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Some thoughts on the 2012 Real Estate Market from a seasoned professional … We are entering the 5th year of a declining market in Atlanta, after experiencing seventeen years of an appreciating market!

The following are my personal predictions for real estate in 2012. We can expect to see …

  1. More Foreclosures. Most people are aware that there is a huge backlog of foreclosed homes that have not yet been released to the general public. It can take many months, perhaps even years, for a home to foreclose. And yet sometimes it happens quickly! The banks vary a great deal on the time it takes to make the foreclosed home available to the general public. The homes that make up our existing inventory are forced to compete with the distressed sale properties. This continues to create downward pressure on our prices.
  2. More Short Sales. A short sale is necessary when the seller owes more than the house will sell for in the current marketplace. Homeowners who have financed 100% of the value of their home (or those who made a minimum down payment when the market was appreciating) will find themselves in a short sale situation due to the decline in prices since they purchased.As the market continues a downward trend, we will see more short sales. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, it is important to deal with an agent who is familiar with the short sale process. There are so many variables … some are controllable and some are not. Be sure to deal with a professional who can educate you throughout the process and who will know the right questions to ask in order to protect your interests. Remember, a short sale will not work if your moving plans are time sensitive. The process can take many months. Homes can actually foreclose while under contract for a short sale. Be sure work with an experienced professional!
  3. The North Fulton cities will fare better than most. They have concrete plans to attract businesses. The Roswell Business Alliance has been launched by the Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau. Alpharetta is positioning itself as a technology hub. Milton is a strong new city with great plans for the future. And nearby Forsyth County has consistently been ranked as one of the ten fastest growing communities in the nation since 1995.
  4. Sellers will become more accepting of the lower prices. As a result, they will price homes for the market that we are in … and more homes will be selling! Often what a seller perceives as a loss on the selling end of a transaction can be more than overcome by the incredible “deal” they are able to obtain on the buying end.
  5. Increase in the demand for new homes. With the depreciating market, homebuilding had virtually come to a standstill. The laws of supply and demand will dictate an increased demand, and the new home builders will be scrambling to keep up!
  6. Consumers will be taking action! With interest rates at historic lows and prices being at 1999 or 2000 levels so … opportunities abound! Inventory is beginning to shrink. This is one of the first positive signs of a market that will eventually improve and shift back to an appreciating one when it comes to home prices. There are already signs of a strengthening economy, which is very encouraging to people who want to make home ownership a part of the dream for their future. First time buyers will be stronger than ever! We will see more parents helping their children to purchase.Everyone who has the ability to purchase should be buying a home right now! It is likely that mortgage rates will creep up some in 2012 so there will never be a better time than now! The mentality of the general public is starting to shift. It is going to take time, since it took a good long while to get to where we are now. However … when the market comes back … it will come back strong!

Historically, real estate has highs and lows. If only I had a crystal ball and could give you the exact time line! I believe we will see the bottom of the depreciating market in 2012 and will see things beginning to turn. We will all be really glad to see that happen!

If you have any questions on foreclosures or short sales give me a call (770-993-9572) and I can share with you just how we are getting so many homes sold.  Or, if you just want to check out what is for sale in the Atlanta area … go to my website at www.CathiLund.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Cathi Lund