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Raleigh Real Estate- Update: Labor Day Weekend

There is so much noise in the news about the real estate market it is hard to know what truth to focus on even for someone like me who has beating the streets for over 27 years, 7 days a week.  I live and breathe real estate just ask my husband.  The purpose of this weekly report is to keep you informed so that you can make good business decisions around your personal real estate needs and goals.

11 Million Homeowners Behind on Mortgage 

This week Fannie Mae, the largest investor for home mortgages announced 11 million homeowners are behind in their mortgage.  After 5 long years they have only foreclosed on 4 million homes.  The concerning part of this news is that Fannie Mae also said, “50% of their foreclosed properties are intentionally being held off market.” This is referred to as shadow listings.  Homes that should be for sale now but, are hidden off market.  So we still have 2 million foreclosures that will come into the mix and probably a lot more because of the staggering number of borrowers behind on their mortgage before we truly have recovery.  Fannie Mae is also encouraging short sales over foreclosure and have changed guidelines to allow a home owner to be current on their mortgage and be able to purchase again in only 2 years.  Clearly something is going on if Fannie Mae is blazing a new easier road for financially struggling borrows to travel.  Yes everyone wants recovery.

 Sales of Existing Homes are Strengthening

At the same time this week Rismedia, who ranks our small brokerage firm in the top 250 firms in the Nation, had this to report: – Sales of existing homes are strengthening and prices continue to rise, stoking confidence in the housing market’s recovery.

I agree with Rismedia that our market is strengthening due to active listing inventory being reduced 24% but, am hoping it is not falsely being reduced by the withheld shadow inventory publically announced by Fannie Mae.  The Triangle now reports 12,787 homes for sale which is so much better than the 15,000 plus we carried for years.  It is also true that there are more buyers looking and purchasing homes than last year but, not as many monthly buyers as 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, or even 2008. (a lot of years to make a point)  Furthermore,  every time I do a new CMA I still see a lot of red. Red arrows mean price reductions.  Which means you can’t really have prices rising, if they are still falling so if you ask sellers they may argue with Rismedia’s news because their desired price did not rise but, regardless am thankful for the positive news.

The past 30 days, in a season traditionally high for selling in the Triangle area,  only 2,090 homes have closed.  This is  almost 50% below years prior to 2006. So what does this mean to you as a seller?

 Updated Immaculate Homes Sell

Regardless of the news houses that fact remains houses that are updated, immaculate and priced where homes have closed in the past 30 days will be guaranteed to sell this month too. Houses that are not updated, immaculate may also sell but, they need to be priced well below achieve a sale.  This is just simple truth.  Looking into the future and considering other factors of possible rising interest rates that will reduce buyers in the market, shadow listings (foreclosures) to be released, fall leaves coming “who knows what tomorrow will bring.”  The past 6 years in real estate I have had many lessons on flexibility and change.  Certainly ready to graduate to a more stable, predictable real estate market and I am sure you are too.


Please let us know if you would like to meet by phone or in person to take a look at your overall market presentation. It is really good to re-check the market regularly.

Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.   September 1st will be my 58th celebration of my mother laboring hard to bring me into the world.  Thanks mom, and thank you for all the labor you have put forth to help us sell your home.

We appreciate you,  

Linda Craft

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