REThink Real Estate
Anything that slows down homebuying will slow down the absorption of distressed properties from the market. Similarly, a spike in inflation or increase in unemployment rate would also exacerbate the problem, extending the time it will take for the market to heal itself of these wounded properties.
I suppose that whether you think this outlook is grim or great depends on your position in the market. If you're a buyer or investor wondering how long this affordability window will be open, this is good news.
In most markets, prices aren't likely to skyrocket anytime soon (although you never know when rates will rise). If you're an owner or a seller trying to figure out when you'll be able to put your home on the market without the clearance-sale-priced competition, my opinion is that this won't be happening anytime soon.
But do talk with a local agent before you make any decisions, as real estate market dynamics are so locally specific that in a given town there may be markets where nothing is selling and others where multiple offers abound, at the same time.
Overall, though, it behooves any player in the real estate market to get familiar and comfortable with the bank-owned and short-sale sectors of the market. Barring any major shifts in how the mortgage industry handles distressed loans, we'll be seeing lots of these properties for quite some time.
Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of "The Savvy Woman's Homebuying Handbook" and "Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions." Tara is also the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com. Ask her a real estate question online or visit her website, www.rethinkrealestate.com.
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