Richard Gaylord says consumers need to understand what’s going on in their own area. “There is no such thing as a national housing market – it doesn’t perform like the equities markets,” he says. “What’s really important for consumers is to make informed decisions based on individual needs, desires, and timelines in a given area.
Most people plan to stay in a home for 10 years, and for buyers with a long-term view, housing is an excellent investment.”Typical sellers purchased their home six years ago, with the median price in the third quarter of 2001 at $159,100.
Despite the dip in the national median price over the past year, the median increase in value for home sellers who bought six years ago is 38.8 percent. “Nearly every market is showing positive long-term gains, with a home equity accumulation of $61,700 over the past six years for a typical U.S. home owner,” Gaylord says.
Even in most of the places that are undergoing a large price decline, like Tampa, Florida, a long-term increases are quite respectable, he says. For example, the Sarasota area of Florida is showing a median rise in home value of $112,000 over the typical holding period, and ranks well above norm for overall gains.”