RISMEDIA, May 2, 2009-RISMedia recently asked industry professionals to speak out on the issues that matter most and topics ranged from how to successfully advertise your clients’ listings on consumer websites to the importance of agent selection. This week, Ron Peltier, chairman & CEO of HomeServices of America, Inc. discusses what needs to occur for the healing process to begin so that the market can recover.
Chairman & CEO
HomeServices of America, Inc.
After three-and-a-half years of a housing downturn, ample evidence suggests that the industry is reaching stabilization in certain markets. Sales activity is beginning to exceed that of previous months, especially in some of the more overheated states such as Florida, California and Arizona. This signifies a very positive message-that we are on the cusp of a tipping point.
For many potential buyers, the idea of affordability has become a greater reality. In some places, we are seeing home values drop to more obtainable levels, and as a result, more buyers are coming back into the market. This is in stark contrast to the price resistance we saw in years past when potential buyers shied away from many properties viewed as “overvalued.” The changes in today’s market are compelling for those in search of value.
There is little doubt that we have entered one of our nation’s most compelling buyer’s markets. Interest rates are at historically low levels and housing affordability has reached a 20-year high. Although there were delays, the government’s actions are also starting to provide solid benefits to the industry. By enacting various incentives, such as the $8,000 refundable tax credit for first-time home buyers, lower mortgage rates and subsidies to prevent foreclosures, we are finding more reasons to be cautiously optimistic.
Recovery is not immediate, but the healing process is underway and will continue for the rest of the year-however, gradual. Great value, affordability, low interest rates, foreclosure mitigation, etc., are factors that are contributing to a gradual, but positively headed rebound. And that is truly good news, not only for our industry, but for the nation as a whole.