Realtors optimistic about 2011 - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Realtors optimistic about 2011

Some believe that the worst of the market is behind us

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Posted: Monday, January 31, 2011 12:00 am

Don "Pepper" Smock sees hope on the local real estate frontier.

"For three years the national media has informed us that the housing market is bleak," the president of Windermere Coeur d'Alene Realty said. "However, the Realtor who showed up for work every day anyway and worked on their business enjoyed an abundant market in 2010.

"Am I optimistic? Absolutely. Success in the 2010 challenging market leads me to believe we can do it again."

There were 1,610 sales of single-family homes in Kootenai County in 2010, 5 percent less than the 1,695 in 2009, according to a recent report from the Coeur d'Alene Multiple Listing Service.

While a decrease for the year overall meant a more challenging market, there are signs of the market loosening up lately.

For example, according to a Windermere report, there were 204 residential sales in December compared to 196 during that month in 2009, 167 in 2008 and 199 in 2007.

Total vacant land sales were up 74 percent (200 to 349) from 2009 to 2010, residential with acreage up 37 percent (182 to 250), multi-family up 17 percent (41 to 48) and waterfront 9 percent (50 to 55), the Windermere report states.

"We have a lot to be grateful for," Smock said.

Meanwhile, new construction sales experienced a large change in 2010. Sales in that sector were down 29 percent from 2009, yet prices increased by 9 percent.

Still, Pete Faust of Century 21 Beutler and Associates, agrees it's not doom and gloom.

"I think the market is OK even though certain segments of it such as new construction need all the help they can get," he said. "The real winners were homes on acreage, being stick built or mobile, condos and anything on or near the water."

The average price for a single-family home dropped 3 percent to $187,160 in 2010 compared to $193,077 the year before, the MLS report states.

The Windermere report breaks the average pricing down according to the types of homes with steep declines in waterfront ($670,904 from $772,704), multi-family ($189,258 from $342,938) and vacant land ($90,610 from $153,185).

"The affordability is better than it has ever been with interest rates below 5 percent and a good inventory," said Pat Krug, Windermere managing broker.

The average prices increased for new construction ($216,921 from $196,388) and residential with acreage ($323,609 from $320,453).

Krug said the market has had "significant stabilization" in the past six months.

"In most categories from June to December there was an increase in values," she said. "To me, that says we may have hit the bottom through the summer months and are starting to stabilize. I think we have a relatively stable market right now."

That's a change from the previous two years when there was a downward spiral.

Another positive note is that about 75 percent of the sellers in 2010 were not in distress, meaning they lost their home due to foreclosure or had a short sale (selling a home for less than what is owed).

Short sales decreased 3 percent in 2010 compared to 2009, while sales of bank-owned properties increased 14 percent.

"They flipped," Krug said. "Unfortunately, a lot of properties attempting to be sold as short sales did not get through the process. Banks couldn't keep up with them."

A buyer's perspective

Investor Lisa Gallipoli of Coeur d'Alene said she's seen big differences as a buyer between last year and this year.

"There's a lot to see on the market right now," she said. "There's a huge spectrum of property. More options make it more difficult. Last year when we looked everything seemed clumped together and very comparable."

Gallipoli said she also made her purchase faster last year.

"We bought a duplex with a short sale within two weeks," she said, adding that she's been looking this year for about a month.

She's also found that sellers are not wanting to negotiate as much this year.

"I don't feel the same motivation or urgency from sellers this year," Gallipoli said, adding that one wouldn't budge on the price and the other came down 5 percent. "It seems to me that last year the sellers were more motivated."

Krug said buyers should be aware that times have also changed with the loan qualifying process.

"Loan qualifications are much more stringent than they were a few years ago," she said. "Loans are available, but you just have to follow all of the rules to get them."

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    Junex Posts: 71

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  • Petermarf posted at 8:12 pm on Wed, Aug 24, 2011.

    Petermarf Posts: 50

    While a decrease for the year overall meant a more challenging market, there are signs of the market loosening up lately.

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  • Person Guyz posted at 11:32 pm on Sat, Jul 9, 2011.

    Person Guyz Posts: 101

    This is wonderful. Kudos to those young people for being so selfless, caring and giving. Simply heartwarming!!

    I agree with you straight up.....this story needs to be told far and wide!!
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  • 5inPfs posted at 8:47 am on Thu, Feb 3, 2011.

    5inPfs Posts: 749

    Early last summer my husband and I were in the market for a new home. Our realtors refused point blank to show us short sales and band owned because their cut was less. Then they tried the old line we see in this article, "all indications show that the market is picking up and prices will start going up!" as a way of pressuring us into buying a house we didn't want. Yeah...we all know how true that was.

    Needless to say, they aren't our realtors anymore

  • Anyone posted at 9:02 pm on Wed, Feb 2, 2011.

    Anyone Posts: 1556

    Here's a number:

    A little over 1,900 houses sold last year in Kootenai County.

    Now here's another number:

    About 1,000 Realtors in Kootenai County.

    That's about 2 houses PER REALTOR sold last year! Nice average!

    Spin those numbers, Ms. "Optimistic!"

  • bkemdanno posted at 1:24 pm on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

    bkemdanno Posts: 259

    iam kuku for coco puffs!

  • will-- posted at 6:25 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    will-- Posts: 1001

    It's always been that way; Real Estate 101. Wish it into existance, the Joseph Goebbels propagandist stragety.

  • cococo posted at 2:46 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    cococo Posts: 144

    Let's not forget who caused so much of this problem in the first place...realtors and bankers found creative ways to lend money, take their cut and escape accountability. In Kim Cooper's self praising column last Sunday they seem to be getting creative again. This article and Kim's columns are simply self promoting and not really news worthy. They are extremely one sided and only try to advance their agenda. Read the national stats from non realtors and you get closer to the truth. The CDA Press should be putting these stories in the opinion or advertising columns and not trying to display them as news.

  • idabilly posted at 12:44 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    idabilly Posts: 390

    .....these "optimistic," thoughts about the real estate market must be the driving force behind ol' Pepper wanting to get into the beer business.... but that's a different story.

  • Hiway 90 posted at 11:17 am on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    Hiway 90 Posts: 10

    When you are on the bottom of the pile, all you can ever do is look up, the pile might get deeper, so you'll always be optimistic and looking up. To report anything else would be depressing. Just the thought of 2 more years of downhill prices!!!! even though its the truth..Just sayin

  • Dan Gookin posted at 11:17 am on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    Dan Gookin Posts: 710

    Phaedrus: LOL

  • anslinger posted at 11:11 am on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    anslinger Posts: 2

    A wise man once told me, "Liars figure, and figures lie." Smock figures that he should be optimistic due to a confirmation bias. I wonder how "optimism" tastes on the dinner table? In order to more accurately educate this paper's readers, the CDA Press should go ask the foreclosure auction ladies down at Pioneer Title Co. and FATCO how they feel about the real estate market. They are on the front lines and witness the devastation that is taking place on a daily basis. The Notices of Defaults in our county outweigh the number of closed sales on the local MLS almost daily, and have for the last couple of years. Is ignorance really strength? I think not. Will these glorified car salesmen ever capitulate? .... Not likely.

    In regards to below statement: shenanigans!

    "Another positive note is that about 75 percent of the sellers in 2010 were not in distress, meaning they lost their home due to foreclosure or had a short sale (selling a home for less than what is owed)."

    The above quote reflects active homes on the market, not homes sold, furthermore, asking and getting are two entirely different things in the current market. Sure some of these homes are not not in distress ... yet. Anyone who knows the truth knows that REO sales are dominating the market, and the increasing supply of REOs and seemingly endless NODs are ensuring a continued downward trend in housing prices.

    As of today there are 17 homes that have Closed on the MLS, and 7 of those are BANK OWNED! Lets see you spin this Pepper.

  • bkemdanno posted at 10:07 am on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    bkemdanno Posts: 259

    "Another positive note is that about 75 percent of the sellers in 2010 were not in distress, meaning they lost their home due to foreclosure or had a short sale (selling a home for less than what is owed)."

    no problems here , got my home in foreclosure or maybe i can even short sell it. feeling great - not distressed at all. bottoms up. i don't see how that is a positive note. but, guess i don't get it.

    again, i don't see prices going up or even leveling right now. i bought in june last but i could have saved 20-30 grand for more house if i would have held out until now. just saying....

  • Nutter Watch posted at 9:27 am on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    Nutter Watch Posts: 476

    I don't know exactly what is being said here. The report reads like a mixed bag at best. Other sources are saying 2011 will show banks gaining even more inventory due to recent court activity and record foreclosures and resets of adjustable rate mortgages are already built into the pipeline. With interest rates trending upward add double-digit unemployment to the mix and this will be even more difficult to spin.

    Due to the evaporation of billions in home equity in places like California, transplants will not be arriving equity flush in the coming years in numbers sufficient to absorb existing inventory and too many clueless sellers, believing it's still 2006, will continue to keep house prices out of line with the local economy. Further complications arrive with banks adopting stricter lending standards and with employment likely remaining morbid, it makes it difficult to see where this expected buying power will come from. 2012 doesn't look good either, for other reasons.

  • The Truth posted at 9:21 am on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    The Truth Posts: 2193

    When are realtors *ever* not optimistic?

  • phaedrus posted at 8:24 am on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    phaedrus Posts: 96

    Realtors don't do realistic, it's bad for the business.

  • somewhereinthemiddle posted at 8:24 am on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    somewhereinthemiddle Posts: 92

    I'll believe it if/when you sell my darn house, Windermere.

  • Dan Gookin posted at 8:03 am on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    Dan Gookin Posts: 710

    Optimistic. Pessimistic. How about some realistic?

  • idabilly posted at 6:32 am on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

    idabilly Posts: 390

    More bovine scatology. How's the market for homes priced in the $400k to $600k category? It's non existent.
    This is more fluff for the masses.

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