I often find myself at juxtaposition when it comes to statements made by the National Association of Realtors. I understand that "The core purpose of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is to help its members become more profitable and successful" and that the vision of the organization is:
"The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® strives to be the collective force influencing and shaping the real estate industry...."
I do, however, get concerned when NAR sends out material as gospel when there are local circumstances that contradict that view.
This past week, the daily NAR newsletter quotes an article from Forbes Magazine (http://tinyurl.com/ya746s4) that listed ten cities least effected by the current recession. Included as 5th least effected was our main market, Harrisburg, PA. It makes me wonder if the researchers even read their own news.
While this is a great place to live and work, there are some economic factors that will have a negative effect on local housing markets in the immediate future.
First, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has announced massive layoffs effective after the first of the year. And it took almost four months past the start of the fiscal year to pass the state budget. The larger private employer, Hershey Foods, announced that 1/3 of the jobs in the local area would be eliminated starting about a year ago and continuing even now. The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was at 9.5% in September and the rate locally (Dauphin County) was 8.1%. A year ago it was 4.7%.
Even within the local MLS the changes are clear. The top 3 agents in transaction volume year to date are REO specialists. And two more of the top fifteen also mainly list and sell REO properties. The MLS had to add an entry field regarding short sales due to the volume of short sale listings in the past 18 months.
Unfortunately, NAR is still employing the David Lereah method of acting as the cheerleader of the housing market as they try to shape the housing market.