What’s really going on with the real estate market? Does anyone really know?
Last year, I gave you the best and worst housing markets for the 2009 year, with the average percent fall (and very rarely, gain) in selling prices.
This year, real estate prices seem to follow no pattern. In some areas, they are recovering from their 2008 price lows and in other areas, foreclosures keep piling up. Investors have it tough… speculators are everywhere, pointing to positive signs in the economy one day and then predicting doomsday the next.
Let’s start with the good news: Historically, housing prices don’t drop consecutively for more than a few years. In cases where they do drop more than a few years, the reduction rate is very little. With the current credit crisis and a record 19 million vacant homes in the country, there is no shortage of houses to buy if you have the money, although I recommend waiting out until mid- July. Experts predict another 25% drop in prices by the end of 2009. If you’re looking for a house, these upcoming months could be the best time. Here is a graph of the change in average US home prices:
As with all good news, there is always some bad news. In this scenario, the bad news heavily outweighs the good news. Several of the once booming housing markets, such as the Inland Empire in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, have seen the worst drops in prices. Detroit, home of the automobile Big Three, is probably going to never recover from the losses this decade as thousands of jobs have been lost and houses are selling for next to nothing (a 0-16 football team probably didn’t help either). Prices are plummeting nationwide, there is no money to fill in the vacancies, and more homes are being foreclosed every day. We could be in for a hellish two years. This list attempts to quantify the specifics of the housing market in larger metropolitan areas in the US by ranking the biggest drops in house prices (worst areas) and the best areas (least drops/ increases)
A lot of people don’t know that there are many electricity bill aid programs available for low income residents in their respective states. For example, the state of California offers Low-Income Energy Efficiency (LIEE)
This service includes attic insulation, energy efficient furnaces, energy efficient refrigerators, weatherstripping, caulking, water heater blankets, low-flow shower heads, as well as door and building envelope repairs which reduce air infiltration. These services can help customers in California save on electric and heating bills. Remember, a few dollars of savings can add up big over the long run!
Since the economy began to rapidly recede in the third quarter last year, the public has grown more aware of savings opportunities. One of the most commonly overlooked money saving methods is the use of online printable coupons. These coupons have become ever more valuable due to rising food costs, unemployment, and overall drop in consumer spending.
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