There is rarely a day that goes by when I haven’t had a conversation about real estate. As you know, it’s in my blood and I enjoy talking to people about any aspect of the real estate business.
In the mid 2000s, the conversations were a little different than they have been for the past few years. Obviously, we have gone from what seems to be one extreme to another.
Currently, the topics people mostly ask about revolve around short sales, bank-owned homes, trustee sales, strategic default and more. Often, people just don’t know what to believe. Have we hit bottom? Is it a good time to buy a home? Should I sell now? Can we compete with the banks?
Just a few weeks ago, CNN posted an article titled, “Real estate: It’s time to buy again”. In that article, we read that “the most attractive asset class in America is housing.” They go on to talk about the real estate industry and how low the new-home starts are in the country. Just 5 days before the CNN article was published, I got a call from a reporter asking about the condition of our real estate market in the valley. When Channel 10 called, they asked me a few questions on the phone and then wanted to know if they could come by my office to discuss the market. In the video below, we talk about how builders are in the business to sell homes and how they have had to compete with a high percentage of distressed sales. While I don’t think the market is perfect for everyone, I do believe there are some good opportunities. Waiting for prices to fall might not be the best decision for the long term.
While many of the news reports over the past few years have been quick to say that home ownership isn’t a good idea, it seems there has been a recent change of heart from some of the larger players. To me, it usually seems like many of the media outlets are a few months behind in their assessments. Take a look at this video below where my friend Steve de Laveaga at Fidelity National Title also agrees that the media can be behind and talks about a very strong first quarter of 2011.
In the video, you hear Steve make several interesting points about the current real estate market.
1. They have had “back to back to back record resale openings” at Fidelity.
2. Investors are back. People from all over the world are purchasing property in Arizona right now.
3. At the time the video was shot, they had seen 9 straight weeks of price increases.
4. Steve says, you better buy something quick or you are going to pay more for it.
So, are we out of the woods and back to doing the happy dance every day? No way. Many challenges remain. Some areas are doing better than others and each person has a unique situation. If YOU want to talk about the current real estate market… “Just Call Nick!”
There seems to really be a lot of interest in real estate market news – everyone wants to know when the market will hit bottom. My reply is always that looking for the bottom as a sign to buy isn’t a viable stratey in real estate. Homes aren’t like shares of GM or buying an ounce of gold or pork bellies. You can’t go out the day the market hits bottom and expect to find exactly the home you want. It may happen, but likely it won’t. Real estate is a collection of uniques. Most people don’t just want to buy the cheapest home on the market. They want a particular area or lot size or a personal selection of options. Sometimes finding that combination takes time – particularly if you’re looking for the bottom. For buyers that are looking for the bottom, they need to be looking NOW – not waiting until some analyst tells them that we’ve bottomed.