, adding that sales are still expected to be positive, but not as good as when the recession ended initially and consumer confidence returned, increasing demand.

The real estate market could get a boost from the lower gas prices, however, according to Bennie Waller, a professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University.

By reviewing real estate data from 1999 to 2009, Waller and other researchers found a correlation for quicker closings on real estate listings when gas prices were low.

“There are multiple reasons for our conclusions,” Waller said, “People have more disposable income and consumer sentiment is better, but ultimately, real estate agents were inclined to show multiple properties to more people more often.”

Barring an environmental or manmade emergency that would severely hamper oil production or refinement, prices are expected to steadily continue dropping off even if demand for gas spikes, Arnette said.

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