Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hello from Sunny Arizona

We arrived last night in Scottsdale, where it's almost 70 degrees and very sunny. I wanted grapefruit for breakfast, so I went out and picked a couple. I went running for a long time (with a few stops at new retail areas) without worrying about snow and ice. There are lots of real estate signs here--it's pretty much ground zero, along with Nevada and Florida, for the distressed real estate market. Inside my father's gated community, there are signs for the first time, and today there were multiple open houses. The median sales price in Arizona was $232,000 at the end of 2007, and $150,000 at the end of 2008. That makes Connecticut look pretty good!

We had our company holiday party at our house the night before we left--100 people for dinner. It was festive and fun, and spirits were high-enough so that those not in real estate were surprised. I'm not really, because people who come to parties tend to be a self-selected group of those who are going to have a good time under all circumstances, plus real estate agents in general tend to be resilient and optimistic. As Winston Churchill said, "I am an optimist. It does not seem to be of too much use to be anything else." Amen.