How often to you hear a real estate broker bash housing?
For me it's twice in two days.
I had a chance today to sit down this morning, via satellite, with the CEO of online real estate brokerage Redfin, Glenn Kelman, who is one of the few people actually making money in the housing market these days.
"The real estate market is like a fat man that can't get up," Kelman begins. "The U.S. government has modified loans, extended tax credits, lowered interest rates; we've fired a lot of our guns, and at this point the market is just going to have a long slow period of decline."
Kelman is not alone in his ruminations. A new report from Macro Markets, which surveys a diverse group of economists, real estate experts, investment and market strategists, found 56 percent projecting negative home price growth for 2010. That number was 40 percent last month, so obviously less optimistic. The group predicts 10.5 percent appreciation in the next five years, and while that's actually down from the 12.4 percent prediction in May, it does translate into about $1.7 trillion in increased aggregate household wealth by the end of 2014. Again, just predictions.
But here are some facts:
"The day after the tax credit ended, traffic to our web site dropped like a rock," says Kelman. "People stopped signing up for tours, people stopped writing offers."