2009 is nearly upon us – and some might say that this has not come a moment too soon. This year has been anything but dull, but at times we could have done with a little less drama. To ease you into 2009 (which many analysts fear may be as tumultuous as last year) here are some reminders of things that happened last year… which may make you glad that we are leaving it.
Top News Story of the Year: Financial Crisis
The only way that you might have missed out on this is if you were living in a cave, under a rock. Definitely the defining story of 2008: from bailouts to stimulus packages, from crashing mortgage rates to foreclosures, every day brought new and more terrifying stories. This was not a good year to have real estate and business news Google alerts sent directly to your email account – unless you enjoy receiving 15-20 pieces of bad news a day.
Top Real Estate Story of the Year: House prices tumbling, back to basics mortgages and foreclosures ahoy
Yep – it’s not good news. Most markets saw some reductions in sales, and prices dropping – whereas other markets saw massive drops and the inability to sell at all. This, and the shrinking economy lead to an increase in foreclosed properties – which has meant many people have lost their homes this year. The consequence of this is that many banks and other lending institutions have become more prudent and restricted their lending policies. You can still get a mortgage, but you’ll need to have a good deposit, a steady income, and a good to stellar credit score.
Top Slightly-Less-Depressing Real Estate Story of the Year: First Time Buyer Alert
2008 was a good year for first time buyers to get in on the action. Providing you could get a mortgage, this was a great year to invest in real estate. This can only get better for first time buyers as 2009 continues, as prices will be dropping further. So when your 35-year old son says he still needs to live in your basement for free because “house prices are too expensive” feel free to chuck him and his ever growing laundry pile out in January.
Top ‘Most innovative ways to sell your house’ Stories of the year
My top three?
1) Can’t sell your house? Why not raffle it off? Sounds insane? That’s because it is. But desperate times call for desperate measures. In October, the Globe and Mail talked about homeowners who have narrowly avoided foreclosure, and made money. However, it’s not easy: some states/provinces will not legally let you raffle your house.
2) Buy the house, get the car free! In November, the National Post reported that a seller who couldn’t sell their East York home at a lowered price was offering potential buyers a free vehicle – worth $15,000. As of posting time – no news on whether it sold.
3) Find a buyer? Get $100,000. At the beginning of December, David Bangert and Linda Harris of Kailua, Hawaii REALLY wanted to sell two million dollar pieces of property. So they offered a reward for $100,000. If you could find someone who wanted to buy their houses, and more importantly, were funded to buy them, you could get up to $100,000 as a reward. Again – no news as to whether they sold or not.
Top ‘Good News Story for us: Most homebuyers are now looking on the Internet for their new home
According to the 2007 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 84 percent of buyers use the Internet to search for a new home, and this is a trend that has continued through 2008, and will continue into 2009. The Chicago Tribune, in its Eight Real Estate Trends for 2009 article, have predicted that as more buyers go online, more realtors will want to post their information online – which is great for sites like Realestock, who offer easy ways to upload properties on to our site – for free – to millions of eyes!
So happy new year, and let’s hope 2009 is a good one! We’ll be blogging in the New Year, and also releasing our new monthly newsletter – the Realestock Report. We wish you the very best for a prosperous 2009!
The views expressed on the blog portion of this site represent only the opinions of the author and may not necessarily be the opinions of Realestock.com