Market UPdate February 2012

Happy February Everyone!

 

Anyone else remember telling themselves back in the late 90’s early 2000’s, “I should’ve bought then!?”  Well, here we go again, folks!  The real estate market is rapidly shifting, and anyone with an eye on opportunity will want to read up on the state of our local progress.  So, here’s an update for our area:

 

Our inventory shrank considerably over the past few months, and buyers were feeling the crunch with considerably less to choose from. Now, however, homeowners are seeing the unusual trend and jumping onto the bandwagon.  Sellers are not waiting for spring! They’re realizing they better beat the competition, and are getting listed early in 2012.

 

Facts to back this up?  Active listings dropped consistently from mid 2011 through December.  January saw the first increase since last August: up from 2325 in December 2011 to 2849 in January 2012.

 

Helping this along, closed sales were up October through December 2011.  Comparatively, we saw 355 homes closed in December 2011 (from 336 in 2010), and 205 homes closed in January 2012 (from 184 in 2011).  For chart aficionados look here:

 

http://www.spokanerealtor.com/associations/5294/files/activelistings2012.jpg

http://www.spokanerealtor.com/associations/5294/files/closedsales2012.jpg

 

It’s a hay day for some!  Historically, home buyers have looked to investor activity to time their buy, and – look out! – investors are entering the market heavily now.  This is a good sign that we’re at or have already hit bottom, and things are likely to go up from here; namely prices and, shortly thereafter, interest rates.

 

If that’s not enough, another promising sign is that rental rates are projected to continue to increase which makes buying an even more enticing scenario for many folks out there.  We’re seeing quite a number of first time home buyers and people buying rental properties in an effort to supplement current income and secure their retirement income. This is supported in the fact that unit sales (up to $150,000) have increased monthly since the middle of 2011 compared to 2010.

 

Maybe most importantly, the Fed just made a mega deal to help homeowners who are upside down in their mortgages in the next 12 months.  This will begin to take away the “smoking deals” on foreclosures and short sales.  Not only that, they’re aiming to compensate families who were forced out of their homes prematurely due to improper foreclosures.  Read more about it here:

 

http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/09/news/economy/mortgage_settlement/

 

 

Summary, if you’re considering buying or selling:

 

Sellers (if you’re not upside down in your mortgage), it may be the right time to beat the competition.  Consider getting your property listed sooner rather than later.

 

Buyers, it may be the right time to get your financing in place and find your new home.  Beat the  crunch, before interest rates go up and the banks get buried (again) in the Fed’s mandated refi’s and principal reductions.

 

~ Becky
Posted on February 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm
Becky Ruark | Category: Market UPdates | Tagged , , , ,

One response to “Market UPdate February 2012”

  1. Leo Kaigle says:

    Very interesting topic, appreciate it for posting.

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