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August 19, 2006

CAUTION: You are entering "The Bubble Spin Zone"

Nospinzone750x1000_1 "You're traveling to another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound... but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land, whose boundaries are only that of the imagination... you're entering... the Bubble Spin Zone."

Reading some assessments of the current Massachusetts housing market, one wonders if industry spokespersons are taking their cues from Rod Serling classic, "The Twilight Zone."  Arguing "that prices are not declining sharply in response to falling sales," one recently told the Boston Globe that "I'm seeing some concessions from sellers, but not a whole lot."  Last August when the same spokesperson was asked by WBZ-AM radio talk show host Paul Sullivan if buyers were in danger of buying at the height of the market, he said no.

So, to help inform homebuyers and protect them from overpaying in overvalued housing markets, The Real Estate Cafe has developed an interactive map to involve homebuyers (and fellow buyer agents) in the process of documenting falling housing prices, in Massachusetts and beyond.  Beyond price concessions, we are particularly interested in mapping sales below assessed value.  Would you believe that some buyer agents first began chatting privately about homes selling below appraised value this time last year?

If you are actively looking for a home, please visit our real estate bubble map before making an offer.  Working with site users, we've already mapped nearly 300 properties sold recently below their assessed value in 27 of the most expensive cities and towns in Greater Boston.  We assume our readers know more than we do, so we've made it easy for you to post comments, add new properties, or start your own local bubble map.  Some consumers have begun documenting sales below assessed value in highly desirable towns like Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, and suburban communities near Route 495.

Shortly, we'll add another 150 sales below assessed value which occurred during the past six weeks.  Some of the properties already mapped have sold for at least $100,000 off, but don't let that cause you to rush into an offer.  The largest price reductions could be between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day; when historically, one in five properties sells for at least 10 percent off.  This year, we'll track how many sell for 10 percent below their assessed value, but we'll need your help to do it.

If you're one of our paying clients in Massachusetts, we'll reward you for each property you add to the one of our regional bubble maps.  See our Tipping Policy for more detail. (Get it?  Real Estate Cafe, Tipping policy?)

Bill Wendel | 01:23 AM in Bubble map, Mapping, Market trends, Price trends, Real Estate Bubble, Savings & Rebates, Timing the market | Permalink

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No Real Estate bubble in plain view says Gakwaya

The naysayers have been preaching the bursting real estate bubble in Orlando for the past year now, and, with relative gusto I might add. Meanwhile, all evidence conspicuously appears to be contradicting this belief as nothing more than unfounded pessimism by a large majority of the myopic in a market that is indeed still experiencing explosive growth.

According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association 21,260 homes were sold in Orlando during January, 2005 through to July, 2005, with ‘05 being a record year for Orlando. In 2006, housing sales actually boosted 0.7% to 21,916 homes sold by realtors during the same time period, displaying evidence Orlando is still a viable market showing no signs of that pesky bubble bursting.

Nonetheless, home sales in July 2006 did drop 26.5% compared to that of July 2005. Century 21 Real Estate associate Chantal Gakwaya says, “After the hurricane of growth the previous two years have represented, it would not be anomalous for the market to exhibit frequent fluctuations that at first sight appear to be extreme and signaling perceptible doom.”

Ms. Gakwaya further went on to say that the amount of homes for sale on the market is peaking over 19,000 homes in metro Orlando for July, 2006. Compare that to statistics from July, 2005 and there is a differential of almost 15,000 more homes competing to be sold.

“I have no doubt in my mind the excessive inventory on the market, the recent drop in interest rates and competition spurring the desperation of sellers will represent a Buyers Market over the next six months or so,” says Gakwaya.

“The same quantities of buyers are out there and families are still relocating to Orlando by the droves. The big question is how do we compete for those buyers to preview our client’s homes? Real estate associates and especially FSBO’s will sink or swim depending on their personal and financial investment in advertising their homes for sale,” says Gakwaya.

Gakwaya goes on to say, “All I can say about the Orlando market is, competition is high but there is no bubble in plain view, at least not in the foreseeable future.”

For more information about the Orlando Real Estate market you may contact Ms. Gakwaya at www.Orlando-Real-Estate.biz

Posted by: Orlando Real Estate | Aug 27, 2006 9:43:11 PM

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