Friday, January 25, 2019

Market Inventory Tightening Again

It seems like some of the market sectors are once again not producing listings. I have several buyers that are seeking homes and there just isn't much to show in the sub median area. I have noticed some condos coming online as well as a fair bit of higher end properties. January and February are typically not big months for new listings, but it feels a bit tight even for the season. I have been estimating a modest growth year for 2019 but if inventory decides to get thin again we could see another perky uptick in values.

 Some good news, the interest rates seem to have settled in a bit. Last year rates came out of the gate rising steady week after week, creeping up nearly a full point over the course of 2018. Now things seem to be a bit back and forth. The economy is still strong but not as robust as a couple years ago so a nicely healthy hum would be great for the next couple years. I'll keep you posted as inventory moves in to the early spring accumulation period.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Despite a feeling of slow, market is steady.

The local real estate market felt like it slowed way down mid-summer 2018. But in reality sales chugged along with Clark County cranking out 700-800 closings a month until December, which is traditionally a quiet month for closing, yet still managed well over 600 units for the holidays.

Listings are sitting on the market a little longer and prices are settling in with modest low single digit annualized growth. This is healthy and buyers can expect a more pleasant experience for 2019. Sellers however can't be lazy like they often were in 2017-18. Buyers are a little more selective now and the expectations are higher. Sellers will need to take care of issues like repairs to significant systems. Sellers that choose to ignore these things will likely face low offers or failed sales.

The best practices of real estate never change, but during wild swings in the market they can be bent. It is always good to have a home show well. The tidy, well kept, excellent condition home with solid curb appeal will always win the day. When the market is a raging seller's market and buyers are grabbing whatever they can this rule can be bent and still result in a successful sale. But why not go for the best possible outcome? Shine it up, and get the highest price. In this near neutral market, the shiny ones sell and the dull ones sit.

There are still plenty of buyers out there, inventory has simply caught up to them. The best house wins the day, make yours the best house.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Marketing homes passively on Social Media can be very effective.

Too many agents get up in the face of people on Social Media. Running ads through Facebook, YouTube, Instagram is great and those are ads, designed to get clicks or awareness. But what about a more personal approach like the news feed of you and your friends. That can be a bit more sensitive.

As Americans, we are blasted with advertising from every angle. Many people have grown numb to it and are harder to reach where as others are so fed up as to be triggered by ads which is equally problematic.

Talking about real estate from a non sales perspective can be a great way for agents to remind the world that they are in fact a real estate agent. But what about actual properties. Solid real estate professionals can reach larger and deeper audiences using passive methods on social media to reach people in a more human and casual way that doesn't trigger the edgy types and may even penetrate the numbness of those tone deaf to ads.

Passsive style is introducing actual Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (among others) followers to a property without pitching it for sale. Perhaps showing off its best attribute with a catchy post about how cool it is. Or asking "wouldn't you love this view?" Agents may find that their audience on personal social media accounts shrinks if they plaster their "friends" with pushy sales ads and posts clogging up the news feed. Posts that engage the community and foster responses will travel much further and touch many more people.

Listing a property for sale is all about getting that property exposed to as many people as possible. I have a great deal of expertise on this technique and potential sellers should question their prospective listing agents on tactics they intend to use to push past the overbearing ad climate on the internet. Internet activity remains by far the number one source of listings for buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors® it has surpassed 80%.

Passive marketing on personal feeds is time consuming for the agent but effective for the seller. Sellers are paying the real estate fees and they deserve the best marketing efforts by their chosen agent.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Stock Market Turmoil Can Be Good for Real Estate

Well 2019 is underway and those that follow the stock market might be a bit nervous. . A bumpy Wall Street however, can be effective at keeping the fed from getting a itchy trigger finger for rate hikes. That bodes well for buyers of real estate. But even deeper than that is the larger picture of real estate investment. Builders and developers require large amounts of capital for the projects they build. Whether it is single family homes by developers like Quail Homes here in Vancouver or the big commercial projects like we see going up on the waterfront. Capital investment is what fuels these projects.

When the stock market has adjustments like we have been seeing over the last few months, money is leaving the equity markets and moving elsewhere. Some of it may be landing in the safety of treasuries or other long term bonds, some may head for precious metals like gold, and some of it inevitably ends up in real estate investment.

Locally our government can help direct some of that massive money movement to land here in Clark County. Streamlining the approval process for desirable projects, particularly those in the Downtown Vancouver area will have a long term benefit to the area. If we don't capture that capital now, it will end up elsewhere.

Despite the savage losses on the Dow and other stock market indices, the economy is still growing and institutional investors are still pushing cash to markets they feel will net them a positive return over the next several years. Real estate has always been a solid long term parking place for cash. There is a large amount of investment capital available right now and local builders and developers need to grab their piece while the 'gettin is good'.

Vancouver is pushing allot of residential units in the downtown, that is all fine and well, but they need to focus on getting premier employers to settle in as well. This helps to provide superior jobs that take our Clark County residents out of the Portland workforce and Oregon's aggressive income tax.

Happy New Year!