The Good and the Bad - Today's Real Estate Outlook
November 12, 2008
We have to take the good with the bad in the housing market these days. There is a lot to be optimistic about, but it is hard to not get caught up in the negativity as well.
On the positive side, the resale and new housing sales is up nationally, regionally and in dozens of local markets during the past month.
The National Association of Realtors reports that the sales of existing houses were up by five and a half percent in the latest month, and even more in the former boom markets where short sales and foreclosures account for 40 to 50 percent of all transactions.
But... it is hard to ignore that the economy as a whole is looking weaker, and probably will remain so until at least the first of the year. And housing is suffering big-time. With the credit crisis, gas prices and stock market turmoil that have rattled us for months we are all nervous.
The result of that is that even as we enter the holiday season, consumer spending is down, even as we still see most households receiving small increases in income, we are not spending it as much as we used to, and that is keeping the economy from rebounding.
And-to top it off, mortgage rates are not at a low competitive rate, and the mortgage companies are being more restrictive with the loans they are granting.
So what is the average person to do in this economic climate? My advice is always the same... be conservative, be on the lookout for a good investment, and don't spend frivolously. A lot of money could be made right now if the right person where to take advantage of the buyer's market, especially here in Charlotte where our population is likely to continue to grow and our area continue to thrive.
We will weather this storm, but it is important to make smart decisions, keep track of our expenses and keep our eyes out for opportunity.