On November 9, 2010, Realty Times, a respected national source for information about the current Real Estate market, published an article titled, “Value in Homeownership”, based on the recently released 2010 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey. The article made several good points which are pertinent to our local market. Here are some comments that our readers might find interesting.
Is there value in owning a home? The NAR survey shows us that today’s homeowners are living in their homes longer, and after several years of price declines, are now seeing a rise in home equity gains. Early in this decade many buyers jumped on the investment bandwagon. They bought and sold quickly, walking away with inflated profits. But as the real estate bubble burst, many speculators found they had bought at the top of the market and so, as prices fell, foreclosure rates skyrocketed. Historically, however, homeownership is a good, long-term investment, and one that brings many rewards.
NAR President Vicki Cox Golder explains, “Sellers who purchased at the top of the market and had to sell in a short time frame were hurt by the price correction, but the vast majority who were able to stay for a normal period of home ownership generally built enough equity to make a trade-up purchase. Despite swings in the housing market in recent years, the fact is most long-term owners have seen healthy gains in the value of their property. This underscores two simple facts – home ownership encourages stability, and the longer you own, the better your investment. Many of the house ‘flippings’ and quick gains which occurred during the boom period were abnormal, driven by risky, easy-money financing that should never have been allowed in the market.”
However, even in its current slow state, the Real Estate market is far from dead. Surveys show that Americans are still buying homes, primarily because of the desire to own a home, the desire for a larger home, a change in family situation, to take advantage of the home buyer tax credit, to make a job-related move, or to take advantage of the current over-supply of affordable homes.
And today, homeowners are staying put longer. A typical seller has been in their home for 8 years, and the survey shows that first-time buyers are planning to stay for 10 years, and repeat buyers for 15 years. Even with the recent decline in home prices, the typical homeowner who purchased a home eight years ago has experienced a median equity gain of $33,000, a 24 percent increase, while Homeowners who have been in their homes for 11 to 15 years have seen a median gain of 40 percent. So, considering these facts, it’s easy to see why the decision to buy a home for the long-term is once-again coming into favor with the public.
By Harry Salzman, Salzman Real Estate Services, an MD Preferred Real Estate Company, firstname.lastname@example.org.