I had the pleasure of attending the Wilmington Business Journal's Power Breakfast titled "Real Estate Reality Check". The breakfast included a panel discussion made up of some of the top heads of the local real estate, builiding, and lending industry, including president of my company, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty, Tim Milam.
The room was packed and the breakfast was sold out with a long wasting list. The panel discussion was a wealth of knowledge and I am happy to be able to share some of the information with you now.
The optimism was impressive and former Wilmington mayor Spence Broadhurst started the conversation by summing up the Wilmington region's economical reality. He stated that "...the recession was much slower to affect this region and this region will be much faster to snap back."
Michael Lopez, president of Alpha Mortgage, mentioned that when he got into the business 25 years ago "rates were at 16%". A number much higher than current rates.
Another important note is how important it is for the general public to be educated on the fact that the real estate market is local not national. The "national real estate market" is a lie that Americans have bought into and it has been fed by the media.
Craig Stevens, president of Stevens Fine Homes, noted that "There are jobs here and people want to move here." He also said that he "would rather be building homes in Wilmington, NC than anywhere else in the country."
Tim Milam added that it is projected by leading industry experts, experts that have correctly made these projections for the last several years, that the bottom of the real estate market is 2008 and that we will see a 2-3% gain over then next 10 years. If this does happen numbers in 10 years could look very similar to those of 2004 and 2005.
Stevens also mentioned that "It is important to remember that builders are tight right now and don't have anymore room to go down but a lot of room to go up. There is a lot of pressure on these builders and as soon as more people start buying those prices will probably be the first to go up.
Lopez also pointed out that although the rules have changed there is still a lot of money available for home buyers. Milam added to this stating that many people who have been waiting to buy here based on the need to sell another home in different market. These folks are biting the bullet and starting to sell those other homes and be able to purchase in Southeastern, NC. Also, are prices are still much better then the Notheast, so even if you sell your home in the Northeast for less than you were hoping you will be able to get so much more home at a better value here.
All in all, the entire panel sees a bright and positive real estate future in very near sight. These are the best of the best and it is obvious that they have weathered the storm and see clear skies ahead.
After all, like Warren Buffet says, it is times of extreme pessimism that you should buy and times of extreme optimism that you should sell...now I'm just wondering why it is easier for most to listen to the media than to one of the most wealthy entrepreneurs in the world...