We can feel it, we can see it, and by tracking recent office numbers Realtors® can anticipate that while home sales have been moving slightly slower during the last couple of months, things were already beginning to swing back, upward in September. Office sales activity is the first indicator for what the marketplace is doing, weather slowing or quickening. We know because we watch the “board”. While statistics supporting this perceived upward trend will not be available for a few more weeks, toward the end of October for September stats, the real estate market is currently performing as has been predicted by such notable economist as Laurence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors.
Real estate has been strong this year, but it may feel a little flat compared to the obvious recovery we experienced last year. Nevertheless, interest rates remain low, and statistics reported by the NAR confirm the market remains positive. The NAR states “the national median existing-home price is projected to grow between 5 and 6 percent this year and 4 and 5 percent next year.” This is all really good news in what is considered to be a stable housing market, and Realtors® know it!
Everyone knows the stability of the housing market is a key ingredient to consumer confidence and an improving work force. But as they say on TV, “yea, well, did you know that . . . ” a stable housing market does not lend itself toward a buyer or seller market? In other words, purchasers are still rather picky about the homes they select, and don’t appear to be in a terrible rush to make a decision about buying a home; conversely, sellers have the pleasure of enjoying modest inventory selections which boosts demand, but prices must still be compelling for a quick sale, and condition of the property needs to be such that most purchasers don’t feel they are taking on a renovation project. Why?
One of the benefits of a good, stable housing market is it lends itself to a feeling of equilibrium of forces, where neither one side nor the other feels they have the upper hand and are being taken advantage of during the transaction. Buying and selling a home is a lot of hard work, both emotionally and physically; nobody wants to feel trampled or defeated during the process. Guidance and understanding during the process is why vast majority of people choose to work with real estate professionals. That’s why, aside from being experts in their field, Realtors® make the time to know the market, understand the needs of the consumer, and have a pulse on market activity that they can sense the ups and downs taking place before the numbers can be calculated – all of this for the benefit of you, the housing consumer.
John VanderSyde is a Licensed Real Estate Broker and a Licensed Architect; he and his wife Ann are the top producing team at Virginia Properties, a Long & Foster Company in Richmond, VA.