Housing Market Rebound Seen in 2012
RE/MAX Agents See a Recovering Housing Market in the New Year
Denver, CO – The U.S. housing market will continue a slow recovery in 2012,
led by stabilizing home prices and increasing sales. Those are among the key
findings of a year-end survey of one thousand RE/MAX real estate agents who
say housing’s vital signs are gaining strength. The quarterly RE/MAX Market
Insights survey provides analysis of the national housing market from the
perspective of active RE/MAX agents around the country.
The majority of RE/MAX agents surveyed say housing prices will stay the
same, or increase in 2012. Projections are the strongest for the Southern U.S.
where 49.6% say prices will stabilize and 26.7% anticipate an increase. Agents
in the Northeast see the biggest challenges, with 47.5% concluding that prices
will decrease, 44.6% expecting prices to remain at 2011 levels, and only 7.9%
anticipating an increase.
Nationwide, RE/MAX agents reported a 10.7% increase in their home sales in
2011, and project an increase of 29.3% in 2012. Asked to measure the strength
of home sales, 62.1% of agents predict good to very good sales in 2012. Survey
results are also available in an online infographic.
“A sense that home prices and sales are improving indicates that the housing
market is positioned for a gradual recovery in 2012,” said RE/MAX Chief
Executive Officer Margaret Kelly. “These agents have the best perspective on
industry trends since they average more home sales than agents with any other
The major obstacles to the housing recovery cited by agents include sagging
consumer confidence, followed by lack of economic growth, unemployment,
concerns of more price declines and bank procedures.
Agents report that 52% of closings were significantly delayed in 2011, with
bank procedures cited as the cause in 23% of the cases, followed by financing
and appraisals. For sales that were canceled, bank procedures again was the
leading reason, while financing, sales price and appraisals also were factors.
The majority of agents say such delays and cancellations were higher in 2011,
than in 2010.
Buyers and sellers more realistic
Asked to grade buyers and sellers on how realistic they are about home prices,
RE/MAX agents gave both groups a B-. That compares with a C+ for buyers
and a C- for sellers at the start of 2011.
Common misconceptions reported by RE/MAX agents are sellers thinking their
home is still worth as much as it was four or five years ago before the housing
slump, and buyers believing that extremely low offers will eventually be
“It’s certainly a positive trend that buyer and seller perceptions are changing to
adjust to current conditions,” Kelly said. “Those who are misinformed and try
to time the market, rather than address immediate housing needs, can lose
Other findings of the RE/MAX Market Insights survey, conducted Dec. 7-19
among randomly selected agents, include:
• Market bottoming out: Thirty-nine percent said their markets have already hit
bottom; 34% say prices will stop dropping in 2012; 27% says prices will reach
their lowest point in 2013 or beyond.
• What government can do to help housing market recover: 1) Streamline short-
sale process; 2) Focus on job creation; 3) Increase refinancing help for
underwater home owners; 4) Standardize lending practices; 5) Release
foreclosed properties more aggressively.
• Five most common buyer incentives that agents are seeing: 1) Reduce sales
price; 2) Pay closing costs; 3) Make repairs; 4) Buy home warranty; 5) Pay
origination fees or points.
• Distressed sales: RE/MAX agents project that 20.3% of their home sales in
2012 will consist of foreclosures and short sales. That compares with 17.1% in
2011 and 15% in 2010.
RE/MAX agents have sold more real estate in the U.S. than any other company
since 1998. They averaged 13.1 sales per agent in 2010. To find an agent or
view homes for sale, go to www.remax.com.
Online survey of 1,004 U.S. RE/MAX agents specializing in residential real estate,
conducted in December 2011. ©2012 RE/MAX, LLC. Each office independently
owned and operated.