The Real Estate Market Is Stablizing. Maybe.

Monday, January 4, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 1:38 AM

Originally Published 2008-02-19 14:13:49

I've heard from two different brokers in the last three days that the market is picking up. They're "busy again", housing auctions are seeing more demand, and the bank-owned (REO) sales quantities are dropping as a result.

One of my loan broker friends has been working 14-16 hour days six hours a week making deals happen over the last two months. His income is on track to return to the level it was back in the middle of the housing boom.

Another friend of mine who works the property side (i.e., he's a real estate broker) who was just asking me if I had any tech work for him three months ago just hesitated when I called him and asked if he could spare a few days of time this month. Apparently his active buyer count is almost "back to the level [he's] used to".

This colloquial "word on the street" experience tells me that we may have hit bottom. If REO supplies are dwindling, that has a stabilizing effect on market prices, making traditional sales more attractive. The general sentiment that there are good deals to be had, that it's a buyer's market, and that those with cash on the sidelines should be investing now (go ask your shoe shiner or hair stylist if it's a good time to buy) means that demand is returning, which means that (in economics jargon) price has reached it's equilibrium point. In common parlance, that means that we done hit bottom, yo.

Now, I'm not at all suggesting that it's a good or bad time to buy. I'm an investor. That means, in my mind, it's pretty much always a good time to buy. But most people don't have that mindset, and for you, I'm suggesting that the end is in sight, so if you're bargain hunting, it's time to get off your arse.

Mind you, my sampling wasn't exactly huge, but when CNN reports that the U.S. housing market bottomed out sometime around March 2008 next Christmas, just remember that you read it here first.
As for economy as a whole, your guess is as good as mine. A one-point jump in unemployment could easily derail this "recovery" just as its starting.

But for California housing, at least, barring external shocks, I think things are looking up.

Comments

On 2008-02-21 08:45:46 Cameron Postelwait said:
Hopefully not merely a temporary boom caused by artificially lowered interest rates.

On 2008-02-21 08:47:52 Goyin said:
if only all investors thought it was always a good time to buy... no more bears in the market.

On 2008-02-29 07:37:50 Sarasota Florida said:
Its attracted me a lot that "The general sentiment that there are good deals to be had, that it’s a buyer’s market, and that those with cash on the sidelines should be investing now".

On 2008-03-03 09:37:44 Estate Agents Finder said:
Most people have a speculation that the real estate bubble burt was the main reason for the whole recession thing in US, but i guess there are many more things that that too

On 2008-07-06 23:08:02 Bangkok Apartments said:
Yes, In Australia the prices are crazy aswell? They have been going up for many years, People always speculate how the prices can get any higher? They certainly find away of not getting any lower? Asia is starting to also slowly following this trend too now.

On 2008-08-09 21:04:10 Commercial Mortgage Loans - Privately Funded - MasterPlan Capital said:
For what it’s worth, I can tell you that some big money players are acting like the bottom is near.
I am seeing very significant, very aggressive buying of bank owned commercial property by some hedge funds and private equity groups I work with. These guys are pros, they wouldn't be buying like they are if they thought prices were going much lower. Hmmmm...

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