Its hard to get a very good read on where the housing market is headed these days. Depending upon who you listen to from Wall Street, we're either nearing an end to the housing inventory glut or we have another 6 to 18 months of correction in the housing market. And you also get the occassional input from the so-called experts, I believe Sam Zell was heavily quoted last week with something to the effect that the housing slow down was nearing its end.
What I can report from my little neck of the woods here in Gwinnett county, is the following:
a) There does not appear to be a shortage of buyers in the $125k to $200k market. The national news has apparenly motivated a fair number of individuals to "get while the gettings are good."
b) The banks are dealing and they have a lot of stuff to move. As short as 6 months ago, I would typically advise a 1 to 3 week response time from the banks on a submitted offer. My experience over the past few months, is more like 1 to 5 days.
c) I get the sense that more listed foreclosures are coming. I'm seeing more and more houses in a stage of foreclosure as I drive through neighborhoods.
d) Foreclosured homes are not what you might have seen 6 months ago. These houses are somewhat ready for move-in. Six months ago, a foreclosure was most likely in need of some general clean-up and repair.
From my point of view, I don't see the excess inventory being reduced dramatically over the next six months. I will say that I'm especially curious to see what the Spring and Summer months bring to this market.
Lastly, I'll add that all this creates a very special buyers' market in Gwinnett county. Something we won't likely see again in our lifetime.