Friday, January 21, 2005

Call 3: Is There A Real Estate Bubble?

KCRA Channel

Experts Weigh In On Local Housing Market

Homeowners are enjoying record real estate gains, but how long can low interest and high appreciation rates really last? Call 3 turned to the experts for some answers.The term "bubble" has been associated with the California housing market for some time, but is there really a bubble and is it poised to burst in the Central Valley?

"We don't see any evidence that there's a housing bubble," Dave Tanner, of the Sacramento Association of Realtors, said."There could be, but I don't think so ... not at this time," Bill Bitz, of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers, said."I do not believe there's a housing bubble. Bubbles are things that pop. Housing prices are not going to pop," Robert Rivinius, of the California Building Industry Association, said.Real estate agents, brokers and builders said prices may level off or even flatten for a time -- only to rise again. The reason: Demand for housing far exceeds supply."We need to identify more land that would be available for housing," Rivinius said.While lawmakers consider how to lower land costs and cut the time it takes to develop it, experts say consumers should think first and act quickly."My advice is buy now," Rivinius said."I call it 'get on the arc.' What I mean by that is people miss the boat sometimes. Those people that missed the boat a couple of years ago, at this point, has cost them anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 in appreciation," Bitz said.For the first-time buyer:"The longer you wait, the higher the price is going to be, the more down payment you're going to have to save to get into the property," Tanner said.For those buying up:"Now's a great time to do that. List your home for sale because you'll get top value, and go out and buy your new home before it continues to rise and you maybe wouldn't be able to afford it," Bitz said.Whatever you do, act fast."It's not rocket science. Get yourself educated and start looking for a home," Bitz said.Experts say if you are thinking about buying a home, get prequalified and explore different loan options. And keep in mind that while interest rates remain low, if the economy starts to grow, interest rates will likely rise. Copyright 2004 by TheKCRAChannel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,