Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Back Down Again?

It's quiet in our offices this month--really, really quiet. Now we're reading that the national trends say that the uptick ended in about July, which, coincidentally, is what we saw. It was far busier through July than it typically is in the summer. It was slower in August, but that is almost always true. After Labor Day, we usually see a marked increase in activity. That lasts until about Halloween, or maybe Thanksgiving, and then the buyers hibernate like bears until the spring.

We're not quite sure what to make of this latest turn of events. The stimulus program and the $8000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers were supposed to be making the phones ring. Indeed, it did, but the phones have slowed down. I can only speculate, and my guess would be that the market will not stay up until unemployment comes down. I also think that the hoopla over national health insurance has people worried about costs. Whatever the reason, it's not good.

One of the earliest CEOs of General Motors famously said that "what's good for General Motors is good for America". I would argue that the same is true of real estate. The government needs to do what it has to do in order to stimulate the real estate market at all levels, not just at the lowest end. The recovery depends upon it.