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Demand for Housing Will Increase in 2011

The last Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a substantial 10.4% month-over-month increase. According to NAR the index measures:

housing contract activity. It is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. A signed contract is not counted as a sale until the transaction closes. Modeling for the PHSI looks at the monthly relationship between existing-home sale contracts and transaction closings over the last four years.

This increase confirms a growing feeling that demand for housing has begun to increase.

Both NAR and Fannie Mae expect an increase in sales over the upcoming five quarters. Here are their projections:

 

Bottom Line

Sales will increase over the next several quarters. The increase will initiate a housing recovery. However, price increases will not take place until current inventory levels diminish. That could take 12-18 months.


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20 replies
  1. Michael Zwirn
    Michael Zwirn says:

    I believe that the sentiment in the upcoming Senate Hearings about the lack of help to homeowners via TARP dollar funded programs will shed some light on this subject.
    Servicers will not be deemed in a favourable light to shareholders if the servicers’ nearsighted, self-indulgent actions are brought to bear to the public at large. For them to see profiting more from a foreclosure than using the TARP dollars that John Q. Public has placed in their coffers for the purpose which it was intended, is a very good arguement for bank regulation.
    They’re shooting themselves in the foot.
    A far greater housing demand would occur if the current homeowner could actually “trade up”, thereby leaving a better opportunity for the “new” buyer to move into that “sold” home, rather than that “foreclosed” home.
    Sure, home values are currently, and will continue to be at all-time lows for the next 12-18 months – but for all the wrong reasons.

    Reply
  2. Brad - Home Loan Artist
    Brad - Home Loan Artist says:

    My initial reaction was that the .625% increase in rates over the last 30 days would also reduce this number but I quickly recalled when rates were at 15% and people still purchased homes. However, if someone was maxed out at an approval amount at the 4.25% rate the were pre-approved at previously, and rates are 5% (or more) when they actually get in contract and lock, that just means they qualify for less loan, and will drive down demand on more expensive homes due to fewer qualified buyers in the higher price ranges. Right?

    Agents, make sure your LO is re-approving your buyers at higher rates as the rates climb.

    Reply
  3. Paul
    Paul says:

    The recent increase in rates may push people off the fence since it will appear that the low-rate bonanza is coming to an end and they don’t want miss out completely. Whether that has any effect on higher-priced homes is debatable.

    The people who were approved for $200,000 @ 4.25% will see their payment rise from $983 to $1104. OR…they will buy a house that is priced $22,000 less and their payment remains the same. Call it 10% less in round numbers.

    Reply
  4. Ric
    Ric says:

    Not so rosy in my opinion. Foreclosures are still running high or higher that last year. The bank owned inventories have yet to hit the market, substantially at least, and that will dilute the market and bring down prices lower in turn trigger more foreclosures for underwater homes (more than 50% polled would walk on an underwater home). There’s the sovereign debt crisis not just here but just about everywhere else. Where things are good (China) there’s a housing bubble waiting to burst. And the MERS issues have yet to have a substantial affect on the market but they will. Not to say that there aren’t opportunities but they’re not “normal” ones. The housing market will still be there but the questions is, what will it look like in a year or two?

    Reply
  5. D. Pfluge
    D. Pfluge says:

    Whatever happens, I will continue to be out there finding buyers to help reduce the inventory of homes. I bought my first home when the rates were at 16% interest. I needed a home and I made the payments. Hopefully it’ll never get that high again, but if it does, people still need homes and if they don’t buy one, they rent one. There is no room for negativity in this business.

    Reply
  6. Wayne Langford
    Wayne Langford says:

    As long as people need a place to live, there will be a demand for housing. There’s no doubt that demand will be ever increasing. It’s human nature to want different and better things, housing included. As the economy improves and more people have more income, that will be the number one facilitator.

    And just as there are markets in termoil, there are plenty all around the country that are doing better. Inspired by Steve’s presentation at NAR where he compared home values to the stock market, I did some research in my market for my yearend market report client letter. Our average sale price for 2010 is $197,100, up 3.5% from 2009, 14% from 2005, and 44% from 10 years ago.

    Thanks Steve!

    Wayne

    Reply
  7. Frank Passanante
    Frank Passanante says:

    Pent up demand and an uptick in buyer confidence will bring the smart money to market. The flat bottom in home values has defined the beginning of opportunity. Unfortunately, an increase in rates may keep prices down or maybe lower them to compensate for net cost of ownership. Perceived value is the impetus for purchase and real value creates the positive trend line. We can’t take our eyes off of Congress and their “feel good” spending. As Realtors we have cut spending and lived on less. Now it’s time for business to grow and prosper creating jobs and reviving the American Dream. We are fortunate to be part of the last bastion of the free enterprise community. Ambition, commitment, and ingenuity provides us with the power of positiveness that results in a well deserved closing. When the pie shrinks, create another bigger and better pie! We can do this.

    Reply
  8. Shefali Patel
    Shefali Patel says:

    Eventhough the interest rates might increase in 2011, the difference can be compromised with lower housing price..You can always re-finance the rate,but can’t change the price you had paid..Investing in Real estate by 2011 will definitely bring in positive cashflow in following 5-6 years..

    Reply
  9. Ruthmarie
    Ruthmarie says:

    Although I think this is an ideal time for people to actually BUY a home, I am not optimistic about sales volume. I heard the same thing back in early 2010…and 2009….and 2008. The market I work is a dead stop and has been for about three years now. I’m thinking of starting a McDonald’s franchise at this point. Seriously – I know there is pent up need to buy and sell but right now all these predictions are reminding me of the movie where Bill Murray relives the same day over and over and over and over. The only thing changing is my bank account – and you can imagine what direction that’s moving in.

    Reply
  10. Tom Kunkel
    Tom Kunkel says:

    The media can spin and move the market in any direction it chooses. It is up to us, the front line Realtors, to be the voice of reason and have the ability to pass on positive comments in our market and sphere. Here’s to a positive 2011.

    Reply
  11. John Demitri
    John Demitri says:

    Anytime I read articles or post on housing there is always an up side and a down side. Always a very convincing argument from an entrenched camp on either side.

    Why are we so wrapped up in predicting the future and getting it just right. How about we deal with simple truths and work from there.

    For an example, in your local market if the typical income of your home buyer is between $45 and $65 thousand then based on the current interest rate and lending requirements you know your buyer will qualify for a specific amount. Assuming low debt load and 10% down probably a $195 thousand home today.

    Like any commodity availability of willing buyers shapes pricing. In your market what ever the typical buyer can get a loan for will determine pricing. The sub factor is supply and demand. The more we have the lower the price, the more scarce the higher the price.

    Not all homes are equal. Having thousands of homes on the market is not a clear picture of supply and demand. You have to consider that your typical buyer wants a home they can move into. They are not interested in doing repairs or even painting or carpet. They want a “move in ready” home. When setting a sales price you have to factor the attributes of the home when comparing to the competition. Where is the home in ranking for move in ready and other typically desired features (Schools, shopping, area, neighborhood, safety) and price accordingly.

    Realizing your client (buyer or seller) is very very very informed since housing has been on the top five list of topics for several years now. Maybe setting aside the hype (good and bad) and getting down to simple cause and effect you can help your client see clearly what the appropriate action is for them to take.

    If you can stay focused on three things you will always be above the curve on knowing a deal when you see one.
    1. What is the typical buyer for my market going to be able to get a loan for.
    2. What does a typical buyer in my market want and what will they settle for.
    3. What demographic is the typical buyer in my market from.

    Real estate like several industries has many verticals. The facts and figures you get spoon fed are over the industry as a whole. They are too wide in scope to take the information and apply it with authority to your local market.

    Figure out the vertical(s) you serve and become an expert in that vertical. Share that expertise with your clients and have a very prosperous new year.

    Reply

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