Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The message within the message...

From this article reporting on this mornings stock market activity come this bit from the National Association of Realtors...

Markets got off to a sluggish start but investors waded in tentatively after the National Association of Realtors reported a 6.3% rise in its gauge of pending home sales in December. Lower prices are drawing in buyers, the trade group said. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, observed that the "biggest gains were in areas with the biggest improvements in affordability."

Now frankly, this isn't about the stock market or any reports offered by the NAR. There are plenty of critics of the NAR, whoever holds the title of chief economist for NAR, and basically anyone that is a member of the NAR, but the quote itself is telling.

Key words that I emphasized above are words that have appeared many times right here on this blog speaking directly to this local market.

And no, I don't point out the above for vindication -- not my style. However, for all the talk of how to 'fix' the real estate markets... the answer has been crystal clear from day of the panic. Let the market work itself out.

By no means does any of this mean that the worst is behind us and that we will avoid catastrophe as there is still plenty of dust to clear. Locally we need to focus on promoting growth that will lead to putting people back to work and improving prospects for business. The sooner that happens, the sooner we will actually see a price bottom. We can't just rely on things that may or may not happen five or more years down the road, unless we simply can all afford to hang on that long.

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