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It was my good fortune
to catch the elevator in the Wardman with Dr. Lawrence Yun last week.
As we strolled to the Omni we exchanged pleasantries - I was greatly
looking forward to his Economic
Update on Thursday morning. When he noted where I was from he
lit up - 'Oh, I know Riverside County - it's one of the areas I study
to gage the market.' He proceeded to describe our market as he saw it
and was solicitous of stats pertaining to Southwest County. His summary
of our area was right on the mark and I was impressed at the detail in
his commentary. That he
monitors our area - I don't know if that's good or bad.
usual, Dr. Yun's presentation was well attended and comprehensive - at
least I was impressed. Of course I used to enjoy David Lareah too so
what do I know. I realize Dr Yun doesn't have the most sterling
reputation for perspicacity but I always find him enjoyable and - if you factor in his advice with that of
3 or 4 other experts you'll either get somewhat closer to the truth or
you'll get stark raving bull
goose looney. So if you take his remarks for what they're
worth, you'll still come away with a good education from one of the
best. After all, you don't get named one of the nations top 10 economic
forecaster by USA Today by being wrong all the time. If you can't learn
something from this man, you can't learn at all.
But for the condensed
version, touching briefly on
the highlights and the lowlights as well as the inevitable running
commentary from your host - read on:
Dr. Yun began his
remarks asking if we are on the cusp of a recovery or are we poised to
head even further down as the job market sours. His prognosis? We will
see the nationwide jobless rate
grow to 10.5% by late this year followed by a generally
recovering economy with that recovery stretching over several years.
But he warned that the recovery could, COULD,
be quite robust. More on that later. Early summer will be the test
period. By then a number of factors will occur that will shape the next
12 - 18 months. Things like the sliding labor market, the impact of the
commercial real estate market, banks that have money that won't lend or
banks that have no money lending, the potential tsunami of new
foreclosures, things like that. But he acknowledged there are lots of
moving parts and the outlook is
cloudier than ever before. I felt better right
Nationwide the level of sales is back to 1997-1998 levels.
From a peak of over 7 million units in 2005, sales were under 5 million
units in 2008. But as he also pointed out, we have 30 million more people than we did then
and that points to a pent-up demand. We also need 1.3 - 1.7 million new units
every year and the past two years we've produced only half that many.
Again, the need is there. As you look at the historic trendline and
note the sharp spike up from 2004 - 2007, we have dropped back down to
what would be considered a normal
position on that trendline. Unfortunately just as we
spiked up, we are now overshooting downward. This yo-yoing effect is
what may produce a very strong recovery, a sling-shot recovery. Any
further declines will be the result of over-correction.
Yun also pointed out
that prices never really got
out of line in several major markets across the country.
But as the slump drags on, even those markets are suffering from the perception that their
properties are overvalued. He does believe that some states like
California have reached a tipping point. Price bottoming is occurring,
people know it's a great time to buy but they don't feel that feeding frenzy yet.
There are several factors that could push the button to get that tipped
1) pent-up demand.
2) banks loosening their purse
strings to a more normal stricture.
3) the lowest interest rates since
Eisenhower was President
4) aging population
aquiring 2nd homes
5) the new Baby Boom (did you know
the HS graduating class of 2010 will be the LARGEST graduating class
ever. Who's going to be selling them homes in 10 - 15 years.)
6) another 30 million prospects from the BRIC
countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China). As the economies
of these nations improve they will add 30 million people to their
middle class - people whose goal with their newfound wealth is to
acquire a vacation home in the United States.
Yun briefly chimed in on
the 'Too Big To Fail'
issue noting that 75% of our
assets are owned by just 10 banks. Are they too big? He
also opined that sometimes those too big to fail are also too big to
govern. Should those 10 banks be broken into smaller, mopre responsive
units and should the government do the same thing with Fannie &
Freddie? In addition to lending institutions, he specifically noted the
economies of California and New York as prime examples of this
dichotomy - too
big to fail / too big to manage.
He concluded his remarks
by noting that that the global
economy truly is here to stay. Fiscal Isolationism is no
longer possible nor will it produce the results we need. He
also stated to 'Demography
is Destiny', you may dispute some of the particulars or
debate the timeframe but the fact is there's a whole
new demographic coming into play and you can call them GenX or
Y or whatever but they are the new, improved and supersized Baby
Finally he left with
words of caution. No matter how the market looks to you at
the time - STAY
WITHIN YOUR BUDGET.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.