2008 Lessons Learned In Ann Arbor Real Estate

Happy New Year from Team366

So, the end of the year is upon us and many folks take this time of year to reflect on what’s happened the year prior.   2008 will go down in the history books with a few notable events.  Not least of which is the Presidential election that has FINALLY ended and the near collapse of our financial system.  Gas prices, just a few months ago, were over $4.00 a gallon and now can be had around Ann Arbor for about $1.55, or so, a gallon!

Oh, but wait, this is a blog about real estate….Did anything of note happen in 2008 with regards to real estate?  Well, here’s a quick list of things that happened in the Ann Arbor real estate market:

  • The University of Michigan announced it’s intention to purchase the former Pfizer facility;
    • Will create 2,000 jobs across the next 10 years and increase U of  M’s wet lab research space.
  • Combined Residential and Condo Sales prices declined at nearly 1% per month in 2008;
  • Nearly 4% more real estate was sold in 2008 than in 2007 (through the end of November);
  • Real Estate Video became THE marketing tool for property;
  • The mainstream media recognized, finally, that the housing market was rough for sellers;
  • Real estate marketing dollars are flooding to online avenues;

What did I learn in 2008?  Well, here are a few lessons this real estate agent learned:

  • When looking at foreclosures, expect to find ANYTHING;
    • 4 foot long strands of mold are NOT fun to bump into!
  • Reverse offers for your selling clients make everyone’s day;
    • that’s where my selling clients make an offer to some interested purchasers.
  • Technology in real estate will NEVER overtake real estate skills in getting transactions closed for clients;
    • Technology simply automates routine processes. Clients are different from transaction to transaction.
  • Many agents were desperate for a transaction this year;
    • The frantic requests for feedback and near breaches of fiduciary responsibility were the tip offs!
  • No matter the marketing system, great price wins out every time!

So what does 2009 hold for the Ann Arbor area real estate market?  Tough to say.  If anyone has a clear crystal ball on this subject, I’d like a peek please, mine’s kinda murky!

The data shows strong trends towards lower prices in 2009, but it is my belief that prices will bottom out in mid/late 2009 for the Ann Arbor real estate market.  Number of units sold will continue to trend up and new listings will continue to fall and then plateau to “normal” levels.  Again, I think this will happen mid/late 2009.

Ridiculously low interest rates have shown to push buyers off the fence.  So, if low interest rates are the standard for 2009, expect well-qualified, first time homebuyers to hit the market.  This means, of course, that first time homebuyer homes will be the property of choice to be selling in 2009, along with foreclosed properties.  I talked about the changing face of Ann Arbor real estate earlier.  

What do you think will be happening in real estate for the year 2009?  Any predictions for the Ann Arbor market?  Drop a comment and let’s start the conversation!

image source *SallyM*

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Todd Waller Real Estate
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Phone: 734.564.7465