With the start of another year, real estate sites are making predictions about the number of transactions expected in 2012, whether they think prices will go up or down, whether the market will be good or bad; in short, whether 2012 is going to be a good year for real estate sales. When you’re reading these predictions, it’s vital to remember to adjust for your region. Nationwide trends may not be reflected in your regional real estate market, and trends reported in another region may directly counter your local real estate patterns. Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling in 2012, make sure you consult the trends for your area.
Beware of Nationwide, Sweeping Generalizations
Nationwide, statisticians can draw conclusions about the number of home sales versus previous years, the trending of home prices and other data that professionals use to say whether the real estate market is “good” or “improving.” But those nationwide trends may have nothing to do with your local real estate market. Industry professionals predict 4.5 million real estate transactions in 2012, but those transactions are not distributed evenly around the United States. The real estate market in some areas continues to suffer, while real estate in other areas is picking up. Nationwide trends don’t reflect conditions in your region.
Regional Trends may Directly Contradict One Another
Beware of making assumptions based on regional trends. A Central Minnesota news outlet reported recently that the Central Minnesota real estate market showed a dramatic jump in 2011, demonstrating a direct reversal of 2010 data. But a news source in Connecticut reported that the state’s real estate market in 2011 was the worst in two decades, with the biggest drop on record for home sales. Don’t read a regional update and assume the same thing is happening in your area; consult local news sources, or a real estate agent experienced in your area, to find out what’s really going on with the real estate market in your region.