One thing is for sure, real estate bubble headlines sell newspapers, not houses. Bubble this and bubble that, is your market one of the top over-priced ones? Comparisons to the dot-com crash, what's a home buyer to think? Exactly that, think, research and make educated decisions. Here is a reality check for those considering a home purchase.
-Residential real estate is moving away from being a speculative investment back to it's tried and true roots: shelter.
-The real estate market is not a centralized one like the stock market. The real estate market is made up of many thousands of micro or sub-markets. Each micro market performs differently and uniquely and does not always mirror national or regional trends.
-Ten states posted solid sales gains in the second quarter of 2006 versus 2005, reported the National Association of Realtors(R). The gains ranged from an impressive 48% in Alaska to a low of 5.3 percent in Georgia. The other eight states included Arkansas, Texas, North and South Carolina, Vermont, Tennessee, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
-Interest rates have been on the up-tick in 2006, ask any homeowner from the 1980's if they consider a 6 % mortgage too high, and they'll laugh you out of the room. From a historical perspective interest rates remain a bargain.
-Home buyers who read and believe the headlines and sound-bytes today and write a low-ball offer on a home are not buying houses. Homes that are well priced based on comparable's from the last six months and have updated kitchens and baths still sell the old-fashioned way; quickly.
-Agents from around the country report some homes are selling with multiple offers, over-full-price offers and in a matter of days. Upper-bracket properties are moving too. Though the frenzy of the last couple of years is not present in today's market.
-The market today in most areas is a balanced one, with the pendulum swinging back towards center. But Texas, Idaho, the Carolinas and other micro markets can still be sellers markets.
-Buyers need to realize that while they have more clout in many markets, they are still not driving the real estate market bus.
-Concessions by home sellers are signs of excess inventory. Concessions in new construction homes are more typical and shouldn't be arbitrarily carried over into resale home markets. Resale sellers though are now aware that they might have to offer repairs on home inspection items or help with closing costs to close a negotiation.
Mark Nash is the author of “Fundamentals of Marketing for the Real Estate Professional", “Starting & Succeeding in Real Estate", “Reaching Out: The Financial Power of Niche Marketing", and “1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home". Mark is a contributing writer for: Realtor (R) Magazine Online, Broker Agent News, Real Estate Executive Magazine, Principal Broker, and Realty Times. He contributes residential real estate analysis to Business Week, CBS The Early Show, CNN, HGTVpro.com, The New York Times, The Today Show, and USA Today. View his books at http://www.1001RealEstateTips.com .