From (mostly) the big media -Reading between the signs (NYTimes)Maybe Realtors are needed after all (CBS Marketwatch)Young builders -vs- old builders’ experience/perceptions (CBS Marketwatch)”Simply put, many of the guys in charge on the divisional level don’t know what a down market is like because they’ve never been in one”Thoughts on the housing slowdown (Econbrowser)What is it they say about those who forget history?Â Something about doom and repetition?
This is fascinating and so very insightful – Thanks to Bill Tancer who has…Â superimposed the monthly data from the NAR on a Hitwise search term volume chart for the search query “homes for sale.Whom do you/should you trust?Â Economists, pundits, or search?Â Or all three?I know that I have added his blog to my RSS reader, and Hitwise’s as well.Hat tip to Inman.
This afternoon I am sitting in a condo in Turtle Creek in Charlottesville waiting for the HVAC people to come between one o’clock and three o’clock.Â Lo and behold, my phone just rang (at 1:16 pm) and she told me that they were on their way!Not only are they coming closer to the one o’clock than the three, but they called to tell me!Â Sad as it may seem, this is an unprecedented level of professionalism and common courtesy.Albemarle Heating and Air.There is at least one other company whom I use, but there are several more who take business for granted.
Following up on Liesel Nowack’s story this morning in the DP, fast on the heels of the Virginia Association of Realtors’ release of home sale data:First on low interest rates’ impact on the boom – did they have an influence?…Â For a (per usual) far more in-depth review, read Samuel Miller’s post entitled “Low Rates Did/Did Not Fuel the Housing Boom.”Did rates fuel the housing boom?…Â Rates impacted the psychology of buyers (and sellers, who usually purchased after they sold) by offering nearly “free money,” from an historical point of view….Â (from Inman, subscription required:) The study, “The Great turn-of-the-century housing boom,” is here)”That the increase in home ownership cuts across so many different categorizations suggests that the overall home-ownership rate is not merely reflecting changes in the distribution of the population among the categories.Â Something fundamental about the home-ownership process has changed,” the study theorized.What’s changed, the economists say, is mortgages….Â Specialized firms have sprung up to capture different segments of the market, such as origination, servicing and securitization, the authors say.Year over year, pending sales are down in the CharlAlbemarle region* by 22%….Â Mortgage Rates Decline, to 6.48%Mortage rates dip for fifth straight week (USA Today)Houses are not normal, liquid commodities; they are serious investments that require careful analysis of many, many factors prior to purchasing….Â That is a “good thing.”Further reading:OFHEO Housing Price Index for Charlottesville*The Association of Realtors includes Louisa County in their statistics, despite its omission as part of the Charlottesville MSA.
The Human CarHome for Sale, by Anxious Owner – my analysis of local incentives is coming soon.Â Macro market roundupKeep your friends close and your enemies closer (Microsoft and Firefox collaborate)A great idea marginalized by its affiliation with the UNIt took some time, but I finally found what may be my favorite commercial today – the one for Barclay’s i-Shares, titled “Strike Anywhere.”Â I’m not sure I’ll buy i-Shares, but this commercial does speak to me.