Real estate people are some of the most optimistic people I know. They have to be in order to work a business in which they don’t make a penny without a transaction getting done, and the driving motivation for the consumer is a dream: The American Dream, the Dream of Homeownership, Your Dream Home. Real estate, to some extent, is about dreams, hopes, and visions of white picket fences, kids playing in the backyard, and tasteful interior design reflecting your success in life.
So I generally do not fault real estate agents when they put forth honest opinions that perhaps we have finally hit bottom in this historically ugly housing crash. They’re not being disingenuous; they’re simply optimists.
At the same time, in the current market/environment, I believe a professional has to caveat every positive and be extremely wary of false signals. We’ve already had one false signal when the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit artificially shifted demand forward, thereby leading some people to claim we’d seen the bottom of the market. Of course, when all that demand dried up, the housing market continued its downward slide.
Jim Walberg, and Ira Serkes, both exemplary professionals with years and years of experience, who know their local markets, and analyze the sales data personally, recently suggested that some markets are turning around. And yes, since every market is different, every market is local, you should call your REALTOR for more information or whatever it is that the NAR commercial says. So please don’t bother commenting/protesting that trends don’t mean anything in your particular local market: I know.
Nonetheless, any reasoned analysis of calling the bottom has to take at least the following factors into account, at the very least as a risk.