The Gulf Shores housing market bottom is not going to be a date on the calendar. More likely, the market’s bottom represents a series of events that set up the Gulf Shores housing market for recovery.
What Has to Happen to the Gulf Shores Housing Market First
According to Stan Humpries, chief economist at real estate website Zillow, “The market bottom is a multi-step affair. First, home sales have to bottom out, which they did in early 2009. Then, long-horizon buyers such as investors, 2nd home buyers, and retirees move into the market.”
Even though the Gulf Shores housing market has seen some decent sales activity this buying season, economists still predict home prices to decline a bit more on the whole, mostly because a big chunk of sales in coming months will be distressed properties.
Humphries points out that “A big part of it goes back to figuring out the ‘bottom of the housing market’ and the annoying little fact that no one can really predict when it will occur. For obvious reasons, consumers tend to not want to fork over thousands of dollars for something they know will decline in value, even if it’s only in the near term.”
Humphries goes on to say, “…for those who continue to wait out ‘the bottom of the housing market,’ lower prices aren’t their biggest enemy, the specter of rising interest rates are.
With rates hovering at historic lows, there’s really only one direction they can go and a higher interest rate can cost consumers a lot more over the long term than if they wait for home prices to drop a few thousand dollars more.
Don’t Try to Time the Gulf Shores Housing Market
Every time Gulf Shores housing cycles and buyers try to wait for the bottom, they invariably miss it while thinking they can figure out where the bottom is, and a combination of rising home prices and higher interest rates add up to cost buyers a lot more than if they had taken advantage of prime buying times, which we seem to be in right now.
Humphries sees 2012 as an inflection point for the housing market, albeit on a super local level.