Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 6:49 am | Fog/Mist 56º


Elaine Abercrombie: The Long and the Short of It

Short-term fluctuations can be misleading in deciding when to buy or sell

Elaine Abercrombie
Elaine Abercrombie (Roe Anne White photo)

Markets go up, markets go down. Sometimes we see it coming, sometimes we don’t. It all depends on what consumers and businesses are buying — and when. How can we tell if and when real estate will recover?

We need to ignore short-term fluctuations, such as the spike in home sales last November, when buyers thought the first-time tax credit would expire. Then sales rates dropped significantly when Congress extended the tax credit and removed that original sense of urgency.

We need to pay attention instead to long-term forecasts.

Consider that homeownership increases by about 1 million each year. There are 4 million births, 2 million deaths, 1 million new immigrants, 2 million weddings and 1 million divorces each year. All of those events spur people to buy and/or sell a home.

Crunch the numbers, and you’ll see that we can expect about 60 million home sales in the next decade. Regardless of the subprime mortgage debacle, and the ensuing foreclosure crisis, real estate will remain on the rails — an unstoppable freight train barreling toward homeownership.

Just as surely as the market sees recovery, buyers and sellers still need representation in these transactions. A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors reveals that 80 percent of buyers and sellers would recommend their Realtor to family and friends. That’s a loud signal of the value of representation.

Elaine Abercrombie, a broker with Abercrombie Fine Homes, is president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >