AgentMarkets & Economy

6 signs that real estate sales are softening in your local market

The 'national' forecasts can be deceiving, so look to your own neck of the woods
  • Predictions for the fictitious “national” real estate market may have little or nothing to do with what happens in your local market.
  • Real estate is all about supply and demand.
  • The rise and fall of buyer interest in a local or hyperlocal market can be detected in several non-scientific ways that can give you a “feel” for what’s happening.

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Last year was not a great one for the housing economists who forecast home sales. Most, including the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Fannie Mae, predicted that existing homes sales would end up south of a 3 percent increase over 2015. In fact, sales did a little better, rising 3.2 percent for the best sales year since 2006. This year, experts are low-balling sales even more. Realtor.com has existing home sales rising only 1.9 percent this year, and Fannie Mae expects them to rise only 1.8 percent. The good news is that these are predictions for the fictitious “national” real estate market and may have little or nothing to do with what happens in your local market. It’s not unusual for a third or more of local markets to go the opposite direction of the national market trends. The primary reason you should take notice of the forecasters is to correct the expectations of your clients and customers who read the headlines and may expect the worst this year....