Ready for a new year in real estate

Part 2: Real estate wish list, predictions for 2010

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Editor’s note: Inman News called upon agents and brokers, technologists and industry executives to let us know about their real estate predictions, items on their real estate wish lists and/or their real estate resolutions for 2010. This second segment features a collection of the responses received. Click here to read the first segment and click here to read Part 3.

Wish List:

Dear Santa,

It’s been a long time since I’ve last written. I must admit I was pretty mad at you when I received socks and underwear when what I really wanted was new bike. Then I was informed that you may not even exist. But my two young sons assure me of your existence and so, on that blind faith, I am sending you my Christmas list.

  • I really want data standards. I want to be able to just come up with the best Web applications I can create and not worry about reconfiguring it to work with 900 different MLS providers.
  • Please throw a little bit more Christmas magic dust to all of us starting new companies. We all have a dream and want an opportunity to succeed.
  • Skip a banker’s house.
  • Never put me in the middle seat of an airplane ever again.
  • Stop the foreclosures.
  • Don’t let another soldier die.
  • And please make sure that all my friends (and everyone else for that matter) who have lost their job this year find a new one, quickly. Quickly Santa, quickly.

Signed,

Greg

Greg Robertson
Co-founder
W&R Studios
Costa Mesa, Calif. …CONTINUED

Prediction:

Residential housing will accelerate its decline at the high end, but show a clear recovery in the poorest and worst neighborhoods. So we’ll see lots of contradictory stories in the press, because they often don’t specify the neighborhoods. There is very little lending available to support expensive neighborhoods, and those neighborhoods have many people with negative equity, unable to refinance, and just barely able to continue their mortgage payments. There will be more walkaways. But at the low end, poor neighborhoods are now clearly good investments, with capitalization rates over 10 percent. Investors are already buying those up, and that will continue.

Wish List:

I wish for an open and honest real estate market, with mandatory, public, bank-verified bids, and an end to closed and dishonest systems. And enforcement of existing antitrust laws against the National Association of Realtors. I can wish, can’t I?

Resolution:

To keep on telling it like it is, and to encourage others to tell it like it is.

Patrick Killelea
Creator
Patrick.net …CONTINUED

In 2010, the combination of rising home values, federal tax credits and low mortgage rates will draw swaths of new buyers into the market. Media coverage will intensify the surge. However, the buyers of 2010 will face the harshest mortgage underwriting guidelines in nearly a decade. Fannie, Freddie and the FHA will continue to tighten approval standards and private money won’t be a viable alternative until 2012 at the earliest. Furthermore, mortgage rates will be erratic while the economy is regaining its footing.

Twelve months from now, 2010 will be characterized as more buyers, fewer approvals, and excellent deals.

Dan Green
Founder
The Mortgage Reports blog
Cincinnati, Ohio …CONTINUED

Wish List and Prediction:

My 2010 wish list is also a prediction. With the Google, RIM (the company behind BlackBerry), Apple and Palm’s latest offerings, smartphone adoption has become much more common.

2010 will be the year real estate Web apps go mobile. Frontrunners like Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, ZipRealty and Redfin have already hit the ground running. I see the coming year as a time of critical mass for mobile Web adoption in consumer home searches.

Resolution:

My New Year’s resolution for 2010 is to stay positive. I’m sure many industry experts are predicting tough times ahead and it may prove true. But like the best cornerbacks in the National Football League, great salespeople are great because they believe in themselves, no matter what the conditions. Stay positive. 2010 is going to be a great year.

Todd Carpenter
Social media manager
National Association of Realtors …CONTINUED

In my eyes, we will continue to see lots of volatility in the housing market through 2010. I think we are in for a double dip in the second half of 2010. Three major factors will contribute to the drop off in the second half of the year: government intervention will disappear, shadow inventory hit the market and mortgage rates will rise. The tax credit has not created new demand, only pushed demand forward to the beginning of 2010. When the tax credit runs out, interest rates creep up and more inventory hits the market, we can expect prices to drop once again. For 2010, I predict:

  • Sales volume to be flat compared to 2009 (5 million to 5.5 million homes);
  • Prices to drop another 5 percent to 10 percent;
  • Inventory levels to creep back up;
  • Mortgage rates move back into the range of 6 percent;

I hate to be the naysayer but in my eyes we still have a long road ahead until we reach a healthy real estate market.

Pete Flint
Co-founder, CEO
Trulia …CONTINUED

Predictions:

1. Rather than just launching a mobile application for the sake of having one, we’ll see real estate companies and vendors create and improve upon existing apps. Practicality and innovation should work hand in hand, not compete against each other! The ultimate app for mobile agents will and should be delivered this year!

2. Social search improvements will continue as more agents understand and adopt the practice of online reputation management. The delivery of relevant search results will be more readily utilized by those agents looking to become their network’s trusted adviser.

3. Real estate companies will roll out improved and distinct social media guidelines for their brokerages and companies.

4. Smart real estate companies looking to better retain and recruit will provide company-wide new media training on both a manager and agent level.

5. The National Association of Realtors’ Realtors Property Resource will rock the industry in a good way. And it’s about time!

New Year’s resolution for 2010

1. To write more! I plan to continue updating my "Twitter for Real Estate Twits" e-book as new Twitter tools and strategies unfold. But I would also love the opportunity of becoming a published author, should that opportunity arise! Fingers crossed! But until I reach that goal, I’m quite content blogging all things real estate tech at MyTechOpinion.com.

2. To continue learning and sharing! I’m excited to see where social media takes us in 2010 and to continue applying what I learn in a practical way for real estate professionals. You can bet I will be teaching and training! I’ve created a brand new social media curriculum that I will make available to real estate companies beginning January 2010. And I hope to continue to be invited to speak at rockin’ real estate conferences.

3. Innovate and create! I hope to deliver content in a variety of formats that push the envelope of what’s expected. And I’d love to share and collaborate with vendors looking to integrate real estate and social media in a more meaningful way.

4. Thrive on passion, fun and love. Learning just about anything new makes me happy and fulfills my passion to teach. So I need that in my life, just like I need my family and friends to fill me up with laughter and love. But I also want to give back more. So I’ll be looking for ways to reach out using social media … whether it’s a dance-gram to promote a great cause or devoting some of my time and expertise toward helping others with their quests.

Nicole Nicolay
Editor
MyTechOpinion …CONTINUED

Prediction:

Home values nationally will bottom in the second quarter of 2010. However, when the market bottoms, real appreciation (after inflation) will be quite anemic for a sustained period (two to three years) because of high rates of negative equity and large numbers of foreclosures. Mortgage rates will also increase 50-100 basis points after the Federal Reserve stops buying mortgage-backed securities in the first quarter of the year. Also, we’ll see at least 3 million new foreclosures next year, quite possibly many more.

Wish List:

That we have more realistic expectations about long-term housing performance. Zillow surveys suggest that most consumers still expect to see a quick and robust housing recovery which does not appear very likely. The "new normal" for U.S. housing near-term will not look much like the boom years in the first half of this decade. Having reasonable expectations about the future will help us best prepare financially and psychologically for what lays ahead.

Stan Humphries
Chief economist
Zillow.com
Seattle, Wash.

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