It’s almost a new year, so let me make some specific and bold predictions about real estate sales in 2011. Sales, compared to 2010, will be greater in January, about the same in February and will be less in March, April and May. What does this mean about the state of real estate and where we will be after the first half of 2011? The answer is, absolutely nothing. In case you are wondering why I’ve started this month’s Market Watch as I have let me explain. The real estate market has experienced two tax credits that have expired since November of 2009. In both cases the tax credits boosted, then slowed real estate transactions. My predictions only reflect the reality of the real estate market returning to normalcy, without unusual stimulus.
The national press will be full of articles discussing significant year over year changes in the real estate market. Don’t be fooled by assuming, based on these articles that there are really big changes occurring in real estate sales. We will not really have meaningful year over year information until July of next year.
My advice for now would be to take advantage of very low interest rates that are sure to rise. Home prices locally have already stabilized, in fact the average sales price in our market has climbed from $117,592 for all of 2009 to $122,430 through the first eleven months of 2010. If you or someone you know does not currently own a home, and is financially qualified, there will not be a better time to buy in the foreseeable future. The net worth of a homeowner, on average, is 41 times greater than the net worth of a person who does not own his or her home. If you are contemplating moving to a different home let me give you realistic expectations about the value of your current home and show you the cost of the home you would like to own.
Best wishes for a joyous holiday season.