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2013-02-10 18:31:25
Who to believe?

You be the judge! 

Evaluating the present and future real estate market is like a game of tug ‘o war.  Some are optimistic while others are a bit more pessimistic.  So who should you believe? 

We thought we would present arguments for both sides – and you decide! 

The market is strong – and getting stronger 

  • Both sale prices and sales volume continue their torrid pace.  According to an article today in the U-T San Diego, DataQuick recently reported that sales in San Diego for 2012 were the highest since 2006.  As we’ve discussed previously inventory is unbelievably low – according to the article it is at 3-year lows – which has helped fuel the price run-up.
  • In the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos area, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 7.9% in December 2012 compared to December 2011, according to CoreLogic’s December CoreLogic HPI report.
  • The S&P/Case-Shiller Index report for the month of November reported that prices rose 4.5% for the 10-City Composite and 5.5% for the 20-City Composite.
  • According to the Greater San Diego County Association of Realtors, the median price of previously owned single-family homes was $390,000 in January, up 12% from January 2012.  The median price of existing condos and townhomes in January was up 17% from January 2012.  And, sales were 15% higher than the previous January for single-family homes and 8% for condos/townhomes.
  • California home sales and prices both posted gains in December, with the median price posting strong double-digit gains for six straight months, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported.
  • “The housing recovery will kick into a higher gear as the year progresses,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist in West Chester, Pa., for Moody’s Analytics Inc. (NYSE: MCO) “We’re going to get a lot of juice from the channels” through which it affects other parts of the economy.  Based on a just-published paper, Economist Karl Case reckons that consumption will be boosted $80 billion this year by the rise in house prices that has already occurred and expectations among homeowners of more to come.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported in an article that Zillow believes national home appreciation will hover around 3.3% - in line with the historical norm.
  • A survey by RealtyTrac found that investors are optimistic about their local real estate market in 2013. Nearly 90% of investors surveyed have a mostly positive or extremely positive outlook.  The majority of investors surveyed, 63%, said they primarily or exclusively purchased properties in 2012 as buy-and-hold rentals, while the remaining 37% said they primarily or exclusively purchased properties to flip in 2012.
  • San Diego metro’s foreclosure activity was down 24% in 2012 from 2011, according to RealtyTrac’s 2012 Year-End Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report.

 

On second thought….

  • That same report by the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors said that between December 2012 and January 2013 prices were down 7%, overall volume fell 3%,, and sales of existing homes dropped 22%.
  • Pending home sales declined nationwide in December according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
  • Pending home sales declined 4.3% nationally to 101.7 in December from 106.3 in November.  The data reflect contracts but not closings.
  • The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index declined to 58.6 (1985=100) in January, down from 66.7 in December. The Expectations Index declined to 59.5 from 68.1. The Present Situation Index decreased to 57.3 from 64.6 last month.
  • Robert Shiller, one of the creators of the S&P/Case-Shiller index we discussed earlier, recently said in an article in the San Diego Daily Transcript that much of the current demand is being supported by the government in the form of artificially-low interest rates.

 

So…who are you going to believe?  Should you buy a home now?  Should you consider selling next month?  With so much conflicting data and contradictory opinions, there are two important things to remember:

 

1)     Real estate is local.  While it is valuable to understand what is happening nationally and statewide, it is most critical to know the market in your area – specifically, your city and neighborhood.

2)     Nobody truly knows what will happen.  As a former college economics major, I know that economists are very good at evaluating what DID happen but aren’t always so good at predicting what WILL happen.  So, make the best decision you can based on what you know, what you learn from people you trust, and what is right for you.  If you do, the decision you make will be the best one you can make.

 

###

Bryan & Allison Devore

“The Team To Trust!”

(760) 908-3838

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