September 30, 2005
Homebuying plans plunge, are housing prices next?
Stunning new finding today. According to the University of Michigan's monthly Survey of Consumers, consumer confidence dropped to it's lowest point in 12 years, pulling homebuying plans to their lowest point in a decade. According to Inman News, "The decline in home-buying plans was due to an increasingly negative reaction to high home prices, as consumers expressed in September the least favorable assessment in nearly a quarter century."
How did the housing market go from record high real estate searches on Boston.com in March of 2005 -- seven million page views generated by one million homes for sale searches -- to no-shows at suburban open houses, and now this news?
Have inflated housing prices reached a historic turning point that will see prices decline for years or is this just the annual October scare made worse by gas prices doubling in the aftershock of Katrina? Consumer confidence slipped to a nine year low on Halloween 2002 just before the housing market entered into the second wave of the current price surge. So, no big surprise that the relentless press coverage of the real estate bubble has pushed homebuying plans down again this time of year, right?
If, on the other hand, you believe that prices in 2003 to 2005 were bloated by opportunistic buying driven by fears of rising interest rates, investors, and interest-only loans, you may be patting yourself on the back for not buying this Spring at the top of the market and wondering how far prices will fall as interest rates rise.
Should you sit out the Fall market, or take advantage of the "let's make a deal" price slashing that begins this time of year while interest rates are still near forty year lows? We'd like to hear your opinion. Click on "Comments" below or call 617-876-2117 to record a one to three minute sound bite that we may use in a future podcast.
September 29, 2005
Should FSBOs underprice or overprice market?
Several weeks ago, a leading listing agent on Cape Cod in Massachusetts told the Wall Street Journal that sellers should underprice the market by 5% because of hurricane Katrina and an increasing inventory of unsold homes. Then two weeks later, an article in the Boston Globe's "Big Move" told people trying seller their own home to overprice the market by 5% to 10%. So, in less than one month, sellers have been given advice that could translate into a pricing gap of 15%. More important than pricing strategies is the sellers' net profit. A seller who underprices the market by 5% could actually net 10% less profit on their sale after paying traditional real estate commissions, right? Anyone can discount your property, so why involve a full-fee, full-service real estate agent at all?
We'd like to hear your opinion about pricing strategies, particularly if you are thinking of selling "for sale by owner." Just click on "Comments" below and begin typing, or call 617-876-2117 to record a 1 to 3 minute sound bite (which we may use in a future podcast).
Listen to conversation starter: Should FSBOs underprice or overprice market? (MP4, 2 minutes, 1.9M)
Date Recorded: 29 September 2005
Subject: Discussion about conflicting advice on pricing strategies given recently by industry experts in the Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe
Featuring: Bill Wendel (Real Estate Cafe) speaking with anonymous buyer agents in Massachusetts
Location: Massachusetts Association of Realtors, annual convention @ DCU Center, Worcester, MA