BrokerageIndustry News

No real estate sunshine in 2011

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Making predictions for the coming year isn't easy. Some of them will be accurate, others will be partly true and some will be way off. Housing is one part of a bigger economic picture. It is necessary to examine the past and present when predicting the future. In 2010 we saw a buying frenzy in the beginning of the year because of the homebuyer tax credits. As I look at numbers for the year it is clear that in my market sales were up until the tax credit expired ... and then they went way down. The tax credits motivated some to buy earlier in the year than they would have, and may have motivated some to move their purchase up a year. We will end the year with fewer home sales than we had in 2009, and the total dollar volume will be lower than 2009, which was not a spectacular year for home sales or prices. We hit a new normal in 2009 and it is likely to stick around through 2011 and beyond. 2011 is going to be very much like 2010 in that home sales are going to be sluggish...