Marti was recently interviewed by WRAL! Check out the video below to hear some of Marti’s thoughts on the housing market in Raleigh, current Triangle housing trends, and some predictions on where Triangle Real Estate is headed in the coming months. If you’re wondering when is a good time to sell or buy a new home in Raleigh or the Triangle area, Marti Hampton has the answer!
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Triangle Business Today right here on WRAL.com.
I am Jeremy Salemson your host and we welcome to the studio this week Marti Hampton. Marti and her team of ReMax real estate are the number one ReMax real estate team in the entire United States, and so we are thrilled to have Marti join us this week.
J: Marti welcome to the show.
M: Thank you Jeremy.
J: Absolutely. Well you know it is always nice to get such an expert in their field into the studio to talk a little bit about housing and let’s get right into it. Some interesting data points this week specifically related to housing existing home sales as we have talked about were actually a little more negative than we would have liked to have seen. New home sales were a little slightly higher as well so when you look at sort of the mix of that talk to us about how we are doing here in the Triangle and the trends that we have seen so far this year in 2013.
M: We are doing very well here in the Triangle. There is an up tic in home buying over last year, 2012, and there is also pin up demand I believe for people who wanted to sell their home and now see a chance to do so.
J: Sure. Well it does seem like consumers are feeling good about things obviously a lot of the news and the data have been a bit more positive. Fundamentals as we always talk about here in the Triangle also seem to be fairly strong and I think that is going to continue for some time because of the diversity of businesses that we have here. Do you also feel like job growth will continue or are there any things on the horizon perhaps that concern you at all?
M: Well I am also concerned about job growth. I see lots of positive things that are happening in the Triangle, lots of companies, lots of tech companies coming into the downtown area, but I am really worried more about the economy hurting housing rather than the
J: Versus the other way around?
J: Yeah well I think that is a very good point and obviously we don’t know what is happening. We do see some weakening of at least national fundamentals because it is more of a global market too
J: Those pieces in fact just a way that perhaps it didn’t before so we will have to watch those going forth, but at least for now it seems like we are in a pretty good position. Let’s talk about you and your team in terms of the areas that you cover in the Triangle. If you could just get a couple of the highlights and tell us what you are seeing in terms of prices, what you are seeing in terms of demand and just sort of activity overall if you will?
M: Well showings are up. So that means that there is more demand out there. We cover a very large range and I actually moved here 25 years ago from a little town you may have heard of called Atlanta.
J: Uh yes.
M: And it is a very big market so when I came to the Triangle area it was actually a smaller market compared to what I was used to. So we cover the entire Triangle area including some of the surrounding counties so we cover a very diverse area, and it is not one size fits all. It is a different size for different community, different areas of town there is more demand.
J: Yeah well actually well obviously real estate is very locally specific as we talk about all of the time as well but in general would you say the prices for example are trending a bit higher and I know that is specific to neighborhoods even specific to street sometime but I think in general it does seem like most areas are at least enjoying a bit of price appreciation would you agree?
M: We are getting rid of some of that negative equity we are gaining equity in our homes.
M: And I am awfully glad to say that.
J: Well that is a nice trend to see. Let’s kind of talk about the next piece that falls into that which of course are housing inventories. For a long time we have seen way too many homes on the market builders pulled back significantly, took fewer spec homes out of the ground as well. We are now seeing that trend reverse itself. Do you have any concerns about it being an impact in a negative way long term or is it really just starting to level out here in the Triangle area?
M: Well I think with building permits up now I believe over 70% that you will eventually see that take hold and you will see that demand go towards new construction, which will actually hurt the person who wants to sell a previously owned home.
J: Sure. Absolutely. That is a good point and at least for now it seems like it is a seller’s market and for those folks enjoying those sales that has been a good trend so far in 2013 but let’s talk a little bit about your business and technology. I think this is fascinating. As the industry has moved much more in a digitized fashion one of the pieces and functionality you offer on your web site is a chat function, which I think is really neat. It engages your customer, your potential buyer or seller almost immediately. Talk to us about that and what that has done for your business model.
M: You know I didn’t think that would even work and my son wanted to put that on the web site and I want to tell you the amazing thing is people sometimes want to talk to you on the Internet before they want to pick up the phone and I actually listed a home the other night and I asked her why did you use this chat and she said well I have these three children running around they were driving me crazy so it was just easier to use the chat function.
J: Yeah well that is nice to see and obviously that is one of the tools I think for today’s market that people are really looking for in terms of efficiency as well.
J: Talk a little bit about new construction. You know what are your buyers coming to you asking for these days in new construction and are they seeing the kinds of opportunities out there that they are actually looking for?
M: Well the short answer is no they are not seeing all the opportunities they are looking for, but I think people are looking for more compact homes, smaller plusher, more of a mixed use development so I think you will see lots of trending still to the in fill developments or the big developments that have a place to go shop, go eat within walking distance.
J: The more urban feel as well. Are you seeing a lot of demand for the next Gen product? You know that has been in the news over the last couple of months where more and more families perhaps because of economic reasons are considering living together do you see that much at all in terms of a demand?
M: We do we do. I don’t think it is really taking hold here in the Triangle maybe as much as other markets because we are still so moderately priced our median price range is below $250,000 so.
J: So there isn’t an offer for that particular product exactly. Are you also seeing the number of foreclosures or short sales diminish in the Triangle area? I know that they weren’t as big a problem as perhaps other areas around the country but we certainly had our fair share right?
M: Right. We have actually between short sales and REO’s which are bank owned foreclosures we have less than 10% about 9% but that is still enough to affect your home price.
M: And we have to get rid of that inventory before the market can get totally healthy and revive.
J: And we are seeing those go off the market quick?
M: They are going slowly away.
J: Slowly away but hopefully at least they will be in the short term. As we end the show we like to leave a bit of advice for our viewers certainly on the buyer’s side and on the seller’s side as we are here right in the middle of the spring buying and selling season so your thoughts on that?
M: You know I think that many times when you finally see the market turn to a little bit more of a seller’s market you think that market is going to last forever and I can tell you after 25 years of real estate that a seller’s market never lasts as long as a buyer’s market does and the second thing I would tell you is I love this MSN Money Reports if you can put it up on your web site that would be great. It shows that the return on investment from real estate compared to the Dow S&P and NASDAQ is 46% compared to the Dow at 33 we beat hands down every day of the week and it is still an emotional place plus it is an investment also.
J: Well I think that is a very good point. You look at it from a shelter perspective, you look at it from a long term investment perspective as well so as always Marti Hampton thank you so much for being here today. Some great insight and great information. If you would like to find out more about Marti and her number one ReMax team you can do so easily on the web at MartiHampton.com. And as always we want to thank you for watching Triangle Business Today right here on WRAL.com. I am Jeremy Salemson and we will see you next time.