With the volatility of the stock market of late, there's understandably some uncertainty about how all of this will impact the real estate market. I've had the opportunity to listen to several economists recently, including Lawrence Yun from the National Association of Realtors, and believe it or not, I feel good about what I'm hearing.
The bottom line is that the situation is manageable and things will improve.
The most recent decline is due to the psychological impact of the stock market.
People are still buying and selling homes, just not at the same levels.
The recent passage of the "bailout" bill (see Inman News) is a step in the right direction, but it will take time to see the results work their way into the economy.
The volatility of the financial markets is causing many home buyers to pause, but the truth of the matter is that market conditions are ideal for some first-time buyers, move-up buyers and investors.
Recent actions by the federal government are starting to thaw the credit freeze.
We're starting to see some stabilization in the more affordable markets and markets that are close to major job centers.
Interest rates are at historic lows for conforming and FHA loans and there are a variety of great mortgage options available, despite perceptions to the contrary.
Consumer confidence will take time to rebuild, but in the meantime it's important to understand that advantageous market conditions currently exist for those who are motivated to buy.
With the end of election season, consumers should be less distracted by political campaigning.
J. Lennox Scott is third-generation chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, a Seattle-based brokerage company founded by his grandfather in 1931.