Saturday, October 3, 2009

Some things we still don't know...

We read the stories, we study the numbers, we talk to colleagues, we think (even when it hurts). We would love to just keep quoting the monthly amazing news out of the recent real estate market ... most sales ever for the month ... prices up ... recession bottomed out . But ... you knew there would be a "but" didn't you? . Back in the Fall of 2008, the headlines read "It's all going away ... hide in the basement ... the sky is falling". Down a couple of paragraphs, the story usually said something like "well, actually we're not in nearly as bad shape as the U.S., and even with the 6-10% price slippage we're still way ahead historically, and even that slippage is deceptive as it only applies to some market segments, and ...".
And if it didn't qualify the bad news, there would be a whole article a couple of pages on saying everything was going to be fine.

Nothing much happened early in 2009, even when it SHOULD have been happening ... Spring market and all that.

And then away we went. Maybe people just couldn't resist the low rates. Maybe they looked around and decided they were ok and could move ahead. For whatever reason, the buyers came back. Sellers were a little slower and that magnified the return to rising prices.

Traditionally it all slows down in the summer. Not this year. That led to the screaming headlines about some summer month having umpteen percent more sales than a year ago ... a new record!

Well yeah, July and August sales were way ahead of last year because hardly anything ever sells in the summer, but it did this year. What wasn't in the headline was that year-to-date roughly the same number of houses have sold in 2009 and 2008. Not very many in Feb., tons in August, in total up only 1.2%

And the standard two paragraphs into the articles about the end of the recession comes the comments about how long and hard the recovery will be and how jobs come back last.
Our own financial analyst, who I am beginning to hate despite what a good job he does, is pretty sure the hurtin' isn't over.

So, if you think the trouble is over and everything is cheery you are probably wrong. And if you think it's all insanity, everybody is drinking the KoolAid and we're doomed you are probably wrong.

The market IS currently healthy and active. Interest rates ARE amazingly low. So if you are thinking of a move and are reasonably secure with decent credit, go for it.
But don't forget how you swore you were going to be more sensible about spending, and you weren't going to step quite so close to the financial edge anymore, etc.
Take advantage of cheap money, reasonable prices and your personal stability. But leave a little wiggle room in case ... well, just in case.

If that made sense and you are looking, and you're looking for a great bright excellently-maintained 4 bedroom home in our part of the world, wander over to and have a look at our newest listing.

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