Local numbers improve along with nationwide average for homeowners
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/03/2012 -- Debra Rosholt has history selling houses in down markets. She watched her house in Minnesota sit on the market for a year and a half. In 2010, her Arizona home took four months to sell. When it was time for her to put her Shelton house on the market, she was worried. She did harbor some cautious optimism as the market for homes was creeping up slightly. Still, she likely did not imagine that the Shelton house would see four offers in the first two weeks. Within the month, a buyer was found and the paperwork was signed.
"We were not at all anticipating selling our house that quickly," Rosholt said. "Based on everything I've been through, I think the market is definitely improving. I think people are more optimistic when you talk to them. Their perception is different."
All the signs of a fledgling boom are returning one-by-one. Rental tenants, first-time homeowners, and would-be sellers are slowly making their way back to the market. There is more confidence in homes and properties, and confidence is the key for a healthy realty market.
The market is taking positive turns quickly in Connecticut, with homes sold in August up 15.9%, according to Re/Max of New England. The pending home sales have surged 48.1% as well.
"We feel really encouraged, not that prices are going to soar, but that there's activity," Virginia Klein, broker/owner of Re/Max Heritage in Westport. "We felt stagnant for a long time, but August has really given us a boost."
The positive turn is not isolated in Connecticut. Nationwide, purchases have increased 7.8% in August. That marks the largest increase since May 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors in Washington.
"I think we started getting signs of a turnaround about a year ago," Berger said. "But what's surprising everybody now is that it seems fairly broad. It seems like everywhere across the country, prices have gone down so much and supply and demand are having the usual effect."
Despite August being a slow month, Barbara Cleary Realty Guild in New Canaan saw an increase in business. Potential buyers are still relatively cautious in their newfound trust in the realty market. Homes under $2.5 million have garnered wanted attention, while locations over the $3 million mark are still struggling to find purchasers.
"The decisions are being made, people are moving forward and it depends on the particular house and price range," Cleary said. "People have been putting off moving for a while. The prices are very reasonable, so it's tempting."
Real Estate Agent Lonnie Shapiro of Coldwell Banker in Danbury speculated that the upcoming presidential election and back-to-school atmosphere contributed to positive numbers in August. "Anytime we have an election, it's good for real estate, because I think it creates energy," Shapiro said. "If people feel good and feel positive, they spend money."
The overall turnaround in the nation is “without a doubt a good sign,” says RBS’s Berger. The inability of homeowners to move money around due to being classified as ‘underwater’ on their mortgage helped create many of the situational problems the economy faced.
"A minus, though is that housing is a much smaller chunk of the economy than it used to be, especially on the construction side," Berger said.
While the market looks better than recent quarters, none of the realtors are pretending the numbers will reach the 2006 and 2007 marks.
"Sellers and buyers are getting accustomed to not believing that the market is coming back to what it was," Klein said. "They're getting educated that the market is the market, and that helps us."
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