There is information available everywhere in the real estate industry if you know where to look for it. From employment numbers to new housing starts, there are clues as to where the market is going right in front of you. On a smaller scale, there are many local indicators as to where your local market may be headed. If you use these as a guide, it can help you make the best decisions possible for your real estate investments.
In a given week, there may be data reports for housing, manufacturing, employment, consumer spending and inflation. These reports will tell us which way the market is headed. Investors, buyers and sellers react to these reports, sending home prices and interest rates soaring. The reactions aren’t typically extreme, but they will tell you something about the market. If new housing starts or employment numbers are weak, buyers are not in the market and you can expect home prices to stay the same or drift lower. If consumer spending is up, the public has disposable income which may be used in the future towards a down payment on a home.
You don’t need a degree in finance or a financial calendar to stay up to date with the market. Instead of going to the sports or entertainment section of your internet homepage, spend one day a week in the finance section. This will give you an idea of what is happening on the national scene. To find out what is happening in your local area, you need to read any town publications and talk to as many people as possible.
These publications can tell you if there is a new school set to open or if taxes will increase next year. If you talk to people at the local lunch spot or town hall, you may hear if the town factory is closing or if there is a new restaurant opening up on a main street. If the town is strong and growing, your property will remain in demand and values will remain strong. If homeowners are selling and moving out, you are looking at a reduction in your projected sales price or a prolonged time with the house on the market. How you use the data that is available can save you thousands of dollars and give you an edge on your competition.
It is important to differentiate what is going on nationally and what is happening in your local area. A report you may see on a national nightly news show may say home prices are rising, but that may not be the case in your town. National data may have an impact where you invest eventually, but always trust your local data. Your local realtor will have more information than a national realtor you read online. No information should ever be quickly discarded, but always take priority with the information most important to where you live or where you invest.
It can be difficult to get caught up in all of the available data. This does not mean you should ignore it. The more you know, the better position you will be in to make the best decisions possible.