Whether it is feedback from some of their 1.2 million realtor members or their own professional epiphanies, National Association of Realtors (NAR) officials seem to a have abandoned their pump-sunshine-into-any-market communication philosophy. Their comments about the latest housing market results are actually balanced. However, just as a trend in the market itself will depend on a few months of consistent behavior, we want to see a string of unbiased observations from the NAR before we pronounce them “objective.”
“…the latest monthly sales decline is not encouraging, and raises concern about the strength of a recovery,” wrote NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in response to yesterday’s NAR report of a 7.2% decrease in January home sales compared with December’s results. He added that completed sales resulting from the federal homebuyer tax credit, which was extended in November, will show up in data over the next few months.
“Activity should be picking up strongly in late spring as buyers take advantage of the tax credit, which is critical to absorb distressed properties reaching the market and to continually chip away at inventory,” Yun added. “With a downtrend in the number of homes on the market, especially in the lower price ranges, values are beginning to firm but with great variance around the country.”
NAR President Vicki Cox-Golder’s additional comment, although tilted toward first-time buyers, provides guidance to those of us who may be looking at a vacation or retirement home and have the ability to pay in all cash.
“First-time buyers and others who need a mortgage are increasingly losing out to all-cash investors for the best bargains in many areas,” said Cox-Golder, “particularly for foreclosed homes where cash is king.”
When trying to negotiate a great deal with a motivated seller, no matter if they are a bank or an individual desperate to sell, cash is indeed king.