Prices: the Truth… and Nothing but the Truth

Three different home pricing indexes were released in the last ten days: the S&P Case Shiller Index, the First American CoreLogic Home Price Index and the RPX Monthly Housing Market Report. Each report told virtually the same story. House prices remained pretty much the same since the last reporting period (see table below). The headlines […]

When Will 2005-2006 Peak Home Prices Return?

Experts can’t agree where home values will be later this year. There are so many variables to consider: interest rates, foreclosures and unemployment to name a few. That is why it is amazing to see a new report which not only looks at this year but also predicts when housing values will return to the […]

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A Foreclosure’s Impact on Neighboring Home Values

Yesterday, we covered the coming surge of distressed properties that will enter the market in 2010. Today, we will discuss the impact these properties will have on housing values as we proceed throughout the year.  Questions you should be asking yourself are: 1) Do distressed properties sales impact the value of the surrounding homes, 2) […]

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How Do Rising Interest Rates Affect Affordability?

I have long been irked by mortgage “pre-approvals” that say a borrower is qualified to purchase a non-specific home for a specific loan amount.  Why?  Because, lenders don’t qualify borrowers based on the Purchase Price of a home, we qualify them for a particular Mortgage Payment (and payments vary based on a number of factors […]

The Impact of Unemployment on Real Estate

The current real estate market is much like a Rubik’s cube. Once you think you have it figured out, you look at it from another angle and find out you still don’t have it right. There are many factors complicating the current market. I want to address one of those factors today – UNEMPLOYMENT. When […]

Real Estate: No Wonder We’re All Screwed Up!

Whenever a market is evolving rapidly, the most difficult thing to do is keep up with the changes. A home seller or a home buyer in today’s real estate market must make sure that they understand what is happening and why it is happening. They can then guarantee that they are making an informed decision […]

Will the Fed’s Exit Impact Home Prices?

The Fed has withdrawn from purchasing mortgage-backed- securities and will be exiting from the Homebuyer’s Tax Credit after April 30, 2010 (the date the property must be in contract). Many people are talking about the affect these moves will have on purchasers. We should also be looking at how the ending of these programs will […]

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Housing in 2010: Supply Will Grow, Demand Will Slow

When we talk about future pricing on any item we must look ahead and determine two things: supply and demand. It is a rather simple concept but one that often is forgotten when we talk about real estate. In a blog post last week titled Pricing a House in Today’s Real Estate Market, I touched […]

Pricing a House in Today’s Real Estate Market

A question that I am often asked is how you correctly price a home in today’s rapidly evolving market. The word that comes to my mind first when thinking about pricing is compelling. If you are looking to sell a home anytime this year, I believe you must make the price so compelling that a […]

Professors Case and Shiller: Unplugged

In real estate, when we hear the names Case and Shiller we immediately think of the Case-Shiller Price Index. The monthly index is well respected and oft times quoted by the leading economic news sources in the country. From the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post, from CNBC to Bloomberg News, when residential home […]

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Foreclosure and Delinquency Rates by State

There has been much talk recently about the number of foreclosures currently held by the banks and when they may be released to the market. The number has been estimated at approximately 1.7 million properties. I believe that the banks will be forced to bring them to market in the near future. Why will banks […]

“Dry Your Eyes and Lower the Price”

I wish I could take credit for the catchy title to today’s post, but it was actually the headline to a New York Times article last week. It was the story of how sellers are finally accepting the reality of today’s housing market and adjusting their price accordingly. The results prove a point: Today, pricing […]

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Homeownership: Still the American Dream

There seems to be a long held American belief currently under attack. For over two hundred years, homeownership in this country was a desire of almost every American family.  Recently however, more and more people have been pontificating on the fact that owning your own home should never have been held in such high regard. […]

Let’s Look Past the Headline

Some Hopeful Signs in Home Prices NPR – January 26, 2010 Reports Suggest Housing Market Stabilizing Philadelphia Inquirer – January 27, 2010 U.S. Economy: Home Prices, Confidence Climb Further From Abyss Business Week – January 26, 2010 If you read today’s headlines, you might believe that house prices in this country are stabilizing. As usual, […]

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Challenges and Opportunities in Housing

A quote from Housing in America: The Next Decade. “Sooner or later, something fundamental in your business world will change… strategic inflection points do not always lead to disaster. When the way business is being conducted changes, it creates opportunities for players who are adept at operating in the new way. This can apply to newcomers […]

Built on Jenga Blocks, Home Prices Look Shaky

The Homebuyers’ Tax Credit, in many ways, has done exactly what it was suppose to do – stimulate the economy. Notice I didn’t say increase home ownership. The tax credit was never really about buyers. It was about keeping home values stable so the housing sector would not have another wave of foreclosures that would […]

Moving on Up! Explaining Today’s Home Prices.

There are hundreds of news articles and blog posts each day pontificating on the current housing market. Many of these stories try to examine pricing to help determine whether home values are appreciating or depreciating. The authors want to try their best to call the ‘bottom’ of the market based on the data available. However, there […]

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What Happens When the Fed Exits the Market?

The Fed is scheduled to exit the housing market this spring. The Home Buyer Tax Credit ends on April 30, 2010 (the date the house must be in contract). The Fed has already announced that their program purchasing mortgage-backed securities will expire on March 31, 2010. Most anticipate a quick and dramatic rise in interest […]

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Delinquencies: Roadblock to a Housing Recovery?

The current economy has devastated the finances of so many families in every income bracket and in almost every neighborhood in this country. More and more people are falling further and further behind in their mortgage payments. In the past people would take a second job or borrow money from family to catch up. Today, […]

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Are Foreclosures Coming to the Luxury Market?

There is no doubt that prices in the lower end of the market have fallen rather dramatically over the last several years. Much of this loss in equity occurred as people were unable to pay their mortgages, and the homes went to foreclosure. Many were quick to dismiss this dilemma as the result of questionable […]

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One more time: IT’S ABOUT SUPPLY AND DEMAND!

Coming into 2010, there are many people trying to decipher all the data that is being reported regarding the housing industry. The main goal is to try and bring clarity to a market that has been clouded with confusion for the last two years. We must prevent ourselves from looking for a simple solution that will justify […]

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Looking Back: Top 10 Real Estate Stories of 2009

The last week of December is always an interesting time. As we plan for the next year, we like to look back on all the important stories and events of the last year. We will gather around the television or paper and endlessly quiz each other on the multitude of Top 10 Lists that inevitably appear. Here […]

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OMG! Is that a Luxury Home Buyer I See?

Yesterday, we reported on the differences between two major housing reports that were released last week. Today, I want to comment on something both reports had in common but has been vastly under-reported: the sudden increase in sales of luxury homes. The past several months have shown a tremendous uptick in buyer activity. And, though […]

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Home Sales: UP…no wait…DOWN…no wait…

This past week there were two different housing reports released. The first was the National Association of Realtors’ ‘Existing-Home Sales Report’ and the other was the U.S. Census Bureau’s ‘New Construction Report’. The most confusing part of the news is how divergent the data on the reports was. The Existing-Home Sales Report showed a month-over-month […]

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Strategic Defaults: Naughty or Nice?

You can’t pick up a paper or turn on a television today without hearing about the foreclosure situation in this country. There is no doubt the current economy and unemployment numbers have devastated the finances of many families and thus made it impossible for them to pay their mortgage. However, what many don’t realize is that […]