Source: Peter McCullough – HomeGain Blog
Last month the HomeGain Advisors met for its quarterly teleconference. We have met with our team of Realtor Advisors for the last two years and it has been valuable listening to how Realtor behavior, trends and perspectives change with the market.
Throughout the majority of 2008 and the first quarter of this year there seemed to be a similar somber tone from our Advisors. In January, our Advisors agreed that home prices and home sales were down, that foreclosures were rampant, and that things were difficult. By the end of April 2009, things seemed to have changed dramatically!
Overall Q2 Market Activity
HomeGain Advisors in the Northeast, West and South have indicated that they have become busier than ever been this second quarter (for the first time since early last year). Mid-West, particularly the Chicago real estate market , is reported to still be slow. It’s reported that the Massachusetts real estate market seems to have stabilized. In Georgia, although one agent’s business is bustling, the MLS itself is not busy.
This does raise some questions in terms of the cause of the increased activity. It is still a strong buyer’s market nationwide and interest rates are low.
What impact has Obama’s $8,000 tax incentive had on your business?
In January, due to insufficient marketing on the part of the federal government and to the fact that the tax incentive was such a recent development, there was not much mention of either a positive or negative effect on agent’s businesses. Everyone was optimistic that, in time, consumers would recognize what a benefit this incentive could be to a first time buyer. However, it was generally acknowledged that the tax incentive should have been extended to all buyers, not just first time buyers.
In April comments included:
“First-time home buyers were excited about it but now forgot about it.” (FL)
“The tax credit has revitalized his business. Buyers don’t know how easy it is to qualify so it’s important to tell clients.” (VA)
“It’s given some sense of urgency but overall not marketed well enough.” (GA and TX)
“It’s had a big impact.” (MA)
Is the economic stimulus package affecting those who need to spend the money?
This quarter, Advisors feel that the real estate industry is starting to see some recovery. Because real estate has been one of the mainstays of the American economy for so long, we can expect to see the economy improve as the market rebounds. We can see that consumer confidence is on the rise as is the consistent number of positive days on Wall Street.
What are your feelings on Green Real Estate?
Advisors from Virginia, Maryland and Georgia agreed that Green Real Estate is a viable marketing strategy as well as good idea in general. One Advisor commented that he “tells his clients it’s a good move because there is tax incentive.”
2009 Poll Results From HomeGain Advisors
1. What is your total marketing budget per month?
a. $1 – $500 0%
b. $500 – $1000 16%
c. $1000 – $2000 27%
d. $2000 57%
2. What is your market area radius (miles)?
a. 0 -10 15%
b. 10 – 30 59%
c. 30 – 50 16%
d. 50+ 10%
3. Are you expanding your market area radius to get more business?
a. Yes 62%
b. No 37%
1. In the next six months, do you see your activity:
a. Increasing 90%
b. Decreasing 0%
c. Staying the same 10%
2. Is the level of foreclosures in your market:
a. Increasing 85%
b. Decreasing 0%
c. Staying the same 15%
3. Have you changed your business model due to current market conditions?
a. Yes 100%
b. No 0%