1st Quarter Ends With Mixed Signals

This week our listings saw an average of 2.3 showings each which is a huge decrease of the pattern we’ve been seeing throughout late February and March.   I can only attribute that to the days of rain that we’ve had.   Remember the old saying that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb?   Well hopefully that means that April will be full of flowers and and real estate contracts.

Yesterday the first quarter of 2008 came to a close with mixed signals.   The stock markets (Dow Jones, S&P, etc.)  finished March with record gains.   Many of the media stories I’ve ready are bullish that the March gains signal a recovering stock market.   On the real estate front, the numbers are holding steady but don’t seem to be surging as they typically would during the spring season.   This shows that  buyers are still hesitant to get  back into the game (or perhaps just unable).

My personal experience was that January and February were very slow from an activity standpoint.   The first three weeks of March were so busy that it was difficult manage.   My office wrote many contracts and are primed to see excellent home sales numbers in April.   The last week of March, however, seems to have slowed again to that pattern of January and February.   Is it the rain?   Its hard to tell.

I certainly don’t want to predict 2009 based on the past seven days.   Based on the stock market gains and the real estate numbers that are at least holding steady, I do believe that things will feel more normal by the end of the year.   The next few months offer excellent opportunity for those willing to take some calculated risk.   There doesn’t seem to be much downside at this point, but then again the crash of last fall was unprecedented and you just never know what’s coming.   Stay tuned!

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