Is the housing recovery for real this time?

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: In The News, Old Houses

The long awaited housing recovery seems to be well underway. The San Francisco Business Times reports that August 2012 Bay area sales numbers were the best for the month in six years - a 14 percent increase over the number of homes sold in August of last year. On the other side of the country, an article in the Ithaca Journal states that New York is also seeing an upsurge in the real estate market. The number of houses sold in the state in August was the highest for a single month in over two years.

What about all the foreclosures that have been a major obstacle to the housing recovery? Well, there's some good news on that front as well: the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that foreclosures across the country are on a downward trend. The number of houses foreclosed on in July 2012 was down 10 percent from July of the previous year. The decline of "deals" at below market prices should help stabilize home values and may even cause them to rise.

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This may be the perfect time to buy an old house

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So what does all of this data mean for old house enthusiasts? Well, if you've been trying to sell your home or waiting for the right time to place it on the market, things might be looking up. A few more months of good news could cause potential purchasers who've been waiting on the sidelines to step onto the field of play. After all, with the real estate market being basically stagnate for the past several years, there should be a lot of pent-up buyer demand.

But what if you're thinking about buying an old house -- in which direction are mortgage rates going to head? Evidently that's anyone's guess -- while they've been trending slightly up, MarketWatch.com feels that they could go in either direction over the next several months. One thing's for sure though: they're historically low right now. When you combine the current rates with the potential rise in home values, the ideal time to purchase that old house you've always wanted might be right now.

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This may actually be the start of the housing recovery

I'm not an economist, but I did sleep in a Holiday Express last night. Just kidding -- however, I have been involved in the residential real estate and construction industries for over 25 years. That's why I was always a bit skeptical when "experts" predicted the beginning of the housing recovery several times over the past several years -- I personally didn't see too many positive signs. But this time they may be right -- from everything I've read and the increased activity of the home builders in my area, all signs are beginning to point to "go."