I often tell my statistically driven friends and clients that although “trendlines” and statistical data can help explain what is happening and what may happen in real estate, it often overlooks a very key piece of the puzzle. Unlike other products people buy and sell, home sales are often driven by both emotion and perception. It was only a few months back when the perception was that prices would continue to be flat, or even go down slightly, and the biggest challenge I faced was convincing buyers that now was a good time to buy.
Oh how things have changed in such a short time. Very quickly the market shifted to favor sellers and as soon as buyers decided that they may miss their opportunity, things have quickly gotten out of control. Low inventory, low interest rates, short sale and REO “deals” drying up, and pressure from large investors buying and flipping everything they could find has made it almost impossible to buy a home. How quickly we forget all that created the bubble in the first place and buyers are now chasing homes, overbidding, paying too much, waiving the appraisal and just about everything else that once again appears unsustainable.
In my own personal experience the last 4 offers I have put in for homes in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach have required that my buyers waive their appraisal contingency….the sellers knowing full well that the home wouldn’t appraise. No doubt this is great for sellers, but again it appears unsustainable and may likely cause problems in the near future. We’ll likely continue to see this incredible turnaround until inventory and interest rates move away from near record lows. In the meantime buyers need to be patient and understand the challenges of the current market.