Some people like to be thankful for “the hard lessons” in life. “Wow, I am so glad I had to have that root canal because it reminded me that flossing really is something that needs to be done every night.”
“Thank you, sir, for rear ending my car. I really wanted to check out the new rental choices at the Enterprise lot. I hear they have some fab new mid-sizes!”
If you are that type of person, then you probably had a lot to be thankful for in the real estate market over the past few years.
Well, I am not that type of person; at least not while I am going through it. However, hindsight always provides some perspective. Real estate has been hard for everyone. No one was spared when that bubble popped. But, finally, (everyone please knock very hard on wood right now) there are some things I am very thankful for this year in real estate.
1) Interest rates. In November 2008, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was a little over 6.5%. Today, a 30-year fixed mortgage is right around 4%. If you have a mortgage of $250,000 that is a monthly savings of $386.63!
2) Falling Inventory. This year in particular, we have seen inventory in the 33626 area code decline dramatically. This is great news for sellers. In October 2010 there were 317 homes for sale. This October there were 147. That is a 54% drop in inventory in one year! Over a 3 year period, inventory has dropped a staggering 67%! This is crucial for price stabilization. Buyers may complain because there is less to choose from, but everybody wins in the end when the market is not crushed with homes sitting for sale.
3) Less distress sales. Back in February 2010 there were 164 short sales or bank-owned properties on the market in the 33626 zip code. Only 10 of those properties were Pending sale. In October 2011 there were 26 short sales or bank-owned properties on the market and 22 were Pending. You may want to read those sentences again to get the full effect of their importance. As we all know from watching new neighbors gobble up great short sale deals, distress sales bring prices down. Less distress sales = more stable housing market. That should sound good to everyone!
4) General knowledge. Everybody knows better now how to navigate this tricky market. Banks process short sales faster, buyers understand the short sale process and have reasonable expectations, sellers understand the importance of price and house preparation. Real estate agents who have worked during the last 4 years have become used to the roller coaster and can advise their clients properly. We have all lived in the real estate wild west. We know that things can get ugly, but we put our heads down and move forward.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of the readers!
Melanie Atkinson, is a Realtor with The Wood Team at Coldwell Banker. Questions?? Call Melanie at 813-368-6084 or Melanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter @CBMelanieA or “Like” The Wood Team on Facebook.