Today I attended a company seminar with all the usual rah-rah, updates, and praise for top producers. I liked everything I saw - especially the soon-to-be debut of Baird & Warner's new consumer friendly website, www.bairdwarner.com.
We also had a special speaker, real estate coach and trainer Rich Casto, who's been in the real estate industry for many years, give some interesting predictions. Obviously, the best trained economists with multiple Ph.Ds couldn't see this mess coming and Rich acknowledged that. But he was excellent at explaining in very simple terms how we got here (stupidity, of course!)
Here's what else he had to say today:
- Only 1/5 of the foreclosures have hit the market at this point
- Unemployment is typically the final state in an economic downturn and we are well into that stage.
- Historically, housing is usually the first to stumble, and the first to get going again
for 2009 he predicts:
- More of the same (as 2008) but with some slight increase in sales in the Spring. Warm states are ahead of cold areas, and a weather thaw will aid sales.
- We will begin to get back on track by spring of 2010
- Housing starts will be kept low - a good thing for existing inventory
- The downward price spiral is almost over
Another economist on television said that if you think that 2009 will continue to slide until the end of the year when things will begin to look up - you are an optimist. Well that I am. Rich Casto's predictions are not that far off of that. And while the stimulus and bailout packages will continue to be debated, homes in the North Shore will continue to sell if priced correctly. In Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth and Glencoe, under-contract numbers are higher than the same period in 2008. Surprising as that sounds, it's welcome news.