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Unless you live under a rock, you undoubtedly have read or heard the stories in the media about a housing market decline. And what is so amazing is each story is stated as though the decline is taking place in your neighborhood. Unfortunately, the news isn’t always providing factual statements as it relates to you. In fact, you will probably be surprised to learn that home prices have increased by approximately 1% when 2007 home sales are compared against the numbers posted in 2006.
“Sensationalism sells” is a statement I remember hearing as a child. Before television and radio, most people learned about what is taking place by reading the newspaper. In order to sell more papers, editors learned to create “Sensational” headlines. And nothing creates interest and sensationalism more than bad news. Bad news, death tolls, and catastrophe make much better news than success and survivors.
The National Association of Business Economists published an online report titled, "Economists See Credit Problems as Bigger Threat than Terrorism”. This is sensationalism at it’s best. They followed this statement up with one in three members claiming that “the housing boom can be described as a 'serious National bubble." However, they stated later in the article that three in four said they would "buy a house today if they intended to use it as their primary residence”. This is sensationalism that goes unsupported by the opinions of it’s own members. In the same article, members were asked to look five years into the future, and 42 percent expected US home prices to remain flat, while 41 percent said prices would rise". But how about this, 34 percent of the same group calls the housing bubble a threat bigger than terrorism. I’m not saying the media would make the same mistake, but I would expect the headlines to be based on the beliefs of the largest segment of the group, not the minority. To wrap up the opinions of the NABE, "59 percent still say there is no national housing bubble, only significant local bubbles. Another 8 percent said there's no bubble at all and that the market is functioning correctly". While the sensational headlines may have missed the mark, it appears the majority of the NABE members do understand the fact that the housing market should be studied on a local level.
Another factor that may play into the stories told by the media is time. It’s much faster and in fact easier to find negative statistics to report. National media has produced hours of footage stating how the housing market has suffered a severe downward trend. But they are not studying Tyler, Texas. Tyler has remained largely unaffected by negative pressures due to our strong and diversified economy. The Tyler area has a large job pool of skilled labor, as well a very large population of skilled professionals. Another factor that helps maintain a strong market is the incredible number of Americans that are learning about Tyler and east Texas as a phenomenal retirement community.
While the national housing trend has slowed the influx of relocation and retires moving to our area, this change has only slowed the price increases in our market. Michigan has been affected by job declines; Las Vegas and some coastal communities have been affected by what seems to be overbuilding. Overbuilding is where development and construction has grown at rates that are unsustainable levels. These factors along with the crisis in the mortgage industry have created a downturn that has trickled into our community. But nothing like has been reported, not it is time to set the record straight. While some markets in the nation have been negatively affected, Tyler, and it seems much of east Texas has remained mostly unaffected, at least where price is concerned. The time homes spend on the market have increased in some price ranges. Under $150,000, homes are still selling within the same timelines we have experienced fort he last several years. The market for homes over $200,000 has slowed somewhat, however, part of the slowdown in this market is the tremendous amount of development and new construction that has focused on the luxury market.
I have spoken to over 100 agents over the past 6 months, discussing both recent sales activity, and what the future holds. And everyone I spoke with shared the same mindset I hold, if the media would report the real numbers, numbers based on our local market, we would continue to see the same robust activity we have seen over the last 5 years. Our market remained unaffected for the first several months after the media reported a shift to a buyers market. Since that time, a minor softening has occurred in the higher price ranges, however, our market continues to grow, our prices have continued to climb, and the “news has failed to report this story”. Therefore, I feel safe in saying, “Don’t listen to the news, ask a Realtor® what is happening in the Tyler real estate market, and what would be the best course of action for you in today’s market.
To go back to the article NABE article, 58% of the economists "predicted a 'meaningful' recovery in U.S. housing markets before the second half of 2008 or in the second half of 2008. The majority of the other 42% predicted the recovery in 2009". If history repeats itself, as it typically does, the “national trend” will be a soft market for two or three years, followed by five or more years of a strong and vibrant seller's market.
Realtors® learned in Real Estate 101 that the market is driven by supply and demand. And let’s face it, as long as we have rising population, rising incomes, and ambitious individuals, we will see home prices rise and fall. But the overall trend will be long-term appreciation. The housing market is vital to a stable economy, with that being said, the
Federal Government will insure mortgage money is available, and at rates that will support homeownership without overheating the economy.
If you are reading this message from a market outside of East Texas, remember, the same applies for your market. The media tends to report on generalities, that don’t always reflect the actual market conditions. In fact, homes in different price ranges don’t always follow the same trend. It is possible to have a sellers market in one price range, while other price ranges are experiencing a buyers market. So always consult with a professional before you make decisions that affect your families financial future.
As you search for a Realtor® please keep one thing in mind, some of us love the business of helping others buy and sell homes, while some love the people we get to work with, and a few of us cherish both. Find an agent that not only knows the business, but also has your best interest at heart- you will both prosper in this type of relationship.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.