IF YOU FEEL a bit better about real estate in America, you have good reason. Judging from recent surveys and reports, conditions are slowly improving.
While everyone seems to agree the improvement will take time, there is a growing feeling that the worst is behind us.
As far as I am concerned, that is a good place for it. I speak with dozens of agents every day and I am hearing more often how they are busy, how business already has turned around.
Recent numbers seem to support that sentiment.
Here's a few examples from one day this week:
- Currently there are more previously owned homes under contract than at any time in the past two years. According to the National Association of Realtors, the last time its index of pending home sales was as high as it was in May was back in April 2010 when buyers were rushing to beat the deadline for a home-buyer tax credit.
The number of homes being foreclosed on during the first quarter of 2012 was down from the previous quarter and 8 percent lower than a year ago.
For the third month in a row, home prices across the country have risen from the previous month. While the Standard and Poor's/Case Shiller index showed prices are still lower than they were one year ago, that trend has changed during the past few months.
Apparently, those improvements should continue:
According to a survey of 114 economists and real estate professionals, home prices should rise next year and continue rising through 2016.
And, interest rates continue to hover at record-setting low levels.
I'm not a real estate agent, but I am one of the host of people who make a living in the real estate industry and I'm taking the numbers as good news. How about you? Is your business rising with the numbers or is your area still lagging a bit behind?