I never get tired of the question on peoples' lips when they see me. "How's the market?" is typically what they're asking. Depending on who it is and when they are asking, I can never tell if they are truley interested in what's going on in the marketplace, or if they are looking to find out how good/bad things might be from my reaction.
Anyway, needless to say, when I get the question "Hows' the market?" I enjoy answering them as honestly as I can. It's always with what I know to be the state of the local market, the one I do my best to understand on a daily basis so I can best help my clients make informed decisions.
To answer the question for today I would say that the market is pretty robust in our little neck of the woods. The number of properties that are selling not only remains constant in units over last year, but in truth there are more units selling this year, year-to-date, than last year in the same time frame.
The next question I typically get is: "But I hear that the market's falling apart, nothings selling and what about those foreclosures from the sub-prime mortgage markets?"
Of course, there is no definitive answer to these questions, and there are actually three questions being asked in one breath.
First, the stories of the market's demise are greatly exagerated (to boldly misquote a famous American writer). These types of headlines sell! They are also usually pretty general in nature or tell the story of some extreme situations.
Secondly, all real estate is local, truley local. I'm happy I don't work in other areas of the country. Some markets in Florida, Nevada and Southern California are really scarey! But here in our little corner of the world, though prices may be softer than 18 months ago, the number of units selling are outpacing last year year-to-date.
The third question is all about the sub-prime mortgage issues. Yes they exist and are putting a damper on the overall market, but in the immediate area the number of properties moving into foreclosure are fewer than some cities and towns not to far from here. Mortgages are available and if you understand your financial situation and do your homework you can avoid most of the "upsets, issues and surprises" that make up the horror stories folks love to tell.
In summing up, if you're looking to buy or sell, the time may be right for you. Each situation is uinique and worth looking at independently to determine what the best course of action might be.