Editor’s note: The following is a collection of real estate professionals’ views on an industry-related topic.
QUESTION: What is the key to the housing market recovery in your market area?
Selman & Associates
Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
While home prices in Lake Havasu City have seen about a 10-20 percent decline since the peak of the market in 2005-06, we are starting to see some stabilization. Foreclosures on distressed properties entering the market have brought the values of homes down. Judging from the high number of Canadian prospects I am receiving through my Web sites, I believe that we will have a very strong winter selling period because most of them plan to make a purchase during the coming winter months.
There is a brief window of opportunity for the buyers who have been sitting on the fence waiting for prices to drop further. I believe that the winter buying period will stop the price drop in its tracks — so if buyers have been waiting to make a purchase thinking that values are going to decline further, they would be wise to make their purchase now before the winter months arrive. This is truly the bottom of the market.
Dickson Podley Realtors
La Canada, Calif.
I don’t believe there is a key or "quick fix" to a real estate recovery. We all need to get back to basics: 30-year fixed-rate loans, down payments and good credit. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to purchase a home. Some could afford home ownership, but the sacrifice (roommates, location, etc.) is simply not worth the gain derived from ownership.
Buyers need to realize that home ownership is a stepping stone and that their first home will not be their dream home (or location), but it will be a means to build some equity and that in time they can afford the home of their dreams.
Guarantee Real Estate
The key to the housing recovery is getting most of the bank inventory sold. It took about four years to get us into this mess, and I estimate it will take about that long to bring the inventory down.
Once this huge inventory of REOs is sold, I believe the market can become balanced between buyers and sellers and the values will stabilize and increase — at a slower, more steady rate than those of the boom years.
Randy Eide, Broker
Rossum & Neal Realtors Inc.
Rapid City, S.D.
Rapid City, S.D., has not experienced the severe downturn in its real estate market as seen in many other parts of the country.
However, buyers are beginning to face a difficult time becoming approved for home loans with the tightening lending restrictions that have been enacted over the past few months. With the loss of most 100 percent and no-documentation financing programs, many buyers are forced to abandon purchasing. Help with financing for all buyers is needed for a full recovery of real estate throughout the area.
Five Star Real Estate
Grand Rapid, Mich.
The obvious is we need to reduce inventory to a level that allows sellers to be in a better position to negotiate. Bank foreclosures and short sales are 20 percent of our inventory and 50 percent of our sales. The foreclosures and short sales are typically not in as good condition as traditional homes but buyers are expecting to pay similar prices.
The expectation of buyers that the job they have today will be here tomorrow and wages will start to increase will give them confidence to make a decision to buy today. The overall economy is OK, but the media talks about the negatives so much that even people who have a good job have uneasiness about the future. In summary, reducing inventory and restoring buyer confidence will go a long way to help our business.
Information compiled by Lai Saetern, Inman News.
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