Economist: it's a sellers market

DOWNEY - Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, spoke in front of 500 real estate agents at a recent event in Cerritos sponsored in part by the Downey Association of Realtors.Yun said he "wouldn't be surprised" if Southern California home prices increased as much as 10 percent this year, a departure from his earlier predictions that prices would increase in the 3 to 5 percent range. "It's clearly now a seller's market," Yun said. "It's not the case in other parts of the country." Yun told the realtors that although the market appears to be stabilizing at the low end, the housing market's high end has a ways to go. "Right now, the availability of jumbo mortgages is better today from last year, but it's still far from normal," Yun said. "Although the jumbo market is closer to normal, I don't think it will get back to a normal condition in 2010." Yun said it's still a buyer's market and realtors should make sure clients "are financially qualified to buy." "Overall, the economy appears to be in recovery," he added. "The GDP (gross domestic product) is rising. Jobs will come around later in the year - just as the federal tax credit is no longer available." As far as commercial real estate, Yun said he does not expect recovery in 2010. At best, commercial real estate will recover in early 2011 "if we are lucky."

********** Published: January 29, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 41