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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Dearth of Move Up Buyers

by Calculated Risk on 5/26/2009 09:08:00 PM

The lack of move up buyers is starting to get attention ...

From David Streitfeld at the NY Times: Home Prices Decline Again in March

In many urban areas, including those tracked by Case-Shiller, the residential real estate market is essentially cleaved in two. The top half of the market is largely stagnant, with owners unwilling to sell and buyers unable to buy. “Move-up” families seeking another bedroom or a better kitchen are an endangered species.
And from Carolyn Said at the San Francisco Chronicle: Signs of more trouble ahead for housing market
No "move-up" buyers. In a normal real estate market, about 80 percent of buyers are "moving up" or "moving across" - people who sell one home before buying another, said Mark Hanson, principal of Walnut Creek's the Field Check Group, a mortgage consultant. Remaining purchasers are split between first-time buyers and investors.

In today's market, about half of buyers are first-timers and a third are investors, leaving just 15 percent of what he calls "organic" buyers. Those first-timers and investors all troll for bargain-basement foreclosures - leaving few buyers who are interested in the homes being sold by "Ma and Pa Homeowner." That, in turn, leaves Ma and Pa unable to move up to a nicer home. "The organic seller is left out in the cold," he said.
This is going to be a serious problem for the mid-to-high end home sellers. Just wait ...

Note: Carolyn Said lists a number of additional problems ...