Archive for the ‘housing trends’ Category

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What is a Housing Bubble? Is One Forming?

July 7, 2015

Bubble-2-KCM

The recent talk of Greece and its financial challenges has some questioning whether the U.S. could also return to the crisis we experienced in 2008. Some are looking at the rise in real estate values and wondering whether we are in the middle of another housing price bubble.

What actually is a price bubble?

Here is the definition according to Jack M. Guttentag, Professor of Finance Emeritus at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania:

“A price bubble is a rise in price based on the expectation that the price will rise. Sooner or later something happens to erode confidence in continued price increases, at which point the bubble bursts and prices drop. What makes it a price bubble is that the cause of the price increase is an expectation that the price will increase, which sooner or later must reverse itself.”

Does Professor Guttentag believe we are in another housing bubble?

In a recent article, he explained:

“My view is that we are a long way from another house price bubble. Home buyers, lenders, investors and regulators now understand that a nationwide decline in house prices is possible — because we recently lived through one.”

What are home prices doing?

Though home values are continuing to appreciate, the acceleration of the increases has slowed to year-over-year numbers which reflect a healthy housing market. Here is a chart showing year-over-year appreciation since January of last year:

Case-Shiller

We can see that appreciation rates have dropped from double digit numbers to more normal rates of 5% or lower.

Bottom Line

We think Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal put it best in a recent tweet:

“Predictions of a new national home price bubble look unfounded for now, according to data.”

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Holy cow – there are no homes to sell…

January 30, 2013

house sideways

Things have gotten a wee bit strange in real estate recently. There are simply too few homes for sale. I have buyers…lots of buyers actually but there is an absolutely nothing to show them. If you want a home in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range in a good area of Orlando then you had better be prepared to look a long time and jump on something the minute it becomes available. I’m seeing multiple offers on homes listed and anxious agents who want contracts signed before it is too late. There is definitely a sense of urgency in the Orlando real estate marketplace.

What does this mean? The economy is affecting homes listed for sale as potential sellers fear they won’t obtain fair market value for their home. The majority of homes for sale in Orlando remain short sales or foreclosures. We need to see the inventory of distress sales dwindle and more normal market conditions return.

What is normal? Who knows? But this certainly isn’t it.

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Generational real estate selling and other minsinformation.

April 28, 2011

We live in a time when people want quick answers and quick resolutions to all their questions. How many times a day do you see articles with “Five ways to Happiness” or “Seven steps to selling your home”? Here’s a fact: there aren’t any quick or fast steps to doing anything. It’s just the use of a catch phrase to get your attention. Imagine how great life would be if we could solve things in three easy steps? It just not that simple.

One of the main things I see is that realtors are being misled to believe that their clients are now internet social butterflies and that so much business is done via the web. This is simply not true. While more than 80% may look on the web for a home; the majority of individuals still rely on word-of-mouth or personal relationships to find a realtor to assist them. For instance, a recent fact published by the American Affluence Research Center reflects that only 12.5% of affluent clients even use social media. That’s not very good odds for those seeking to attract the luxury market via the web, through Facebook or other social networking venues.

The other common mistake I see in today’s real estate world is labeling clients. Of course, you know about “boomers” but now we have the newest which is the Millenial generation. The Millenial Generation was born between 1977 and 1998 and has approximately 75 million members. REALTORS are being led to believe that this age group is the next big wave of buyers. Let me assure you – I don’t see this happening. Why? Because I personally have millenials (with college degrees) living under my roof and they can’t find jobs that pay enough to afford a home. Fact: College degrees don’t guarantee a high-paying job thereby making home ownership affordable. I have friends who also have children who graduated college, who are hard-working and driven BUT who are also waiting tables and working part-time at corporations just to get an opportunity for full-time employment. Where do they live? At home with their parents! In addition, many of my friends have not only their grown children living at home but also their parents. These are the people who are helping to support the Millenials. I wish more people would write about that fact.

Millenials and Gen “X” and “Y” are watching the world economy in turmoil and they are scared for their future. I’m not sure they see the value in home ownership and they may just wait it out for a few years and see how the United States government (and lending instituions) respond to our economic crisis.

What is factual? At the end of the day it is still about relationships. Get out from behind your computer and meet people. Stay in touch with friends and former clients. While I personally have a blog, Facebook page and I tweet like a maniac, I do so for fun. I don’t expect business to boom because I do all my social networking. People will buy homes because they need a place to live. But as for me – know any investors or better yet – let’s do lunch?

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Real Estate Ruins –

April 21, 2011

 

Real Estate in Ruins

As I was driving through a luxurious Orlando neighborhood recently, I noticed a number of homes that were obviously in foreclosure. The signs were everywhere including the overgrown lawns, the newspapers piled in the driveway and the general look of decay.

It dawned on me that without proper love and care – the earth has a way of reclaiming what it once lost. The house was covered in vines which were starting to smother the home. It was at once appalling and then again, mesmerizing. I guess the old adage “it’s not nice to fool “Mother Nature” really can come true. You can lay down all the bricks and mortar that you need to make a mansion or a modest home but left untended, Mother Nature is going to take it back and do so with a vengeance.

So goes the state of real estate. Real estate in the US is in ruins! No one is tending the real estate market and no banks, politicians or even news anchors seem to be alarmed. Banks have just disclosed that they wrote one-third (1/3) fewer loans the first quarter of this year than in the past. That is an ASTOUNDING fact. While is sounds wonderful to have a 4.45% interest rate, it is meaningless if no bank is giving out loans. It’s catastrophic. Right now we live in a world full of smoke and mirrors. It’s all fake advertising. It’s all for naught.

Banks are getting richer and bank CEO’s are reaping huge profits but not on real estate. Our country must stand up for a call to action for loans to be written to credit-worthy customers. We are in the weeds and we are going to be in a hole so deep it will take decade(s) to recovery.

As real estate goes – so goes the economy. As an example, I had a client with a two-year old foreclosure BUT $100,000 down payment on a $200,000 house and I could NOT get him a loan. Why? Because the lenders said his foreclosure had to be past three years. 50% down is almost unheard of and yet we could not get this buyer a loan.

PLEASE, please won’t someone get serious about the condition of our economy and realize that without loans and without buyers – we have no real estate? The effect is deep and sinks to the core of all business. No real estate builders, no real estate materials (bricks, shingles, asphalt, etc.), no handymen, no appliances, no furniture…I could go on and on. The lack of sales is affecting everyone and it is affecting you whether you understand this or not.

Let’s get back to business. Let’s sell some homes. Won’t someone make a stand?

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Home Decorating – What’s in?

March 3, 2011

An interesting thing is happening in the world of real estate and home decorating. Everything old is new again. 

I am finding in this time of economic uncertainty that people are decorating their homes differently. I am seeing a lot of natural looking furniture, distressed pieces, color…in short an updated cottage style. COTTAGE is huge right now – you only have to look at the magazines on the racks to see that this look for home decorating is hot and here to stay. 

I think the trend toward this well defined look is a desire to feel AT HOME in our homes. I think it is an effort to buy something (affordable) and that makes us feel like we are back in grandma’s kitchen. This style of decorating is not about matching furniture and brown tones. It’s about COLOR and lace and older pieces of furniture that have been repurposed. You can call it a move toward green living or just call it a desire to save some green by buying gently loved furniture but cottage-style living is here to stay. 

Personally – I like it. The home with a cottage look has some personality. I like color. Pink is in and yellows, greens and blues are back. I love it – I think it is a decorating reminder that our house is our home and we need to make it look so. For many, it reminds us of sitting in our family kitchen and feeling the love. A house is not just bricks and mortar – it’s a place where families still eat around a dinner table and use tablecloths and laugh. It’s living life in a gentle and loving style.

For the record, I’m seeing this style in all price ranges. People are getting very creative and it’s all in the details. Chandeliers in bathrooms, walls in pink and blue, gentle loved and often scratched tables, lots of white. It’s all very interesting and intriguing.

Think outside the box and go bold. Start with color – you will be amazed how it will lift your spirits.

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Real Estate Mind Games

August 21, 2010

 

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” Conrad Hilton

 

Real estate today is moving and changing in new directions. To be a winner in today’s real estate world, you have to put the past behind you and move toward the future. You have to be an agent that wants to win and then sets out to figure out what it will take to make transactions matter.

It’s all a mind game and you must have a winning mindset. If you don’t – you are doomed to fail.

I am constantly reminded how tough our economic climate is and how bad home prices have fallen. But I am also reminded that we are not the only generation to have financial challenges. Many of our grandparents and parents suffered greatly during the “great depression” and they think we are all being a wee bit dramatic. I know it is tough out there but I also know that opportunities exist to those who don’t give up and keep moving toward a goal.

Will real estate ever be the same? No. But how can we expect it to remain the same? It’s changed for good and I don’t think that is all bad news. It’s just our reality and it is time we deal with it. I heard today that nearly a quarter of Americans think their home is going to fall in value this year and yet I also heard that nearly a quarter of Americans are going to put their homes on the market the first sign of change.

Be the change – start thinking about winning in a hard market. What have we got to lose because our days are full of opportunities! Keep a positive mindset and be prepared to WIN. I believe it for you.

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Will work for a home? Unemployment affects housing.

June 1, 2010

It’s almost summertime and the market is starting to turn. It’s great news for some but not so great for others.

According to a study released Friday by NeighborWorks America, 58 percent of homeowners who’ve received assistance through its national foreclosure counseling program reported the primary reason they were facing foreclosure was reduced or lost income.

NeighborWorks was created by Congress in 1991 as a nonprofit organization to support local communities in providing its citizens with access to homeownership and affordable rental housing. In January 2008, with the foreclosure crisis raging, Congress implemented the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program and made NeighborWorks the administrator.

The organization says that over the course of the NFMC program, the percentage of homeowners who’ve cited wage cuts or unemployment as the primary reason they were facing foreclosure has steadily increased.

In November 2009, 54 percent of NFMC-counseled borrowers reported reduced or lost income as the main reason for default. Six months earlier in June 2009, it was 49 percent; in February 2009, 45 percent; and in October 2008, 41 percent.

These steady increases parallel the nation’s unemployment rate, which until the November 2009 employment report, had marched upward since October 2008.

“With unemployment numbers not likely to dip below nine percent in 2010, our report proves what many already believed to be true. Unemployment and reduced income are having a devastating effect on our nation’s homeowners,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America.

So what does the future hold for real estate? Well as you can see a lot depends on the ability to create jobs in today’s world. WE NEED WORK and we need for Congress to act now to shore up  unemployment numbers. This could be a long recovery for our nation – but we WILL recover and we will go back to work.

I look forward to that day.