In 2012, you voted mortgage bankers and lenders had the greatest impact on real estate sales, with buyers and investors coming in second and third.

Your forecast for 2013 indicates speculators will drive the California real estate market this year.

Certainly, speculators were at the wheel for the past 12 months. Mortgage bankers and lenders were nowhere in sight.

However, what is widely reported in the media as a powerful real estate recovery is in fact a mini-bubble. Speculator frenzy is driving the single-family residential (SFR) market. Nearly 40% of California real estate sales are to cash buyers (resale and trustee’s sales). Sales volume has been dropping since November 2012, 30% of home sales are to speculators and the homeownership rate is slipping constantly.

This all points to one thing: the past 12-month run-up in sales prices is not due to real, end-user demand. 2013 will likely be a rude awakening for supply-siders too focused on inventory.

We have noticed that polling often reflects a collection of one’s recent past experiences, rather than as a critical look forward. This is something to keep in mind the next time you think through your future expectations of market performance.

See our upcoming article, “The speculator’s predicament: a likely scenario” for our take on the consequences of the recent speculator activity in the California real estate market.