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Dave Jenks: Optimism For ’09 Home Sales Market

With all the economic uncertainty our nation has faced lately, lots of folks wonder what lies ahead for the real estate market.  Are things looking up in 2009?

National Real Estate Expert Dave Jenks

National Real Estate Expert Dave Jenks is a Vice President with Keller Williams Realty.

Dave Jenks, a best selling author and Vice President of Research and Development with Keller Williams Realty, thinks so.

We spoke with Dave last year (click here to listen to the 2008 interview) and just couldn’t get enough of his fascinating insight into the real estate market.  So … we tracked him down again to give us his assessment of how 2009 is unfolding and what he thinks lies ahead.

Check out Dave’s comments in our latest Netcast by clicking the play button just below:

If you prefer to download and listen to our netcast on your portable player, click here.

We hope you enjoy our interview with Dave, and that you’ll find the information useful…

David and Colleen

Is The Birmingham “Buyer’s Market” Shifting?

Could the “Buyer’s Market” in the Birmingham and Shelby county area be starting to shift toward becoming more balanced?  That might be happening, based on November 2008 home sales statistics released by the Birmingham Association of Realtors. And we are seeing encouraging developments about home sales in other parts of the country, too.

Locally, the number of homes for sale in November 2008 stood at 10,994, which is about 15% below one year earlier.

November, 2008 sales totaled 603, which is down about 49% from November, 2007.  November 2008 sales prices in the Birmingham and Shelby county markets dropped about 7% from a year earlier.  For year-to-date, the average price is about 4.5% behind 2007, according to BAR.

The average number of days for a home to stay on the market in November, 2008, stood at 92, compared to 103 for the same month a year earlier (this figure excludes new home sales).

When you watch TV and read the headlines, you’ll no doubt see that 49% sales drop prominently mentioned.  So, is all the news bad?  We think several of the market indications in central Alabama are actually positive, believe it or not, and there are continuing indications that other real estate markets in the country are becoming more balanced, too.

First, there are not quite as many homes for sale as there have been, and that’s a good thing for people thinking of selling.  Buyers, meanwhile, still have boatloads of choices, so it’s certainly not as if their selections are drying up.  Second, the seven percent drop in prices helps show something we’ve mentioned before about the Birmingham and Shelby county housing market:  Fluctuations in values here do not swing as wildly, and to such extremes as they do in many other cities.  So, while values have plunged much farther in some other real estate markets, our area has remained a lot more stable.

We received a message from a lender this week, advising that interest rates on 30-year fixed loans some buyers will be eligible to get have now fallen to 5.0%, and 15-year fixed loans have now fallen to below 5%.  All I can say is ‘wow,’ the close of 2008 and start of 2009 have to go down in the record books as one of the best times to buy a home in Birmingham and Shelby county in years.

Clearly, the negative economic news saturating the media has caused some buyers to hold off, despite some of the most attractive pricing and interest rates ever.  But indications are starting to suggest that continuing to wait before buying may be getting riskier.  Why? 

Nationally, home sales are starting to pick up, while inventory is declining.  That means investors and others are jumping on the really good deals, so others may miss out if they wait too long.  You can get a very interesting perspective on where real estate markets appear to be heading, by clicking below to watch the November, 2008, housing report, produced by Keller Williams Realty:

‘Tis the season to buy!


Metro South: Shelby County’s New Key Real Estate Team

Phil Taylor says it best: “We choose not to participate.” Taylor is referring to the general climate of economic doom so prevalent right now. But those aren’t hollow words.

Taylor and 39 other Shelby County area real estate agents officially began backing up their words with actions shortly after 9 a.m. Friday, November 14th. That’s when the ribbon was cut on Metro South, Keller Williams’ fifth office in the Birmingham area, and the first real estate office in Alabaster.

Instead of dwelling on negatives, members of the Metro South team maintain a decidedly upbeat outlook on the Birmingham and Shelby county real estate market. They know that real estate is cyclical, and that the future looks promising.

You can listen to some of these agents for yourself, by watching a short video from the ribbon cutting ceremony:

By the way … to back up what the Metro South agents say, if you want to hear someone very knowledgeable discuss what’s happening in the real estate market, we had a great interview with Dave Jenks, one of the top people in Keller Williams Realty, last month–if you missed our interview with Dave, you can click here to listen.

Talk with any of the Metro South agents about the Shelby Co. real estate market, and you might hear a few surprises. Houses are still selling. Lenders are still lending. And buyers are still buying. While the Birmingham and Shelby Co. real estate market is experiencing a slowdown, it’s nothing near the scale many people have been led to believe.

While the Metro South office may be ‘brand spankin’ new,’ some of the people involved are long time Birmingham area agents with many years experience, giving them a superior knowledge of housing inventory and availability, neighborhoods, pricing trends, quality of life and the market in general.

Come by and say hello. Kathy Wheeler is Metro South’s Team Leader. The office is located a few doors south of the movie theater in the Colonial Promenade Shopping Center, off I-65 at exit #238. Click here for a Google map.

Many thanks to Alabaster Mayor David Frings, Alabaster Industrial Development Director and State Rep. Cam Ward and State Sen. Hank Erwin for taking time out to join us for the ceremony. Also attending was Keller Williams Operating Partner Elizabeth Raines, one of the driving forces behind turning the Metro South dream into reality.

So why would all these agents take a chance? Why would they make the commitment to gather under one roof and serve the Alabaster and Shelby County real estate market at a time when there’s so much negativity and pessimism all around?

The answer lies within the people themselves. They are professional. They are confident. They are optimistic. It says a lot, I believe, about the people themselves. It’s one of the reasons Colleen and I are proud to be a part of the new Metro South team–you know, the one that chooses not to participate.


Dave Jenks: Why Now Is The Time To Buy or Invest

Let’s face it.  You hear Realtors talking all the time about why now is a good time to buy a home.  But with all the uncertain economic news we’re hearing these days, is that just optimistic talk designed to drum up business?  Or are there some solid reasons that support buying and investing right now?

Dave Jenks is a best selling co-author and Vice President with Keller Williams Realty.

Dave Jenks is a best selling co-author and Vice President with Keller Williams Realty.

Ask Dave Jenks, and he’ll tell you why buying now represents such a good opportunity.  Dave is someone definitely worth listening to.  He’s Vice President of Research and Development with Keller Williams Realty and has co-authored several best selling books, including The Millionaire Real Estate Investor.

Dave’s research clearly suggests that real estate markets across the country are correcting from so-called ‘false appreciation’ … this means that prices are returning to pre-“bubble” levels.  This, among other reasons, should give buyers confidence, Jenks says.

The domestic real estate market is undergoing some interesting—and, many think, positive—changes right now, as we wind down 2008.  We caught up with Dave to get his assessment of how markets around the country have performed during the past decade, as well as what’s occurring now.

Check out Dave’s comments in our latest Netcast by clicking the play button just below:

If you prefer to download and listen to our netcast later, click here

We hope you enjoy!