Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Trendwatch: Is everyone selling real estate

It's no exaggeration to say that the real estate industry (and by extension, the mortgage lending industry) has been among the most important drivers of our economy over the last few years. Some would argue that it is the largest factor on the plus side of our economic balance sheet. But the boom may be ending. According to a recent story reported by RealTrends:

Sales of new homes soared at a record pace in October in what could be a last
hurrah for the booming housing market. The Commerce Department said that sales
of new single-family homes shot up by 13 percent last month, the biggest
one-month gain in more than 12 years. The increase pushed sales to an all-time
high seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.42 million units. The increase
confounded analysts who had been predicting that new home sales would decline by
1.8 percent, reflecting continued increases in mortgage rates. It was possible
that the unexpected surge reflected a final rush by buyers to get into the
market before mortgage rates climb higher.

It might be time for those that specialize in gathering low-hanging fruit to start thinking about moving out of real estate sales. Using the National Association of Realtor's current membership as an indicator, that could be a lot of folks.

Consultant Mark Dangelo, author of Innovative Relevance, recently sent me this note:

In a sign of the times, when I was shuttling in taxis during my Chicago visit my
cabbie gave me his Realtor's card...it seems everyone is now in the business of
selling properties.

That may be changing.