Friday, September 24, 2010

About Your House

I sat in the barber shop last week and listened as the woman who cuts my hair and her 40ish male customer discussed strategies on how to sell their homes. He has an inherited one in this Victorian city, but doesn't want to let it go at rock-bottom prices and will wait until the market turns up. Yeah, right, I thought, having absorbed the speculation out there that overall home prices in the U.S. must fall another 10 percent before economists consider the market normal.
The barber showed off the big front-page ad she got in one of the regional housing shoppers. She wants about a mil for the two homes on five acres in the country that she "has to sell," but she'll take $75K less if they don't go through a Realtor.
Yeah, right, I thought.
I have other friends here who just took their home off the market, not a nibble in months, after their Realtor told them it was the worst market since 1967.
Actually, since 1963, since they started keeping records.
But it's better here in the West. Well, somewhere in the West, certainly not Nevada.

— There were 206,000 new houses on the market at the end of August, the fewest since August 1968.
— The last time unemployment exceeded 9 percent for three consecutive years was from 1939 to 1941.

Unemployment was, of course, much higher than 9 percent in those years. But still.

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