I’m about to infuriate my bosses. Here goes: I’m sick and tired of all the anchors on all the shows on CNBC today being told to ask all the housing “experts,” including me, if we’ve hit bottom yet in this particular housing recession. It’s a ridiculous question because there is no legitimate answer.
Yesterday I was on the phone with a real estate agent in New Jersey who said the so-called “credit crunch” which everyone is crediting with slowing the so-called housing recovery, is not affecting his clientele whatsoever. His people have good jobs, good credit, and good prospects when it comes to finding a loan. Just after that I called another agent in California. He said his business is positively tanking because half of his clients are having trouble getting loans. Prices are coming down, and his people want to jump in to buy, they just can’t get financing.
A tale of two coasts? No. It’s a tale of real estate, which, by the way, happens to be a regional phenomenon, dare I say local. National factors, like credit, confidence, and economic growth, certainly weigh on real estate as a whole, but today’s housing recession is unique; unlike previous downturns that came as a result of a bad national economy, this downturn, in my humble opinion, is based on a lending market that got completely out of hand and resulted in unsustainable price appreciation. Job creation is just fine. Wealth creation in housing was based on non-existent fundamentals.