The purpose of the class I attended last week was to help agents price their client's listings according to the market they are in using classic economic supply and demand logic. When inventory trends downward, consumers push prices up. Which means the opposite is true or when inventory trends up, consumers push prices down. Eric Celeste over at Frontburner blogged this earlier today by way of the DMN and Steve Brown which is a prime example of real estate "experts" not giving the full picture. Here are a couple graphs taken from Trendgraphix using NTREIS statistics from all North Texas areas to form charts and graphs so people like me can look at pretty pictures and learn at the same time.
So what market are we in here in North Texas? According to these graphs the number of home sales is down from the previous year (6,583 in 11/06 to 5,157 in 11/07) but sales prices are up from $184K in November '06 to $204K in November '07. That is approximately a 10% rate of appreciation. Not too bad. But how can inventory be up AND prices rise? Hmmmm. So what does this mean and where are we headed? How do we interpret the fact that less homes are selling than the previous year, inventory is rising slightly yet home values are increasing?
No, we're not defying the laws of economics. I believe we are at a tipping point of sorts. The laws of economics do apply to our market but we don't fluctuate as much as other states including the outlandish California and Flordia real estate markets. With that said, inventory will continue to increase and prices may drop in certain areas due to overbuilding, short sales, foreclosures in the subprime market, etc. But I believe we will simply see a flattening market meaning prices won't go up, but they won't go down either. Inventory will not reach astronomical levels like the 29 months worth of inventory in some California cities.
In closing, these numbers are for ALL OF NORTH TEXAS AND NOT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD! Many areas in North Texas will see price appreciation and will always see price appreciation no matter what regional statistics say. So talk with a local Realtor who knows your neighborhood before you start spreading doom and gloom to your friends.