Are you still looking into that crystal ball?
You know, like when you were searching for the bottom of the market, the lowest interest rate to refinance, or if the economy is sending a signal of a turn around.
In the April 27th issue of BusinessWeek, there was an article titled “What Good are Economists Anyway?” that really put the screws to high-profile economists for missing the current downturn in the world economy and housing sector. BW can pick some hot topics, but I feel it is probably better for everyone to get out the crystal ball to look at the future instead of the mistakes of the past.
Many real estate web blogs are filled with dry statistics provided by the local MLS, Realtor Association or RealtyTrac. These are very important to economists and real estate obsessed nerds, but ask the average home buyer who is actively searching for a home or home seller waiting for an offer and then you will get a different picture, quickly.
Every market across the United States, such as Northern Virginia, Austin, Chicago, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego or Seattle, has a set of distinct personalities. In addition, these personalities can seem schizophrenic to an economist sitting in an academic setting. While the market in Phoenix or San Diego may be losing value, simultaneously the Austin market may be seeing slight price appreciation. That is why real estate will always be local, almost neighborhood by neighborhood specific, and invisible to interpretation by celebrity economists.
Over my past 18 years in the business, I have met agents from all over the country traveling to training events in Seattle, Denver, Austin, Boston, Atlanta and Philadelphia. And I do my best to touch base with that network to give me insight that may benefit my clients here in Northern Virginia. The data may be not as academic as what you see in official reports, but should be an excellent peek into the “ground-floor” of the real estate business.