Real Estate’s Summer Synopsis

September 4th, 2013 by Ori Klein

With summer now at a close, real estate industry professionals are assessing the steady progress being made in the property market. With interest rates still historically low (though starting to climb) and bidding wars actually making a comeback, one can get cautiously optimistic that the economy is on the upswing.

The most notable sign of this was the incredibly low amount of inventory on the market. Sparse offerings that have been witnessed in California before the summer began are now being seen in several major markets. Realtor.org reports, “July’s real estate market data shows the nation experienced a 5.24 percent decline in housing inventory, which is the second month in a row with year-over-year inventory declines in the single digits…While California markets have dominated the list of markets with the largest housing inventory declines in the first part of 2013, they have been replaced by a new set of market leaders including: Detroit, Michigan; Boston; Denver; Honolulu and Naples, Florida. The large decreases in the for-sale inventory in these markets suggests the beginning of a housing market recovery process similar to what was observed in Florida in 2011, and in California in 2012 and 2013.”

With inventory down and demand on the rise, buyers and investors are finding options outside of the typical MLS listings. According to Zillow, those in search of properties are even more open-minded on out-of-the-ordinary purchasing avenues. “As demand from home buyers grows faster than the supply of homes for sale, many buyers are taking less conventional routes to find their dream home,” Zillow reports.

One of those highly successful options is the auction method of sale. Real estate auctions have surged since the housing bubble burst in 2008, often seen as a prime opportunity for sellers to liquidate their assets in a limited amount of time. Now with the market improvement, property auctions are still going strong as buyers seek out other alternatives to the traditional listing route. Some auction companies are seeing a rise in business, such as United Country, which is reporting a 36 percent increase in sales volume this past June. “Buyers and sellers are recognizing the power of the auction process,” said Shawn Terrel, Vice President of United Country Auction Services. “It is an extremely transparent transaction that is clearly defined before the event even takes place. The process creates a clean sale and lessens the negotiation process.”

The summer season is typically slow in the real estate market, yet industry activity for the summer of 2013 brought in positive numbers that haven’t been seen in years. This latest boost in the economy is setting up for a very interesting autumn and has many already looking eagerly towards the new year.


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