Where is the real estate trend right now? Where are the buyers? Or, are we all just in a holding pattern?

Asked by Debbie, Gainesville, GA Wed Jul 2, 2008

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Maria Morton, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Wed Jul 2, 2008
Just Looking, on the one hand, yes, some houses in some areas are not maintaining the value they had 5 years ago. However, if you actually wanted to live in a house in a desirable neighborhood here in Kansas City, I think you will find that the average days on market for most of those homes is around 60 in the 200,000-300,000$ price range. Homes that are in show condition and priced right often sell in less than 30 days. The multi-million dollar homes are still in oversupply so generally take much much longer to move. And the neighborhoods that are 50% investors are not doing well in maintaining their value. Since most people buying homes right now want to live in the home and many intend to raise children, they want the more desirable schools and amenities offered in the most popular neighborhoods. In Leawood, for instance, average home values increased 43% from the year 2003-2007. In Prairie Village, they increased 15% during that time. Mission Hills, 25%. Kansas City, MO zip code 64113, 23%. 64120 went down 20% but very few buyers are looking at that part of Kansas City as a place they want to live. Brookside and Waldo went up 7.5-11%.
Overall in Kansas City, the inventory is decreasing. December of 2007, there were around 23,000 homes for sale; in June, we averaged 18-19,000. As the inventory continues to decrease and interest rates rise, home values, especially in the most popular areas, will level off and eventually start to rise. As this happens, buyers who can no longer qualify for mortgages in that price range will be forced to look at the surrounding areas which will cause those home prices to stabilize.
Kansas City has never seen the fluctuations that both coasts experience. Investors don't do as well here because of that. (they can't "make a killing" in our market; only a modest profit) But people who want to own their own home can still do so in our market. We are one of the places in the United States where a regular working person can afford to own their own home.
So, I guess it depends on where you are "just looking" and what kind of condition and neighborhood you choose to live in.
0 votes
NonRealtor, , 23456
Wed Jul 2, 2008
There is no hurry to buy. I watch the prices dropping every month. It's nice. Everything else seems to be getting more expensive, but housing is getting more affordable. You will not miss the bottom, we will be there for a long, long time.
1 vote
Lisa Farmer, Agent, Flowery Branch, GA
Wed Jul 2, 2008
Are you in Gainesville, Georgia? If so, you are in my area. I find that buyers are taking their time and considering all their choices, but they are buying. I have seen a big increase in phone calls in the last month. Properties must be priced right and in a condition appropriate to the price, and the buyer is definitely in the driver's seat right now. Hope this helps! Lisa Farmer
1 vote
Lee Taylor, Agent, Decatur, GA
Wed May 25, 2011
If you sell luxury townhomes in Gainesville, then you are quite like the folks in Atlanta who are trying to sell out Starwood's W Residences downtown...I saw your question and that is what popped in to my head.

It's a holding pattern in some folks terms, it's a business plan in the hand of Starwood's CEO:

"W Atlanta Residences, Atlanta’s only W-branded condos, has reduced prices up to 30 percent on many of its 65 remaining units. Luxury homes now range from the mid $200s, to more than $3 million.

W Atlanta Residences features just 74 units total, making W Atlanta Residences the best resale value in the Atlanta luxury condominium market. Check out life on the A-list at: http://www.wresidencesatlanta.com"

I read a quote from the Starwood CEO in the Business Chronicle back 2009 - I just researched it and found it again:

"...But not Frits van Paasschen, CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. The top dog at White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood (NYSE: HOT) wants his hotel company to “own the upswing” when better times return..."

You either own it or you fret...read the New York Times article from yesterday in the web reference - how about a 5-9 year holding pattern, Debbie?
0 votes
Maria Morton, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Wed Jul 2, 2008
Good answer, Bob. Here in Kansas City, many buyers are still waiting for the market to bottom out. They may find that by the time they get off the fence, they did indeed miss it. As mortgage rates inch upward and home prices are holding, buyers are risking not getting the low interest rates and still relatively low prices for homes currently for sale.
Most of my first time buyers end up losing their first choice for the home they purchase because they have believed the national media about the sad state of the housing market. They don't believe me when I tell them that Kansas City is not the same as the 150 markets that are used to gather the statistics. Nor do they feel any urgency in making an offer when we find a home that meets their criteria. At least not the first one. When that sells while they're thinking about it, they say "Wow, you were right, we should have made an offer. What can we do now?" Go find another home that meets your criteria and move on it.
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Cheng, , 08817
Wed Jul 2, 2008
Real Estate is getting very hot here in Edison NJ, e.g. Village Pointe of Edison http://villagepointeatedison.blogspot.com/ almost sold out as you can click to see http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Buying/Anyone_lives_at_Vil…

Once these units sold and closed, the sellers of condo/townhouses will become buyers, and some will go down to buy at Gainesville GA area ...

Just click to CMA Grid http://msx.mlxchange.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=1730208536&… to see 6 out of 9 just sold under attorney review !!! Wow! and for past year, several dozens sold and closed!!!
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Bob Engert, , Kennesaw, GA
Wed Jul 2, 2008
Still stagnant, Debbie, but if you're a long time Agent, as I am, you're always optimistic about the future.

Our biggest problems are the volume of foreclosures on the market...and the media. Foreclosures are a tangible concern which cannot be denied, but the continuing negative (almost morbid) publicity directed against the market is more than a little bit disturbing. It has always been said that real estate drives the economy, and we're finding that to be true.now, only in the reverse.

I for one, am doing my best to convince my buyer clients that this is the right time to buy. For those who are waiting for the market to "bottom out", the only way you can know that's happened is after it has taken a bounce back up. And, that will tell you that you missed it!

So, here's my take on what we all need to do. Qualified buyers, it's the right time for you to step forward and buy. There are plenty of great deals to be made. Marginal buyers, step back for the moment and work on your credit, then come out and buy when you're ready. Unmotivated, overpriced sellers, take your property off the market. This isn't your time, and you're only getting in the way of those who have a real need to sell. And finally, let's all try to treat each other fairly. That should need no further explanation.

Good luck to all!
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