By JR Hafer
http://jrhafer.googlepages.com/realestatemarketwatch Whenever I speak to a group or am stopped on the street, often I am asked the same question the real estate industry is asking all over the nation. The question is; "What is happening to cause this real estate slump... What kinda deal is this?" Well, to be honest the root cause seems to be without a comprehensive answer. Even the so called experts can not seem to find out what is the cause for the current real estate market slump. Those "in the know" and study the economic indicators and driving factors that generally control trends and dictate the market, are covered with statistics which are confusing and contradicting. It's no wonder the public is getting so many diverse answers. The truth is nobody knows why the market is so "soggy". I do know the consumer confidence is lacking and perhaps that is a symptom of the real estate market condition. But what is the root cause? It is so difficult to try to explain to "Sellers" why their house has not sold when there is nothing we can explain it by, except the pricing might not be attractive enough? When asked we can only stretch out our arms, look toward the ground and run our toe in the sand, shrug our shoulders and mumble "I duuno"... Now how, I ask you, professional is that? What alternative do we have other than giving sellers a bunch of excuses and bore them with less than the "bottom line?" The "bottom line" is the mortgage interest rates are historically low, there is an abundance of inventory and potential buyers are more likely than ever to find exactly what they are expecting in a home. If one has decent credit and finds the house they want, they can get it at a great deal. The abundance of foreclosures also provides another source of great deals. Additionally, "Short Sales" can give a potential savings of thousands, as well. Therefore, it is a great time to buy a house. But buyers are still standing by in the wings, waiting to see what's happening. Their actions are sort of like a deer caught in the headlights. The deer is overwhelmed and confused and does not't move. The economic indicators are reporting a strong and stable economy. Foreclosures are on the rise, mortgage money is still plentiful and available. The rental market is stable and the investor ratios are in line with stability of the market. Job growth is holding steady with the exception of the government upheaval and confusion over the Florida homestead exemption laws. But changes should not be a deterrent to purchasing a house at this point. In fact, it should be an incentive to buy this year. The tax and insurance issues, if scrutinized closely, should not be a big change adversely. Just like Jason says in the "Kaplan report" (November 15, 2007), "It's important to remember that any one of those variables can change for the worse over time". So I ask you... What kinda deal is this?
REAL ESTATE MARKET WATCH is very proud to announce: Jason Kaplan will be joining us and giving some additional diversity to our staff and reporting from the mortgage perspective for our publication. Mr. Kaplan is the Principal broker of Mortgage Lending Associates, Lakeland FL & Asheville, NC.. Watch for the Kaplan Report, in future issues and on the website. We ask our loyal readers to also visit our website as we build our world class e-Reports for central Florida. Watch for our expansion to include our Western North Carolina Real Estate Market Watch. (Soon to be available).