Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where are the Luxury Buyers?

I thought I should write a little bit more about the information on market inventories that I described last time. As I stated, there is a direct correlation between the price and the amount of months of inventory on the market. So, for properties under $200,000, there is a 1.7 month supply. For each increasing value bracket, that supply goes to between 2 and 3 months, between 3 and 4 months, between 4 and 5 months, and then goes to over a year above $700,000. Only 2.7% of the sales now are above $700,000, and there are more homes on the market in that price range than in either of the two price ranges below that.

This surprises me in some ways. While I know that consumers are cautious, and I realize that the governmental incentives are aimed at a lower price point, one would still think that the combination of low interest rates and a skittish stock market would drive people to spend their savings on real estate. In addition, there are still those who could be downsizing and yet be spending above that amount for a property. Since investing one's assets is so problematic these days, real estate stands out as a tangible asset that is currently selling at bargain prices.

We bought our home at what turned out to be the bottom of the last market cycle, and it has turned out to be our best investment. While you cannot pick the bottom of the cycle without luck, this clearly has to be a time that will turn out to be good, considering the interest rates and prices. Why not take advantage of that, and look back years later with great satisfaction on your best investment?