It just seems like yesterday that it was New Years Eve 2010. Everyone seemed excited at the prospect of a fresh new year. I personally had seen a vast improvement in my business over 2009, so I was very optimistic that 2011 would be even better.
Boy, was I wrong!
I guess that I should not have been too shocked at how bad things came to be. The media seemed to be having such a good time screaming that the sky was falling, and our elected officials couldn’t seem to figure their way out of a wet paper bag. Washington reminded me of an old Keystone Cops movie. Everyone running around like their pants were on fire, but absolutely nothing was actually getting done.
2011 was also a year of seemingly huge contradictions. Interest rates were at the lowest that they had been since the 1970’s, the local home prices dropped about 15% from the peak (remember – all real estate is LOCAL!!), but were creeping back up, yet buyers still weren’t buying. I’ve never seen so much “tire kicking” in my entire 20+ year career!!
It seemed like every time there was slight uptick in good news, there was a step back with more bad news.
I don’t even want to try an imagine how bad the markets were in the places that had huge pricing bubbles such as Las Vegas, parts of California, Florida and Arizona. My heart really goes out to Realtors in those areas.
I’m still hearing some “experts” predict that prices could fall even farther, but, again, all real estate is local so I don’t see any sign of that happening here – unless something really bad happens that spooks potential buyers even more.
What the general public tends to forget is just how much our economy is tied to the housing market. Just think about it. If you are buying a new home you are employing builders, architects, designers, lumber yards, lumber mills, painters, paint manufacturers, flooring makers and installers, furniture makers and distributors and sales people, home inspectors, REALTORS, title companies, lenders, underwriters, insurers, appliances, and so on and so on. One single sale affects a HUGE number of people. Resale homes also do the same thing but without the new construction aspect. Still, most buyers of resale homes still want new paint colors, or curtains, or nick-nacks, or household items – you get the picture. All of these people that are affected by one sale also buy food and clothing, and housing and cars, and eat out and such.
Now for 2012 – I again have very high hopes that better times are heading back.
There have been a number of good economic news headlines coming out lately. The holiday season sales numbers were up across the board. New car sales have been dramatic. Interest rates are slowly starting to creep up a little. Housing prices are rising (at least locally). The number of sales is rising month after month. The signs seem to be getting better and better.
So… HERE’S TO A FANTASTIC 2012.
Now, there is that little thing about December 21, 2012 that will probably start making more and more noise as the date approaches. Y2K anyone???
WE SHALL SEE!!!!!!