How Did It Get To Be September

Things certainly change. 2009 dragged on forever. 2010 is slipping away in a heartbeat. Seems like it was Valentine’s Day about 3 weeks ago.

Life’s still hectic, but I’m fighting the good fight. Lots of stuff has happened since I checked in last. The car got hit by a guy who ran a stop sign. Ripped the whole front end off of the Malibu. If I’d been 5 feet further down the road, I’d have been t-boned and who knows. Fortunately I wasn’t hurt at all! I’m astounded that a car accident can chew up so much time on the phone dealing with rental cars, adjusters, body shop people etc.

The market has shifted again since the end of the tax credit. I thought it was just my business, but Diana Olick at CNBC reports the same thing from other REALTORS around the country. Much less traffic from first time buyers, but a huge pick up in business from higher priced buyers, (over 100k) and buyers who have owned in the past.

  • As you go from the $100,000 range on up, ($100,000 and below are likely mostly foreclosures) you see the sales drop moderate with each rising range; when you get to $1 million+ the sales numbers are actually up. Sales distribution consequently moved in July, with the percentage of homes in the $500,000+ range growing in share, and those under $500,000 losing share from June.

    So yes, home prices rose ever so slightly, but also artificially.

    “We need to be cautious about how we read the data,” admits the Realtors’ chief economist Lawrence Yun.  “Because the buyers who left the market in the latest round are typical first-time buyers, but people who continue to stay in the market (are) people … buying higher-priced homes.”

On the other hand, she is also reporting that there seems to be a debate starting to happen about a new round of tax credit incentives. This time they’re talking about making it available to all buyers.

SHORT SALES Are The Reals Estate Market Now.

Short Sales are where the bargains are, since there’s so few bank owned properties coming to market. Where are the bank owned properties? Many of the homes that are going to foreclosure sale are not going back to the bank. They’re going to a small (several hundred) group of professional house flippers. Those properties are showing up a few weeks or months later as FLIP properties. The flips account for about 20% of the inventory. Most of the properties in foreclosure are being sold as short sales. The buyers are getting the bargains, since they usually sell for less than the flips.

The short sale properties (pre-foreclosure) account for about 60% of the inventory. Many buyers, sellers AND real estate agents have heard lots of short sale horror stories. Fortunately, things have changed dramatically in the last few months. The banks have added more staff to handle them, and are more motivated to get them done in a timely fashion.

If you or someone you know is struggling with your mortgage, are upside down, and are already behind or about to fall behind……

Call me! There’s no good reason to have the home foreclosed. The short sale seller does much less damage to their credit, has better control over when they have to leave the property, and benefit from the advice of a professional to help guide them thru the process.

If you’re a buyer, don’t rule out the short sales. They take a little longer, but as I said, that’s where the bargains are.