There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the housing market. Is it going up? Down? A lot of people are making predictions, but they tend to look nationwide or citywide. But what about your specific farm area? Here is the best way to determine what YOUR housing market is going to do in 2010.
There are a number of factors that drive real estate prices up or down in any given area. Each market reacts to its own set of conditions, and even different neighborhoods and types of properties will react according to its own set of circumstances.
To narrow the trend data down to your area, look at trends within a 1 mile radius of the center of your area and look at homes that are within 10% of the square footage of the median size home and lot that you are looking for.
Generally, home price changes are determined by the months of inventory available. Price changes lag behind inventory by 6-10 months. As inventory decreases, you will see prices increase 6-10 months later. As inventory increases there will be a fall in prices 6-10 months later. Investors can use a Short Sale to get the price of a home back on the market at the lowest prices well before the rest of the MLS catches up.
If there are 8 months or more of inventory, prices will fall; if there are 2-3 months of inventory, prices rise. Use this as a rule of thumb in your local market in 2010.
If your area has a high demand for starter homes that was not quenched by the first round of the First Time Homebuyer credit, there may be a continuation of the feeding frenzy experienced in some markets. With the extension to all buyers, a larger supply of starter homes may be available in some markets, spurring sales and boosting prices. There are indications that the tax credit is just a minor factor in the economic recovery picture, though. Only 6 percent of homeowners who bought homes for the first time this past fall did so because of the tax credit.
Gen Y’ers (1977-1994) are in their prime home-buying years. It will take a relatively small increase in demand to spark building in those parts of the country that generate jobs for this age group and have remained relatively stable during the recession.
Another factor that drives prices is cost of ownership. The U.S. Treasury will play a part in determining whether 2010 is naughty or nice to homeowners. The Federal Reserve showed little incentive to raise interest rates in 2009, but things may change in 2010. There may be pressure on the Fed to increase interest rates to attract more buyers of U.S. debt. Even a small increase in interest rates will drive potential home buyers out of the market.
Local and state governments may succumb to pressure to raise local property taxes and state income taxes in order to balance budgets for 2011 and beyond. Higher property taxes will drive more buyers out of the market.
Last, but certainly not least, will be the impact of foreclosures on the housing market in many communities. I believe there will be spikes that occur in markets that heavily used the Option ARM for mortgages between 2004 and 2007 that are going to reset higher as interest rates push payments up. Communities still drowning in unemployment will also experience higher foreclosure levels.
These are just a few of the factors that will impact your local market conditions in 2010. Apply the ones that fit. Every market and micro-market will be different.

By lucille