Market Watch Report- December 2007

Bay Area sports teams have been abysmal. The Warriors were the last team in the NBA to record a win, the 49ers and the Raiders have not won a game since September and the Cal Bears are on a deep slide from their number two national ranking. Finally it makes sense – it’s the housing market. The only market in the country experiencing a small resurgence is the Northeast. And of course, the Red Sox won the World Series, the New England Patriots appear unbeatable and the Celtics look like the World Champion team of the 60’s. Not only has the housing market had an effect on the overall economy, it is now responsible for the success or failure of sports teams. You heard it first here.

All we have seen over the last several months is a barrage of doom and gloom articles. As predicted there would come a time when we would finally start seeing articles that have a more balanced perspective; articles that show the broader picture and not just the focus on those calamities of the sub-prime debacle which represents a very small part of the overall market.

Buyers have reacted to the fear created by the turmoil in the financial markets and the negative press. The most noticeable trend during the reporting period is that agents are hearing that buyers seem to be more positive in their future assessment of the market. Open house activity in some markets has picked up. This is particularly true of homes that are having their first open house. It is indicative that buyers are still in the market.

Buyers, although patient, sometimes find themselves waiting a bit too long, but price reductions are doing the trick. Sellers are beginning to understand that they will not be able to receive what they would have sold their homes for at the peak of the market.

If buyers’ anxiety levels concerning the market continue to subside and sellers become more realistic in their selling price expectations, we could see a market that will stabilize the current situation and allow for an overall healthier market. For buyers, there are opportunities for exceptional values; for sellers who have solid equity positions, they can still reap very good returns even when taking fewer dollars.
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