When all is said and done, there is a bit of truth in everything. There are negatives: qualifying for a loan is more difficult (thank goodness) than in the 4 years past; there are markets that have suffered 30+% declines in sales, inventories are way up; and the sub-prime tsunami is still rocking the industry and will continue to do so for many months to come.
On the positive side there is one irrefutable fact: we are in a bullet-proof business. There will always be people who have to sell and buy. When interest rates hit 19% back in ‘80-81, sales occurred. Were there fewer buyers who could qualify? Of course there were. Did sellers have to confront the reality of the market to secure a sale? Indeed! However, when you put a motivated seller and buyer together... ca-ching!
There is nothing like real urgency and motivation to spur people into accepting the realities of the environment in which business is conducted. Real estate is, after all, just that... a business that depends upon the consumer's willingness to absorb the product.