A buyer once told me not to tell him that my area is unique. He said every area is unique. After a lot of thinking, I believe he is right and wrong. All areas are unique and this area is no different. It, too, is unique. We have a great way of life here that affords us a lot of great opportunities. We have four seasons and each season allows us to participate in new adventures. As a result, many people gravitate here for those adventures. Once here, they often find ways to experience these adventures on a more regular basis. Some move here and make it their home. Others purchase a second home or land hoping to build a get away. Because of this, our real estate market is a mixture of primary residences and vacation properties.
So, what does all this mean to real estate in this area? I think it contributes to a more stable market. Factors that help or hurt the economy of the local area don't necessarily effect the buyers and sellers of vacation properties. Conversely, when the areas south of here, where many second home buyers and sellers come from, experience a downturn, that may not have a significant effect on traditionally primary residences. We also do not experience the highs and lows in such magnitude as other areas. That can be good news and bad news.
The current downturn is having an effect on much of the country. We are in a slower market, too, but things are still selling when properly priced. We are not seeing the same rate of foreclosures due to more conservative banking practices. This is something we are all thankful for.
I agree with many of the economist that it will be awhile before we see significant recovery in the real estate arena. However, historically, real estate has always been a good investment and I believe it will continue to be. Now is a great time to be a buyer. In all adversity is opportunity!