When we look back on 2012 a long time from now, it may be viewed as the first year of the recovery, the year in which real estate reversed its course and moved in a more positive direction.
With that in mind, here are 13 reasons — courtesy of REALTOR® Magazine’s online news — why real estate pros can look forward to next year:
1. There’s greater optimism about increasing home values.
2. More new households are forming.
3. Home shoppers are feeling a greater sense of urgency.
4. Home ownership remains a goal of members of the Millennial generation.
5. Foreclosure starts are falling to pre-housing-bust levels.
6. Interest rates should remain low through next year’s selling season.
7. Loan demand for home purchases is climbing.
8. More Americans say it’s a good time to sell.
9. The number of improving housing markets is going up.
10. Job creation is expected to provide a much-needed boost to the commercial sector.
12. As housing values rise and equity returns, fewer home owners are underwater.
13. Real estate is contributing to an overall economic recovery.
That’s not to say there aren’t challenges. Lending remains tight, there’s a large foreclosure backlog, and regulatory challenges and the fiscal cliff loom ahead. But on balance, real estate appears to have a bright future in 2013.
By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Over the past few months, there has been a rising chorus of commentators calling attention to the rapid growth of real estate prices in China. Many of them have even invoked the dreaded “b” word to describe the rocketing residential values. But is China really on the verge of a bubble? Could we see a repeat of what happened here across the Pacific?
Maybe not. While there are some similarities between the U.S. bubble market of the last decade and China’s meteoric rise in real estate, there are enough distinctions to suggest that it could play out differently for the latter.
China’s real estate market has benefited from low interest rates and government attempts to boost growth — in the form of a $500 billion-plus stimulus program — just as housing in the United States did. But some of the key elements in the U.S. bubble, such as exotic mortgage financing and property flipping, are either uncommon or nonexistent in China. Continue reading »