The National Association of Realtors reported recently that home sales marked their largest gain in the last two years in February, showing what some news media outlets say is “surprising” strength in the housing market. Surprising that people buy a place to live, is it, “experts”? Do the experts live in carboard boxes? Of course not. Do they buy boxes for vacation homes? No. They buy them in Florida and California.
Data showed that 6.91 million homes sold in February, up from 6.57 homes sold in January of this year, a 5.2 percent increase, and the largest gain since the 5.9 percent increase in 2004. Many blame mild weather in January for the “unexpected” increase in sales (because to experts, people stop living just because investors go back into the stock market, after leaving the real estate market, but these experts are not experts — they’re buffoons), but sales do tend to pick up during the third week in January. These sales continue to snowball until May, which is a dry month for sales, typically, then start again in June, snowballing to an overwhelming heat in August, stopping again in September with periodic sales in the fall and winter months.
Home prices dipped slightly, according to CNN/Money.com.
The median price edged down to $209,000 from $210,000 in January. Half of homes sold for more than the median and the rest for less.
The average price also slipped to $256,000 from $260,000. But both price readings were ahead of year-earlier levels, when the median price was $189,000 and the average was $249,000
Here in Florida, where inventory is abundant, prices continue to rise in some areas, and while so-called experts are saying the market is slow, I had four contracts last month, and I have four this month (more than this time last year when the market was “red hot” according to the same “experts”). The real estate market is only slow for those who have overpriced their homes, and are seeking to cash out for a value greater than that which the current market will support. Those trying to sell out of need will be more successful than those trying to sell out of greed.
Inaccurate news reports on housing spread throughout the media are not helping the public make clear decisions regarding housing, but they are succeeding in creating panic where panic isn’t necessary, which is incompetent journalism, in my opinion. Some editors should start firing their real estate writers if they’re going to blur the facts.
There are the same number of buyers in the market today that there were in 2004, and while some “experts” compare the current market to 2003, it feels more like 2004, because of the number of buyer’s in the market, while interest rates are at similar levels to those in 2003.
Prices have leveled off somewhat and inventory is abundant. The best time to buy is now, because negotiation is acceptable and deals can be found – this was unheard of last year! You can sell now if you like, but real estate is a long-term investment, it’s not an equity product. Keep that in mind. Holding it long-term is the best strategy, unless you have some sort of Trump-like designs on it, and plan on re-development of a property or developing new. In that case, it is best to hold it short-term and sell quickly for a profit. Otherwise, buy, rent it out, and sell it later for a profit.