Sunday, March 1, 2009


Well, I felt a little ashamed as I read the front page article in today's New Haven Register Business section. I guess I'm more pessimistic than others about the Obama recovery plan, and let's hope I'm wrong. After all, the whole point is to make people WANT to buy; it doesn't even really matter whether or not the incentives even make sense. I also read in the New York Times today that most who listened to the President's speech last Tuesday were left with a positive impression of the government's current handling of the economy. That's good news.

I suppose I should be forgiven for being more down than most, since real estate would be at the bottom of anyone's list of thriving industries right now. However, in the end it doesn't matter what I think--it only matters whether others are spurred to action by the program. I have been saying that I think first-time homebuyers are the ones who least need incentives, since they have no history with which to compare today's conditions. In addition, they don't have houses to sell before they can buy. One could look at it another way, though: If those at the beginning of the chain go out and buy property, everyone further along can then sell and buy another property themselves.

As many have said, much of the current crisis comes from a lack of consumer confidence, which is now at its lowest rate since measurement began in 1967. Every recovery scenario depends upon getting that number up, since economics turns out to be more related to what people think in many cases than to what the graphs say. Most of us realize that a great deal hinges on jobs, since almost no one will buy what they don't need if they think they might not have a job in the near future. Convincing people that jobs will be preserved and created is key, and, unfortunately, can't be done in one location or in one sector of the economy.

The next few weeks, which take us into the traditional spring buying and selling season, will be critical for any hope of a real estate recovery this year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but you shouldn't bother doing that--just go out and buy some property!