There are many mixed reports right now and they include good signs and bad signs. I usually gauge the Real Estate business on how mine and my office sales are doing and there has been some up-tick in buyer interest for the Seattle-Tacoma, Washington area. Here are some of the positives and negatives....and a chart showing the emotional Real Estate cycle. I think the Puget Sound, Washington area is in the Desperation/Panic area of the chart.
Market emotion cycle chart
Positives headlines in the market
1) Mortgage applications up 2.4%. MBA's weekly survey shows that volume moved higher despite an uptick in interest rates; refinancing accounted for 46% of applications.
2) White House to help mortgage-holders. Mortgage industry coalition would help homeowners whose loans are resetting to higher rates, says Treasury Secretary.
3) FDIC to mortgage servicers: Freeze ARM rates. Top bank regulator suggests industry cuts losses now to prevent foreclosures.
4) Solid job-growth report helps raise rates on 30-year mortgages.
Negative headlines in the market
1) Pierce County, Washington home prices dropped in September for the first time in years - the only Puget Sound-area county to see such a decline - as sales activity continued to ramp down.
2) S&P expert: Subprime crisis likely to worsen. The agency's chief economist says that country is 'not halfway' through current housing crisis.
3) Countrywide's 'workouts' fall short, critics say. Consumer advocates say efforts by the nation's largest mortgage company to help homeowners avoid foreclosure are insufficient.
4) This year's decline in existing home sales will be steeper than anticipated, a trade group for real-estate agents predicted Wednesday. The eighth straight downwardly revised forecast from the National Association of Realtors calls for existing-home sales to be 10.8 percent below last year as housing woes persist.
The economy here in the Seattle area is very strong, job growth is good, and home sales are much slower, but still selling. I believe this market will be one of the first to rebound and could come sometime next year. There are many positives and negatives. What do you think about your local market?