This week our listings saw an average of three showings each. From the standpoint of showing traffic, the pattern has certain changed for the better since earlier this summer when we were seeing less than one each regularly.
Over the weekend and into today we have been bombarded with a third week of big news regarding bailouts in our national economy. On Saturday, President Bush asked congress for $700 billion in taxpayer money to put towards bad mortgage debt in hopes of ending the current financial situation once and for all. This bailout was the headline in Sunday’s Charlotte Observer.
For the third week in a row we’ve seen reports of buyouts and bailouts that will seriously impact our economy from Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, to Bank of America buying Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers filing bankruptcy, to a federal loan to AIG, and lastly this $700 billion rescue. This type of economic activity is simply unprecendented, at least in my lifetime and its very hard to make any sense of what’s going on. We just don’t know what is going to happen and for better or worse, surely there is more to come. I’m no macro-economist and all of this media news really makes my head spin. I’ve tried to keep up with the reports, but frankly these turbulent times have just made things difficult for any layman to understand. Clearly, our economy is in trouble and the right thing to do during such confusing times is to just try our best not to overreact and to make day to day decisions as rationally as possible.
On the local front, yesterday’s Charlotte Observer also included a piece about the state of Charlotte’s economy. The focus was in four areas: Jobs, Retail, Housing, and Commericial Construction. To summarize the article, although our local economy has certainly slowed, it has not been nearly as hard hit as other areas of the country. This is the same trend that we’ve seen in real estate.
For buyers and sellers of Charlotte real estate in these very confusing times, my advice is still the same as its been for the past year. Fear seems to be the dominant factor driving consumer decisions right now. This is a good thing for buyers who have the stomach to weather another year or so of uncertainty. For sellers, don’t panic! Homes are selling right now, but the current market requires a very hard, realistic look at the pricing that it takes to motivate today’s fearful buyers.