Earlier I ran across a post on the official A/R blog wondering about our predictions for the next year. Well, I had already been in a prognosticating mood, since I was actually grading some of my predictions from earlier this year.
I also ran across a post by Jim Crawford looking for specific answers to 10 real estate questions. I figured I'd bite on that as well. So, here they are:
- Mortgage Rates Lower or Higher?
- Credit Loosen or Tighten?
- Numbers of Agents in Your Market Up or Down?
- Real Estate Inventory Levels in Your Market Increase, or Decrease?
- Better Real Estate Market or Worse?
- Buyer's Market or Seller's Market?
- More Foreclosures or Less?
- Homes Sales Prices Flat, Rise, or Fall?
- Condo Sales Prices Flat, Rise, or Fall?
Commercial Real Estate Stay Strong or Start to Soften?
So, let me go after my views on these questions, and then I'll toss out a few others.
1. Mortgage Rate Lower or Higher? Both. I think that rates will go down a little more for well-qualified buyers. High credit scores will yield low rates. But, those with lower scores will see rates a little higher than what they could find this year... if they can get a loan.
2. Credit Loosen or Tighten? I think that it needs to be tighter than it has been over the last couple of years... and that will still be looser than it was a few years ago. So, I guess I will say that credit will tighten a bit more.
3. Number of Agents in Your Market Up or Down? I think that there will be a 20% erosion in the number of agents in this market. Active agents might even be more eroded than that. And the 80/20 rule will still be in effect.
4. Real Estate Inventory Levels in Your Market Increase, or Decrease? I think the inventory will top out in the spring, and by the end of the year be slightly below this years levels.
5. Better Real Estate Market or Worse? Worse at the beginning of the year, flat by mid-year (compared to this year) and up by the end of the year. It will come in slightly better than this year... or really close.
6. Buyer's Market or Seller's Market? Most of the time it will be a buyer's market. But, I think that when the recovery starts some of the pent up demand will push the market... or some sub-markets... to the seller's side of the market.
7. More Foreclosures or Less? I think that there needs to be more, but that they will top out around the end of the 1st quarter. It will be a plateau until the end of the year. Compared to this year there will be more.
8. Home Sales Prices Flat, Rise, or Fall? Overall, I think they will be flat. I'd like to see them fall just a bit to get buyers off of the sidelines, and they may do that... but overall I still think it will be flat.
9. Condo Sales Prices Flat, Rise, or Fall? The recovery for condos will be at least a few quarters behind the home recovery. I think there will still be a drop because of the excess inventory.
10. Commercial Real Estate Stay Strong or Start to Soften? I don't think start to soften will cover it. I think that in Atlanta we are WAY over-built. There are miles and miles of commercial footage sitting vacant... and no real slowdown in building. Somebody is going to figure out that there isn't that much wrong with 20 year old buildings, and then the prices will have to adjust downward. Since the supply is SO high, there is no way the demand can hold the line on prices.
I promised a little more than that...
One party will NOT control the White House and both houses of Congress. If one party does, it will be the Republicans, but my guess is that the Senate and and Presidency will go to the GOP, with the Democrats keeping a slim majority in the House. Lieberman will join the GOP...
Look for the Democrat ticket to be Clinton/Edwards... unless Hillary has a meltdown. If that happens, Obama will get the nod. Edwards isn't Presidential. On the GOP side, look for a late surge by Huckabee, but he will end up as second banana to Romney. Again, Guliani might beat out Romney, but they won't be on the same ticket.
The match-ups (going WAY out on a limb) Guliani/Clinton or Romney/Obama... (no inside info, I'm just guessing)
Here is the BIG one. Global temperatures have peaked. Try as they might, there will be a paper that the Anthropomorphic Global Warming crowd will not be able to refute. Al Gore will say the debate is over, but will again be proven wrong. The AGW crowd will again claim that cooling temps are a sign of Global Climate change.
It's going to rain in north Georgia...
I'm going to hire an assistant.
I'm going to finish my Jeepster... kinda... enough to take out and play with it.