Voices of the Industry – Chris Philips, South Bay RE Agent

Q1. Where do you think the housing market is headed in 2013?
I think the housing market is primed for a strong 2013. With interest rates at (or near) a historic low, people who have held off on purchasing will jump in now. There is some capital out there – especially for first-time buyers, and those first timers create demand which leads to families moving from starter homes to larger homes, etc. It’s a good time.

Q2. Are you seeing people rushing to buy?
I’m not seeing people rushing to buy, but from the clients I have talked to, I do see people starting to move that way. Supply, especially in the region I work in (Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, etc) is still low, so as demand grows, prices climb.

Q3. What would you like to see changed with lenders?
Not much. Their restrictions are a bit tighter than I’d like, and lenders are being much more careful with their money. But that is starting to change a bit on its own.

Q4. What is one change that you believe needs to be made to the CA real estate industry in 2013?
Besides higher commissions?!?! I believe that more transparency in the buying process makes everything better.

Q5. What is the best advice you have for readers?
Now is the time to buy. If you miss this window, you’ll be kicking yourself for years. One thing I try to tell everybody I talk to is, if you can afford the down payment, buying is actually cheaper than renting right now.