Happy New Year from MRIS! We are so excited to ring in 2013 with you!
In honor of the holiday, below is an excerpt from a recent interview between MRIS Chief Marketing Officer John L. Heithaus and Amy Rose Dobson of Curbed DC on the subject of housing trends for our area in 2013. To read the full interview, click here.
ARD: The constant refrain right now is that there isn’t enough inventory to meet demand. What needs to happen for that to change in 2013?
JLH: The theme is in some ways the more things change the more things stay the same, but if we’re looking forward we have to take more of an interpretive view. The first thing to look at is this shadow inventory that has yet to it hit, if its ever going to. Second, there are a healthy amount of sellers who can’t sell because they’re under water with how much they owe on their home. These are not necessarily short sale people or late in their mortgage payments. Maybe we can call them “equity short sellers.” They’re holding off until they can afford to sell. It is one of the major problems, but it’s hard to quantify because not many places measure it. A lot of the help out there is directed to the people who are delinquent, but how do you figure out how many people are these equity short sellers? So it’s a problem both because we can’t get our arms around it and because there may be a lot of units there.
ARD: Some of those equity short sellers probably paid far too much to begin with because they bought during the peak. Won’t it take too long for the prices to recover?
JLH: They’re waiting for the market to bail them out and the market might not be able to. People thought that the party would go on forever. But we are seeing prices come back so maybe they’ll decide to take a haircut on their house but it won’t be as bad as before. In talking to agents now I’m hearing more and more of them say they’re seeing bidding wars come back which I think is really dangerous.
ARD: We’ve covered the consumer, but is there anything real estate agents should pay attention to in the coming year?
JLH: I just got the 2012 National Association of REALTORS® buyer and seller survey that reaffirmed the Internet is so ingrained. 96% of all buyers say they start their search on the Internet and it isn’t just for which house they want, it’s about which agent they want to use. The Internet is more and more about how [agent] reputations are being determined. A strong social media presence is a big trend.