Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Is the real estate market better today than it was 4 years ago?

Well, it depends on who you ask. But if you asked me, I would say yes.

For someone who worked in the real estate industry and saw the highest-of-the-high back in 2004 and 2005, and the lowest-of-the-low back in 2008 and 2009, it's easy to see if/when the housing market wins small victories: appreciation, affordability, etc. It's these small victories that add up over time and create more demand for real estate.

Are we still in a buyer's market, or has it already turned into a seller's market?

Without a doubt, we are still in a buyer's market and should be for some time. Prices are low, rates are unbelievably low, and contracts still favor buyers (e.g. prices, contingencies, etc.). Supply has gone down, but not enough to stir a home buying craze just yet.

If the real estate market is better today than it was 4 years ago, wouldn't that mean we are now in a seller's market?

Not necessarily. The poor market we are clawing out of was one of the worst (if not the worst) housing markets in US history. Values dropped considerably, supply piled up, and jobs were lost. All of the ingredients needed to start a recession, which we are still in to an extent.

When will real estate finally be back to normal?

That's a question nobody can truly answer. But to provide some evidence, check out the chart in this article to see how some of the major housing indicators are doing now as compared to a few years ago. If the momentum keeps swinging the right way, you may see me writing a post next year about how we are now in a seller's market.

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