THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG!
(EDITOR'S NOTE: As you know, Lil' Buddy's Blog is directed mainly at the Canine Population, in Chicago, and around the world. However, your Humans are more than welcome to read, join our community, and comment. Just wanted to clear up any confusion - there has been quite a bit of barking around here about that very topic recently).
Talking, as I do, to both dogs and their Associated Humans all over the city and suburbs, I sense a bit of depression - no, FRUSTRATION - over the U.S. Economy.
We dogs express our frustration by spending just a bit longer at each tree we pass, you know. Humans generally walk around in tight circles in the grass, until, finally, they . . . well, I'd better not say!
Everyone asks the usual questions to themselves - What will happen to the Housing Market? The Stock Market? When I decide to retire, perhaps go off to stud - will I have any Retirement Funds left?
When you ask folks what they expect things to look like this time next year, however, their outlook brightens up a bit.
According to a survey commissioned by theAssociated Press and GfK released yesterday, most of those surveyed expected the U.S. Stock Market to be rising once again in three months. Although most doubt that the housing market will rebound, or that unemployment will fall, in the short term, most say they expect lower unemployment and higher housing prices one year hence.
The AP-GfK Pollinvolved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,101 randomly chosen adults and was conducted from October 16 - 20, 2008. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3%, with greater error for subgroups surveyed.
Says Claudette Davis, a Retiree from GA, "A few months from now, I don't see it. A year from now, it may improve. With the $700 billion to bail out all those banks, maybe things will come around. And maybe the new president will have some input."
You might imagine that kind of positive outlook runs counter to many "experts" - who feel that the U.S. is presently in, or about to enter, a moderate recession!
A substantial portion of those surveyed felt the economy will improve after the upcoming Presidential Election. If Democrat Barack ("That One") Obama wins the election, 44% see an improving economy. Should the victor be Republican John ("The Other One") McCain, 34% see an improvement.
Is now a good time to buy Real Estate? 53% of respondents said, "Yes!" What about investing in the stock market, with its wild swings recently, nearly every day? Only 38% thought it was a good time to invest money in stocks.
One respondent, Anthony Venditti, a West Chester PA Attorney, has this opinion - "The stock market is obvious, it's probably not bottomed out. But it's a great time to buy a house. There's a huge inventory out there."
Roughly 75% of Active Investors - those who have tweaked their investment portfolios at least five times within the past twelve months - agreed today is a good time to buy real estate. Those earning $100,000 or more also thought it was a good time to invest in stocks; those making less than $50,000 were more afraid of the stock market.
Regarding unemployment - 38% of survey respondents thought the jobless rate would fall within 3 months, but 62% were optimistic the rate would improve within a year. On the other hand, respected economists predict a high 7.5% jobless rate, up from the current 6.1%, is a possibility before the end of 2009.
In aggregate, 53% thought the economy would improve within 90 days, 75% said improvement is one year or less away. Just under one-third of survey respondents who owned a home thought its value would be higher in three months, while 55% of them saw market price improvements in a year.
Of all respondents, 58% see a higher Dow Jones Industrial Average within the coming three months - 77% see a higher stock index by this time next year. As to their personal financial situation, roughly 50% saw improvement in the next 90 days, 67% within the next year.
Overall, black respondents were more optimistic than whites as to the short and long term positive trend in the economy as a whole, and in real estate markets locally.
Gas prices, have fallen precipitously in recent weeks, as the price of a barrel of crude oil has fallen by more than 50%. Two-thirds see lower gas prices within the next three month period. Surprisingly, however, fewer thought the price of a gallon of regular would still be in decline this time in 2009.
Regarding overall consumer prices - 30% felt prices will fall within the next three months, 40% within the coming year.
So you see, you dogs - reason for hope, at least in the positive attitude of those surveyed! Keep your chin up, your tail high, and your four paws beneath you.
In a year, we'll all still be here!
See my post today at BlogChicagoHomes.com, with a link to A.P. Writer Alan Fram's story and accompanying video in yesterday's Chicago Tribune.
YOUR ACE REPORTER ON FOUR PAWS,
BUDDY HOLLY MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO