One of my first posts on Active Rain was about “Shedding Light on a Dim Real Estate Market.” It was an attempt to get out there and provide some optimism in a market where the media continues to promote pessimism.
So today, I’m going to provide some more optimistic news - not based on my opinion, but on articles and other posts I’ve read. If you’re a prospective buyer or seller, I hope this helps you. If you’re a realtor, I hope this lifts your spirits.
So, first off, in his article “July Existing-Home Sales Show Gain,” Walter Molony wrote:
“Existing-home sales rose in July to the highest level in five months.” In this piece, he quotes National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President Richard F. Gaylord as saying, “Buyers who’ve been on the sidelines should take a closer look at what’s available to them now in terms of financing and incentives.”
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home prices in some regions could soon increase. “Sales have picked up significantly in several Florida and California markets. . . We expect more balanced conditions in 2009 and will eventually return to normal long-term appreciation patterns.”
In “Even the Case-Shiller indices Show Improvement,” David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s, reported: “In June, nine of the 20 cites [in the 20-City Composite] were up month-to-month compared with seven in May.”
Jonathan Smoke, author of the article, concluded “. . . the month-over-month trend is clear – the move in home prices as measured by month-over-month change in the composite indices shows we are moving in the right direction.”
It seems that the piece I’ve seen generate the most discussion, is Washington state Realtor Bill Sauneuf’s blog post. Entitled, “30 States had Positive Changes in House Prices over the last year!” he provided some statistics from the Office of Federal Housing Oversight’s Housing Price Index for the 2nd Quarter of 2008. The index indicated that 30 of the 50 states had positive changes in house prices from June 2007 through June 2008. Only 4 states experienced overall price declines of more than 5 percent (I’m happy to say Hawaii wasn’t on the list).
The index also provides a look at the percent changes in house prices over the last 5 years. Bill reported that the 5-year term STILL shows 287 of 292 local markets profitable. “…even with the challenges over the last year, the United States STILL has had a 34.8% increase in home prices over the last 5 years!” he concluded.
I recently told one of my buyer clients that if his goal was to “buy and flip,” this was not the market for him. This is the market to make a purchase you’ll hold onto.
Buyers and sellers, here’s a final comment I’d like to quote from Bill Saneuf’s post that echoes the sentiments I conveyed to my client. I think you’ll find it does shed some positive light. . .
“Homes are not stock . . . You’re not supposed to buy and sell on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis. Homes are a long term investment. If you are only capable of doing short term investments for some reason (for example you plan to move in 2 years), buying a home is probably not the best investment for you. However, if you can make a long term investment then the purchase of a home is one of the best investments a person can make.”
Thank you to those who continue to stay on top of the statistics and report good news. I’m going to keep searching for positive comments to report and pass onto my clients (and colleagues). After all, if you keep talking “gloom & doom” you’ll get “gloom & doom.” Fellow realtors, let’s do our best to shed a shining bright light on what has been a dim real estate market.
Have a great day!
Debra A. Jason, RA, ABR
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