I don't have a crystal ball and would never be so presumptuous as to predict the future. Instead I'll defer to the expert, Karl Case, co-creator of the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, considered the Dow Jones Industrial average of real estate.
In a recent article in the New York Times, it said the relentless decline in the Case-Shiller home price index since the financial crisis has many experts predicting a further decline in home values in 2012. "People are discouraged and fearful," Mr. Case said. "They thought home prices would never go down and now they think they'll never go up." Even though home prices on average are where they were in 2003, Mr. Case thinks the data masks signs that point to recovery.
The 20-city composite index of home prices hit bottom in March 2011 according to the New York Times article and have improved modestly since. Signs pointing to recovery according to Mr. Case are "household formation is increasing, vacancy rates are dropping and housing starts are at a 60 year low and have been there for three years. That's unheard of."
The final take away from Mr. Case is this, "If you think of a house as a consumer durable and you qualify for credit; it's unbelievable how cheap housing is relative to previous years. Mortgages are cheap. If you're buying a house or apartment to live in and pay for it over time, and can afford the payments, then it's a terrific time to buy."
NOW is the time to create an action plan for achieving your real estate goals in 2012. If you are a motivated buyer or seller, have been actively following the market and are ready to buy or sell a home, call or email me. I will gladly share my knowledge and experience.