This year has presented us with some of the most difficult times in terms of trying to accurately get a handle on what’s happening in the real estate market and what direction the various parts of the market are headed. We’ve had some exceptionally nice weather since Labor Day, probably more nice days than we did in the “summer” and there seems to be somewhat of an effect on certain parts of the real estate market. The $8,000 First Time Buyer Tax Credit being offered by Uncle Sam has had a positive effect on the lower end entry level priced homes in many parts of the country. That program has an expiration date, similar to the way the Cash for Clunkers program worked, coming up at the end of November with some Buyers now scrambling to get to closing. In some areas of the country it has definitely worked and been responsible for an increase in Buyer activity and the sales numbers being reported. The second home market in Lake Geneva continues to be soft, despite many Sellers adjusting asking prices down to the point where there are some very attractive values available to Buyers willing to ignore all the doom and gloom talk and step up and take action now.
It just seems that many folks are being extremely cautious right now about making financial decisions and many are just not comfortable taking on additional debt in what the media seems to enjoy referring to as these “troubled economic times”. I really dislike that term, because I think if people hear it enough over and over, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Despite this, I remain hopeful that some of the signs of increased levels of activity we have begun to see recently will continue and that the market will respond in a positive way to what I believe is a great time to be in the market for the long term.
I’m not giving up on 2009 as the Fall season can be a beautiful time in Lake Geneva with lots of visitors to the area. I’m determined to make the most of the next couple of months to see if we can get some additional business done and end the year on a more positive note.