Monday, July 28, 2008

A. Fine Blog Declares "Week Of Good News"

I've just about had it with the media. The obsession with negative news and scare stories about everything from dangerous tomatoes to the housing crisis is just about enough to drive us all nuts! If network morning television is your primary source of info, you would think that we've landed somewhere between End Times and the Great Depression. In fact, by conventional standards we are not even in a recession, and the chances are decent that we are will probably avoid one altogether (looking at the glass half full, of course).

So, let's start the week with a nice article in the New York Times this weekend pointing at several encouraging signs, such as:

1- Durable Goods orders unexpectedly jumped in June (+0.8%) lead by a jump in export orders. See, the cheap dollar does do some good!

2- Consumer Confidence jumped in June, again unexpectedly, perhaps thanks to a dip in prices in the pump or related to the fact that things are not as bad on a personal basis as the TV would lead you to believe.

3- The rate of decline in New Home Sales is slowing. June New Home Sales dipped on 6/10th of a percent, and sales in the Northeast and Midwest were up. Median Home Prices were up better than 1%, and inventories dropped.

Off to a good start, aren't we! Here is the full article:


  1. Andrew - not to be difficult, but I want to point out that good news is in the eye of the beholder. For the large portion of us who are renters, the resilience of the NYC housing market really isn't good news. That it rocketed up into the stratosphere (like the rest of the country) but has not drifted down virtually at all (unlike the rest of the country) is quite poor news for anyone who would like to buy in this city.

    Whether prices are propped up by foreign investors, stubborn owners or perceptions that the city's market is impervious to decline (even though it historically has not been), it's bad news to a lot of people. No one likes to read about folks getting foreclosed on ... unless those folks were reckless real estate speculators like so much of what's happening around the country (and the world).

    So for those of us who are potential first-time buyers, and I suspect we are many, keep in mind that "prices up 22% despite flat incomes and increasing inventory!!!" is not good news.

    Thanks, and keep up the very enjoyable and informative blog.

  2. Poster #1-
    Actually, it is a buyer's market and that is good news. I will probably write an article on this in the next 24 hours. If you are in any part of the market aside from the super-lux, you can get a much better deal now than just a few months ago. First, bidding wars that easily drive a price up 5-10% are not happening. Second, although individual owners and developers are reluctant to reduce prices, they are negotiable, very negotiable. I would estimate that as a whole real prices are down around 5% from the peak. In some cases up to 10% can be negotiated. So, the slowdown in volume is also good news for potential buyers.