Headlines – Week of February 26, 2012

March 6, 2012

Buyers are looking to Purchase House No. 2

According to a 2011 survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 19 percent of recent homebuyers own more than one home, up 5 percent from the previous year. And second homes aren’t just for the extremely affluent and tropically inclined, as the latest numbers show.

Vacation properties made up 27 percent of all home sales last year. And according to real estate professionals in these second-home regions, there isn’t just one type of buyer investing in these properties.

Many buyers are rushing in now because the prices have dropped so low – 40 to 50 percent less than the high times/

Data from the NAR shows that the typical vacation homebuyer in 2010 was 49 years old with a median household income of $99,500. The median price for a vacation home was around $150,000.

According the experts, many of these second-home markets fall outside of extreme metropolitan jurisdictions and into just-off-the-grid suburban areas with lush art scenes and other tourist draws.

Another facet in second-home consideration is finding a place that may eventually turn into the home proper. In fact, the NAR reports that 34 percent of vacation homebuyers said that they plan to use their property as a primary home in the future. For the prospective retirees, this is particularly common.

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Fort Myers, FL | Top-performing Real Estate Market in 2012

A recent survey study of 1,800 real estate agents by Seattle-based ActiveRain revealed that real estate agents expect that in 2012 the housing market will reach bottom and begin to rebound.

While most of the real estate agents surveyed said they expect real estate values, transactions and the local economy to stay flat or rise from 2011 levels, sixty percent anticipate the volume of real estate transactions will climb slightly.

The survey also shows that the real estate agents polled expect the Fort Myers, Fla., area; Austin, Texas; Boise, Idaho; and San Antonio to be among the top-performing 2012 real estate markets.

10 top-performing real estate markets in 2012

1. Fort Myers-Naples, Fla. 2. Austin, Texas 3. Boise, Idaho 4. San Antonio, Texas 5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale 6. Denver 7. Dallas-Fort Worth 8. Nashville, Tenn. 9. Houston, Texas 10. Salt Lake City, Utah

The agents surveyed expect Reno, Nev., to top the list of the worst-performing real estate markets in 2012. The big three: Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, make the top 10 worst list, as well.

10 real estate markets expected to perform poorly in 2012

1. Reno, Nev. 2. Sacramento, Calif. 3. Chicago 4. New York 5. Providence, R.I. 6. Springfield, Mo. 7. San Diego 8. Los Angeles 9. Cleveland 10. Philadelphia

Source: ActiveRain survey of 1,800 real estate professionals.

Buffett: ‘I’d buy up a couple hundred thousand’ homes

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” recently that he’d “buy up a couple hundred thousand” single-family homes if it was practical.

Buffett said that’s because he believes purchasing a home with ultra-low mortgage rates and holding it for the long-term has become a better investment than stocks right now.

“Housing will come back, you can be sure of that,” Buffett wrote in his annual letter to shareholders recently.

Buffett forecasts an increase in household formations, as more people who moved in with their parents or family members during the recession look to move out and get their own home soon.

“People may postpone hitching up during uncertain times, but eventually hormones take over. And while ‘doubling-up” may be the initial reaction of some during a recession, living with in-laws can quickly lose its allure,” Buffett said.

Buffett said the recovery in the housing market could vary quite a bit among local housing markets, however. He did not provide a timeline of when he expected a full housing recovery, admitting that his prediction last year that a housing recovery will take shape within the year turned out to be “dead wrong.”

CNBC Transcript: Warren Buffett on Buying Houses  

Posted by Scott R. Lodde


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