May 15, 2008 Tampa, Fl
With all the talk of declining real estate prices over the last 18 months its no wonder that most buyers waiting on the fence will in fact miss the bottom of the market and end up paying more for the house they want in the future. Why will this happen you ask? In a nut shell, its the same reason most sellers didn't sell at the peak. It is the old adage "Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered". The same human emotion of greed works on the buy side as well. Today's buyer's are trying to time the market and therefore maximize their profits by buying at just the right time and paying the lowest price possible for their home. It's human nature and we all at some level access both our fear and greed emotions when deciding on investing our money. Now to the top three reasons why buyers will miss the bottom.
Reason Number 1.
Greed. I think buyers are becoming greedy today when making offers on homes and are walking away from some very attractive prices on some very nice affordable homes because they think that prices will go lower and if they wait they will get a better deal. This is one of the many signs that a bottom has already occurred. The best time to buy is when fear is at it's highest point. That occurred in March and April of 2008 and will probably be proven to be the very bottom of the Tampa Bay area real estate market. The window of opportunity is closing and prices have already started to level off and sales trends and buyer traffic are increasing on a weekly basis.
Reason Number 2.
Affordability. With homes prices in the Tampa Bay market down over 20% in some areas and the increase in income levels over the past 8 years combined with historically low interest rates makes affordability the lowest since the year 2000. The same factor that contributed to the decline in home prices over the last 2 years is the same factor that will help home prices bottom out this year. Another contributing factor is lower home owners insurance rates and lower property taxes. This actually is one of the lowest risk times to buy a home in the last 10-15 years.
Reason Number 3.
Rental Market. The rental market is strong and the need for housing in the Tampa Bay area will continue to grow. The strong rental market is giving seller's an alternative to dropping their prices to unrealistic levels when they can rent their home and wait out the market. As the bottom in pricing forms, sellers are less willing to sell at the bottom. Sellers are actually listing their homes for sale or lease. This is putting buyers in competition with renters looking for homes to lease. This is also helping to lower available inventory in the Tampa Bay area.
My prediction is that there will be a lot of buyers kicking themselves a year from now about why they didn't buy at today's attractive prices. The amount of buyers who will miss the bottom will probably be the same number of people that wished they had sold at the peak in late 2005. Real Estate will once again stop being a dirty word and the talk at the water cooler will start to turn positive in the months ahead. Of course by that time you will have missed the bottom.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
May 15, 2008 Tampa, Fl