According to a survey conducted by Fannie Mae in January, 71% of 1,000 people polled believe that now is an excellent time to buy a home. Thirty percent of respondents also reported that they believe the U.S. economy is heading in the right direction, compared to only 22% when surveyed in December.
Sales of existing homes are also expected to rise between 2-5% in the coming year. Bel Air has reported a 14.3% price increase from 2010 to 2011, while West Hollywood and Beverly Hills have also reported prices up from the previous year. Home sales in Los Angeles County have risen 0.8% in December compared to sales at the same time last year which decreased by 7.6%. In the luxury market, 2011 closed out with sales of $5 million plus homes down slightly from 2010 but up from 2008-2009. Sales of $10 million plus homes were up from the previous year and at their highest since 2007.
Obviously, this year is getting off to an excellent start. I’m always going on about how our housing recovery is tied directly to the political econcomy. Which is also showing signs of improvement. We are seeing gains in the job market and thus increasing confidence in the housing market. The unemployment rate is currently down to 8.3% which is the lowest it has been since February of 2009. While it remains a buyer's market with prices still down across the country, many are predicting that 2012 will mark a turning point for sustained recovery in 2013. We are already seeing price increases over the previous year in many areas across our local market. Inventory remains low, while demand for properties in our area is growing.