Real Estate Websites Need to Adapt to Housing Starts Outlook
The real estate markets across America will see different scenarios in new housing starts. Location of property and past three years new housing start trends are two major determinants. The best marketing for real estate websites is to ignore the national figures and address the local trends.
The National Association of Home Builders, in tracking new home starts, found that the drop from the 1.8 billion housing units in 2006 to the 1.36 billion in 2007 was less than the drop between 2005 and 2006. Even though 2008 is still feeling the housing slowdown, with expectations of 1.2 billion starts, the curve looks like it is bottoming out. The recovery will start slow, but 2008 looks like the turnaround year. Bernard Markstein, NAHB director of forecasting and senior economist expects “housing starts to bottom in the second quarter and turn up in the third quarter”.
The fractured nature of the real estate market continues to be a reason for real estate websites to identify and focus on the active markets. In the Denver metro area alone, neighborhoods such as Cherry Creek continue to be a desired destination, whereas other neighborhoods are selling in the 85 – 95% of asking price range. With recent changes in the FHA lending practices, if appraisers can show that neighborhoods are in areas people want to move in to, the loan to value ratio changes from 90% to 95%.
The Colorado Springs real estate market has been a little slower to recover from the current real estate climate. But with the military slated to move thousands of troops into the area in the next few years, the buyers market will be turning into a sellers market as early as this year. Real estate websites and real estate blogs focusing on the military population are already positioned to receive this wave when it arrives.
The Salt Lake City real estate market has weathered the housing slowdown storm the best. In the second quarter of 2007, the average home price rose the most of anywhere in the country. States such as Wyoming, partially driven by the oil economy, have also seen gains in home values.
The Florida real estate market is still one of the tougher markets, but the devalued dollar has spurred European investment. European countries were 7% of the real estate sales, mostly in the condominium and apartment markets along the East Coast waterfront. Recent immigrants purchasing their first homes in the United States have had a strong effect in helping the California, New York, and New Jersey markets as well as the Florida market. Some real estate websites in these areas are positioned to sell to the immigration market with bilingual websites. Yes, the keywords “casa en venta” for major cities brings up real estate sites on Google.
In any market, real estate agents should use their real estate websites, and especially their real estate blogs, to respond to market demands. As soon as you can see where the trends starts to go or can be foreseen to go, that is the time to add content to your site. The sooner the better you address the emerging markets on your site, the better you will be positioned to attract those buyers and sellers.
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