Friday, March 16, 2012

Carolinas housing market 'excellent,' bank executives say

The residential real estate market could be stabilizing, with pockets of the country starting to see home prices appreciate, according to executives with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Conditions in the Carolinas' housing market, meanwhile, are "excellent" and "very solid," they also said.

Around 100 local Realtors gathered at Regal Cinemas Stonecrest Thursday to listen to Wells Fargo executives talk about the housing market and ways they could improve business in 2012.

The event, called CineMeeting, was broadcast in real time to 100 movie theaters across the country. The goal of the event, the bank's fifth annual telecast, is to educate and inspire agents, organizers said.

The Observer also spoke with two bankers before the presentation to get their feel for the regional and local markets.

Cliff Frohn, Southeast Division Manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, said consumer confidence about the economy in general is rising, which bodes well for the housing market. He cited a February survey by Fannie Mae showing 70 percent of those polled think now is a good time to buy a home, down 1 percent from January.

Frohn said foreclosures will continue to weigh on some markets and push prices down. But he also praised the bank's efforts to reach out to borrowers, saying of the borrowers the bank talks to, seven out of 10 are able to avoid foreclosure because of loan modifications or other arrangements.

"If we can talk to you, there's a 70 percent chance we can help you," he said.

Wells Fargo is one of the banks that agreed to a settlement last month with federal agencies.

The deal resolved claims that banks used shoddy servicing and improper foreclosure practices such as signing foreclosure related documents without a notary or knowing whether the facts they contained were correct. North Carolina will receive $338 million of the $25 billion settlement. The money will go to help struggling homeowners. The settlement also sets new mortgage servicing standards.

As for Charlotte's market, Andrew Misocky, Wells Fargo Mortgage Area Manager, said he is seeing signs the local market is improving.

For example, the median sales price for the Charlotte area is around $185,000, down from $220,000 in 2007, but up from $180,000 where it has been relatively recently.

"I think it's a sign of new momentum," Misocky said.

Misocky and Frohn both said they are hearing Realtors talk about receiving multiple offers on houses, something that hasn't happened often during the past five years.

Asked if the market has hit the bottom, Frohn said: "It feels it not only is the bottom but that we're starting on the way up."


Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Wells Fargo mortgage brokers say it's a great time to buy?

Well I'm just going to ignore every other economic indicator along with my own common sense and head right over to my nearest loan office!

Nothing beats folks in the real estate business for giving an honest, unvarnished assessment of the real estate business!

Anonymous said...

7:36 - You'd probably complain about skin cancer risk on a warm sunny day. Please define your "every other indicator" comment. Stock market improving?Unemployment rates going down? Interest rates lowest in modern history? The data supports that things are improving in CLT. Geez!

Anonymous said...

Let's see.... depreciated home values, coupled with record low interest rates, and an abundance of inventory on the market. If you were plugged into "economic indicators" and using "common sense" you'd realize it's been an incredible buyer's market for nearly 2 years, now.

Anonymous said...

Wells Fargo Economists Optimistic About 2007 U.S. Economic Growth
Recession Unlikely; Interest Rates, U.S. Dollar, Stocks, Energy Prices and Housing Demand Point to Resurgence in U.S. Economy
San Francisco — December 21, 2006

Nothing else needs to be said

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:18 Waiting to buy a new home would be foolish. It's a buyer's market, interest rates are as low as they will ever be and there are lots of choices. What does any of that have to do with your comment on economic conditions 5-6 years ago? I could care less about the predictions, the facts are that it's a great time to buy a home vs. losing rent money. And finally, you do not get to decide when enough has been said, you putz.

Anonymous said...

"He cited a February survey by Fannie Mae showing 70 percent of those polled think now is a good time to buy a home, down 1 percent from January" - People have been incorrectly believing "now" is a good time to buy since 2008. Year after year this misconception continues to live on in an attempt to fill the pockets of those who make money off of real estate. Low interest rates look appealing today, but when rates rise prices move in the inverse direction. So when rates rise, prices will fall even more. Housing has no value appreciation for at least another 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, 8:46.

I've been waiting for years for someone to smack down that inane putzspeak " 'nuff said."

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It's hilarious to me just how many times I've heard "rates are as low as they'll ever be".

And yet, they've always found a way to go lower in the past few years.

Same with house prices lately.

I bought one last year just for kicks back when rates were "about as low as they can go"

And darned if the rates didn't go lower...

But, at least the price hasn't dropped 30K like it did from the year before.

So "maybe" I actually bought near a short-term low?

So who knows what the future really holds in real estate.

Certainly not the banks.

Or the Realtors

Anonymous said...

It may be a great time to buy for many reasons, depending on your specific situation. But if you think that so-called "experts" from the mega banks are giving sound advice, think again. These same individuals were probably preaching to the public and real estate brokers, that it was a great time to buy a house in 2007. Vested interests in pumping the mortgage market = not telling the whole story. Don't listen to them. Do your own research and use sound judgement...

Anonymous said...

Buy low sell high. Now is great time to buy. Not a good time to sell...

Anonymous said...

Housing prices can go down easily another 20%. The housing market will not improve until there is a real economy with good paying jobs. Not this socialist capitalism make believe world built on debt.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:49.

I agree that housing prices could drop another 15-20% given the backlog of foreclosures and people with credit problems combined with the weak job market.

And I also agree that the unemployment rate is driving most of the housing market.

I bought a townhouse last year to rent out and am making money on it, though, so the investor market may be kicking in a little at this point.

The real improvement won't begin, though, until more GOOD jobs are available and people have been in them for a few years.

Also, don't follow those "headline" unemployment numbers (like the current 8.3%)those numbers are for suckers.

Also, they say NOTHING about the quality of jobs or the pay level.

People will not be buying houses based on their take-home pay from McDonalds any more.

Anytime I hear someone (even from a bank) say those headline employment numbers are "good" news, I just laugh and wait a little longer for the reality to settle in.

Because I know their game.

Anonymous said...

For as many "experts" that say now is a great time to buy, there are many more "experts" that say it is not.

Each personal situation and real estate transaction is unique.

Do your own research and make the decision yourself - no one else will look out for your own interests.

Since prices are down significantly and will remain in the current range, or lower, it's not all about the house price at this point - the transaction costs (commissions, etc.) are a large part of the equation - make sure you will stay in your new home for at least 5 years before making a purchase.

Prices are not going to suddenly shoot up anytime in the next few years.

Anonymous said...

In various markets around the country, the market prices are improving.

In reviewing some of the posts here, the sentiment from some seems to be that prices will continue to decline - but I would not count on that. I believe that 2012 will be the last year of opportunity for prices at this low level. Many who had foreclosures more than 2-3+ years ago, are now able to get back into the market. Many people are finding work and the overall demand for housing will drive prices.

Anonymous said...

Well, we all know Wells Fargo execs always tell the truth. Right? Right.

Anonymous said...

expect another 20% drop in value, then a leveling off about 2015 or so. Right now:

too much credit card debt, so a lot of people cannot get mortgage loans

too much unpaid student loan debt, so a lot of people cannot get mortgage loans

3 years worth of foreclosures not even on the market yet. This brings down comps and therefore prices.

But if you need a place to live, particularly long-term - now is always a good time to buy. But as a surefire investment? No.

Anonymous said...

Wow, if the bank says it, it must be true then, they've never lead us astray before! Oh wait a sec.....

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:08

Anyone else heard about the "student loan" situation being the next credit crisis?

From what I understand it's a pretty big problem and will only get worse.

From what I understand students loans now exceed $1 Trillion with no end in sight.

And, yet, where is the media on this?

I guess it's not polite to have "too much" bad news nowadays.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 10:23 AM - actually I do expect prices to go up in the next few years. While there is still an overhang of foreclosures and short sales houses in many neighborhoods (including mine) are in short supply and there is pent up buyer demand. While the median price of a house may go down due to more foreclosures hitting the market that doesn't mean the price of a specific house won't go up due to increased demand. Don't be fooled by the average or median prices as those are heavily weighted by lower end homes more impacted by foreclosures.

Also, I know resort property is going up since I own a condo on the Florida Gulf and the sales price is up around $50K in less than a year. that area is already starting to work through the short sales and foreclosures.

I don't really care as I paid cash for my house in 2007 and have no plans to sell for around 10 years. It is down maybe $100-$150K from what I paid but it doesn't matter since I'll just eventually sell to downsize and if it appreciates I'll pay more for the smaller house. My guess it within 10 years it will be worth more than I paid for it but, as I stated, that really isn't an issue. I mean it isn't like I need the money or will be selling anytime soon so I can wait it out.

Anonymous said...

I don't know when is the best time to buy a new home, but I work for a home builder and I have been slammed for the past two months. I believe maybe momentum is building. Those of you sitting on the sidelines "waiting" for the best time to buy will be complaining some day as you always do. Go out to a homebuilder this weekend and see how busy we are!

Anonymous said...

New home builders are losing money! It is a great time to buy a home. Just not a wonderful time to be a builder in this nonprofit market. Buy a home while you can, because things will change.

Dolley said...

The truth about the fraud perpetrated on American HOmeowners

Dolley said...

Don't believe the HYpe...

Anonymous said...

I remember 21% rates now is the time to buy, the only problem is who is going to loan you the money!! I wish Well's and BOA would get off their ass and make some things happen.... we bailed them out and now they don't want to make any loans! Funny how things always seem to work for the Corporate World!!

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buy to let mortgage said...

Statistics on annual growth of real estate firms in carolina according to its investment scheme for different banks.

Leonard Vice said...

The South Carolina Real Estate Housing Market seems to be working well even with other markets seemingly going down and falling. Moreover, realtors in the state planning to renew their SC Real estate license would probably give the more opportunities and reason to continue their career in the said state.

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