Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Global Growth Slowing at wrong time

It is a reality that global growth is slowing and it could not be worse timing for the United States.  As the housing market struggles to recover in Nevada, AZ and CA, the job market is not growing strong enough.  If the overall world economy declines it could have devastating effects on the housing recovery in the US.  We are already seeing sales declining in CA and NV even though prices seem to be rising.  The problem is lack of inventory but if more people lose their jobs or stay unemployed for longer and longer the housing recovering could be stalled in its tracks. 

It appears as though Las Vegas is lagging behind everyone in terms of real estate recovery.  The recent stats from September show that the short sale and bank owned sales are still accounting for nearly 60% of sales in the city.  Traditional sales, also know as equity sellers, are on the rise but they still make up only 41% of the September monthly sales.  The big change has been in the increase in short sales.  The number is staggering and it is almost unbelievable.  Short sales in Las Vegas made up 45% of the real estate transactions in September 2012. 

It is amazing to see that nearly half of all monthly sales are short sales.  All of these people have given up on the hope that they will ever get back to even with their underwater home.  It is the best decision for most people and with the economy slowing world wide, it probably will become a better decisions for many more people.

The new solution for the government and the banks has been to encourage the short sale.  It really is not the best solution but it is a way to clear some of the bad mortgages off the books of the too big to fail banks while still not letting people think people are getting special treatment because their home is worth less than their mortgage.  So it seems politicians and government officials have worked a deal to allow the banks to get more money out of the people under the disguise of the short sale.  Several government programs will be supplementing bank losses on short sales and in turn the government is being less strict with banks when it pushes for stress tests. 

We need to get the housing recovery on stronger footing and the current solution is to allow people do a short sale.  It will help the market and the economy if we can clear out many more underwater homes, especially in Las Vegas, but it really may hurt the market as well because most people who short sale are not able to buy another home for several years.  The housing market has always been driven by people moving up or moving to a new place.  The American dream was to buy a house and build equity, use this equity to move into another larger home or home in different area.  Now as we have seen record sales last year in places like Las Vegas, we are running the risk of much lower sales. 

The high sales volume in 2011 was driven by the extreme low prices but as prices increase the demand from investors is sure to slow and their will be few move up buyers to fill the void.  Hopefully, we will see the economy start to grow more and then more buyers will be brought into the housing market as the abundance of underwater homes are cleared from the landscape. 

If you are considering a short sale or traditional sale in Las Vegas go to  www.consideritsoldlasvegas.com and get a free evaluation for your current situation. 

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