Housing Remains a Buyer’s Market – Marina del Rey Real Estate – MDR Condos

A majority of Americans recently surveyed say now is a good time to buy a home. That’s no surprise, given that record-low mortgage interest rates and bargain home prices are boosting affordability.

  • But selling a home.  That’s a different story.  According to 71% of the 1,000 people surveyed by Fannie Mae in December, now is a good time to buy a house. But only 11% think it’s a good time to sell.

That’s because sellers sense that even if the housing market and the economy continue to show signs of improvement in 2012, the good news likely won’t be good enough for buyers to return to the market in droves-even if they can buy a home for a steal.
“For people to start buying in larger volume, they need to see home prices go up a bit,” says Ingo Winzer, president of Local Market Monitor, a firm that analyzes housing markets for bankers.

Many potential buyers also are waiting to see the jobs picture improve, which will give them confidence in the stability of their own employment, Mr. Winzer says.

Still, various forecasts and surveys suggest better times for the housing market this year:

Sales of existing homes are expected to grow between 2% and 5% in 2012, according a recent forecast from Freddie Mac.
A recent survey of about 1,000 Re/Max real-estate agents found that 39% of agents think prices have hit bottom in their market, while almost 75% think home prices in their markets will have stopped declining by the end of 2012.

The number of improving housing markets rose to 76 in January, from 41 in December, according to the Improving Markets Index, from First American Financial Corp. and the National Association of Home Builders.

  • Nationwide, home prices are expected to be relatively flat in 2012, says Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital, a provider of real-estate asset-valuation data for financial-services companies. Indeed, 2012 seems to be a turning point before a healthier and sustained recovery in 2013, he says.

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