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Housing Froth Creating Imbalance for Consumers and Investors

Home buyers and sellers should think twice before jumping into over-heated real estate markets. Fed chief Alan Greenspan feels the housing boom is economically imbalanced or uneven. New liquidity in real estate assets could disappear if interest rates raise on feelings from investors that risk levels are growing in the real estate sector.

Real estate agents I've spoken with from several fast-appreciating markets have told me "thank goodness for the interest-only, 40 year term and 100% loans, otherwise we couldn't get buyers into homes at current prices". That's not a good sign for continued escalation of home prices, because mortgage lenders don't have an endless supply of mortgage products.

Home buyers are also uneasy in over-heated markets with rising values because they have difficulties perceiving how they are going to have appreciation at similar levels to the seller of the property they are considering buying. Prices to not increase at same levels forever. Markets are based on supply and demand, according to recently released numbers for July 2005, the number of homes for sale nationally is the largest since 1988. If sellers are looking to take profits and sell, the increased supply will drive prices down.

Not all areas of the country are in over-heated real estate markets, but you should do your homework before purchasing a home or investing in income property. Ask your real estate agent to prepare spread sheets for days-on-market, number of homes for sale and sold prices for 2004 versus 2005. Increasing days-on-market shows a slowing market and climbing inventory signal that potential buyers are staying on the sidelines.

Mark Nash is a nationally recognized consumer advocate for buyers and sellers of residential real estate. Author of four books including the recently released "1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home" Thomson 2005. Mr. Nash has been featured in USA Today, Fidelity Investor's Weekly, CBS The Early Show, Bloomberg TV, Dow Jones Market Watch, Unique Homes Magazine and The Universal Press Syndicate. His radio show "Real Estate Coast to Coast with Mark Nash" premieres on Wednesday September 14, 2005 9AM PST,11AM CST and 12 Noon EST. The show is looking for interesting guests including; real estate journalists, interior designers, home improvement experts, real estate attorney's, appraisers, home inspectors and celebrity's.

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