The difficulty in assessing the state of housing prices around the world is exemplified by two stories appearing over the weekend.
Anecdotal reports, builder incentives, median vs. mean, wildly divergent geographical sampling, the role of home improvements in successive sale pricing, and a myriad of other factors have made it exceedingly difficult to assess the true state of housing markets, both in the U.S. and around the world.
Add to this mix buyers who are unwittingly paying too much today because they simply don’t know any better … and it’s nearly impossible to determine much of anything about current home values.
About the only thing that you can know about housing prices, with a reasonable degree of certainty, is that they’re not going up as much as they were a year or two ago, and in some areas, they are unquestionably falling.
Appraiser extraordinaire Jonathan J. Miller says:
Real estate brokers are on the front lines and have different experiences every day. If the broker has a good run over the past several months, its likely that their housing opinions will be more positive than someone who is on a dry spell. Quite often a personâ€™s most recent experience becomes the current state of the housing market. Therefore its hit or miss whether the recent experience is consistent with the general trend.
So true. And, as Mr. Miller points out, statistical data from the government (and organizations such as NAR, etc.) is “behind the curve” since it is reporting what happened (properties going under agreement), months ago.
I also say:
September seems very strong, to me, with lots of buyers out there. I’m basing this on the number of calls I’m getting from buyers, but also from other agents, looking to show the FSBOs I have listed in MLS.
This leads me to believe that the sales volume in September will be only moderately lower than the volume last September. Also, I think sales prices will be, at most, 5% less, than last year’s prices.