On Feb 1, 2010, I attended a presentation by Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the NAR to Boston area Realtors on the Spring Housing Market. The housing price bubble has passed and we can expect continued recovery in the year to come. Illustrating this point was a chart with the red line for 2009 indicating that sales have almost returned to the pre-boom sales volume.
He continued to note that “consumer fear” has contributed to the delay of the recovery. He clarified that some buyers are holding off on buying because they fear that prices will drop further. Hopefully as we move into the spring and this fear passes, we can move into a solid recovery period.
Dr. Yun believes that the Massachusetts Housing Market leads the nation, although I found that curious since I have heard other economists say the reverse. Yet we are all in agreement with his point about the shortage of housing in Massachusetts, as well as the “bifurcated recovery” with the lower end properties moving more quickly.
After reviewing the many charts and statistics and listening to words about a hopeful recovery, Realtors must return to the realities of the field. We are working with buyers who are motivated to make a move, yet may be unable secure a mortgage commitment and to find a property in their budget. On the other hand, we need re-emphasize to sellers the importance of pricing and condition to attract qualified buyers. Closings are still happening and we sense an early spring market.
The crystal ball is tucked away in the wicked witch’s castle and no one really knows what will happen once the housing stimulus package expires. I enjoyed Dr. Yun’s presentation of existing market data to paint an optimistic view of the future. Judging from the market activity I see myself, things are really starting to move.