The other day, while taking notice of The Arizona Republic, it was apparent that good news hardly exists anymore. There were countless articles on the negative aspects of oil, Iraq, government, and of course, real estate. In fact, there was an article on how Winslow lost their local paper because the paper only featured bad news. So ... this is a real estate column. Is there good news about real estate?
The good news is that homes and property in the Rim Country are continuing to sell, albeit not at the record levels of 2005. We are seeing buyers test the waters and the number of Internet hits on our Web sites are increasing reflecting that the public is looking again.
Let's continue with the good news. Interest rates are at reasonable levels in the 6.5 percent range. The Federal Housing Authority has become more aggressive in providing loan assistance while maintaining the integrity of the loans that are issued. The crazy loan programs that helped create the bubble have faded away.
With the market correction, homes have become more affordable to those who can reasonably qualify for a home. Some markets across the country are actually showing an uptick in home buying activity.
Speculators for the most part, have left the real estate playing field. Speculators helped to create the 2005 market frenzy with their "buy and flip" philosophy. Their exit is beneficial to the real estate recovery. We are now seeing the investor return to the market. The difference between an investor and a speculator is that a real estate investor understands that patience is required for a profit, and immediate profits are not the norm.
For example, I knew some "little old ladies" who formed a real estate investment group. They purchased 20 acres of desert in the far reaches of Las Vegas and held it for 15 years. People thought they were inept, but they did their homework and looked to the long term and eventually benefited big time for their savvy and patience. That property became Jones Boulevard, which is now a hub in Las Vegas.
Lastly, the market will systematically improve as it always does and the principles of supply and demand will govern the timing of a full recovery.
Ray Pugel is the designated broker for Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. For more information, call (928) 474-2216.