When comparing early 2011 with early 2010 we have to remember the 2010 numbers were inflated by the tax credit which expired at the end of April. In hindsight, virtually all of the first time home buyers last year bought before the end of April to gain the $8,000 gift from the tax payers. Sales submarined after that for the rest of a very bad year. With that said we are tracking better than in 2009 and are following the good pattern of 2010 even if the sales numbers are 10-15% lower than a year ago. What looks disappointing is not as bad as it appears.
The economy continues to promise a hand-up while providing a blow to the head as we attempt to do so. Oil is that new blow to the head which affects costs in all aspects of our markets. It is tied to all the uncertainty and conflict around the globe and is providing the first substantive look at inflation. Some believe this will usher in the inflation which has been expected for years because of all the US borrowing and spending. Unemployment seems to be moving in the right direction (slowly) and this is welcome, but then Standard and Poors foretells that because of our national debt the US credit rating will soon drop to a level not seen since the declaration of war against Japan in 1941. Many Americans already know what it is like to have ones credit strained to the limits, and credit scores plunging making it all the more difficult to get money in time of need. Now their government is forced to face similar woes. It is no wonder that the ‘recovery’ continues to be characterized as a series of fits-and-starts. When I am asked daily what the prognosis is for the housing markets this year, ‘fits-and-starts’, is the best answer I can give!
New construction will suffer another dismal year. Apart from a few custom homes and a one-spec-home-at-a-time for production builders, we are seeing no real improvement at a time when the activity for the year should be in process. The west coast has a new housing rating of 17 in a system where ‘negative’ is measured when the rating falls below 50.
What should we do with all of this bad news? We do what Americans have always had to do in tough times- we adapt to changing times, we work harder and smarter, and we persist and persevere like the pioneers who settled the difficult west. We have always been an optimistic people and that motivates us. We have faced much greater threats in our history and came out the better because of them. There is reason to hope for better and we work for the fruit of our labor in due season. In a time of famine the worse decision is to not plant the crop for the next harvest because of the deflating odds of success. Americans stare reality in the face and without fear figure out how to build a better tomorrow for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. We know how to do this; we have been doing it for hundreds of years.
For our clients, we have to apply this to the task of selling our properties. Instead of focusing on the losses, we focus on the future purchase possibilities because of the same market conditions. We sell bad- but we buy well. There is a lot of adjusting of personal values and future plans right now and that is good for the future, a kind of course correction. For our buyers, they get to reap exceptional rewards now but they view the future with more sober plans than ever before. The unemployed are starting businesses in a time like this; those who have lost much are rebuilding a better way. In our industry, many of the less professional Realtors®, mortgage brokers, and builders are gone, and while that in no way applies to everyone, these cleansings of the systems bode well for the future.
One school of thought is exceptionally negative, another is optimistic; most of us are caught in between reality, hope, and fear. We have so little control over anything but we can control what we will do about it. We keep our hand to the plow and prepare for a better time.
I have attached the Market statistics for March for your review. Note also that we post actual sales of properties each week and add many articles regularly to our blog from industry experts to keep our clients informed. Do not hesitate to call us directly with questions or issues. We are trying to stay out in front of understanding all this and in seeing trends and preparing for them.
And for your partnership, we are grateful. Referrals from your friends, neighbors, families and co-workers are much appreciated. We work exceedingly hard for any sales, with buyers or for our sellers. We promise great service and expertise. Your patience and trust in us during this frustrating era is valued by us more than you can know and more than we have opportunity to express.
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Bella Casa Real Estate Group
Cell: 503-310-9147 Fax: 866-281-6653
McMinnville (19th & Hwy 99) Newberg (College & Hwy 99)
207 NE 19th Street, Suite 100 700 E 1st Street, Suite 100
McMinnville OR 97128 Newberg OR 97132
Buy. Sell. Be Happy.