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Graphic Video Details the Dangers of Texting While Driving

by Sandi Pressley

Good Monday Morning!

As most of you know my weekly e-mail typically is about the local Real Estate market. My message today is about a subject that is very close to home for many of us. It is about TEXTING WHILE DRIVING. I have children who all have cell phones and over the years I have watched as their primary source of communication among each other and friends has converted to texting. In fact I would say that a couple of my kids and many of their friends are what I would call text addicts. Constant text communication has become a way of life with most young people in this country and now even with many adults. The following video is one that each one of you should watch and then watch it again with your kids. Even if your child does not text, they may ride in a car with someone who does. Pass this video on. It may save many lives.

Have An Awesome Week!

                                                               

                                                               

http://www.albuquerquehomesolutions.com/video/ATT-Dont-Text-While-Driving-Documentary-Closed-Captioned

 

 

Warmest Regards,

Sandi Pressley

Is 2011 Really the Bottom?

by Sandi Pressley

Let me start by saying I am a great believer in the supply-demand-price equation.  Everything that I look at trying to predict or interpret the market is through that lens. 

From my seat, this recession started in the residential real estate market in November 2007.  That was the first month where there was a dramatic decrease in closings (demand) from the same month in the prior year.  To go back a touch, in July 2007, the closings were about 9% less than the prior year.  We had always known that the market couldn’t sustain the pace of 2003 to 2006.  We had thought that a 10 to 15% slowdown was to be expected.  So, the summer of 2007 felt like the anticipated slowdown.  August, September and October started to get alarming when the citywide closings were down 25% year-over-year.  In November the deceleration was 33% and then December 2007, the closings were 35% lower than December the year before. 

By January 2009, the closings in Albuquerque were the lowest since 1998.  On a percentage basis, January 2009 had 58% fewer closings than January 2006.  The spring of 2010 benefited from the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit which resulted in some artificially created year-over-year gains.  When July hit and the Credit expired, we slumped backwards, with 4 of the first 6 months of 2011 behind 2010.  However, at the start of 2012 I am optimistic for the following reasons. 

Good Sign #1.  In July 2011, things started to change.  July through December showed a 13.17% increase in units closed over the same period of 2010.  This was the first six-month period in three years that had been up over the previous year. 

Good Sign #2:  Decreasing supply.  Building permits have been steadily declining for 5 straight years.  In 2006, the biggest year, the permits for the MSA of Albuquerque (includes Valencia and parts of Sandoval counties) were around 6,600.  In 2011, the Albuquerque MSA finished up at just shy of 1,300 permits.  That is an 81% decrease!  While that has been devastating for the construction industry at every level, it does mean that supply is decreasing steadily.   At the same time, the current resale supply (4,156 active detached listings) is the lowest it has been since March 2007 (4,504 active detached listings), when it started climbing precipitously!  Demand up, Supply Down, but… 

Confusing Sign #1:  There has been a steady decrease in average sales price for the second half of this year as demand has been increasing and supply has been decreasing.  On the surface that is disconcerting, but remember that price is a trailing indicator.  That means that the last adjustment will be an increase in price.  There is also an artificial suppressant:  the appraisal issue.  What is happening is that the market is trying to recover as to price, but a number of appraisals are coming in below the market price of the transaction.  In response to the low appraisal the sellers and buyers are often forced adjust their price down to the appraisal, which in turn keeps the average price artificially lower than the market is indicating. 

I believe that we will start to see an increase in average price sometime in the first half of 2012, providing the demand stays steady. 

Good Sign #3:  There is pent up demand.  Where?  Household formations are the way a community grows.  They come from at least two places.  The first is job growth.  The second is organic growth.  Organic growth is when two residents in a community form a new household through some sort of union and then they buy or rent a house.  Statistics are showing that the 25 to 34 year old population who would like to and are capable of buying a home have waited and stayed living at their parents’ home during this recession.  As consumer confidence grows and prices stabilize, those people who have been waiting for the bottom will likely enter the housing market.  I believe we will see that in 2012 as well. 

Good Sign #4:  The housing affordability index is at an all time high.  High is good in this case.  With historically low prices and almost unheard of low interest rates converging, when consumer confidence stabilizes, there should be a strong motivation to take advantage of these unique circumstances, which will likely not reoccur for a long time. 

Confusing Sign #2:  The last issue is the constant chatter about the “shadow inventory” of homes that are either underwater (value below mortgage) or are delinquent in payments and no foreclosure has been initiated.  The worry is that there is a hidden potential glut of homes, which eventually will come on the market, flooding the supply side, which in turn would further depress prices. 

I disagree for the following reasons.  First, when a family is foreclosed on or they short sell their house, they very rarely move into an apartment or move home with their parents.  They typically go rent a home, which is exactly what we are seeing in the current marketplace.  The consequence is that rents have been increasing significantly over the last year.  This does not create a new “vacant unit” in the market place as would new construction.  In other words there is no increase in supply.  Investors have been seeing this trend and with current low interest rates, purchasing single-family homes for investment has become a very attractive alternative.  In other words, a new buyer segment has entered the marketplace, absorbing those homes. 

It is for that reason that I don’t believe we have significant risk from the “shadow inventory.” 

In closing, if we review the timeframe of the Great Depression, which started in October of 1929, it is generally agreed that 1933 was the beginning of the recovery.  That was four years from the beginning of the Depression to the beginning of the recovery.  As I said in the beginning of this letter, we are at the end of our fourth year of this cycle.  Certainly, this Great Recession was not nearly as bad as the Great Depression.  If it took four years in the early 1930’s for the recovery to begin, I cannot believe, given the above information that we are not poised perfectly for our recovery to begin. 

I wish everyone a hopeful and prosperous 2012 and I hope that my predictions are correct!  Thank you for your business. 

Warmest Regards,

Sandi Pressley

 

Click here for the full year end report from the Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS®

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