We all know about the U.S. real estate boom that occurred in the first half the prior decade. In the early 2000’s, real estate shot up in value in a ton of markets around the country. Existing homes increased in market value, and renovations were all the rage. New construction was popping up all over the place.
Then, as we also know, things came to a crashing halt. Home prices started to decline, and in some places they simply cratered. There have even been $1 homes for sale in Detroit! Now, I don’t live there – it’s suburban Chicago for me – and haven’t seen anything remotely like what’s happened in the motor city. Nevertheless, even vibrant suburbs here have seen big price decreases in recent years.
Not long ago, things started to change again. I observed this earlier in 2013, where I asked: is this good time to invest in real estate? It seemed at the time that prices were stabilizing, and perhaps the window of opportunity to get great deals may be closing. What I didn’t think, of course, was that the market had become strong again. Just stable.
Well, a very recent conversation I had with a couple makes it clear that the market is more than just stable in some places. In certain markets, it’s apparently a seller’s market once again. To the point where homes are selling quickly once on the market, as in within a few days!
This couple told me that they were looking for a home in a few suburbs that I would consider to be upscale. They made it seem like they were looking for something at more of an “entry level” price point in those suburbs. Now, an initial price point there might be in the half million range. Not exactly chump change, to say the least.
But this couple – really nice people – said that it was actually really hard to get a home in their target community. The homes at the high end – for the truly wealthy – sat on the market for a while. But the more reasonably priced homes were going very quickly, within a few days as I mentioned earlier.
Quite a difference from what was the case not too long ago. I’m not sure how many locales would see real estate as being red hot in the last 5 years. Even further, I think there are still many places where properties are not seeing buyers stampede to make purchases. I say this because I’ve followed prices in a few other areas, not far away and a bit lower priced, where homes still seem to be staying on the market for a while. Prices have stabilized to be sure, but no increases.
So, maybe there is a selective real estate rebound. Some areas are seeing a seller’s market, while others are still a buyers’ market. Even if the specific locales are close by each other geographically.
My Questions for You:
How is the residential real estate market near you doing?
Are you still noticing a buyer’s market where you are, or is becoming more competitive again?
Do you think we will see a full-scale housing rebound soon, or is this simply fool’s gold?