I don’t want to get too deep into psychology 101 (too hot today for heavy thinking) but I believe that the way each one of us behaves during the month of July says a lot about what kind of business minds we have, how alert & motivated we are, and what degree of success we can look forward to, from here to the end of the year.
So far, after 6 months of fast & furious real estate activity across the country, most Realtors are on their knees. Some don’t feel the pain because they accumulated listings & sales. Others have been running and sweating just as much but have little to celebrate in the way of rewards. It’s OK, there is another year starting in the month of July.
Admittedly, it’s a bit of a challenge for many agents to feel energized and mobilized when the outside temperature flirts with the 90’s. A ride to the ocean or the lake is so tempting. Lying on a couch facing a big screen and watching the Summer special treats like Wimbledon, le Tour de France or the soccer World Cup are pretty tempting as well.
So many choices…So many distractions… How do you see the month of July? Is it just a quiet transition between June and September, or the true beginning of the battle for the second half of the year? Do you feel a bit somnolent & in need of a rest, or are you anxious to put the Summer months to good use now that it is easier to win since so many agents are out of the race, on vacation or in a margarita-state of mind?
Business goes on. No matter what; no matter when. It will not wait for any of us. Not this year. Real estate activity is not slowing down much. Forget about your typical July. It is not a typical year. 2014 started with a bang and has been relentless ever since. Keep your running shoes on. We have another half to go, and from what we can observe out-there, it’s going to be the first 6 months all over again.
Regardless where you live on the map, homes are selling well & fast, way better than most economists and real estate specialists expected. The lack of inventory, which has been particularly severe in the West, is easing a bit, which translated in a more moderate price growth. Welcome news. In California, however, the median home price has gone up 28 months in a row and just concluded its 24th straight month of double-digit annual appreciation.
Aside from a major surprise, we don’t see anything on the horizon that might disrupt a happy-ending scenario this year. The economic outlook is actually as good as we have seen it since the beginning of the so-called recovery, in 2010. All indicators are pointing in the right direction. The stock market is bullish. The Dow crossed the 17000 mark the first time ever and investors are betting that the run is far from over.
On the job front, the news are just as positive. Unemployment is down to 6.1%, which is better than where we thought we would be at the start of the year. Consumer confidence is up. We like it. Gee, pretty soon, if we are not careful, we might learn to become optimistic again! ?
OK, we must admit that it takes more than finding a job to feel so confident about the future that you feel the urge of buying a new home. It takes money to do that, and many of the newly created jobs are not all that juicy. No doubt that part-time work, limited contract work and low-paid work (retail & hospitality) represent the lion’s share of the growth. But we’ll take it anyway. It goes in the right direction. Keep the faith.
Year-to-date, every segment of the real estate price ladder has shown gains & momentum. Some significant differences are worth mentioning though. The most notable is at the high-end. I would caution today’s home sellers not to get too demanding. Prices, lately, at the top end of the market, have gone in all directions, including down.
Yes, top quality homes in top locations are appreciating greatly and moving fast off the shelves, but if the construction quality is not up to par with the location, or the location up to par with the quality, the luxury market is the most discriminating and unpredictable I have seen in years.