US housing market showing signs of improvement?

Chuck Miller, a builder and developer, says that based on his research, conversations with realtors, and with clients and potential clients, he believe the improvement in the housing market is due to a number of factors.

Data indicates that prices have bottomed out in most markets and are on the rise again, albeit slowly.
Home mortgage interest rates remain low but have been moving up on positive economic news and home buyers are beginning to believe that these low rates aren’t going to last much longer.
Unemployment figures are gradually improving, which increases buyer’s perception of job security.
Finally, because prices have begun to rise and inventories are decreasing buyers are realizing that now is a great time to buy.

David Rabinovitz, an expert in litigation management, says that like politics, all real estate is local, even if influenced by certain national factors. “For the past four years I have advised a micro real estate fund in southeast Florida, Broward County. The residential market has been improving. Translated to something a bit more tangible is that developers are selectively breaking ground on a few new projects. Newly listed institutionally-owned homes (e.g., foreclosures) hit the market and often sell well above list price and quickly, all while inventory levels appear to be at a very low level,” explains Rabinovitz. “I watch certain metrics; for example, how many listings are on Craigslist in our target price range. Eighteen months ago there were pages, now there is less than a handful. I look at how many listings are on MLS, and how active the auction listings are at the Broward County Courthouse. These metrics help guide my perception of the market.”

Rabinovitz has noticed that lenders have stopped foreclosing en masse. “Foreclosure gives the lender title and obligates the lender to start paying the monthly condo fees. Until the lender’s inventory is at a manageable level, many have realized waiting can be to their advantage. Further, lenders have finally realized a cooperative short sale is less expensive in legal fees and there is less risk the property will be stripped of essentials like cabinets, plumbing fixtures, and appliances,” he explains. “The resulting convergence of these factors is sufficiently decreased supply with sufficient upside that investors are now pressing prices upward at a pace of 20 percent plus per year. But before anyone gets too excited, a condo that sold at $250,000 at the peak and $50,000 after the bubble popped need only rise to $60,000 to generate a 20 percent gain.”

While values dropped, rental rates did not drop as hard and recovered sooner as more displaced owners entered the rental market, Rabinovitz says. “As a result, yields are attractive on a cash-on-cash basis without dependence on appreciation. As the market perceives stability and less risk, the risk premium drops, yields get lower, and price points continue a steady march upward,” he says.

By Maureen Aylward

Zintro, Inc

Zintro is a “Search and Connect Engine” that makes it easy for clients (expert-seekers) to find and connect with experts for projects (ranging from one half hour phone consults to multi-month on-site engagements). Some of the uses include:

  • To engage in phone consults with experts for primary market research or to get challenging business or technical questions answered
  • To source consultants or vendors for projects
  • To identify candidates for full-time employment

Zintro has over 40,000 experts (browse) across every single industry sector. These experts have opted-in to receive system-matched inquiries from our almost 15,000 clients. Over 1,000 inquiries come in every month.

For Experts (client-seekers): Are you interested in marketing your services to Zintro’s Clients? It takes just a couple of minutes and is free to sign up as a Zintro Expert. Relevant projects will automatically be emailed to you. Click hereto sign up.

For Clients (expert-seekers): In under 90 seconds, you can contact hundreds of relevant business or technical experts within any industry sector. Clickhere to post an Inquiry (free & anonymous).

Or, do you want to learn more about how Zintro works? Click here to view Zintro’s knowledge-base.

Zintro has experts in every industry sector, across every job function, in every geographic region. Recently, some of the following topics have seen inquiry activity: