Every day we hear a new message about the housing market, good news, bad news, and lots of contradictions. These are just of few of the headlines that have come across my email in the last four days.
- “Housing Crisis will End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards”: Loose standards never sound good to me, but of course it’s a good thing if more people are able to get financing so they can buy homes rather than rent. In Florida, where 11.9 percent of mortgages are in foreclosure, its really hard to imagine that the crisis will be over this year.
- "Window of Opportunity Beginning to Close for Sellers”: The premise of this article is that there are still a lot of homes in the foreclosure pipeline and that the recent agreement reached between the Federal Government and major banks will allow the banks to push this inventory into the market place in the next 30-90 days. The more supply of homes on the market the more downward pressure on price. Absolutely true, but not a huge factor in Reston.
- “Price Declines put 400K More Homeowners Underwater”: There is a huge number of homeowners with five percent or less equity in their homes. Seasonal price dips, more housing supply due to increased foreclosures quickly push these owners into negative territory. This could be true for any homeowner, anywhere. But it's only a factor if you're thinking of selling.
So what’s a homeowner to believe? Well, each situation is true somewhere, but none of them is true everywhere. This is why I rarely use Facebook to share these industry articles that come across my email. They need context to make sense and the headlines themselves can be alarming. Context for real estate is always local. Your neighborhood, your cluster, your condo, your street. It’s very difficult to apply nationally aggregated numbers to your zip code.
Reston’s market is doing slightly better this year over last year for same time period. Our year to date numbers for 2012 are 101 properties sold at $36,000,000 versus 100 properties sold at $33,000,000. in 2011. It’s great to see prices are trending up.
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