Posted by: Nathan Gruwell | April 25, 2011

Low Prices, Low Rates = Time to Buy!

 

By JONATHAN LANSNER
2011-04-15 13:23:20
Century 21 Award, with home brokerage offices throughout Southern California, was recently named the top seller in the franchise chain’s U.S. network. We checked in with Century 21 Award CEO David Romero to get his sense of the market …

Us: How is the spring selling season starting off at your Orange County offices?

David: The spring season is gaining momentum after a very slow start to the year. The good news is March sales in 2011 mirrored the same period last year without the benefit of a federal stimulus package. As buyers gain confidence in the economy I believe more and more of them will want to take advantage of today’s historically low interest rates coupled with low prices.

Us: Take out your crystal ball; how do you think Orange County home prices and sales volumes will do in 2011 and 2012?

David: Orange County is currently enjoying more activity than we have seen in years. Our housing inventory is at a relatively healthy low. We have achieved stability, but it’s not time to celebrate yet. The real estate market will continue to improve as the job market improves, but it will be a slow process. I expect a choppy, but moderately improving market over the next few years.

Us: How are distressed properties faring?

David: Distressed properties still make up a large part of our market, and will for approximately 3 to 4 years. Buyers are definitely drawn to these properties due to pricing. However, dealing with banks and short sales can be a frustrating experience. Some banks have streamlined the short sale process; however, each situation poses a different set of problems.

Us: What are you telling your property owners who are selling about what it takes to move a home?

David: It’s very clear that buyers want to make sure they make an informed decision. They want to purchase property at the right price and they want a home in good condition. Simply put, they want the best possible deal based on price and value.

Us: What are you telling your house shoppers about the market? What about their ability to get a mortgage?

David: Obtaining a mortgage is a challenge to a more rapid recovery in the housing market. However, there is mortgage money available. Anyone with a credit score of 650 and above, a job with verifiable income and healthy down payment can take advantage of this once in a generation home buying opportunity. I would encourage anyone considering a purchase to be pre-approved with a reputable lender prior to any serious house hunting.

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