What To Expect in 2010

Real Estate Agent with J. Rockcliff Realtors

I think the healing process that began in mid-year 2009 will continue in 2010.  Prices will continue to stabilize with the possibility of some slight appreciation in certain areas of the East Bay particularly Concord in the 200k to 400k price range.  This year will have some similarities to 1997 when we were beginning to come out of the economic malaise of the 1990s-we have to stay flat before we begin to move forward.  As an impatient society we are conditioned to labels like "hot and cold, off and on, black and white, in and out, Red States and Blue States etc."  The real estate scene in 2010 will be none of those-it will be somewhere in between.  We still have a backlog of foreclosure activity to wade through which will mean that we will see more bank-owned and short-sale listings in the upcoming year and probably well in to at least 2012.  The good news is the interest rates, currently around 5% thanks to an accommodating Federal Reserve.  They will probably hold fairly steady until the federal incentives expire at mid-year at which time they will probably climb to the 6% to 7% range by the end of 2010.  By historical standards those are still very attractive interest rates but not what have been used to recently.  The unemployment rate will probably increase slightly at the beginning of the year but ease in to the single digits by mid-year.   At about the time the federal housing stimulus programs run out, I think the politicians in Washington feel job market picture will begin to brighten, thereby balancing the economic climate.  I really believe that getting people back to work is the key to getting through this period.  Those employed folks will feel more comfortable with large purchases like homes and autos.  Existing home sales in 2010 should be slightly better than 2009, but new home sales and construction will remain at record low levels due to the lack of credit availability for builders.  The lack of new construction in recent years means that we are going to have a lack of new inventory for the consumers in 2010 through at least 2012.  This phenomenon could help push the prices of existing homes up just like 1999 through 2005.  I like to think of the glass as "half full" rather than "half empty." Thanks to you 2009 was the best year the Torrey Team has ever had with over 50 homes sold!  Let's make 2010 a great year!        

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