It has been typical to see this time of year slow down in real estate. Families take vacations, agents take breaks to spend time with their families as kids are out of school, and it is golf season and so many other reasons. Well, this year is different. We are busy! Houses are selling! The new home market is also on fire.
This week, I had the opportunity to speak with several different builders. It was refreshing to hear that their sales have been above expectations and they have met or exceeded business plans for the month and some, even the year. Some builders are even talking about hiring construction workers as new housing starts up 3.6% in June! Additionally, in speaking with our friends in the title business, they continue to post strong numbers. Mortgage rates remain low so as a result – lenders are staying busy. It is a great time for those who work hard and take the time to educate themselves and their clients to produce results. We continue to see first time buyers enter the market as the $8,000 tax credit, low rates and low prices help boost sales. Investors are seeing opportunities as well so they continue to enter the market and contribute to our sales numbers.
Are there challenges? Absolutely. We are experiencing issues with appraisals, short sales and lack of inventory. The question is, when will these issues get resolved? The HVCC – home value code of conduct – needs to be dissolved. Appraisers shouldn’t be placed in an Ivory Tower, not held accountable for their actions, and communication between the lender and appraisers should be restored – it is bad policy. Short sales need to have a streamlined, standard process to get them approved. If all qualifications for a short sale are met – especially true hardship – they should get approved quickly with no last minute hitches. As more short sales come on the market, we see longer approval times and/or last minute foreclosures as communication between loss mitigation and REO departments are minimal or nonexistent. And lastly, people who are considering selling, should do so now to bolster inventory levels. We are currently at May 2005 levels. We are seeing multiple contracts across all price points, rates are low, the tax credit is only in effect for limited time, and we don’t know if prices will continue to decline with the HVCC, continued foreclosures and short sales and if demand will continue to be so strong. Today is a great time to sell and move up!
Call us today to learn more! We are here to help!