Thursday, January 17, 2008

Holy Crap! It's getting rough out there!

DataQuick reports today that Bay Area sales ended 2007 at a more-than-20-year low, with last month being the slowest December since DataQuick started their stats in 1988!

Sales have decreased on a YOY basis for 35 consecutive months, and according to DataQuick the city of San Francisco saw a 24.4% drop in sales volume versus last year, and a 1.9% drop in the median sale price.

Intriguingly, there are still people out there who think RE is the path to wealth:

Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity is at record levels, financing with adjustable-rate mortgages or with multiple mortgages has dropped sharply. Down payment sizes and flipping rates are stable, non-owner occupied buying activity is edging up, DataQuick reported.
I'm calling this how I see it: clearly we still have some very foolish investors out there. There wil be some who will make money regardless, because even a broken watch is right two times a day, but many, if not most, of them will suffer a great deal for the mistake of buying at the start of a down cycle. We have a lot of room for downward momentum, and once it kicks in (I'm not even considering it an "if" at this point) a feedback loop will be established where buyers will grow increasingly reluctant to buy as prices drop further, which of course will only exert more downward pressure on pricing. As we are all seeing, real estate prices move slowly. So this can literally take years to play out, and in some cases, decades. You aren't going to see the bottom of the market until the volume starts going up significantly, and right now it's been 35 months (three years!!!) since we have seen any sign of that as compared to prior years. We have a large number of option resets headed our way, and a possible recession to deal with. There is a storm gathering here and a lot of people are going to get hurt. Be careful out there!!

1 comment:

alex said...

Ah the negativity kills me! Puts a knife right in my heart, but I still enjoy your writing and point of view.

alex (editor theFrontSteps)