Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to attend the annual ULI Atlanta Emerging Trends in Real Estate seminar. The day was filled with economists and Atlanta developers, like Stephen R. Blank, Dennis P. Lockhart, Ed Baker, Philip B. Beaudette, Randall Evans, Larry L. Gellerstedt III and Gregg Logan, giving their predictions on what to expect from the coming year, in regards to the real estate industry of course. The Emerging Trends report from ULI is one of the oldest and most trusted publications of its kind. In its history, it has been pretty accurate about predicting the economic future of the industry. So, what did I find out??
They all seem to agree that the housing market has bottomed out, and they made it perfectly clear that now is the optimal time to buy. In the next year, interest rates are going to rise and home prices are going to rise as well. Some markets have already been reporting an increase in home value, so in order to take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime, you need to go ahead and invest in a home now. The economists were referring to the low prices as an “opportunity of a lifetime” because you will probably not see such value in the real estate industry again in your lifetime.
The fact that the housing market has already bottomed out and we have begun to see an increase in home prices means we are on our way to recovering. However, you need to be prepared because the recovery process is going to be extremely long. There is no such thing as a quick fix for economic situation that we are in. First, all of the current inventory needs to be absorbed and the foreclosure market needs to be under control. After this, we will start to see more signs of the returning economy.
One of my favorite quotes of the day came from one of the panelists, “We are in better shape than last year. Last year we would have said ‘we need to turn off the light at the end of the tunnel to save on overhead,’ but this year, we do see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a far cry in the distance, but it is there and it is attainable.”
So, the two main points regarding residential real estate to take away from the November 10th ULI Atlanta Emerging Trends in Real Estate seminar are:
There has never been a better time to invest in real estate than right now
We are on our way to recovery, but it will be a long process
Laura Everett with Atlanta Real Estate Forum