The Real Deal – A 2008 Market Forecast for Real Estate in Western North Carolina

By Jane Kayton

In 2007 the year ended with doom and gloom predictions from some experts and hopeful talk of a temporary slow down from others. So how do you know which opinion to trust? Do you start planning for the worst or simply trust that everything will be “okay”? They key is to stay calm, be prepared and pay attention to the facts. Every real estate transaction is unique, the same way every region has distinct real estate market trends. In Asheville, NC and the surrounding towns throughout Western North Carolina the real estate market has stayed in tact and continues to be profitable, but as the rest of the country struggles it’s essential that homebuyers and sellers remain grounded and realistic.

National Indicators: Real Estate Market Trends Outside of Western North Carolina

Successful real estate transactions are completed when educated decisions are made. It is important for buyers and sellers to evaluate the national real estate market as well as the local. If you plan to purchase real estate in Western North Carolina or sell mountain homes and land near Asheville be sure to find a knowledgeable real estate agent that has experience working in multiple markets. In 2008 there are some national trends that warrant immediate consideration and will affect real estate in Western North Carolina.

Across the nation home sales in 2008 will continue to slow and prices will decline. Although most experts agree that the real estate market will not drop dramatically overall, some metropolitan areas will experience double-digit losses. According to an article by Les Christie published December 21, 2007 on CNNMoney.com approximately 20% of the metro areas covered in the most recent MoodysEconomy.com survey will see these double-digit losses in the beginning of 2008. Christie suggests, “Most of the worst-hit markets are in once high-flying areas, such as California and Florida.” The article’s predictions include drops of between 29 and 32% in places such as Stockton and Modesto, California and Fort Walton Beach and Naples, Florida. The forecast for drops in New Jersey include 18 and 25% in Ocean City and Atlantic City.

Despite a drop in home sales and prices that appears nationwide Steve Zurier reports in his January 8, 2008 article NAR Forecasts Stable Home Sales in 2008 on BuilderOnline.com, “The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) forecasts a steady housing market for the next few months with a gradual rise in new-and existing-home sales later on this year and well into 2009.” According to Zurier quotes the NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, as stating, “While there are more people with financial capacity now than in 2005, many are trying to market-time their purchase.” Yun concludes, “As a result, the exact timing and the strength of a home-sales recovery is a bit uncertain. A meaningful recovery in existing-home sales could occur as early as this spring, or it may be further delayed toward late 2008.”

Ever Cloud Has a Silver Lining, Especially When It Comes to Real Estate in Asheville, NC

At the beginning of 2008 MSN Real Estate, http://realestate.msn.com/, reported online that Business Week listed Asheville, NC as one of the top ten performing real estate markets during the third quarter of 2007 in comparison to the third quarter of 2006. Coming in at number nine, Asheville was joined by other cities like Billings, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah. Asheville was the only city on the East Coast it to make the list. In addition to this great news, on January 10, 2008 the Associated Press reported “Fed Is Ready to Cut Interest Rates Again.” Writer Jeannine Aversa reported from Washington, “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pledged Thursday to slash interest rates as needed to prevent housing and credit problems…The Fed chief made clear the central bank was prepared to act aggressively.” These actions will lead to a stabilized interest rates in 2008 across the country. As home sales and property prices begin to increase the market in Asheville should adjust and growth will continue at a faster rate.

Don’t Be Afraid to Follow Your Dream of Owning Real Estate in Asheville!

Knowledge and preparation can make all the difference when making financial and economic decisions. Taking time to really understand the real estate market will increase your buying and selling options, as well as provide you with peace of mind. For more information on mountain living and real estate in Western North Carolina visit [http://www.JaneSellsAsheville.com]

Jane Kayton is a real estate agent with Century 21 All Seasons based in Asheville, NC. She specializes in helping her clients find the perfect mountain homes and land near Asheville. Jane is also an avid whitewater rafter and hiker. To learn more about real estate in Western North Carolina visit her web site [http://www.JaneSellsAsheville.com]

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