By Stacey Moncrieff, Editor in Chief, REALTOR® Magazine
I was just reviewing proofs of our April/May issue — in which forecasters have predicted a steady rise in home appreciation through 2015 — when our publisher e-mailed me a link to “Real estate: It’s time to buy again” by veteran Fortune magazine writer Shawn Tully. Tully makes a convincing case that the moribund new-construction market, combined with rising rents and an improving job market, will result in increased demand for homes and begin to drive prices up. Even in many high-foreclosure areas, he says, the outlook is getting better.
All good news comes with caveats. Tully says consumer confidence and job growth still need to gain ground — and he allows that some markets won’t rebound quickly. But he provides a solidly positive report for real estate pros dealing with nervous and discouraged sellers and buyers. He writes:
“During the last decade’s historic run-up in prices, Fortune repeatedly warned that things were moving too fast. In a cover story titled “Is the Housing Boom Over?” [published in 2004], this writer’s analysis found that the basic forces that govern the market — the cost of owning vs. renting and the level of new construction — were in bubble territory. Eventually reality set in, and prices plummeted. Our current view focuses on those same fundamentals — only now they’re pointing in the opposite direction.
“So let’s state it simply and forcibly: Housing is back.”