Banks should be reducing principal on home loans

The following is a little bit of a ramble…consider yourself warned.

The number one question asked of Real Estate professionals used to be “how’s the market?”

It seems now that the question has changed to “How are you doing?”

But I am going to return to the question “How’s the market”, with not necessarily any answers, but some ideas.

Foreclosures will continue to be a big factor through 2010, and probably even through 2011 according to statistics and columns that I read. While there is great optimism over that fact that home sales in the last couple of month have been at 3 year high levels, and that inventory is at 4 year low levels…prices have also declined to cause that.

The number of people “underwater” in their homes is rapidly increasing, and stability will not come until the negative equity problem has been fully addressed. I have been hearing and reading about pushing the federal government who bailed out the failing banks to push them harder under the “Retaining Home Ownership” program to look harder at reducing loan balances as a way to meet the goal set by the Obama administration.

These banks, who after taking the government money, and now showing large profits I think would be well served to consider that option.

Areas like Ashland are not as effected by the unemployment rate as other areas in the country, because getting a job here has always been difficult. There are a few local companies that are large employers. The hospitals are still seeing sick people. Tourists are still showing up to see the Shakespeare plays.

So back to “how’s the market”.

Well, it has shown signs of improvement. The lack of new construction for the last couple of years has helped. Prices will continue to be soft in my opinion. The lower price range of homes have shown a strong recovery and quick sales. The higher priced homes are still lagging, and will continue to do so until there is more confidence in the National ecomomy.

So for 2010, I am going to knuckle down, stay put, show my current house some good love and improvements. Anyone have some good decking material that they want to recycle for my new deck?

Oh, and will try to update the blog on a more regular basis.

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