Keeping Current Matters (KCM) announced Tuesday that George Ratiu, formerly the manager of economic research at Realtor.com, has joined the company as chief economist.
Ratiu has more than 15 years’ experience tracking the U.S. economy and real estate markets, having worked at the National Association of Realtors and Move, Inc. before joining Realtor.com in 2021 where he led a team covering broader economic trends, housing activity and consumer issues.
“Bringing George to KCM is an absolute game-changer,” said Bill Harney, CEO of Keeping Current Matters. “His deep understanding of global economies, real estate markets, technology, consumer demographics, and investments will further enhance our ability to empower, educate, and equip real estate agents as the housing market continues to evolve.”
Ratiu said KCM’s focus on providing relevant insights and information to agents so they can educate buyers and sellers was one reason he joined the company.
“Real estate transactions are complex processes, and a lot of people approach them with fear and concern,” Ratiu said. “Finding insights that make that decision easier and that provide a higher level of confidence is very important to me.”
Speaking about the housing market, Ratiu cautioned that housing markets are constantly evolving.
“What we’re seeing is something that is part of the historical real estate cycle – it moves in tandem with credit markets and the broader economy. This housing market is responding to changes in the bigger monetary landscape,” Ratiu said.
Although he noted similarities to the market of 2008, Ratiu stressed the current market has some important differences.
“Consumers today are much better qualified to purchase both in terms of credit scores, savings, and income,” Ratiu said. “The other big factor is the supply side…We have experienced over a decade in which new home construction lagged household formation, the result of the 2008 housing bust which pushed a large number of builders permanently out of the industry.
Despite the challenges the industry faces right now, Ratiu said he is optimistic about the real estate market.
“For the US market, we are in an extremely favorable demographic environment. To put a number to it, there are over 44 million Americans aged 26 to 35 this year, which is prime home-buying age. To have such a huge number of young people coming into the market is a tremendous tailwind for the real estate market.”
Ratiu holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Campbellsville University and a Master of Arts in Economics from Western Kentucky University.