Open Forum (12/9-12/15)

Posted by Dave Fratello on Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 at 4:30am.

We are going to try not to be surprised about grim tidings from the local RE market in the coming weeks. The writing is on the wall.

It's also on the blogs.

Two local realtors with fairly active blogs have turned in some bearish posts this week.

Kaye Thomas, whose straight-shooting we often praise here at MBC, says that the 11 closed sales in all of MB in November were "an all-time low." (She's right, for as long as anyone can tell – MLS data from 2000-2008 show 13 as the previous low, reaching in Nov. 2007 and Jan. 2008; our DataQuick numbers going back to 1988 show nothing even close to that low.)

Kaye also frets that lower mortgage rates aren't helping many buyers, as fewer can qualify or want to jump into a purchase as the economy worsens.

Blake Roberts offers two great tidbits from the world of appraisals. Banks don't trust them anymore, so they're getting multiples.

And there's this – a not-uncommon rule of thumb now is to discount comps by 1% per month that has elapsed between that comp's sale date and the new appraisal date on a home in escrow.

Put that another way: Appraisers are baking in expected price declines at a rate of 12%/yr. That would be a stunning reversal of the cheerleading role we often saw appraisals play during the boom.

That's where we are, heading into 2009.

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As always, please use this week's "Open Forum" thread for news clips, off-topic questions & discussions of (virtually) any nature. Keep it clean.
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