So, how’s the market?

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

As a kid I had several odd jobs as I tried to earn my way in this life. Though they all got me to the next phase of life, none of them were really connected or had room for advancement. At 45 years old I finally found what I was really made to do for my career. This year marks the start of year 17 for me in real estate and I enjoy it just as much today as I did day one.

Now, it hasn’t always been good. Like any job there are ups and downs. Anyone that was involved in real estate from 2008 to 2011 or so can attest to that. Looking back, I have no idea how no one ever came to get some of my stuff and take it back, but it did work out.

After 17 years, I still learn something new about my job every day. Good or bad, any news travels faster than the speed of light in our world today. We all get that. Most of you will know that the interest rate for mortgages has gone up like anything else. It costs more today to borrow money than it did even a year ago. Just how does that effect the real estate market and by what degree?

The current average rate now is around 5 percent. I ran some numbers and if you buy a house for $200,000, — 5 percent versus 4 percent rates — the payment will change around $100 per month. So, knowing that, interest rates rising play a major part in the housing market. The higher it goes, the less people will purchase homes as this will also drive the prices down closer to what we had before. Since the current boom started, all homes across the board have increased in value by as much as 50 percent. That’s a very big jump!

As realtors, we submit all our listings and sales to the Multiple Listing Service. After doing a quick search for Highland County, I found the following:

● There have been 93 homes sold just this year;

● A grand total of only 28 homes are for sale;

● Fifty-two listings for land of any kind are active;

● There are nine commercial listings;

● The average price of homes sold just this year is $155,000. That’s up from about $90,000 just a few years ago.

So, what does this all mean to us as consumers? The real estate profession is a lot like watching “Pawn Stars”. I think this is an awesome show that’s very interesting to watch. But it always amazes me that no matter what oddity comes into the store, there is an expert in that area five minutes away. The housing market is no exception to having many experts involved.

Though real estate is my full-time profession, I am not sure that qualifies me as an expert on what our economy will be like a year from now. About all I can do is to attest for what it is now. I can say the market is hotter than I have ever seen it. Homes are selling faster and at higher prices than ever before. I tell anyone that unless you have no other options than to buy now that it’s better to wait until it cools down, a lot. But for a lot of buyers, that is not an option.

It’s very easy for most people to agree that real estate goes up and down like anything else we as consumers purchase. Whether it’s gas, groceries, insurance or lumber, it is forever changing, that’s for sure. Nothing stays the same for very long.

After receiving council from my expert and many hours of research, I have a prediction about where all this is going. It’s taken from the song “Spinning Wheel” written in 1968 and performed by the group, Blood Sweat and Tears. Below is my prediction that I will forever stand by:

What goes up must come down;

Spinning wheel, got to go round.

Talkin’ bout your troubles is a cryin’ sin;

Ride a painted pony, let the spinnin wheel spin.

Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.

Randy Butler Contributing columnist Butler Contributing columnist