Ever since the credit crunch reared its ugly head last year, everyone from realtors to specuvestors to homeowners strapped to their overpriced properties all wished for a quick recovery. Fall and winter came and went with nothing but disheartening news of subprime woes. Spring was suppose to be the turning point, but we’ve heard nothing but increasing reports of foreclosures and delinquencies. After this weekend’s heat wave, I’d say summer is here and all I see are the billions and billions of dollars in upcoming rate resets over the next few years. So to those who say the spring summer will be different, I ask: Where the hell is this summer RE rush I keep hearing about?
We’ve all heard this wishful “prediction” from bankers, brokers, realtors and other hopefuls. Don’t worry, we’re going through a bit of a slump, but once spring rolls around buyers will be geared up for the summer selling season and we’ll “turn around” later this year. Um okay, that’s what you said last year and that’s what you said 6 months ago. Am I going to hear the same thing in another 6 months?
As I was out and about this weekend enjoying my time off, I passed by many for-sale signs and open houses. Some had a car or two parked outside, but most seemed empty. Perhaps the hot weather kept buyers out of the sun, but things aren’t looking too good for these sellers. Time is not on their side and everyday their house sits on the market means money out of their pockets. Whether you believe in the numbers or not, the trend is clear. Sales volume is way down from previous years and prices in all local SGV cities are sliding downward as they buckle under the crushing weight of the struggling economy.
We’ve seen the effects of the tightening lending standards and now we’re all experiencing some rather concerning economic hardship. Gas prices are through the roof with no slowing in sight, gold is off the charts and employment is weak at best. Leisure spending has all but slowed to a crawl and the falling dollar has inflation knocking at our doors. Couple this with low consumer confidence, a huge number of rate resets and the inevitable interest rate increases later this year and the US housing market is toast.
So as sellers start to sweat in this heated pressure oven otherwise known as the Summer (RE) Rush, I’ll be that happy renter who’s not worried about losing equity or how long my house has been on the market. There’s no pressure to buy because I’m saving a bunch of cash every month and prices/volume have nowhere to go but down. Don’t believe me? You don’t have to. I put my money where my mouth is and so should you. If prices are going to “rebound” and everything is so fine and dandy, you should hang onto that property you bought a few years ago because it’s such a great investment. *note heavy sarcasm*