“Are We There Yet?” The Long Drive to the Real Estate Market Bottom

Are we there yet? Anyone with a child who is old enough to speak has heard these words a thousand times – usually from the back seat of the car.  And anyone who’s heard that question asked over and over and over again knows how annoying it can get!  But really, these kids are just tired of a ride that seems overwhelmingly long and unpleasant and they just want it to be over…  So as it relates to the real estate market I totally identify with those kids right now, don’t you?

Well, the long ride IS ending and there are good stats to support it.  In zip codes across the US prices have hit bottom and in many cases are quickly increasing.  These are primarily the regions that experienced the bubble pop early and have taken the biggest hits. They are the ones that we expect to recover first and signal that the bottom is here or at least near.

Some of the most brutally beaten down areas of Florida, Arizona, Nevada and California are seeing multiple offers, over the asking price coming in on properties. These “sun belt” cities are the ones we have been watching for indications of life so this is great news.  Even better though is that it’s not just the “sun belt” cities that are coming back.  It’s spreading!

According to First American CoreLogic of Santa Ana, CA, other cities across the nation are also seeing  the stabilization of prices and increased sales. Included in the list (compiled for Businessweek.com) non “sun belt” cities include Howell, MI. (nearby Detroit), Woodbury, MN, Rio Rancho, NM, Humble, TX (nearby Houston), Duluth, GA, in the Atlanta metro area, and Des Plaines, Ill which is a suburb of Chicago.

The forecasted perfect storm for buyers is here and more and more previously sidelined buyers are stepping up to the plate.  Foreclosure sales have driven down prices, mortgage rates are almost unbelievably low and lenders are lending.  Inventories are beginning to shrink and prices are stabilizing.  It feels like we’re out of the fast-lane on the real estate bust highway and moving toward the off-ramp!

We don’t expect that the bottom is going to look neat and pretty.  It’s likely to hit some bumps or stall out occasionally along the way, but it’s going to happen and one day soon we’ll all be able to say “yes… we are there.”

Here’s a link to Businessweek.com and the “Zip codes with most improved home sales”.

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About David GoldsteinDavid Goldstein is an Owner and Founding Partner of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.

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