Predictions for the real estate market in 2008
As I sit here thinking of my last column of 2007, I wanted to start off with a note of thanks to you all of the readers for your support over the past 22 years. Reflecting back on what the industry was like when I started back in 1985, it's hard to believe the changes that we've seen. I can still remember … back in those pre-computer days, that day every two weeks when the man with the "Multiple Listing Books" came to our office, and we ran out to see what new listings had come on in the previous two weeks. Back then the "color printer" was nothing but a vision, and voice mail was a new concept. Now, over two decades later, we have come so very far, yet some things remain constant. Real Estate has always and will always be about PEOPLE, not transactions, and by focusing on truly caring for those we come to know, we can assure we'll be here for a long, long time. That's really one of the few secrets to staying in an industry when so many others seem to come and go within the year.
Speaking of caring for others, I wanted to make an
impassioned plea to all my readers out there to help with a critical need here in Central Massachusetts baby food. Over 100,000 families with children are in desperate need of food assistance, and many are right here in our area. The Massachusetts Children's Fund, a local nonprofit charity, exists to provide food to babies living in shelters or other such situations, and seeks your help in donating cases of baby food to children
OK … on to my thoughts on the real estate market for 2008. So far, it seems as though 2007 has mirrored 2006 in many ways, and I believe we'll see this trend continue in 2008. Contrary to what some may think, 2007, at least the first half of 2007, was an incredibly busy time. To fully understand, let's look to late 2006. The fall of 2006 was one of the slowest market times I had ever seen, and seemed even worse after the incredible peak we were coming off of.
Sellers were very slow to react to these changes, and those who did and were able to get on the market quickly in January and February saw their homes selling for top dollar in hours or days. By the time March rolled around, the Sellers started pouring back into the market, flooding us with inventory … and seeing sales slow way down in the spring – a trend which continued right into the summer and fall.
Well it appears that we're seeing the EXACT same pattern here in late 2007. So far in the first two weeks of December alone, 904 homes in Worcester County have come off the market without selling, a monthly adjusted figure of 1,800 properties. Inventory is dropping like a stone, and already this week I've had several multiple offer situations in the middle of a blizzard. I have buyers looking to buy, and just waiting for the right property to come along. By the way, to those who think nothing is selling, we've had 624 homes in Worcester County sold or put on deposit in the last month! Things ARE selling. Are they selling for less than they were at the peak? Yes. Are Buyers being incredibly picky? Yes! Are most of the buyers not feeling incredibly motivated? Yes. But that's only part of the story. The real underlying picture is that the folks out there who are looking to buy are finding great deals, and if the market spikes again in January like it did last year, they'll be sorry they didn't make the move in December. To the sellers, I know it seems hard to believe, but now is the time to be going ON the market, not coming off . I'm going to be running my special listing promotions next week for homes coming on between December 23 and January 23, so ping me an e-mail and let's use this time during the holidays to hook up and chat.
As always, it's been an honor to serve you all for these many years and I treasure the opportunities you've given me. I wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season, a prosperous 2008, and most of all a world where all people recognize that PEACE is the only answer. See you all next year.
Steve Levine is President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX First Choice. He has been recognized as the Top REMAX Agent in New England for the last 8 years, and can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 508-735-4663.
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