A year ago, we asked non-buyer/sellers, "How's that fence sitting workin' out for ya?" The question was directed at folks who watched the housing crash and slow recovery, all the while in disbelief. They watched as their dreams turned to nightmares, their hopes turned to new hopes, and their children missed the opportunities they imagined for them. All along the way, the opportunities continued to exist, but the fencesitterz worried their way through inactivity.
A year ago, I asked the fencesitterz to believe in themselves and a better life, and I warned that waiting another year would make them older, the house they dream of more expensive, and interest rates substantially higher. Well, it's now a year later, and it's all happening just the way most of us knew it would. What are the fencesitterz doing? They're doing nothing because they still can't believe it's happening.
(Here's last year's message)
"How's that fence sitting workin' out for ya?"
The housing market is in the final stages of a crash and recovery cycle. For the last several years, many people who wanted to sell their homes and move up to something more appropriate for themselves and their families have voluntarily remained frozen in their tracks. Many saw their home values drop again and again. They couldn't believe it was happening. Ask why they didn't want to make a move, and the answer was often that they just couldn't believe it was happening.
Now the market has stabilized, and the kids are halfway to the age when they'll be moving out. They will have survived without the better opportunities that the newer and better home and neighborhood would have provided. Prices are not dropping, maybe even rising a bit. The house is not worth what it was worth in 2005, or 2006, or 2007, etc. It may be worth a little more than last year, but it's not worth what it once was. In the meantime, that move-up house is increasing in price. They can't believe it's happening, and they are still on the fence.