Market conditions may spur home sales, survey finds |

Market conditions may spur home sales, survey finds

Carl White Fair
Special to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Many people dream of buying their first home or trading up to a new home that will better suit their changing needs. However, as the market begins to climb out of one of the most challenging economic downturns in recent history, the current state of the real estate market may be in question in many peoples’ minds. Is it the right time to make a move?

In April, two giants in the real estate market announced interesting survey results. Fannie Mae found that 65 percent of Americans are still bullish on homeownership, and prefer to own a home despite the challenging economic environment and the housing downturn. Additional research conducted by Century 21 Real Estate provides further insight.

The Century 21 First-Time Home Buyers and Sellers survey captured and compared the opinions of prospective home buyers and sellers who either purchased or sold their first home within the past year or are planning to buy or sell their first home within the next year. The majority of survey respondents had moved or intended to move more than 10 miles but less than 50 miles from their previous location, indicating current market conditions may be a catalyst for buying or selling homes, as opposed to a desire to dramatically change geographic location or relocate for a job.

“Buying a home, whether it’s your first or subsequent purchase, is the single greatest financial decision that most people will make in their lifetime,” said Rick Davidson, president and chief executive officer, Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “And, our research indicates that today’s market presents a generational opportunity for home buyers and current home owners looking to leverage their market position.”

More than 80 percent of first-time home buyers and sellers feel the current housing market is more affordable today than this time last year. This is despite the fact that 40 percent of all respondents are more worried about the economy now compared to this time last year. Federal tax credits and solid mortgage rates have had a positive impact on driving people to take action.

A full market recovery takes time and current conditions continue to favor buyers. While buyers are excited about the opportunities in the current market, sellers note their main concern is losing money on the sale of their home and receiving offers near their asking price.

Recommended Stories For You

When will the balance between housing need and inventory return? The real estate industry typically considers six months of inventory to represent a balanced market. According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of homes for sale currently represents about eight months of inventory and has decreased 21.7 percent below the record of 4.58 million homes for sale in July 2008. First-time home buyers anticipate home prices will soon begin to rise and, in fact, about half of first-time buyers expect an increase by this time next year, thereby re-establishing better market equilibrium.

– For additional information about market conditions in South Lake Tahoe, contact Carl White Fair at (530) 542-8600 or