Real Estate Trends 2010 and Outlook to 2011

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Real Estate Trends in 2010 have followed a pattern that was expected: as mortgage rates and homes sales have dropped, inventories of unsold properties have risen. The inventory currently on the market is only a portion of a larger inventory of REO (Real Estate Owned) by banks, which is held back and released slowly over a period of time, in order not to cause an even greater decline in housing values.

As we approach the end of the year, trends of 2010 will continue into 2011, following the same general pattern, with a slow recovery expected towards the end of 2011.

Some speculations predicted that the recovery would have started towards the end of 2010, but with new problems in the international economic markets, it looked like we took a double dip into the current recession. However, economists state that a double dip recession is unlikely, although spending and investments in the established economies have been challenged by emerging economies, like India and China.

Real Estate Trends are following the larger economic picture: the mortgage crisis has indeed caused a lot of turmoil and scars, which have created a domino effect with high unemployment, low consumer spending, consumer credit slow down and weak housing markets.

The large number of homeowners, who have lost their house in foreclosure, are not going to buy another property in the near future, because of the impact of the foreclosure on their credit (banks will not even consider a mortgage for a borrower for 4 years, if he/she had a foreclosure, 3 years for FHA loans,) therefore there is a new population of renters.

Investors, who have access to capital, can acquire homes for 60 cents on the dollar or less, via short sales and REO. They in turn keep these properties as rentals and investments, waiting on an inevitable economic recovery and increase in values.

Other Real Estate Trends worth mention are in the arena of commercial properties: commercial properties have followed a different pattern than residential properties, holding on to the market value longer and only in this last year have started to lose their balance, as large mortgage notes have become due and refinancing has become harder. Some great deals are available in commercial investments, from larger apartment buildings to shopping centers.

This is definitely the time to buy and it will continue for another couple of years. Inventory in residential and now commercial properties is abundant, seller’s contributions as allowed are more available and the Government (especially HUD) is providing grants and incentives not only to homeowners, but also investors, in an attempt to expedite the housing recovery.

Laura Al-Amery is a real estate investor and consultant with 23 years experience in several aspects of the real estate business. She has practiced real estate in Hawaii and Missouri, and presently lives in St Louis. She has hosted real estate seminars in St Louis for over 10 years, in real estate subjects like creative financing, building wealth with multi family buildings and short sales.

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