Update on Real Estate Trends
We can’t argue that the housing market has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the past year but it seems as though there are signs of hope in the future.
While figures seem to be holding at all time lows for housing prices, making it a great opportunity for buyers and a bit of a nightmare for sellers.
We’ve seen many people losing their homes because they’re underwater financially or the skittish economy has taken its toll on job and incomes. Almost anywhere you look the average amount of Short Sales has gone to record numbers; in most areas nearly 65% of sales are Short Sales within this past year and currently.
Agents are doing the same amount of business or even more but making only about half of the income they made before when homes were selling for much higher amounts. It’s a matter of more work that has to be put into a Short Sale, more negotiating, and simply more paperwork in general which in turn computes to more hours for less money in the end.
Oddly enough the same inventory is out there and available but because of the pricing decreases and extra work involved the money made on the inventory available isn’t nearly as lucrative as it was just a few short years ago. Most of the industry has seen more of “The Bad & The Ugly” than they have of “The Good & The Hopeful”; but many agents seem to have a positive attitude towards 2012.
Most agents are seeing fewer and fewer Short Sales coming in this quarter than they’ve seen in the past. They’re not seeing as many reductions in price either and while that may be attributed to the slower number of people putting their homes on the market currently it also is a positive effect of what most hope is a trend towards the positive.
At the moment many buyers think that the Real Estate market has pretty much bottomed out, offering houses at the lowest prices they’re going to see and interest rates at record lows; so they’re making their moves now to snap up the homes that are out there. While financing is still harder to get, agents with experience are finding creative ways to get financing when clients are being rejected by typical lenders. With this increase in sales and the decrease of homes coming onto the market out of necessity (Short Sales & Mortgages) the market is looking as if it may be on the upturn in the future.
According to a survey taken by HouseHuntâ¢ 29% of buyers in the last quarter of 2011 were first time home buyers. This was a slight increase from the 27% we saw in the 3rd quarter; many see this as a positive sign. They also reported that negative price reductions saw a small fall from 58% in the 3rd quarter to only 51% in the 4th quarter of 2011; again another positive sign in most realtors eyes. Each of these small changes in statistics, even if only slight, are definitely a sign of things moving in a more positive direction for the industry as a whole.
Agents are all saying they have a positive outlook for 2012 and hope that the small shimmering of hope they’re seeing in the marketing trend at the end of 2011 and the beginning of the 1st quarter of 2012 is a sign of things to come.
The reality of it all is that nobody expects a sudden explosion in the market by any means and they feel that the changes will happen slowly. Most don’t expect to see much of a real positive difference until at least the 4th quarter of 2012 but they do think that, although pricing remains stagnant and financing remains more difficult, by the end of this year we will experience a positive upturn and things will begin looking up.
For now agents are going to have to continue to put in more and more hours in order to maintain their former income levels and learn how to start utilizing incredibly skillful techniques to get their buyers financed. If they’ve stuck it out this long and maintained there’s not a whole lot of threat that they can’t survive a little longer but unfortunately with a lot more paperwork, hours, and inventiveness than they’ve ever had to do in previous years.