National real estate trends don’t always reflect what’s happening in your market

Posted on 03/29/11 No Comments

The real estate market continues to be challenging to forecast. The Associated Press reported yesterday that the number of people across the country who signed contracts to buy homes in February experienced a notable increase.

In contrast, the actual number of sales remained unbalanced, further muddying any clear predictors of where the market is headed, nationally speaking.

The sale numbers shouldn’t be leaned on entirely though because real estate is very market-specific. Unfortunately, national reports like this tend to confuse many potential home buyers and sellers because they fail to mention the micro-economic nature of the housing market.
City-data.com report on Cary, NC home sales

That old cliche about location doesn’t go away in a recession. In other words, if an area is popular, it’s going to perform better. So markets like Detroit and Phoenix may be experiencing the same slow sales they did last year at this time while areas like Cary and Apex perform much better.

Like we always say: it all depends on where you want to live.

The AP report, which quoted a National Association of Realtors metric, also cited a higher number of contract cancellations in February stemming from low appraisals on homes. If the appraisal doesn’t come in at the contract price, it brings the sale to a halt. A bank won’t finance a home for more than its worth.

While it is possible for a contract like that to be mutually canceled and a new one created under the appraised price, it hardly works out that way. The seller often can’t afford to sell at the appraisal price and any sort of negative event in a sale tends to spook most buyers, prompting them to look elsewhere.

We wish we had some more compelling insight for you regarding the state of our residential real estate market. Truth is, it’s still kind of a mixed bag from a home value perspective. Although for buyers, it’s a great time to be active. And if you’re thinking of calling any part of the Triangle home, know that you’re looking in the nation’s best performing real estate market. Not to mention one of its best places to live.

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