What to watch regarding the real estate market conditions?

1)  Forget the national situation and instead concentrate on your local community and neighborhood.  2)  Talk to your local expert the Realtor about their opinion of the market status.  3)  The inventory of homes.  4)  Days for sale homes are on the market.  5)  Compare asking/listing price with the actual sales prices.  6)  Whether the local properties in your price range have gone up or down in value, and at what price.
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June 01 2011 - US
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I can't really agree with too many of those points. I see things a bit differently than you do:

1. The national situation of unemployment and inflationary pressure on staples like gas, food and energy directly can directly affect how the RE market will perform locally.

2. Your local Realtor may be able to give you information, but they are not analysts or predictors of the market. If they were, no buyer would be underwater now from buying in the last few years.

3. The inventory of homes is still high in most areas, but the current inventory has little to do with future inventory since banks are controlling the supply and unemployment can increase the supply as well.

4. Days on market can be misleading with many markets being saturated with short sales that have a much longer than average market time.

5. Asking price vs. list price can be valuable, but again short sales and how they are marketed can significantly affect that measure.

6. Local property prices can be a useful indicator, but buyers should also be aware of historical values and area incomes. Just because a house is cheaper than a few years ago may not make it a good value. Considering fair market rents vs PITI is a good guideline to see whether your market is in balance or not.
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June 01 2011
 
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