The Beach Boys closed out our annual convention last night. The two days included the obligatory rah rah and way too many awards honoring our success (we are President’s Circle winners) but also there was some great information and ideas that will help improve our business even more. Our son, Ryan, made the trip with us.
David Lehear is the National Association of Realtors chief economist. He spoke about the real estate market is healthy at 3-8% annual appreciation. Many markets got way beyond that and it couldn’t be supported continually as buyers moved away from the fundamentals. The rapid appreciation did not look good on paper and eventually some of the local markets “balloons” deflated (there were no bubbles to burst in his view). Eighteen months of recession hurt the market but now he believes that the fundamentals of the economy look good and we should see normalcy in the overall market. He does have concern about how the subprime “monkey wrench” will play out in the recovery.
One of his other concepts is that real estate is local (also the title of his latest book which comes out next month). He simply said that real estate occurs locally. Some areas didn’t participate in the boom years at all. They’re healthy markets now. If we consider Portland, we had good appreciation, not great and our market has taken a hit but not tanked. A lot of buyers have sat on the sidelines but as sellers begin to lower prices a little (Realtors are partially to blame for not being more forceful about lowering prices sooner to react to the market), they are now ready to buy. Seller’s ask for a price but the market determines it. It only takes one ready and willing buyer to sell a house.