Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Housing Trends: A Serious 2006 Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland Study on Home Sales Trends

My last 12 months in real estate have been like a roller coaster: frustrating, sad, satisfying and busy year, all wrapped up in month-to-month cycles. I was aggravated at the media talk about housing bubbles and now declining prices. I got sad about the number of people contacting me, trying to get help with a home sale when their mortgage was not being met, and frustrated at how long they waited to get help...meaning, it was not possible for me to list their home and have them make enough money to save themselves. I was delighted to see so many young people and other first time home buyers saving money and coming in with an ethic of fiscal responsibility. It is what makes my chosen profession the best for me; never dull and different almost every day.

Some of my real estate colleagues, in the business for decades, told me that real estate is always cyclical. My own personal experience from home purchases in the '80s and then trying to sell a condo in the '90s, showed me first hand this was true. And my experiences now as a real estate professional back up these opinions.

Foreclosures and extremely high numbers of listings do have an effect on sale prices in our area. But here is a study pointed out to me on the University of Wisconsin-Madison site. They talk about two studies, but one is more recent. It was completed in 2006 by The Federal Reserve in Cleveland and talks about cycles. Here is an excerpt:

"....To understand changes in house prices, it is necessary to study the price of residential land. Data indicate that the real price of land has been marching steadily upward since 1950. If the 1998–2006 boom to house prices reflects demand for housing-related amenities, then the data on land prices argue that this boom is a continuation of earlier trends.
Relaxed credit constraints could explain the outpacing of house price appreciation to incomes. House prices can and should be expected to surge if credit constraints are unexpectedly relaxed for first-time home buyers who are credit or down-payment constrained. This surge can occur even when incomes remain constant; when credit constraints change over time, incomes and house prices should not be expected to increase at the same rate. ..."

This is a long dissertation, so you might want to grab a cup of java before you read. It's a very good read, however, for anyone who owns a home, is interested in how real estate works.

I'm never going to discount our foreclosure issues, or the change in (for the better) home sale prices sellers experienced for a few years running. The old saying is that 'real estate is local' and it surely is that. But this is a 'non-chicken little' approach...statistics! Let me know what you think. Peace Out - 3C

1 comment:

Joel Libava said...

Thank you so much Carole.
It is an interesting perspective you write from. As a Realtor who obviously cares, you bring some humaness into this mortgage debacle. Thanx,
Joel Libava
The Franchise King Blog/Cleveland