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Lake Geneva Real Estate Market Update for November 2009

by Bob Webster

November is turning out to be a very interesting month, we have certainly been blessed with some outstanding weather in Lake Geneva the last couple of weeks and especially this last weekend.  Although it did not seem to appreciably increase the amount of showings and activity on my listings, and most of the other agents I know, it surely makes it more conducive for prospective Buyers to still be thinking about looking at real estate.   I have remarked many times this year that I think 2009 will be remembered as a year that did not follow many of the “normal” trends and tendencies we would normally expect to see in our real estate market, including the summer that never happened and post Labor Day three weeks of summerlike temperatures.  Uncertainty over nationwide economic conditions, the whole healthcare debate and its effect on deficits and possible increased tax consequences have been front page issues on the minds of many.  Without a doubt, many of these circumstances have put a damper on peoples spending habits and their opinion of the future. 

On a more positive note, the slow but steady rise of the stock market remains a bright spot and I tend to want to buy into and believe those prognosticators who are predicting that the real estate market has bottomed out and that we are headed in the right direction for rebound in the coming months. 

I saw an article in USA Today yesterday that indicated home sales nationwide were up for October over 10% for the second month in a row and just read about a speech made last week by the Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke where he used the words Housing in the coming year is going to be a relative bright spot - a helpful driver of national economic growth, rather than the wet blanket it's been for the past couple of years”.  I have included links below to both articles.

We would “normally” expect the next month or so to be relatively quiet with many prospective Buyers attention being diverted because of the Holidays.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and for enjoying family and friends.

Usatoday.com Existing Home Sales October 2009

Realtytimes.com Real Estate Outlook          

Market Update for Lake Geneva Real Estate Fall 2009

by Bob Webster

We had two beautiful days last weekend in Lake Geneva for the beginning of November.  It will be interesting to see if the mild weather will continue and if it will have a positive impact on the amount of activity and sales as we head toward the end of the year.  In past years, we would “normally” expect our activity to slow between Thanksgiving and Christmas as potential Buyer’s attention gets diverted to the Holidays.  I’m not sure much of anything about the real estate market has or will continue to follow the norm this year, so an exception to that with a continued level of higher activity during that time period would be welcomed by all. 

A couple of interesting articles are linked below.  The first indicates that in a poll taken by Home.com, 5% of the respondents indicated they plan to make a real estate purchase this coming year, a possible indication that the perception is that prices have bottomed out and will be on the rise again in the future.

The second article discusses the extension of the $8,000 tax credit that was due to expire on November 30th and details of the expansion of the program.

5% of Americans plan to buy a home next year

Tax Credit Program extended and Expanded

Lake Geneva Real Estate Update October 2009

by Bob Webster

USA Today Sales Chart

It was announced yesterday that existing-home sales bounced back strongly in September with first-time buyers driving much of the activity, marking five gains in the past six months, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – jumped 9.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million units in September from a level of 5.09 million in August, and are 9.2 percent higher than the 5.10 million-unit pace in September 2008. Sales activity is at the highest level in over two years, since it hit 5.73 million in July 2007.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said favorable conditions matched with a tax credit are boosting home sales. “Much of the momentum is from people responding to the first-time buyer tax credit, which is freeing many sellers to make a trade and buy another home,” he said. “We are hopeful the tax credit will be extended and possibly expanded to more buyers, at least through the middle of next year, because the rising sales momentum needs to continue for a few additional quarters until we reach a point of a self-sustaining recovery.”

Existing-home sales in the Midwest jumped 9.6 percent in September to a pace of 1.25 million and are 7.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $147,600, which is 1.0 percent below September 2008.

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