Today in my office, we had a fantastic debate about the market, where it’s been and where it’s going. Of course the media and politics were a part of that conversation.
The media plays a huge role in creating a storm about the state of the market, among other topics. Their job is to sell advertising. They do that by calling the alarm. The statistics, at least in this county, do not show the need for hysterics that CNN and others call for.
A few short months ago, buyers were crawling all over each other for the same house that now waits for 60+ days to sell. The houses haven’t changed. The neighborhoods haven’t changed. The need for a place to live has not changed.
What has changed?
The way the media reports on the market has certainly changed. The media needs a higher purpose than the “mortgage meltdown.” And once they uncover it, that bigger story, the news channels will pack up their vans and reporters and move on to another land, another crisis.
The other thing that’s changed is the availability of purchase money. Borrowers who didn’t have the money don’t again. San Mateo County is one of the most expensive places in the country to purchase a home. And we still haven’t figured out the solution to that problem.
Flipping is not currently a fad. Since money isn’t flying off the shelves in the form of equity lines, flipping is out of date for the moment.
Since I’ve been a realtor, two significant events occurred which, according to pundits of the time, were supposed to have served a final death blow to the explosion in increasing housing prices.
One was the dot com crash; the other being the bombing of the World Trade Center. In both instances, the market held its breath. By the time air traffic was returned to normal, so had the market.
What about politics? How is the election year going to affect the real estate market?
See Jeff Brown’s Blog for a possible answer to that.