Housing Values Near Floor, Tech Firms Say
Property valuation technology firms say the housing market has nearly bottomed out–but not quite yet.
“There could be some rocky bounces, but by and large a number of markets have more or less stabilized,” said William Fall, CEO of The William Fall Group, Toledo, Ohio and owner of Valuation Partners, an appraisal management company in Sugar Land, Texas.
“There’s still some pockets, frankly, because of the foreclosure moratoriums that could still roll forward and bring some negative depression on pricing,” Fall added. “But more or less the worst is over…but that could be tempered on a market-by-market basis.”
Griff Straw, CMB, president of Solidifi, Chicago, Ill., said some regions will take longer to recover than others.
“When you start looking at the sand states–California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida–certainly they have a long way to go to recover. Unemployment is still a staggering statistic, and that’s going to require some work to get people back to investing and buying houses,” Straw said. “And certainly we have the over-regulation of Washington coming our way, and that remains to be seen as to what effect that’s going to have on all of us, including values.”
Jeremy McCarty, CEO and chief valuation strategist at Valligent, Roseville, Calif., agreed. “A lot of investors have come in and bought properties and continue to do that, that’s the majority of the activity that’s going on in a lot of market areas, so it’s not the kind of activity we want to see moving out,” he said. “And there’s a lot of inventory that I think we need to work through before we see some major improvements.”
“I think you could equate it to swimming in a lake,” Straw said. “We’ve hit, our feet have touched the bottom, but I’m not convinced that it is the full bottom of the lake.”