2011 into 2012... What will be different?
As we quietly close the door on 2011, most of us in the real estate industry will agree that the biggest development of the year was... (drum roll, please)
Hmmmmm.... well, maybe we can't pinpoint one specific thing. So how about a few notes:
Our "new normal" of lower prices and low interest rates continued, with a few bumps. As a nation, we suffered natural disasters, lowered loan limits on government backed loans (some of which were later raised), and a stall in foreclosures as banks dealt with the repurcussions of improper foreclosure processes.
But to you, Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner/Seller/Buyer, the "market" didn't feel like it changed very much from 2010 to 2011. Selling a home was a challenge, as REALTOR's working with traditional sellers competed with banks who were trying to rid themselves of properties as soon as possible. Buyers looking for both a reasonable value and a quality home found themselves hunting longer than perhaps originally anticipated, as overall inventory declined to what ultimately is a healthier number of homes for sale per buyer.
All things considered, I anticipate the following for 2012:
- Interest rates will remain low, perhaps even inching a titch lower as our global economy finds its' way
- The number of homes for sale will increase as banks move forward on foreclosures that probably should have happened last year
- Traditional sellers will work harder to get their homes ready for sale, realizing that they need to compete with low prices by enticing buyers with more attractive, better maintained and updated homes
- Buyers will be surprised to find themselves competing for the best homes, and will need to be prepared to move fast on properties that suit them
Your home investment remains one of the biggest in your life. Stay up on both global and local economics. Watch what is happening in your neighborhood. And be sure to have the right REALTOR guiding you through the process.
Looking forward to a Happy 2012!