The short answer to this is YES!
We're being bombarded daily thru national and local news services with negative real estate related stories. They range from features about the continued in-flux of foreclosures, to fraud cases, and not forgetting the current declining market.
So - lets put some perspective on this and also focus on some of the good news in this industry! This is not to gloss over the issues we are currently facing, but as someone who has been in the real estate business for 23 years, I have seen other times that have also been challenging (remember the double digit interest rates!?).
Our local market is quite a bit different than the overall national market. Quite often these news stories tend to focus on the national market - which is in worse shape than our local market, (mainly due to the local economic conditions). So, while predictions are that some national markets will see a further decline in values of 6-8%, our local market is actually faring much better. In fact when comparing April 2009 to April 2010 for Ramsey County alone, we see that both the sales volume and number of home sales have increased
Buyers have never had it better!! There is still an oversupply of homes on the market which means that sellers are being much more competitive in their pricing. We are also experiencing interest rates which have dipped down to 30 year lows! Interest rates will significantly affect the amount of home a buyer can purchase because it goes to the amount of monthly payment a buyer can qualify for. The other good news is that there are still programs out there that will allow down payment assistance to qualified buyers!
Sellers can still navigate thru this market with an experienced agent. Getting your home ready and pricing it right can still bring a quick offer. Just recently we had multiple offers on a property in Shoreview that ended up selling for over list price!
The key to success in this market is to have an experienced agent who can help guide you thru the constantly changing landscape!