National Home Sales, Going Up Or Down?

Let me start by saying that for me, this year has started off as my best year ever. One other agent in my office is off to her best year ever. There is no doubt that home sales in this area were moving right along. That is until the end of March when things seemingly quieted down. Now we are into mid May and more and more people I talk to are saying the same thing. Agents and mortgage brokers from Hanover to Warner are all saying “it’s quiet”.

Here’s some information that is not in the main stream media just yet. HEADLINE: Housing Starts Rise 5.8% Yes this was a national headline and for April that was great news. Even single family home starts rose 10.2%. As you read further multifamily starts declined 18.6% but the biggest number that was buried was the fact that new home building permits, which gauge future activity declined 11.5% to an annual rate not seen since October 09′.

The next big miss by major media was that mortgage applications dropped 27.1% compared to the previous week and was 24.1% lower than the same week last year. It was actually the lowest level of applications since May 1997!

Even while mortgage rates have dropped a half point or more in recent weeks, mortgage applications drop to the lowest level in thirteen years?

Where is this market going? Non of the so called experts seem to know. One head line read “Housing Prices Could Rise 12.4% By 2014”. This is based on an average of 100 analysts and market strategists. Some of these so called strategists worked for banks and one prediction from a banker was home prices will rise 37% by the end of 2014. Is this guy serious? It would be great if he was right but I’m not going out on that limb. Other analysts had more bearish thoughts, predictions of still more declines of 18%.

I’m not sure where were going on a national level but what is happening here in Eastman? As long as there is a large inventory , sellers have little pricing power. With 86 homes and 34 condos currently on the market, the property’s that will sell are the ones that have the greatest value (nicest home for least cost).

It appears to me that locally, it’s still a buyers market and price appreciation is not going to happen in 2010.

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