Friday, June 27, 2008

Why You Should Price Your Home Like Target

Just like bargain shoppers are buying at Wal-Mart, bargain home buyers are finding plenty of good value, tooEach month, researchers at The University of Michigan survey a small sample of the U.S. population about their thoughts on the economy -- is it improving, it is worsening, is it staying the same.

May's consumer confidence survey registered it's lowest reading since 1980 -- and for good reason:

But despite all of that, it appears that the American Consumer is taking the economy's hiccups in stride.

Last month, retailers around the country reported rising sales levels that doubled economists expectations. This isn't supposed to happen when consumer confidence is falling so fast.

But, a closer look shows that the retail sales data was led by discount retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart. In other words, consumers feel worse about the economy, so when they choose to spend money, they spend it on value items.

For home buyers, this should sound familiar because it's every real estate agent's mantra right now -- "there's a lot of good values to be had." It's why some homes are getting multiple offers within days while other languish on the market for months. And that's why I wrote a post a little while ago called "It's a Great Time to Buy Real Estate in Philadelphia". In our market in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where prices are stable, and the amount of existing housing inventory is smaller then the national average, careful consideration of your pricing is crucial.

The housing market is showing signs of strength across the country, low consumer confidence notwithstanding. Every buyer is looking for a "good buy" and there's plenty of places to find them.

(Image Courtesy: Wall Street Journal Online)