By Ralph Bivins
DENVER – The consensus emerging from the National Association of Real Estate Editors 46th annual conference is the real estate market has stabilized and is recovering from its ugly slide that began about four years ago.
“You’re going to see an excellent housing recovery,” said Margaret Kelly, chief executive officer of Re/Max, in a speech to the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) in Denver. “We are poised beautifully for home values to go up.”
The inventory of homes for sale has been shrinking and in some places the market is tight with homes getting multiple offers.
”The housing market reached bottom a year ago,” said Ted C. Jones, chief economist of Stewart Title. “We have no inventory.”
The economists and experts at the real estate editors conference indicated a consensus of belief that home prices will go up over the next year, perhaps as much as 3 to 5 percent.
The NAREE conference hosted dozens of economists and CEOs of realty firms from around the country at its conference at the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver. Other comments included:
- Resurrecting the home building business may take a while, says David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders. It’s still difficult for builders to get financing. Building materials manufacturers have shut down. And land developers have not been creating many new communities and home lots. So even though the demand for new homes is rising, creating new homes for consumers is a slow process.
- Uncertainty abounds for home buyers. Some consumers fear that another decline in home prices will occur, said Scott Ryles, CEO of Home Value Insurance Co. Ryles’ firm has created an insurance policy for buyers, giving them coverage if the value of their house takes a dive.
- Home buyers are still interested in green homes, but consumers have a hard time balancing their desire to be green and being able to afford it. Architect LaVerne Williams of Environment Associates says flat “living roofs” that allow people to have an insulating layer of soil and growing plants atop their houses are a growing trend. For custom home buyers, the people who want to spend for a green home often opt for solar power systems, says Denver builder Gene Myers of New Town Builders. Solar is sexy from a marketing perspective. But other energy savings mechanisms are a harder sell. “It’s hard to get people excited about extra insulation,” Myers says.
For more information on NAREE: www.NAREE.org