Local housing markets are split on “hot” and “cool” readings, according to an informal Inman News survey. About 33 percent of survey participants said their market is hot, while another 33 percent said their market is cooling. Another 26 percent of respondents said the market is not cooling yet, but will soon. The remaining 8 percent didn’t specify the condition of their local market.

Gayle Causey, a Realtor for Century 21 Shackelford French in West Monroe, La., said the housing market is still good but it has begun to cool. “The local economy is to blame,” she said, especially with a recent announcement about the loss of a large employer that will cost about 1,500 jobs.

Another respondent said Southern Orange County “is at the top of the price rise and starting with this summer season prices will remain the same or even start to drop slowly.” But a survey-taker in the San Francisco Bay Area said, “We have far more buyers than sellers – a true seller’s market. We have some 350 agents in our MLS and only about 120 listings on the average for over a year now. Prices are up about 65 percent over last year.”

And one participant in Irvine, Calif., said, “It’s gone from crazy hot to normal hot. Higher prices have pulled lots more listings on the market.”

An Oregon appraiser said the easy lending environment and low inventories of homes in some areas are driving up prices, “Some of which cannot be supported by an ethical appraiser. Realtors need more education and licensing. They pressure mortgage originators to hit their sales prices, which in turn the appraisers get pressured to hit their predetermined numbers.”

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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