Property Grunt

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Open House Update and other developments

Dead as before but I have heard reports on the wire that there was some BLack Friday spillage at other openhouses. Perhaps those price reductions are stirring up the blood of buyers.

The New York Times recently reported that Existing Home Sales Fell in October . Big surprise. What is really annoying me is that some of the NAR cheerleaders are saying this is an evidence of a soft landing or a normalization of the market. The Motley Fool isn't so sure.

If NAR is so confident that we are in for a soft landing then I challenge their homecoming committee to forfeit their jobs if they are wrong. Despite their bravado I doubt they would take this challenge.

Why? Because none of us knows, including myself, what the outcome of this correction will be. It could be a soft landing or this market could plummet deeper than anyone could imagine. But for NAR to make these assurances that a soft landing is in sight is a poor choice of actions on their part. NAR's softlanding stance reminds me of that analyst during the tech meltdown who kept pushing viewers to buy even though it was dropping at that rate of 1000 feet per second while he was flapping his gums.

The Fool makes these two points of interest:

As usual, the NAR's press release touts housing as a "good investment," but buyers would do well to beware. Recent earnings calls from homebuilders like Centex (NYSE: CTX - News), Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL - News), D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI - News), and Beazer Homes all seem to indicate a slip in growth.

Well, the housing market is getting a bit squishier, but whether that indicates a soft landing is anyone's guess. And of course, your own landing will depend on what you paid for your place.

I strongly agree, the outcome of this correction is quite subjective. But all indications point that we are entering a very rough phase. My recommendation to everyone is to exercise caution in your purchases. Remember. Real estate is illiquid. Which means you will have a very hard time ditching it if the market goes south.

New York Magazine recently published an article about the bumper crop of bonuses that have come to frutition at Goldman Sachs which is just futher evidence of the enormous bounty that Wall Street will enjoy. Whether they will share it with the rest of the real estate market is the remaining question. In a recent entry, I stated that it is highly unlikely that will happen but there are other authorities who think otherwise. I think at this point it will all be about the wait and see.