Good news locally and nationwide is that home prices are stabilizing, more homes are being sold that are not repos (although plenty of repos are on the market) and people whose homes are their main source of equity are starting to see that equity grow again after years of seeing it drop and stay flat.
Good news — future news, perhaps — for builders is that construction on at least some new homes may begin.
At least one estimate earlier this year held that home prices in Madera County would increase by as much as one-third in 2012. The thing to remember is that while that sounds good, such an increase would barely bring housing values to where they were a decade ago.
The movement of values, however, is up.
When the housing “bubble” burst five years ago and values began to plummet, many real estate gurus were predicting that it would take 10 years for the market to recover. While it’s early to say the market is in a permanent rebound, it does indicate those predictions could be off by several years.
Repossessions are still under way, because many people experiencing economic difficulties have given up trying to pay their mortgages. Others still are making strategic defaults on their mortgages, giving up their over-mortgaged properties and grabbing houses that have lowered in price, either as rentals or as bargains, assuming they were able to line up financing.
Realtors report a shortage of good inventory, and say most listings result in multiple offers if the prices are right.
Many owners who might want to sell remain on the sidelines, however, hoping to see their equities climb a bit more before selling.
If one is buying, it seems like a good time to make some offers. If one is thinking of selling, it might be smart to wait a bit.