February 24, 2013

NOW is the time to buy or sell a house!

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) isn’t known for deep thinking.  After all, this is the group that brought you David Lereah, America’s very own Baghdad Bob on the topic of forecasting home values.  But let’s take a closer look at the idea that NOW is always the time to buy. After all, if now is not the time to buy, then now is the time to sell.

Turns out NAR has that one covered.  They’ve got a list of the best places to buy and sell, NOW.  And guess where is the time to sell NOW.

That’s right.  Where it’s Special.

Asheville, NC Tops Best Places To Buy In 2013

Real Estate News   |  Feb 14, 2013   |  By: Lexie Puckett | Realtor.com

130222-nar-ashevilleThe new year started on a positive note in January, with inventories at record lows and list prices holding steady on a year-over-year basis. Whether this shows a continuation of the nascent housing recovery into 2013 will depend on a variety of factors, including the strength of the overall economy, the cost and availability of mortgage credit, consumer expectations regarding future housing prices, and the success of continuing efforts to stem the flow of new foreclosures.

If inventories remain low — and if list prices begin to rise during the next few months, as they did last year — conditions are ripe for additional house price appreciation in 2013. However, such gains are likely to be concentrated in markets already well into their recovery process, such as California, Phoenix, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and many sand states. Markets in the older industrialized parts of the Midwest and the East will likely continue to struggle without a significant turnaround in their local economies. However, if inventories in these areas remain high, it could effectively set the stage for further declines in housing values in these local markets.

2013 Best Places to Buy and Sell

With two months remaining before the home-buying season opens, sellers have a huge advantage. In tight markets, such as the top five “Best Places to Sell,” sellers benefit from better prices than they’ve seen in years. In our five “Best Places to Buy,” buyers will find plentiful inventory and prices that haven’t experienced the increases others have seen during the past year.

So wait, are they saying that there actually exist places where NOW is not the time to buy? Well… no, because they would never want to prevent suckers from giving them money interfere with the free market.  Also commissions.

Here are NAR’s Top 5 Best Markets to Sell a House NOW.  Except they didn’t say NOW, but you KNOW it’s THERE.

130222-nar-sacto1. Sacramento. No, really. Inventory dropped even more than here where it really is Special, leading to price increases of (get ready to scream) 40%.  You forgot to invest in Sacramento last year, didn’t you?

2. San Jose.  Prices are up 25% here and inventory isn’t exactly generous. But unlike Sacramento, San Jose wasn’t rebounding from a complete price collapse.

3. San Francisco. They’re just copying us, and not as well.

4. Phoenix. See Sacramento. Inventory is down 16%, but so what? They simply make more land. What they can’t manage to make more of here is water.

5. Washington, DC. “With a median price of $429,900, D.C. is one of the nation’s priciest markets…”  Right, NAR.  You want to see what you can get here, where it’s actually Special, for $430,000?  This.

130222-nar-sheriann1889 SHERI ANN Cir
San Jose, CA 95131

HOA Dues: $202/mo.
2 Beds
2 Baths
1,157 Sq. Ft.
$372 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1993
Lot Size: 435 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 1 day
Status: Active
HOA Dues: $202/month
Style: Contemporary
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara
Property Type: Condominium Stories: 1-3 (Low Rise)
Community: Berryessa
MLS#: 81305233

Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, Feb 23: 1:30-4:00 pm
Sunday, Feb 24: 1:30-4:00 pm

Dwnstrs condo has bright & open flr plan. Newer carpet, hrdwd flrs in entry & ktchn. Interior has been freshly painted. Spacious patio off of lving rm. Gas stove, dual sinks & recessed lights in Kitchen. Mster bdrm has it’s own patio, walk-in closet, recently updated bthrm, 2 sink vanity. Attchd 1 car garage w/ laundry. Community has large pool, spa, sports court, bbq/picnic area. Great location.

And by “Great location” they don’t really mean “great location.”  Yesterday’s house was “great location.”  This place is “You’re less likely to get shot than on Story Road.”

Now, lest you think all those California metros filling in the first 3 on that top 5 list are some big honking coincidence, here’s some data ripped straight out of NAR’s January Trends report.  The blog entry linked above is distilled from this longer report.


It goes on to confirm what we already knew: It’s Special Here. Then again, it’s even More Special in Sacramento.  Want to know where else it’s surprisingly Special?


Anyone who doesn’t see Bubble written all over these tables simply is not paying attention.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

7 Responses to “NOW is the time to buy or sell a house!”

  1. Real Estater Says:

    Renters are surrounded. There is no escaping to Sacramento, Phoenix, or Las Vegas now. Of course, Tracy and Stockton are spoken for as well.

  2. SEA Says:

    Inventory peaked when the housing prices were high. The only reason there are so few homes for sale is because sellers view selling prices unfavorably. Does this mean that’s it a great time to sell?

  3. Real Estater Says:

    No, contrary to intuition, now is a terrible time to sell. The reason inventory is low is because everyone and his grandmother knows prices are on the way up. Recent projections has been well published in the media, and people are not stupid. If you sell now, chances are high you will not be able to buy back in. You pretty much have to leave the area. By the time you realize the other places all suck and you want back in, you will be priced out forever. My recommendation is that even if you want to leave the Bay Area, keep your house, so that you have the option of returning. Also, do everybody else a favor by creating some rental inventory.

  4. Real Estater Says:

    What has caught some people napping in the past few years is that we have just transitioned to a “new world” where:

    1. SF Bay Area has become a regional economy, with contiguous areas of technology employment centers from SF to Peninsula to all of Silicon Valley, including East Bay.
    2. SF Bay Area is an international destination targeted by foreign investors and multi-national corporations
    3. Rise of economies in China and India establishing a never ending demographic trend of people coming to live in the Bay Area
    4. In the wake of the financial crisis in ’07, unqualified home owners have been replaced by highly qualified borrowers and investors, who establish a strong foothold and lock on the inventory. These people have staying power and effective housing inventory is forever reduced, due to inability to make any more land.

  5. SEA Says:

    #3- Did you read #2?

    “The only reason there are so few homes for sale is because sellers view selling prices unfavorably.”

    Of course if sellers thought that prices were going lower, they would sell today.

    At the same time look at how many owners took 50% losses from the peak thinking prices were going ever higher. We are not speaking about the RBA, since prices continue to double in that area–just make sure the house does not move outside of the RBA, since that’s a double whammy: moving parts & no longer in RBA. What could be worse?

  6. Apartments in Noida Says:

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  7. yorgi Says:

    There is a very good reason why Asheville inventory is sitting for a long time. For NC its not cheap. It has no real economy to support the prices. That city is basically another retirement location for folks from the Northeast. So the appeal is financially limited. Its not the best city to locate to unless you have lots of money.

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