The past 5 years have not been fun for real estate agents and builders. Being constantly on the defensive while trying to motivate buyers and sellers to move, lending standards that the Pope would be intimidated by, and an appraisal system that is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder has not helped ones digestive system.
Let’s face it, TUMS could have made a fortune sponsoring the National Association of Realtors.
But are the hard times in our rear view mirror? Take a look at this excerpt from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI):
In all, 74.9 percent of homes sold between the beginning of October and end of December were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $65,000. This was up nearly a percentage point from the 74.1 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in last year’s third quarter.
“The most recent housing affordability data should be encouraging to many prospective home buyers, because it shows that homeownership remains within reach of median-income consumers even as most local markets appear to be on a recovery path,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. He noted that the most recent reading of the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index found that 259 out of 361 metros currently qualify as improving, including representatives from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. via the NAHB
Now we all know real estate is about the local market, but these numbers will help the national confidence and psyche when it comes to taking that next step. 259 out of 361 markets improving? That is fantastic news.
Then add the low interest rates so affordability is improved, sellers that are more realistic in their pricing, and we may have something going on here…
Nothing is worse than blowing smoke about something you are selling, and real estate agents (not to mention the National Association of Realtors) do not have the best reputation when it comes to being as upfront with their clients. But when you have a great product at a great price combined with a market that is enthused, selling homes becomes much more pleasant.
I have been pretty pessimistic watching the real estate world the past few years, but even I am thinking that we may sell our house this year and buy in our new town.
And if I am happy, you know things are looking up.