Monday, April 5, 2010

Housing Headed For Trouble

Housing Headed For Trouble

As a short sale specialist, my listings usually sell very quickly. However, since March 2010 began my short sale listings are selling more slowly than they did previously. I attribute this to the first-time home buyer tax credit since those buyers were the primary buyer pool in my market Middle Tennessee. I think this is particularly true for most markets in the US where the tax credit had a substantial short term impact (particularly in lower priced markets where the $8,000 tax credit is a fairly substantial percentage of the sale prices). Now that the first time home buyer tax credit is nearing expiration, those tax credit buyers are, apparently, not willing to buy new short sale listings (they will still buy pre-approved short sales that can be closed in 30-45 days with a reasonable degree of certainty) since there is no guarantee that they will be able to close by 6/30/2010 (the expiration of the tax credit). Therefore, the only way to sell these short sale listings is to lower the price. These increasingly lower priced short sale and pre-foreclosure listings will put downward pressure on new construction and other retail priced listings.

The next phase of the great real estate meltdown is beginning to unfold as I predicted it would over 1 year ago (see my blog post from 11/2009 for a detailed breakdown of the drivers of the real estate market: Our Phony Real Estate Market). Unfortunately, the tax credit was nothing more than a temporary band-aid solution (really a gimmick) that will ultimately result in the tax credit buyers ending up in foreclosure at a very high rate since they are underwater the moment of closing (most put little to nothing down and have very little cash reserves) and will be even more so as the market declines. The buyers who purchased short sales and foreclosures as substantial discounts will likely be fine. That is why I only sell those types of properties. Unfortunately, home buyers who purchased new construction or other retail priced listings will be in trouble in the next few years. The main problem is that the entire US economy was built on debt. Consumer spending, which was 70%+/- of the entire US economy, was built largely on consumer debt (think credit cards, home equity loans, HELOC's, personal loans, etc.). Without this debt there can be little to no growth in consumer spending, and by extension, little to no growth in the US economy, until personal incomes increase at least enough to pay down current debt and still leave enough to spend more. Given that unemployment still hovers near 10% (the real number is about 16%) this will not happen anytime soon. It is just a matter of simple accounting. In addition to the end of the tax credit buyer ear there is the Option ARM foreclosure wave coming. As a result, there will lots of foreclosures and short sales over the next 5-10 years.

Short Sale and Foreclosure Help and Assistance for Real Estate Investors, Home Builders and Developers in Nashville TN and Middle TN. If you are a Nashville Tennessee, Franklin Tennessee, Brentwood Tennessee, Nolensville Tennessee, Spring Hill Tennessee, Murfreesboro Tennessee, Smyrna Tennessee, La Vergne Tennessee, or Middle Tennessee real estate investor, home builder, condo developer or real estate developer who cannot pay the property/project mortgage payments (due to the poor economy, adverse financing conditions, slow sales, loss of investment property tenants, vacancy issues, lack of funds to complete the project, feuding business partners, etc.), have already defaulted on the mortgage, or are already in foreclosure, or owe more than the property/project is worth, please contact me to discuss your options including a short sale (a real estate short sale occurs when the sale proceeds are not sufficient to pay off all the mortgages and liens on the property/project). I am a Middle Tennessee distressed real estate, short sale, pre-foreclosure (preforeclosure) and foreclosure REALTOR and Expert. I primarily help sellers (property owners, real estate investors, home builders and real estate developers) of distressed real estate, short sales, pre-foreclosures, foreclosures, investment properties, failed new construction projects and struggling commercial real estate developments located in Middle Tennessee (Rutherford County TN, Williamson County TN, Davidson County TN, Murfreesboro TN, Smyrna TN, La Vergne TN, Eagleville TN, Lascassas TN, Rockvale TN, Christiana TN, Brentwood TN, Franklin TN, Nashville TN, Belle Meade TN, Nolensville TN, Springfield TN, Gallatin TN and Mt. Juliet TN). If you do need to short sell your home or property, or you need a quick sale due to being in foreclosure, you can request short sale and foreclosure help and assistance on my website at Get Short Sale and Foreclosure Help and Assistance from a Nashville Tennessee and Middle Tennessee Short Sale and Foreclosure REALTOR and Real Estate Expert.

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