How's the Real Estate Market?
It depends. All real estate is local.
When it comes to examining the real estate market, there are many factors that come into play. In fact, there are so many variables involved with determining the health of the real estate market that it is important to note that there is no such thing as a "national real estate market". Rather, every locality has its own market, which needs to be examined and explored in order to determine the health of the real estate market in that locality.
While the media often makes it seem as if there is a national real estate market, the reality is that buyers don't shop nationally when looking for a home. Similarly, the job market, the local economy and other factors can vary quite significantly from one local market to the next. As such, assessing the health of a local market cannot be determined by looking at national sales. Furthermore, since local economies vary widely, the likelihood of locals looking to purchase a home will also vary quite significantly. The same is true when it comes to the number of people who are interested in relocating to a certain area. After all, those who are interested in relocating are not likely to move to an area with a poor economy or a lack of employment opportunities. Therefore, those areas that are enjoying a strong economy are more likely to attract homebuyers who are interested in relocating to a new area with better economic opportunities.
It is also important to note that each local market contains varying sub markets as well, which means certain markets within that locality may be performing differently. Therefore, not only will the real estate market be different when comparing major cities, their sub markets may vary as well. Just as the Buffalo Grove and surrounding areas real estate market differs from Buffalo Grove and surrounding areas condo sub market, for example, will perform differently than other sub markets in that same local market. Many 'pocket neighborhoods' in Northern Illinois are performing well, while some 'pocket neigbhorhoods' are performing worse than the general local market.
The bottom line is that you cannot base your home buying decisions on national real estate media reports. Rather, it is essential to check with local sources, such as local news publications and real estate professionals who specialize in a particular area, in order to determine how well your market is doing. By accessing local resources, you can learn more about the local market as a whole while also finding out more about the anomalies that are found within the locality you are interested in exploring.