It seems like everyday I hear about new "green shoots" indicating that the economy may have finally reached bottom. And, then there are the talking head experts on the financial news channels that continue to forecast that we may not be there yet, that the recovery will be "W" shaped, or that the unemployment rate will not peak until the first couple of months of 2010. Who is right?
Over the past several months new and pending home sales have trended upward - slowly but steadily. Even the Case-Shiller index, monthly indicator of price trends in the 20 largest US markets, show a possibility that the long decline is bottoming out. This is offset by the realization that foreclosures in many markets are continuing rise. This is most likely tied to unemployment trends. Also, not to exacerbate the tremendous inventory of unsold homes, banks are reluctant to put houses back on the market as they hope to benefit from increased price levels after the recovery starts. Nevertheless, it is clear that like the health of our banking industry the housing industry's recovery will have a lot to do with pulling the nation (and possibly world) out of recession.
Yes, there are many "green shoots." The banking industry is recovering with a bang. Citi Bank, whose stock hit a low of $1 back in March, is now trading at well over $3. Even AIG, another government bailout target, just this week announced stellar profits. Their stock has skyrocketed. In the "main street" of industrial America, factory inventories are down - which is an indicator that they will need to start hiring again in order to meet demand. And, on top of that, the reliable leading indicator of the economy, the stock market, is for the past several weeks showed dramatic results.
The biggest question here is the role that real estate companies and agents will play in the coming recovery. Regardless whether the recovery will be long and difficult or sudden, the economy will recover. Our population is rapidly increasing and new real estate is not being produced. Therefore, the market forces of supply and demand will drive a housing price recovery - albeit probably not with the frenzy of the greed-driven fiasco created by the banking industry. Nevertheless, it will happen. The biggest surge will occur as soon as millions of potential home buyers represented by the "pent up demand" crowd begin noticing that prices are suddenly increasing and that if they don't buy quickly, they may loose out. Real estate agents may be looking at the largest tidal wave of real estate commissions imaginable.
Already we are seeing a slow increase in traffic. While some areas of California and most of Nevada and Arizona are long from seeing relief, our relocation lead traffic is on the rise. Even several Florida cities, to include south Florida which was the hardest hit, are starting to generate interests. Popular North Carolina cities, such as Charlotte and Asheville continue to receive substantial referrals - even if they are far below 2006 levels. Texas and Georgia seem to be on the rise as well.
Where will you be when the recovery starts? Will you be on the side lines waiting to jump back into the market after the recovery has passed you by? As the housing market has steadily declined over the past four years and suddenly dropped into a black hole last September, we have maintained a significant advertising presence with the major search engines and increased our Web page exposure from just over 40,000 pages to over 490,000. While seeing the number of leads substantial drop as the economy failed, we stood by our members - and our members stood by us. As our marketing presence as remained steadfast and solid, we are poised and ready to take advantage of the recovery. As we realize that a majority of our members have suffered through these tight times, we want to make sure that they profit. Therefore, we will be very carefully watching as conditions improve and do our best to steer additional home buyer lead traffic to our existing members. That way we will all be celebrating in 2010.
For more information about BuyersUSA Relocation, please visit http://members.buyersusa.com.