New Year’s Forecast

It’s time to ring in a New Year and for many people, this could mean a lot of things. For me, it always symbolizes a fresh start and a new beginning. I try to shake off the bad from the previous year, learn from my mistakes, and make the next day and next year even better. A New Year in real estate could also mean a lot of things so let’s take a look at what could potentially happen in 2011.

1)  The real estate market is tied to the economy and the economy is tied to jobs. More jobs mean better consumer confidence and a better real estate market. The bottom line is that we need more job creation and the sooner we get it, the better everyone will be.

2)  In some price points like the luxury market, prices will continue to fall, but deals can and will be made. Buyers will continue to have an advantage and the only question is will they use that buying power.

3)  Homes that show great and are priced right will continue to win the day. These types of homes in moderate price ranges will not be on the market very long. As demonstrated in 2010, the best homes are on the market for less than 30 days so don’t drag your feet when you find one of these.

4)  Creative deal making will continue to be the norm. Everything from trading properties to sellers carrying financing will be explored and more. Be prepared to think out of the box when it comes to selling or buying a home. On the selling side, a lease purchase is going to become more and more popular.

5)  Relocation isn’t what it used to be. Corporate relo departments are pushing their employees to rent, rent, and rent some more. This source of business has been hit hard just like the other sectors of the real estate industry and it makes more economic sense for relocation employees to rent than buy.

6)  The best news of the upcoming economic year is that it looks like interest rates may remain stable. This should be good news to buyers as they strive to keep the lowest monthly payment. Couple this with the extended tax cuts and it will be good news for everyone.

7)  Short sales will soon eclipse foreclosures as more and more homeowners try to sell their upside home and ask the bank to take the loss. The question here is “will there be any changes in an effort to get these homes sold more quickly and easily?”

Finally, the big “if” for the coming year is the banks. Will they start lending to small business again? Will the average Joe be able to get credit? Will they help more home owners in trouble with their mortgage? Will they attempt to sell their foreclosures at better discounted prices and will credit cards at 22 and 27 percent interest continue to be a bad deal for America?

Dan Polimino is a Realtor with Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. He can be reached at and

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