When the housing rebound comes

When the housing rebound comes
How will you know?

Because housing markets are intensely local, it won't do much good to check national figures. Instead, stay alert to leading indicators of recovery in your local market, such as: Inventory is declining.

In markets with fewer than 6.5 months of inventory, homes tend to be appreciating faster than inflation, says Mark Dotzour, chief economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M; above 6.5, prices are lagging inflation.

1. Houses are selling faster than they used to
Generally, if the average house is selling in less than a month, it's a seller's market. By 90 days it may be a buyer's ball game.
2. Realtors are feeling better
3. Sellers are acting less desperate
All this should give you a hint, says Sacramento broker Elizabeth Weintraub. "If you're seeing no decrease in FOR SALE signs, balloons and banners and OPEN HOUSE signs, and the SOLD signs aren't popping up right away, that's pretty much telling you it's still a buyer's market."

NAR, always the optimist is banking on the classic business cycle. Lawrence Yun, NAR Senior Economist simple makes the case that inventory will bring prices down and the slowing market will cause declining rates eventually. According to Yun, “Markets that sharply reduce new construction in 2007 will generally experience respectable price increases in 2008,” Yun said. “Local conditions vary considerably, but with historically low mortgage interest rates this summer and sustained job gains, it could be a good time for first-time buyers with a long-term view to test the housing waters.” We have our fingers crossed, but we know that the trend must play itself out and its hard to predict

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is estimated to average 6.7 percent during the second half of this year, and fluctuate around 6.6 percent in 2008.

If you wanted to use these numbers to get a feel for a local market, there are some good resources available.
1. NAR has a quarterly report on Metropolitan Area Existing-Home Prices and State Existing-Home Sales
its comprehensive and you have to trust the source. It would be interesting to test some of the rule of thumb guidelines out forth by the CNN article.
2. Property Shark is a real estate site with extensive data
3. Your Property Path has a good list of real estate blogs

Its your property

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