Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How's about that RE market.

Doubt anyone follows this anymore but in case you haven't noticed RE in our local market is at a very strange place. Extremely low inventory, lots of buyers but constrained by mortgage income guidelines so it is hard to call it a "bubble". Just a frenzy for homes during this spring selling season by all evidence I've looked at.

Basically, the cream of buyers (with a few lucky stragglers) rising to the top with everyone else desperately picking over the remains.

Econ 101 nicely explains the issue:

We only have Q1 of available houses due to a large number of reasons (put off household formation due to the recession and now improving economy,  banks unwilling/unable to foreclose, large number of underwater homeowners unwilling to sell at a loss, new home weren't built during the bust and it takes a long time to get projects going again, etc , etc etc) so prices are rising (p1). We also have ultra low interest rates and increasing housing consumer confidence so one could say that the demand curve has shifted to the right as well.

It is hard to see where a "enough" new supply comes from anytime soon. On the flip side it is pretty easy to see where new demand will come from (pent up demand + normal demand + improving economy). It'll be tough to be a buyer for awhile.

Personally, I'm glad to be done with it but I have to admit my interest has been piqued at the clear signs of frenzy.