The October issue of Realtor Magazine (our industry magazine) had an interesting article about dispelling myths while educating first time home buyers. The first point was about the weakness of the housing market.
They are absolutely correct that we can't flip on the TV, radio or computer, nor pick up a newspaper or magazine... or even sit in a restaurant without hearing about the tremendous "Buyer's Market" taking place right now. Quickly, the common wisdom is that since there are few buyers in the market, the ones that are there can beat sellers into incredible deals...
Of course, there is some truth to that. There aren't as many buyers in the Gwinnett County and Lilburn, GA markets as there were a few years ago... at least buyers that can get financing. BUT... in some segments, there is actual competition for properties. The First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit is pushing buyers into the market at the entry level. Prices are rising, and we are seeing properties bringing multiple offers. For now.
So, while there is still definite weakness in the luxury market, the entry level market is much different. Just as the market can vary from one ZIP code to another, it can also vary by price range. From now until the beginning of November (the credit currently is set to expire at the end of November, but most closings take 30 to 45 days to consumate), I think we will continue to see strength in the entry level market.
This is actually helping the move-up market, since many of the first time buyers are freeing the sellers to step up to a new (to them) home.
Things could be very different by January... Or not. If this indeed kicked the market, then we may see continued strength into the first quarter of next year.