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VOL. 127 | NO. 15 | Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seminar Addresses Housing’s ‘New Reality’

By Sarah Baker

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As real estate professionals gather this week to take a look at the latest numbers and trends, they’ll also get a preview of the road ahead from some of the city’s top residential specialists.

Realtors, appraisers, builders, investors, bankers and mortgage brokers will get a glimpse of Shelby County market trends Thursday, Jan. 26, when real estate information company Chandler Reports hosts “Master Your Market: Year-in-Review.”

Topics of discussion include 2011 year-end home sales and commercial sales, the foreclosure crisis, and new housing and lending results for Shelby County.

The event is slated for Thursday from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at The Great Hall of Germantown’s Media Room, 1900 S. Germantown Road, behind City Hall next to the tennis courts.

Lisa Reid, executive vice president of Magna Bank, will discuss in her keynote presentation the lending trends of 2011 and what to expect for 2012. She will also touch on the most popular programs, investor effects on underwriting and what to expect regarding rates.

Following Reid’s presentation will be a panel discussion with Reid, Ed Beasley of Sowell & Co. and Cleo Stevenson, regional appraiser with Synovus Bank.

The panel will participate in an open discussion about the market and their perspectives for 2012. Beasley, who has worked in the residential real estate business since 1973, said he’s never seen any kind of market downturn that lasted more than a few months or a year.

“The market slowed down in August of 2007 and how did we know that was going to be a blitz in the market or a major paradigm shift?” Beasley said. “So when it shifted on us, we didn’t really know what had hit us. Then by the time we realized that the market had made a big adjustment, the biggest problem at that point was really getting sellers and buyers to really understand what was happening and to adjust their prices.”

When the market achieves equilibrium, Beasley said, there are a reasonable number of buyers and a reasonable number of sellers, and thus people settle on market value. But when houses stopped selling in late 2007, in addition to the inventory of people who were just entering the market, inventory kept building without enough buyers to support it.

That downturn continued throughout 2010, Beasley said. But in 2011, people began to acknowledge the new reality that real estate had taken a 20 percent or more hit everywhere in the local market.

“At least by 2011, we had buyers and sellers that decided, ‘Well, I need to get on with my life and I need to make this change and I’m going to do whatever the market will bear,’” Beasley said. “The people that had some equity in their homes were able to make that decision and move on.”

He does think things are getting better, but part of it is basically accepting the new reality.

“It’s just been a learning curve for everybody,” Beasley said. “If you own a home and you literally owe more on it than you can sell it for, then you’re pretty much paralyzed. You either have to be willing to bring to the closing table or you’ve got to stay put.”

The cost to attend is $10 for Chandler Reports subscribers and $15 for non-subscribers. Cost includes a copy of the presentation and year-end market trend reports.

Anyone interested in attending can contact Wendy Greenlaw, Chandler Reports business development manager, at 528-5273 or wendy@chandlerreports.com.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 51 223 1,152
MORTGAGES 55 189 861
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 25 45 144
BUILDING PERMITS 149 541 2,593
BANKRUPTCIES 24 120 581
BUSINESS LICENSES 14 65 264
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0