Another housing bubble or simply supply and demand….

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NAR just  released its housing report for Q4 2013 and I found some great information from the KCM blog regarding national and regional numbers.  If you ever watch talking heads on CNBC or any of the other presumed experts, your head is probably spinning  because everyone has a different take and every new report adds to the general chaos of data an numbers. But when I saw the numbers, the picture became a good deal clearer.

Overall, the news looked more like everything was status-quo with a 0.8% increase in sales  volume overall over Q4 2012.  However, one truth that never changes is that real estate is a LOCAL business.  When broken up by region the picture becomes a lot clearer.  The chart below divides sales volume and sales prices by region:

Home Sales Price vs Sales Volume -SMALL

For those who watch the market, this makes a great deal of sense.  To me its a sign that the market is actually a healthy one.  In 2012 the west coast was on fire triggering worries of a new housing “bubble”.  In fact was reassuring to see the drop off in volume because its an indication that the market is not overheating.  The west coast is just taking a breather after a major run-up in volume and prices.   The midwest and south showed moderate increases in volume which correspond to moderate price increases which are probably due to simple supply and demand.    The northeast now appears to be on a tear, but let’s not forget that it has been in the doldrums for years. When markets turn around, they tend to turn rather quickly, so this makes perfect sense. Volume is up 7.1% but prices have only risen 5.5%.

What does this mean for home buyers in New York?

What does this mean for a home buyer in the Westchester NY area? The location is very desirable since mid-town Manhattan is just a train ride away.  So you are dealing with a market that many find desirable. This means that there will be competition from other buyers and that prices are likely to increase.  This is a natural response to pent-up demand.  If you snooze in this market, you are liable to lose because prices are headed up.

The days of wearing down a seller by lowballing are gone.  You will not be able to steal a home for under market.  Even in the case of short sales, banks are demanding market value.  But home values are still well off their highs, so even though you will pay market value, you will be able to enter the market at a time when there is room for steady growth in value.

What does this mean for home sellers in New York?

For home sellers, once again real estate is a really local business.  Areas where prices have more or less recovered from their lows will continue to see moderate price changes.  Big jumps just don’t seem as likely to me personally.  There are enough areas that haven’t gained enough ground and they need to “catch up”.  But areas where the market has lagged, will probably start to see price increases.    Prices won’t be back to 2006 levels, but it looks like ground will be gained for many homeowners.  Inventories are still tight. So it is a sellers market.  The issue here is that no one will overpay for a house like they were willing to do before the market correction. Be proactive, be reasonable and you will do well.

Its rare to see things as more or less a win-win for both sides of the housing market.  But this is a good market for the northeast.  People should take advantage of it.

© 2014 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – – All rights reserved.


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