Monthly Archives: June 2008

Economists mirror consumer survey: “Housing prices apt to fall much more”

Blitzsurvey_1q2008_5yrs_v1(Turn off pop-up blocker, and click on table for larger image.)

An AP story hidden on page four of the Boston Globe business section, entitled "Housing prices apt to fall much more," reports that:

"A group of 10 economists says that home prices in the United States are only halfway through their fall."

"…and most of the further erosion should occur this year."

Those predictions are consistent with consumer surveys conducted by The Real Estate Cafe and Boston Bubble six months ago (December 2007 & January 2008), which revealed that consumers expected housing prices to bottom out sometime in 2009 or 2010. 

When consumers in Greater Boston were asked to graph housing prices over the next 5 years (through 2012) in their local city or town, the composite pattern above emerged.  A comparison of that table to the results of the same question asked two years ago (January 2006), reveals that consumer price expectations have taken a sharp downturn. 

A recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston projecting that foreclosures may not peak in Massachusetts until the 2nd quarter of 2010, could send housing price expectations even lower.  What’s your prediction as we end the 3rd quarter of 2008? 

Posted in Consumer surveys, Housing forecasts, Real Estate Bubble, Timing the market

Alternative fees for home buyers: Still the “Unfinished [r]Evolution”?

Four years ago, June 7, 2004, Banker & Tradesman quoted The Real Estate Cafe in a page one story entitled, "MLS Policy Statement Fuels Commission War."  The skip page read:

Unfinished Evolution

During the last decade or so, alternative services — such as flat-fee, listing-only or fee-for-service models — have been offered to home sellers, but there haven’t been a tremendous amount of choice for buyers, according to Wendel. 

This is one of the untold and unfinished pieces of this [real estate r]evolution," he said.  Wendel, who charges $100 an hour rather than charging a commission, has been offering a full menu of services to both buyers and sellers for the last 10 years.

Do you think the residential brokerage community now offers enough alternatives to the traditional real estate commission?  What kind of money-saving options would you like The Real Estate Cafe to add to it’s Menu of Fees & Rebates?  Should we bring back our $3,000 and $5,000 flat fees, first offered when we opened in 1995, or continue to focus on hourly fees?

Would you like to see the traditional, two-sided real estate brokerage commission uncoupled so home buyers and sellers can BOTH maximize savings in an open, competitive market place?  If you are not familiar with the issue, watch this 90 second video.  Why hasn’t this happened already, and what will it take to get there?  Your ideas are welcome on the "divorcing" commissions section of our wiki, or in the comments section below. 

See what we mean about the "Unfinished [r]Evolution" in real estate brokerage fees?

Posted in Commission Reform, Fee-for-service, In the News, Inside The Real Estate Cafe, Savings & Rebates
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