Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The buyer activity seems to be increasing!

I went to hear Gary Keller (aka Keller of Keller-Williams Realty) speak a week or so ago on the state of real estate in the Austin area. It is true that we have felt the impact of the national downturn in the real estate market over the past few months. Inventories of homes on the market have been increasing. Prices are falling all over town (although not NEARLY as dramatically as in other areas of the country). All of these things have been signalling a shift back towards a buyers market, although many sellers have never figured that out yet! Nevertheless, it was getting pretty hard to find a motivated buyer in our market. Most of the agents that work with me were reporting that although they were able to get buyers to look, they were not making offers and that is what really fuels the market and initiates a sale.

Well I am here to report that things may be changing already in our market. When listening to Mr. Keller speak a few weeks back, he expressed that he felt we would be in for a slow or stagnant 2008, with recovery starting in 2009. In the past couple of weeks, I have been working with some out of town investors, attempting to purchase a few investment properties (this is my specialty, since I also have a property management company under my brokers license that is not affiliated with Keller-Williams). I am here to tell you that there ARE buyers in the market! Every one of five properties that we were making offers on, had multiple buyers making offers on them, many ABOVE full price. That really doesn's sound like a buyer's market to me. In fact, this blog entry is written to note that I am seeing STRONG trending towards another shift back towards a seller's market.

The next question would be "Why?" I suspect that we are starting to see the "Wait and see" buyers jumping back into the market due to the raising of mortgage rates. In the past three weeks the rates have gone up nearly a point from almost record lows a month ago. I beleive this has fueled the interest in buying now vs. later. In fact, I have had several calls from buyers in the last two days asking my opinion about where the mortgage rates are headed and both have called one of my mortgage broker contacts immediately to get the application process started to buy now before the rates price them out of the home they really want.

So why am I making this point? If you read my blog or my websites, I hope to get your attention that the picnic may soon be over. If you are needing to upsizew, downsize, buy and investment, buy your college student a condo, etc., take my advice and move quickly. If rates move up much more, things will stagnate probably, but why take that risk? Higher rates will simply limit your buying options now and in the future. If rates slide back down, I suspect that we are heading back into a sellers market, where prices will start back up again. Call my office to get us started on your next real estate purchase today. There may never be a better time!

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