Feb 16

Real Estate Market Forum 2012

I attended the annual “Real Estate Market Forum” this week at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. There were speakers presenting employment, real estate trends and market statistics. A dozen leaders from the Spokane and Coeur d’alene communities gave their predicted forecasts. Overall, 2012 will be a slow climb and not a full-blown recovery. Most said the housing market and the overall job picture won’t approach normal growth rates until 2013. Retail growth is bright and looks stronger. There is affordable retail space that is appealing to companies and restaurants are also expanding. Demand has grown in the multi-family market, with rent rates on the rise. But overall office space has a large vacancy rate.

Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors was the keynote speaker. “Housing affordability conditions, based on the relationship between median home prices, mortgage interest rates, and median family income, have been at a record high in 2011,” Yun said. “Very favorable affordability conditions will dominate 2012 as well, which will probably be the second best year on record dating back to 1970. Our hope is that credit restrictions will ease and allow more home buyers to take advantage of current opportunities.” He said if the banks would loosen their credit requirements, 15-20% more homes would be sold.

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