Are we lost? or found?

The State of The Union address broadcast on television last evening was what most people expected to hear. The supporters and opponents of our sitting President apparently heard exactly what they wanted to hear. For some, that meant they had new ammunition to use to criticize and complain. For others, it meant they have their leader’s back as he heads down the stretch of his 4th year in office. So if both sides are correct, what did he really say? One thing he did not speak about very much was housing. I did not detect any big new program he would put forth to try to resolve the still terrible housing industry. Did he mention any national programs to help those homeowners with “underwater” homes (more debt than home value)?

It seems we should stop waiting for Washington to come to the rescue of homeowners, renters and those in the industry. There is not likely to be a magic solution coming soon. I am afraid we are just going to have to work our way out of it, one house at a time…one market at a time.

So how are we doing in Santa Fe? That is an important market to this blogger and probably all those who visit here and read and comment. Many signals point to a consistent gradual improvement in our market. We are quite hesitant to promise miracles and the renewal of home appreciation, but the market seems fairly stable and each period of time seems a little better than the previous period. Month after month, year after year, we are seeing slight increases in volume of sales combined with slight decreases in the inventory of homes. This translates into a more balanced and healthier market. We are on our way; not quite there yet, but it seems we can see it from here.

Of the Santa Fe residential real estate statistics I study and report carefully, the absorption rate for the home price range of 0 to $500,000 is much much better than it has been in a full four years. That is a sign of balance and health. And within that range, there are geographical market segments that are doing even better, with absorption rates similar to the go go days of the 2000s. I will be doing some research and report in with some interesting results. But if you knew that there were more sales in a certain neighborhood in the last 6 months than there are homes listed for sale right now, wouldn’t that seem like a healthy market?  Let’s see what we can find. Contact me if you would like your neighborhood or subdivision included.


Are we lost? or found? — 2 Comments

  1. Alan, what about this statement in President Obama’s speech?
    “There’s never been a better time to build, especially since the construction industry was one of the hardest hit when the housing bubble burst. Of course, construction workers weren’t the only ones who were hurt. So were millions of innocent Americans who’ve seen their home values decline. And while government can’t fix the problem on its own, responsible homeowners shouldn’t have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief.

    And that’s why I’m sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low rates. (Applause.) No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks. A small fee on the largest financial institutions will ensure that it won’t add to the deficit and will give those banks that were rescued by taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust. (Applause.)”

  2. John,
    excellent points you raised by referring to some of the text of his speech…
    Programs that have come along have, so far anyway, proven to not help very many people and very small percentages of those that should be eligible have come away with assistance of any substance.
    I guess my take on it is that nobody should wait for salvation to come in the form of a government program. It might happen, but seems the odds are against you if you do. And I would be glad to celebrate if I was later proven to be wrong, because I sincerely believe that housing could have been the ticket out of the economic crisis we are still going through. Is it too late for that to happen?
    Thanks for your comments. Hopefully this will generate some dialog with other readers…
    Alan B

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