Flowers are not the only things beginning to bloom as spring arrives. The U.S. housing market is also showing signs of rebirth. According to an Associated Press report posted by ABC News, last month U.S. home sales posted their highest gain since May 2010, capping a 13% increase over the past 6 months. According to the National Association of Realtors, January’s bump-up brought U.S. home re-sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million. While that figure is still below the 6 million needed to declare the patient “cured,” the U.S. real estate market is definitely on the mend.
Nationwide, the housing supply dropped to 2.3 million in January, a seven-year low, causing some market watchers to predict a spring boost in housing prices. U.S. real estate agents saw last month’s increase in the number of first-time home buyers as an encouraging sign. First-time buyers accounted for 33% of January housing sales. Another encouraging sign that the housing market is on the rebound was the increase in foreclosure sales which accounted for 35% of total January housing sales. At that rate, it would still take more than 6 months to clear the current housing backlog; but it is a considerable improvement over the 2 to 4 years some economists predicted it could take for the housing backlog to return to normal levels.
Depending on your market, the real estate picture may still be less than rosy; but there definite signs of new life are beginning to appear. However, despite predictions of spring growth, real estate agents will still need to use every real estate tool in their bag of tricks to earn their share of new sales. Fortunately, new web, mobile and social media tools offer real estate agents a wide range of fresh new opportunities to connect with potential clients and increase sales.
Among the hottest new real estate tech tools are:
- Mobile apps
- Mobile browsing
- Cloud computing
- QR codes
- Proximity marketing
- Social media
Next time: Putting new tech tools to work in your real estate business