Housing Market Predictions: We've Heard Them All, Except the One That Matters ... Yours!

Reblogger Mara Hawks
Real Estate Agent with First Realty Auburn

Varied perspectives...angles of housing market predictions by Paul Slaybaugh, one of my most favorite wordcarvers on this site, who has framed the scene in 3 acts and now welcomes Mr & Mrs Homebuyer to the stage...

Original content by Paul Slaybaugh
  • Housing will not fully recover until 2012.  That is when the glut of backlogged foreclosures is expected to be phased out of the market. 


  • Housing will recover by the end of the year.  Now that inventory has contracted to average levels for what constitutes “normal” regional markets in major metropolitan areas where prices have declined as much as 50% in the past three years, and month to month sales have steadily increased over the past six months, demand has realigned with supply to arrest the freefall in values.


  • The housing recovery began in early 2009.  Median price increases in some markets indicate that even while many pundits were openly wondering when the bottom of the market would appear, it was actually several months in the rearview mirror.

Many factors and variables, and just as many divergent opinions to boot.  So many, in fact, that you almost have to choose amongst the purported experts to determine whether you fall in the half empty or half full category.  Job rates, interest rates, unemployment rates … psychiatric rates, for spending too much time poring over the data and extrapolations will render one in need of a head exam. 

Overanalysis 101.

You don’t need flow charts to tell you where things stand at the moment.  You won’t need a market report to tell you when things are better.

You’ll know the market has recovered when you no longer dread the trip to the mailbox or evening phone calls.

You’ll know the market has recovered when you can confidently re-enable automatic bill pay from your checking account instead of prioritizing which ones get paid this month by how far past due each is.

You’ll know that the market has recovered when you don’t have to decide whether you or a loved one is really ill enough to warrant the cost of a trip to the doctor.

You’ll know the market has recovered when you no longer have to explain to the kids why you can’t go to the zoo or stop for ice cream today. 

You’ll know the market has recovered when sleep comes as readily as worry formerly did.

You can stop looking to someone else to tell you when the market is fully healed as the housing implosion is the root of these greater ails.  It’s far easier to take stock of your own life, and those of your friends and family, to see where along its arc the pendulum is currently settled.  As the finance/housing sector dragged our economy into the muck, it will again lead us back to dry ground.  No need to watch the stars for celestial clues.  Just do what no pundit can and watch your own life for improvement.  You’ll know housing has recovered when both of your own feet are planted squarely on terra firma. 

Most importantly, beware the forecasts that don’t jive with your own internal index.  Those who would adamantly assert the rosiest or bleakest prognosis are likely more interested in influencing your behavior than in your well being. 

“Buy now before prices shoot back up!” 

“Sell now before prices erode further!” 

When you stop listening to yourself, you risk placing all of your trust in the megaphones of those who have a vested interest in your fear.

Is the housing market improving?  Is now the time to buy?  The time to sell?  For months, I have been asked to provide the answers to these questions.  I have dutifully provided my vague predictions with the obligatory caveat that no one truly knows how a free market will behave from one day to the next.  I realize, though, that in supplying answers to those who actually give the market context, that we have all been looking at this thing from the wrong perspective.  It makes zero difference where I think the market stands at present, and where it is headed.  The very consumers who ask me these questions are the ones who will ultimately provide the truth or fallacy to my various hypotheses.  So I turn the tables and ask the consumer, the actual authority, the very same question. 

“What is the state of the Real Estate market?”

Feel free to comment here or send me an email with your thoughts.  Looking for opinions from consumers and laypersons, not agents or financial wizards (all comments welcome, though).  I will post the results in a follow-up piece.

Mr. Homeowner & Mrs. Homebuyer, the floor is now yours.


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Donna & Larry Johnson
Keller Williams Real Estate - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County


  With Real Estate being such a local thing I think your answers will vary from state to state from city to city. In our area I think we have come close to the bottom but think prices will take along time to rebound. My biggest concern is the intrest rates.

Nov 17, 2009 10:57 AM #1
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

I would love to hear what the consumers think.  I am mostly working with buyers and they are pumped.  My sellers are not so much, but they are not in situations where they have to sell soon.

Nov 17, 2009 12:50 PM #2
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Predictions are all over the map. We have cracked crystal balls Mara. Mine says we are HALF way through the recession and keep your eye on that lagging indicator, the unemployment rate to see when it turns.

Nov 17, 2009 02:15 PM #3
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

Terrific post to reblog! :-) I'll go an comment on Pauls post too- thank you!

Nov 17, 2009 03:59 PM #4
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Hi Mara!  I loved this post so much I re-blogged it too AND I wrote another one to explain OUR local market!  The national news and averages is just so confusing to home buyers and sellers--they so desperately NEED someone to give them the local facts so that they can make a wise investment decision. 

Take care and I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving...

Nov 25, 2009 12:12 PM #5
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Mara, I think this is such an interesting topic, and for every prediction- there may be a truth somewhere.  For many buyers, the real estate market is great.  I loved Paul's post and thank you reblogging it!

Nov 27, 2009 12:44 PM #6
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


I am glad to see some relief in the housing market. I tend to think it is a bubble and there are more waves but Paul sums it up well here.

Nov 28, 2009 01:31 AM #7
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Great reblog pretty lady!  I'll stop over at Paul's place and say over there too.  xxoo 

Dec 17, 2009 11:10 AM #8
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Just came to look at your blog from Ryan's comment in his post and I definitely think Paul is one of the most creative writers on our forum. Thanks for re-blogging!

Feb 22, 2010 02:02 PM #9
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Mara Hawks

Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL
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