I recently held an “off the cuff” survey on Facebook. I asked my friends, “When do you believe the housing market will be back and why? Meaning, how long until YOUR home is worth MORE than it was back in the height of the market 3-5 years ago?” I was impressed by the comments. But more than that, I was not surprised. I will tell you why in a moment.
I received comments about how long people think it might take to dig out of this hole we have been in for a couple years. They also provided insight as to why they believe it will take as long as the particular time they had predicted. Comments ranged from regional forces to banking forces and from politics to fashion! The was response was incredible, the dialogue lasted through the night and into the next morning. I loved hearing all of the responses from people that have the passion for markets as I do. It made me feel confident that the malaise is truly over and hearts are beating again! Markets return to normalcy after each downturn, it is a fact. What is not certain is how long will it take.
I was not surprised by the comments that my Facebook friends had, and that is because I have heard most of it before, (not the fashion comparison, I am still learning after all.. Thanks, MD! You rock!) I am a strong believer in listening to what people have to say about market trends. Let’s not forget who runs markets after all; and that is people. Why not get a sense of what people are feeling? I try to hear a new perspective each day. While waiting in line at the store, I ask, “so, what do you think about this market?” Always when I am on a plane, or in the park while watching my kids play with the other kids, I ask their parents sitting next to me. I get answers from all over the board, so my surprise level has dropped. But, the difference is that three years ago, when I asked people on the street the same question, I saw fear, no kidding. The comments were gloomy, with no end in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel. Not anymore, each one of the Facebook responders had a timeline. That tells me that the fear is gone and we finally can see the light.
Since real estate is local, some markets recover faster than others. But what I see in my neck of the woods is that in Metro Denver, the market is truly coming back faster than I had expected. I am a Realtor in Littleton, Colorado, and I can tell you that we are seeing massive increases in the amount of showings that our office is getting and more importantly, a stack of under contract files piling up. That does not happen in a down market. Believe me, I have seen it all now that I am finishing up my second decade in the business! The day-to-day operation of businesses cannot be seen on CNN of FOX News, or read about in the Journal, it happens where you are. You see what is going on, you feel the changes. And what I see in my office is smiling, happy people! The good news is, all that we do in my office is sell homes, and that tells me that the housing market is coming back. We are as busy this year as we were last year, but the HUGE difference is that the government isn’t even handing out the tax credits this year!
I went down to Zezo’s Magic Castle the other day to find a crystal ball. (that is a regional joke, if you didn’t live in Littleton or Lakewood or Englewood in the 70’s, you have no clue what Zezo’s is, bear with me) Sadly, Zezo doesn’t exist anymore, so I still don’t have a crystal ball. I cannot, with certainty, foresee when this will all turn, but as I said to my Facebook freinds at the end of the discussion, I bet they will all be very surprised at how quickly it does. I am positive that it already has.