Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A true test of local real estate markets

It is a part of just about every day for me to read up about some local real estate markets and get the good, the bad, and the ugly. Mostly, as you can tell by several of my comments over the past few months, I get frustrated at the realty associations pushing out negative statistics while they are supposed to be promoting activity in the market.

Finally, I have found an article that is indicative of what we SHOULD be seeing when it comes to local news real estate reports. It shows me that the reports about how sales have dropped in whatever city compared with last year are spreading negativity, and to a point that the market isn't pie-in-the-sky either.

That is the link to an article by a reporter in Ft. Collins, Colorado. It discusses realty agents, buyers, and sellers seeing differences in supply and demand within a few miles of each other. Ft. Collins is not exactly a 'major league' city in terms of size. Yet, a town of this comparably small size is experiencing fluctuation on the local market.

This story represents solid reporting. Even in the era of homes selling before they hit the local MLS, it was location, location, location that made the difference. A few red hot zip codes could reflect desirability and activity over an entire big city.

My point is that if a community the size of Ft. Collins has this much variation in terms of hot and cold buyers and sellers, there are probably thousands of stories along the same lines in the top 50 largest cities around the country.

I wish every realty agent and especially realty association board members and staffers would take note of the above linked story and do some serious digging into the "pockets" in their territory and farm areas.

Let's be able to compare the supply and demand against what is going on right now in other parts of the community - and not making it sound negative by comparing against last year's statistics.

Serious potential buyers, for whatever reason, were likely not looking to buy a year earlier. They probably don't care about home sales statistics from 12 months ago when they are looking now. What they do or would care about is which nearby neighborhood has the best value for them right now.

Local housing information can be used to spur the local real estate market.

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