Real estate (US) refers to real property (US), which is privately owned by an individual or institution (the owner) that is used or accessible for occupation. In residential real estate, the term real estate usually refers to a tract of land or building that may be bought, leased or rented. However, it can also mean any part of a rural land that may be used for agricultural, hunting or other non-household purposes. Sometimes, the term real estate is also used in a broader sense to refer to any part of a non-urban area that may be used for business, professional or government activities. A few examples of real estate include: vacant land, industrial or commercial property, vacant cabins, barns, fencing, industrial or commercial buildings, etc.
One of the major categories of real estate is residential real estate. The term residential real estate generally refers to houses, condos, apartments, condominiums, town houses and mobile homes. It also encompasses certain vacant buildings, such as office buildings, warehouses, storage sheds and storage spaces used by businesses. One of the four types of housing is listed below:
The first type of housing is owner-occupied housing. This category is comprised of single-family homes and condos. Single-family homes can be either vacant land with only one unit or a series of units where different people live. Typically, these homes are on lots with ample parking. Homeowners use these lots for recreational purposes like playing sports, equestrian activities, watching birds, hiking and other outdoor activities.
The second type of housing is investor-occupied housing. In this type, the housing is usually newly constructed or refurbished. Some investors purchase older homes and refurbish them. They then resell the houses at discounted prices. Investors use these properties as investment properties. The National Association of Realtors has statistics on national and state home builder inventories for the period January through July of each year.
The third type of housing is for sales activity. This includes inventory being held for sale or for future sales. The supply is low but the demand is high. Inventory generally refers to existing homes that have been sold or are expected to be sold. For homes that are still being built, there may be a higher level of inventory than the actual number of completed homes on the sales floor. The demand is high because there is more supply than demand.
The fourth category is called common law property. This type of housing is comprised of older houses that were acquired from the original owners by using some type of power of attorney. Power of attorney is a legal document that allows one person to transfer property without having to create a will.
One of the indicators of an up and coming housing market is the current level of home prices. Last year’s home prices were reduced by two percent over the previous year. It was the lowest drop since the Great Depression. The average price of homes for sale is up four percent in the last year. Many experts believe this is the result of increasing demand due to an improved economy.
Another indicator of an up and coming housing market is the number of home starts. Last year, there were fewer home starts than usual. This may be related to the financial conditions in the banking industry. Home construction is normally a slow process and when it increases, so does home prices. If you own your own real estate property and want to sell quickly, you may want to consider using a real estate agent with experience in the home construction and selling market.