Here’s to hunkering down in times of uncertainty
Real estate has never been a short term thing. It doesn’t fluctuate up and down like the DOW does on a daily basis. Real estate is a long term bet on the future and at heart, an expression of two things:
- The importance home has for people and the way it provides comfort, security and nurturing for their lives
- The life transitions everyone goes through while traveling along the continuum from childhood to adulthood to old age.
Home transitions only happen in the natural flow of people’s lives. They don’t make decisions to sell or buy overnight. Most folks selling today started thinking about it years ago. Those thinking about buying right now started planning at least six months ago. Not yesterday. And not today.
I was preparing for the real estate exam in 1989 when the earthquake struck. Despite the devastation, Santa Cruz adjusted and the market resumed. The country was also on the cusp of the first Gulf War and a significant recession back then. “It’s the economy stupid” was the meme of the presidential election and even though it felt like the country was caught between Iraq and a Hard Place, by the mid 90s it was all a distant memory.
In the late 90s, apocalyptic worries about Y2K drove people to clean out supplies of toilet paper and canned goods from local stores. And the implosion of the dot.com bubble after 2000 was a huge threat to Silicon Valley. The recession that followed was punctuated by the unimagined events of 9/11. Flights stopped and people were afraid to go out. And for a brief moment in time, it felt like the market was over. But with healthy doses of economic stimulus, it quickly returned.
Until 2008 that is, when a world we could not have anticipated felt like it was on the verge of another Great Depression. But that also proved to be a relatively short-lived period as the market quickly launched into its latest record expansion upward.
More Next Week…