December marks the start of the real estate prediction season—and last week, Forbes published an early entry. Forbes is the century-old business magazine that tracks investment and financial markets—often bringing heightened scrutiny to the housing industry since housing is a tail often said to wag the dog (the canine is the rest of the U.S. economy). For anyone who doubts the validity of that metaphor, here’s how the NAR® maps the economic impact every single home sale makes, state by state.
For those with an eye on the direction of the national and Costa Mesa housing markets, the Forbes outlook was interesting. It was mildly out of step with the grim-faced recession commentaries being offered by most of the talking heads on TV. Residential real
The national press has fallen into the habit of treating almost every piece of news dealing with U.S. real estate as an all-too-predictable blow to the economy. Last week provided a welcome break in the pattern, as area residents who’ve been following mortgage rates in Costa Mesa found little to gripe about. CNBC’s headline, “Mortgage rates fall for the third straight week…” was a good example. Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgages had again decreased following the Thanksgiving pause—and by emphasizing the continued trend reversal, reporters had highlighted the rosiest detail in a pack of mixed data.
The number of mortgage applications was a good example of how glasses could be reported as either half-full or half-empty. Yes,