By Robert Freedman, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
What’s impeding your market? In the Atlanta area, the big drag is distressed sales. Paul Brower, ABR, GRI, of Harry Norman, REALTORS®, in Marrietta, says the market is improved over last year and is expected to improve even more in 2011, but the metro area is trying to absorb the addition of 1,500 foreclosed properties each month. Until that overhang starts to ease, he says, the market can’t decisively turn around.
Sheila Pierce, CCIM, a broker who just sold her residential brokerage in Jacksonville, N.C., and now does mostly commercial work and consults for the area economic development agency, says her market was cushioned from the downturn by Camp Lejeune, the big Marines base there. First-time and new-home buyers have remained steady, but traffic of upper-income buyers is weak—and probably will stay weak until other parts of the country improve. Because right now, she says, relocating buyers that can’t sell their exuisting homes are having to rent.
Practitioners in resort areas say they’ve been seeing an increase in buyers with the means to pay in cash, which has helped sustain their markets in the last two years. That’s been evident in the affluent Lake Tahoe area, says Debra Howard, RSPS, CRS, of D. Howard & Co., in So. Lake Tahoe, Calif. But now her market is getting another boost. Thanks to lower prices (they’re down about 35 percent from their peak), the market is seeing an influx of lower-income buyers, including among those who work in the area.
In the short video above, practitioners talk about where things stand in their market areas.