We close the door on 2009 and from my perspective if you are still in the real estate business you deserve a HUGE pat on the back. It was tough out there, but houses were selling. It became a huge dose of reality that if you wanted to survive you had to learn a new way of working AND be diligent. Equally I think this business has proven, at least for me that you never know it all – no matter how long you’ve been a Realtor®.
If you were a Seller during 2009, the year was probably an eye opener for you as well. Foreclosures dominated our market throughout the year and prices did plummet. And if you were a Seller fortunate enough to have good equity in your house like we do, then the depressed market values probably did not have the same emotional impact on you as the Seller who HAD to move and had very little equity in their house. To say MANY Sellers sold their houses in 2009 for LESS than what they purchased them for would be an understatement. And if you listed your house AT MARKET, you probably were in the statistics for EXPIRED listings.
Now if you were a Buyer, what was not to like? You were the beneficiary of great interest rates, so many homes to choose from that you could walk away if Seller #1 didn’t accept your original offer - knowing you could move on to Seller #2…and, sometimes even Seller #3……. AND...benefit from the Georgia $1800 tax credit. Home pricing would have made any buyer giddy! And let’s not forget if you were a First Time Home Buyer you may have also been the recipient of the Fed’s $8000 tax credit. Another reality was many Buyers looked more for "the deal" than the Buyer who was emotionally attached to the home they chose to place an offer on. Quite different from years gone by.
Let's take a look at how December closed out our year for the Atlanta real estate market:
What’s ahead of us for 2010?
• Rumor has it that another round of foreclosures will be out this spring
• Short sales will become an even more “normal” way of doing business.
• And if you have enjoyed low interest rates you will still continue to enjoy the lower interest rates but not the rates that have been with us for the past couple years (or more).
• Predictions are that we will see interest rates tick up a couple percentage points.
• We will see changes in FHA loans this spring
• The end to the tax credits So let’s see how we closed out the year for 2009