Mixed Signals for the market

Real Estate and Housing Market Mixed Signals?

According to a recent article bythe excellent Associated Press journalist Martin Crutsinger, the real estate market in general and the house market specifically
has been giving off a lot of confusing mixed signals as of late…….

For example, sales of new house increased last month (o4) by the largest amount in some fourteen odd years, and yet the median price of a new house actually dropped by the most sizeable amount on record. These rather odd indicators
have seemingly left no clear picture as to whether or not the the country’s housing slump is finished. Real estae sellers and buyers a like are still quite wary
in this unpredictable atmosphere….
This is due to the fact that while sales of new one-family houses increased by some 16.2 percent in April,
the actual average price of a new house sold last month fell to $229,100, a record 11.1 percent decrease from the prior month!
Sales fell particularly in the Midwest, which saw a substantial four percent drop-off rate.
The country’s economy as whole cooled down in the first quarter of 2007 to an annual adjusted growth rate of merely 1.3%, which is the weakest rate in 4 years, while the big slump in housing continued to weigh on the economy’s overall performance.

Deciding Whether you Actually Need a Realtor

A big question that is being asked these days is ‘Do I need a Realtor?’

I mean really…’DO YOU REALLY NEED a REALTOR?

The 60 Minutes piece about agents making massive commisions for a few hours work shocked and outraged many homebuyers and sellers, sending repercussions throughout the real estate business and prompting many prominent real estate agents, brokers and firm owners to go on the defensive…… A recent article in The Suburban Journal by esteemed writer Don Rogers sums up this attitute, as he describes some of the pitfalls of the industry. However, it was observed that the sellers generally gets screwed more than anyone by the staus quo. he writes: ‘The good news, however, is that in most cases your buyer’s agent receives his or her compensation through the seller and the real estate company that has the listing’…..I predict that we may see a sort of transformation similiar to what we saw in the the Stockbroker game a while back, when the internet finally made it possible to easily trade stocks without the help of a broker. Especially as we are seeing  a sort of proliferation of regional ‘by owner’ websites popping up everywhere.

Spotlight on Real Estate Broker Commisions?

An uproar seems to be brewing about the huge commisions that real estate agents and brokers appear to be making, despite apparently doing little work  to justify it…..

In an RISMedia news report on May14, 2007 (no writer was credited), it was stated that The real estate piece featuring Redfin that aired Sunday on the popular television program “60 Minutes” prompted broad reaction throughout the whole industry, and in particularly on real estate related weblogs.

The 60 minute piece in question had zeroed in on how the world wide web has been changing the real estate community by essentially spotlighting the Puget Sound are discount broker Redfin and it’s founder, Glen Kelman…………………Kelman has stated that the real estate industry “is the most screwed up industry in America, and we feel like things that Amazon or eBay or Yahoo have done of other industries, we can do for the real estate industry.”{perhaps like how they affected the stock broking industry?}

In anay case The RISmedia publisher responded to the piec by saying that the television segment “……..misleads consumers into thinking that all their Realtor does is list their property-or only does ‘four hours worth of work’ as the former traditional agent in the piece noted-and they walk away with thousands of dollars for doing nothing. This is a gross misrepresentation of the work Realtors do for their clients to increase the value of their homes and justify their commissions.”

I can only say that, where I live, a friend of my father, who happens to be a real estate agent himself, bragged about how he just made a $90,000 commision for doing a few hours work on a particular real estate deal. Of course, I live in the state of Hawaii where the real estate prices are unusually high in many area’s…..million dollar homes are quite common here in fact…

More Real Estate Ripples?

According to an April 17 article by Marcy Gordon of the Associated Press, which was also reported on the blog at The Real Estate Portal Federal bank regulators have called upon lenders generally to work with the many troubled borrowers who are having a difficult time with their mortgage payments. As everyone know knows all too well, delinquencies & foreclosures have been sharply increasing recently, particularly for those many individuals who took out the risky subprime loans. This distress has roiled financial markets and increased worries that it could spill over into the larger national economy. The various proposals for subprime loans of government-sponsored Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, the largest single buyers of mortgages in the nation, were disclosed by their top executives at a hearing by the House Financial Services Committee. 

Real Estate Woes Continue

Sorry to have to bring you more bad news, but In a St.Petersburg Times editorial entitled ‘The Real estate slowdown is coming home across area’,
journalist CHUIN-WEI YAP stated in his April 16, 2007 article that, sadly, sales are still down and the glut of unsold homes is way up, which is contradicting the optimists who predicted that the market would turn around by the spring 2007.

Only 2 years ago, 1 in 2 homes sold in any particular month. But today, the same period would see 1 in 20 sell.
He also reports that a new vocabulary is emerging in the real estate market, referring to terms such as “short sale,” which means a seller getting less from his home sale than what he owes
 in loans; and “home staging,” which means the art of dressing up a home to look model-pretty just so a buyer might take another look at it.
….”Foreclosures have more than doubled,” states one Linda Pichler, vice president of business development for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Florida.
Let us hope that this recent trend of negative news does not continue for very much longer.

Worn Out

Have any of you ever suffered from Blogging burnout? If you run several weblogs, as I do, you likely have experienced this occurance at one time or another, It is very disconcerting when this happens, and at least with me, it is normally triggered when some error happens with WordPress or if I somehow manage to accidentally lose all of my work, It really sucks when that happens, it is demoralizing as hell. This phenomenom happened to me recently when I tried to achive a very ambitious self imposed deadline for writing fresh cont3ent for all of my blogs….but I went to the gym and got out of the house for a while and now I feel a lot better. In fact I am fairly fresh now…..so it is back to work for me, writing, writing and more writing!