Editor’s note: Inman News asked our audience to share their views on what’s in store for real estate in the year ahead, and also to list their wishes and resolutions. This is the second installment in a series. (How to participate.)
Predictions: There is a shaky yet stronger outlook for real estate in 2011. The industry is still in shambles, considering the foreclosure crisis we are going through, the decline in home equity, and the drop in sales of foreclosed properties.
But while these are negative indicators, there are some bright spots in the industry. For one, the index of sales agreements for previously occupied homes rose 10 percent in October, signaling that there are some bullish signs in the market for existing homes.
Also, even though Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke estimates that we have four or five years until unemployment reaches pre-recession levels, that means that there will have to be some incline over the next few years. Even though this increase in employment levels may be small, it will still be a push in the positive direction.
This means that as employment grows over the next few years people will once again be purchasing real estate.
Therefore, although the real estate industry may be shaky over the next year or two, we will continue to see positive signs as employment rates pick up and optimism about the market grows.
Neubis Properties Inc.
Greene, Maine …CONTINUED
Predictions: We have another two to five years before the housing market and economy is on the upswing. We need to get over the hump of short sales and foreclosures.
Wish List: I wish I was wrong about my prediction for 2011. I wish homeowners could get help modifying their mortgage before they fall behind on their payments.
Resolutions: Back to basics for me. Reach out to my sphere of influence and help as many people as I can make good decisions for their future.
Senior sales associate
Coldwell Banker …CONTINUED
Predictions: For Southeast Michigan, I believe that home prices will continue to remain stable and then slowly rise slightly throughout the year. I think we will see more private sales as opposed to the foreclosure sales. And I believe we will continue to see the market time (days on market) decline.
Wish List: I would like to see our Realtors embrace the technology and additional training that is made available to them. I want to see the multiple listing service give them the tools they need to be able to offer their customers and clients the most up-to-date products and services available and keep the Realtor in the front, middle and at the end of all transactions.
Resolutions: Realcomp will continue to look at bringing new ideas, products and services to the market. Additionally, we will look at ways to grow our number of subscribers that will allow us to bring more data to our Realtors.
Karen S. Kage
Realcomp II Ltd. multiple listing service
Farmington Hills, Mich. …CONTINUED
Predictions: Here in Southern California, I think real estate values will continue to fall. Orange and Los Angeles counties will take a bigger hit on prices because of the higher mortgage payments.
With unemployment still near 15 percent in the Inland Empire, prices will not be increasing anytime soon. Interest rates will still be around 4.5 to 5.5 percent.
Wish List: Any banks that received a bailout should not allow (listing) agents to double-end their (bank-owned, or REO) properties. REO properties should be more evenly spread out among agents (10 per year per agent — not 100 listings to one agent).
Resolutions: Prospect via phone and door-knocking.
All Nations Realty and Investments
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. …CONTINUED
Predictions: There seems to be a lot of waiting it out from buyers, and sellers are finally pricing to the market. So if rates stay low, it should be a better year for volume.
However, credit and lending decisions are the wild card. There are a lot of landmines in every transaction nowadays. I think getting a contract is the easy part — getting to closing is the tough part.
Wish List: Buyers!
Resolutions: Watch the bottom line and create a better value for agents to expand the company. Get back to the basics and get our listings sold and our buyers into their new homes.
Neighborhood Realty of the Bluegrass
Lexington, Ky. …CONTINUED
Predictions: I think that buyers will mistakenly sit on the fence, even though it is an excellent time for real estate opportunities. More investor groups will buy multiple properties in the double-digit price range.
Wish List: I wish that banks were more regulated on short sales, with mandatory (shorter) response times and more reasonable counteroffers.
Resolutions: We will continue to represent only homebuyers but focus more on owner-occupied purchasers.
BuyersBroker of Florida
Orlando, Fla. …CONTINUED
Predictions: Homebuying will rise slightly. We may still see a reduction in home prices in certain areas. Probably mortgage rates will rise gradually.
Wish List: More homebuyers because of home-price reductions. Banks will ask much less than a 40 percent downpayment. Banks will be more generous with property appraisal. Extension of tax cuts.
Resolutions: Keep our costs down and offer more services.
Combined L.A. Westside MLS Inc.
Los Angeles, Calif. …CONTINUED
Predictions: If you didn’t like 2010, you’ll hate 2011.
Wish List: Jobs.
Resolutions: Transform into a 501(c)(3) brokerage (seriously).
Portland, Ore. …CONTINUED
Predictions: The markets that have been hit hard by foreclosures will still be struggling. Affordable housing will continue to improve. We will see homeowners become more and more thrifty with their housing decisions, and more transiency away from states with high tax rates.
Wish List: More colleges will offer real estate courses and degrees.
Virginia Beach, Va. …CONTINUED
Predictions: More of the same in most markets. Very slow stabilization, little appreciation.
Wish List: Buyers and investors will realize what a great time it is to buy.
Resolutions: Refuse to participate in the negativity.
Chief evolution officer
Advantage Solutions Group
Cortaro, Ariz. …CONTINUED
Predictions: Between the banks, new regulations on loan officers’ compensation, and continual increase of credit score requirements, we are going to see lots of seller financing.
Wish List: Big-box brokers would spend their marketing dollars on educating their agents.
Resolutions: Educate the local Realtors through the local boards about seller financing.
Rob Aubrey Real Estate Group
Keller Williams Utah Realtors
Cottonwood Heights, Utah