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Real estate agents assure housing downturn is only temporary
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Tuesday, 19 September 2006

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David Lereah, one of the officers in the NAR, told a gathering of about 400 real estate agents at a hotel in Saratoga Springs Monday morning that the decline that started in August 2005 was needed to bring equilibrium back to a residential real estate market that had tilted too heavily toward sellers.   He predicted a rebound in the next three to six months in most parts of the country, provided the Federal Reserve doesn't start raising interest rates again. Some areas in the South and West will take longer to recover because the boom of the past five years was much sharper than in New York and other states, he said.

The downturn in the nation's housing market, including the Albany, N.Y, region, was necessary and will be temporary for the most part, according to the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The median price for a single-family house in San Francisco, for instance, is $740,000.
By contrast, the median price for a single-family home in the Albany region was $189,900 for the first seven months of the year, according to the Greater Capital Association of Realtors. Statewide, the median was $255,000.

Although the median price in the Albany region rose 9 percent through July, the number of closed sales fell 1 percent, to 5,602. Industry officials are predicting total sales for the year will fall below last year's record-setting mark of 10,333 units.

Agents have to educate sellers about the dynamics of the market and make sure they don't expect their houses will sell for as much, or as quickly, as they did 18 months ago.

Whereas, agents who were accustomed to double-digit rates of appreciation must be patient and rely on the fundamentals to get houses sold, such as providing excellent customer service.

 

Edwina Baniqued

 

 
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