I received an email last night from one of my buyers.  It was 3 sentences long and titled “Market Conditions”.  Given the events of 9/29/08, my buyer was concerned as to what this meant now and what the future holds for real estate, here is my answer:

You have asked the million dollar, or should I say the 700 billion dollar question!

I believe it is safe to say the market is currently stalled and waiting to see what the end result will be.  Buyers are currently experiencing difficulty in securing financing if they are putting less than 20 % down as there are less companies willing or able to insure those loans.  I personally closed 2 transactions last week which involved local banks, so houses are still selling, and these lenders (though more cautious than before) were never risky players in the mortgage game.

Houses are selling!  The obvious values are still selling quickly…a 1500 square foot contemporary ranch closed in Griswold yesterday for $270,000 after only 11 days on market; a lovely colonial in Canterbury also closed yesterday for $395,000 with less than 30 days of marketing under its belt.  Both were in the 95% range of list to sell price.  (these are just 2 examples…there are many more)

As to the future, ugh, if I only knew!  But I will predict…some form of a “bail out” will be passed (today likely scared the living daylights out of everyone) and a new president is right behind, which usually ushers in more consumer confidence.  No matter what, everything I read indicates that we are likely in for a bumpy ride for the next 10 to 12 months.

For you, the buyer with no house to sell and funds to invest, this is likely a perfect market!  Only once before in nearly 24 years of doing this business have I seen such a market for buyers of real estate.

Invest in Real Estate!  It is clearly a safer long term bet.

The response to my email was:  Thank you for your response, I guess I will get off the ledge now.

Yes, please do!  This is a time for cooler heads….

Or, tea leafs, crystal balls, etc. etc.

Reading the economy news is depressing.  I just read the CNN Money report because the headline sounded so promising, “April Housing Sales have Higher than Expected Gains“…who doesn’t like the sound of that?  I got all jazzed because yikes, could the media be shifting tide and ready to share some the more uplifting housing news?

Well, apparently not, because the article was in no way as perky as the headline suggested.  I proceeded to read 3 additional articles…Less Americans Driving (Gee, I wonder why?), Welcome to the Recession (I kid you not…that was the title; that Alan Greenspan is just a regular ray of light) and an article on forecasting the major housing markets through 2009 which in my mind is the Crystal Ball Report (though I admit this was an interesting and realistic read)

And here I was feeling downright optimistic?  But I will not be swayed by CNN which has 24 hours of news programming to fill.  I tell you our market is improving and allow me to share my tried and true signs of determining conditions:

Inquiries, web hits on property have multiplied

Showings on property have increased

Days on market have stabilized and actually gone down year over year

Investors are getting back into the pursuit of real estate (got some calls from old friends I had not heard from in awhile…)

Price reductions are at lesser amounts and there are less of them daily on MLS

Thats my story and I am sticking to it!  The media can say what they will but six months from now they are likely to be reporting todays news.