Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bubble Talk

Yesterday, I read a post in the excellent Rain City real estate blog about the real estate bubble.

While he doesn’t find the bubble interesting, I think it’s fascinating. This has the potential to be one of the biggest stories of the decade.
How the real estate boom plays out "will determine what the economy looks like in a couple of years," says Rod Smyth, chief investment strategist for Wachovia Securities.
What I also find fascinating is how the timing of this story coincides with the explosion of the blogs. While there’s an occasional story on the local news, or in the newspaper, blogs are providing an incredible amount of exposure to the subject. Looking at my real estate blogroll, there’s at least three blogs on there dedicated solely to covering the housing bubble story and it seems like there’s more popping up everyday. If you want to read on the subject, you won't find a shortage of information to sift through.

I'm not an economist nor can I see into the future, but as a full time real estate professional out in the trenches in one of the "bubble markets" I feel that this is a subject that I should be keeping on top of. When talking to people about real estate, the bubble subject invariably comes up and I'm happy to engage in a conversation on the subject.

What am I currently telling them? We're definitely seeing a slowdown. It's not uncommon for offer dates to come and go without receiving any. Properties that were bringing in 10 or more offers a few weeks ago are now receiving anywhere between 1-4. As long as interest rates stay relatively low, I think there's a decent chance that the recent boom will decelerate into a soft landing. There are still plenty of buyers out there, they're just being a little more selective.

But that's just my opinion.