Realogy is bracing for a market slowdown, according to the L.A. Times. Realogy is the parent company of:
- Century 21;
- Coldwell Banker;
- Sotheby’s International; and
- Better Homes and Gardens,
just to name a few. So yeah, they are a major player in the U.S. (and global) real estate market. Collectively, they represented 1.4 million buyers and sellers of real estate last year.
Realogy is in a unique position to predict future real estate market performance. Aside from the fact that they have considerable market share, they are also a publicly traded company. Thus they have the added pressure of telling a reasoned, factual story to their shareholders about the company’s expected performance. This is opposed to organizations like NAR and CAR, who unfailingly take the Pollyanna approach when it comes to reporting real estate market trends.
Realogy’s CFO was quoted in the Times as saying:
“2014 could be a challenging year, especially if transaction volume growth continues to slow throughout the prime selling season”
To translate that into non-C-level speak, he’s saying they are not selling as many homes as they hoped they would and that’s a bad sign. It’s really that simple.
Some continue to beat the drum of rising prices and tight inventory, which are indeed realities of our current market. But neither are causes of the coming market correction.
We’ve been predicting this trouble since it all began in mid-2012 when investors and speculators came on the scene and began bidding up property prices. We don’t need a $7 billion real estate conglomerate to read us the writing in the wall — but it helps when they agree.