Monday, December 10, 2007

A Little Perspective on Today's Market

I just returned from a two-day real estate seminar that I regularly attend (presented by Buffini & Company), and wanted to share some of the statistics and information on the real estate market that were discussed.

Newspapers and the cable news networks continue to talk about the foreclosure mess. And, it is indeed a mess, but the singular focus on this story is distracting from some other fascinating numbers and stories. So, this is a healthy reminder to have a little perspective on the market, and to look past the alarmist reports out of the media.

Did you know that as of July 2007, right before the subprime problems began to emerge, that about 97% of all mortgages were current? And that about 30% of all real estate was owned free and clear, unencumbered by mortgage obligations? The real surprise is that those numbers have not changed all that much in the intervening months. As of November 30th, 95.1% of all mortgages are current.

Various forecasts predict that about 20-30 billion dollars are going to have to be written off because of foreclosures on subprime loans. That sounds terrible, but given that there are almost 10 trillion dollars in mortgages out there, that is less than 1 percent of all mortgages being affected by the subprime fallout.

It is a very complicated economic situation, so it is important to have some perspective on the big picture. But, keep in mind that the market is simply correcting itself. There are and will continue to be some negative results for some individuals and a ripple effect through some sectors of the economy. Yet, interest rates are terrific right now, There are some hot deals and motivated buyers out there, and it is a great time to invest in real estate for the future.

Next week, I will be mailing out to my regular clients a detailed look at the 2007 real estate market and a look ahead to 2008. If you would like information on the market from a trusted advisor, please let me know. I am always happy to help. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or

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