For the first time in 6 years I am feeling more optimistic about the national Real Estate Market and to a lesser degree the New Bern market. While I am inclined to be suspicious about reports by the main stream media about the improvement of home sales, in select markets, the recent reports about an improving housing markets have some validity.
Jana and I recently attended a national Keller Williams convention in Dallas where we received recognition for sales in excess of 16 Million Dollars. While at the convention I spoke to agents from California, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Florida. As you know these states were among the hardest hit by the housing recession. All the agents I spoke to in California, Washington, Texas and Colorado said the biggest problem they had right now was lack of inventory. It was a sellers market and they were getting multiple offers on homes. The agents in Nevada, Florida, Arizona, said their markets were heading in the right direction and they were in recovery.
The million dollar question is what is driving the recovery in these areas. Remember that these markets started to tank several years before our market did. They had tons on foreclosures coming on the market 2-3 years before we started experiencing any increase here. Recently investment companies have bought large quantities of bank owned properties in these areas, often at 50-60 cents on the dollar. Some of the investors are renting the homes which reduces the supply of homes for sale. Combine this with an increasing population, and new home construction at a virtual standstill, results in a shortage of inventory in some areas of the country. Another point of interest is that nationally, foreclosures are at the lowest level since 2007. Not true here, bank owned still increasing.
In Craven County, sales are up 16%, year to date. That is good news, however bank owned sales are also up 78% year to date. Hopefully we are flushing out many of distressed properties. Until they are out of the system prices for non bank owned will continue to be negatively affected. I believe we are at the bottom of the market and while it remains a challenging time to sell, there has never been a better time to buy a home that right now.
If you have any questions about the market in any specific areas send me an email and we will give you a custom report of your area.