This week our listings saw an average of 1.4 showings each. Traffic has been slow and contract activity has been even slower. The media isn’t helping much and we are experiencing a time when its hard to tell what’s going to happen next.
In the fall of 2008 the markets went into a free fall. No one new how far and how long the downturn would last. But given how quickly things fell, many people thought the recovery would happen quickly. It hasn’t. For the first half of this year, we experienced a “mini” housing boom due to the tax credits but now that they have expired, the market has clearly slowed.
Many media outlets are reporting that the market will continue to be slow until spring of next year. MarketWatch.com posted a good article about the status of housing right now. The idea that prices will stay down and maybe even decline a bit more makes sense considering that historically the highest sales prices of a season occur in June and July. That tells us that after this month we can expect lower prices anyway, even without the effects of the “tax credit hangover.”
So, for sellers of real estate the next six months could be a challenge. Here’s a link to another great article that reiterates points I’ve made about pricing since mid 2008: Pricing your home to sell in today’s market. The last six month’s may have created a false sense of stability in the housing market due to the surge in sales. However, for the next six month’s we are likely to experience a sales cycle that is more in line with 2008 & early 2009 before the tax credit had a major impact.
For buyers of real estate, the market continues to be ripe with low hanging fruit. Although its been said over an over for the past two years, now really is the best time in history to buy. Between the low prices and low interest rates, everything is on sale. Confidence is definitely higher now than it was in 2008 when sales plummeted and most are in agreement that the economy is slowly heading back into a growth mode. That means that buyers should be safe to get back in the water. Its impossible to time the market, but it sure seems like the bottom is here or near.