The difference in a decade

Looking back 10 years

10 years ago we were all younger and more energetic. You could have never imagined today you would be so different from the person that you thought yourself to be a decade’s ago. Plans change, chance events materialized, and instinctual decisions interestingly turned out to be right on. That’s the unpredictable journey of life.

Today
There are about 25 million more people living in the USA today. Employment has grown by an astounding 11 million jobs. The typical family income grew from $47,000 to nearly $60,000 in the past 10 years. The stock market roller coaster ride can be quite scary, but the Dow Jones Index has moved up from 9,000 to today’s 12,000+.  Interest and borrowing rates are much lower today than they were in 1998.  Yes, home prices are higher, but the housing affordability index, which takes into account people’s ability to buy a median priced home at prevailing mortgage rates, is quite comparable between the periods of time. The index was at 137 in February 1998 compared to 135 in February this year.
So what is limiting today’s demand for housing? The softer demand for housing is psychological (National and state Media doom and gloom catching headlines).  It is simply now a crisis of confidence perpetrated by a media unfamiliar with realities of localized and regional real estate markets and conditions.

As rising home sales and increasing home prices begin to climb in the third and last quarter of 2008, many folks might regret not buying when good opportunities and interest rates were common. Contact your “local” Realtor and ask him or her if the market you are in indicates a good time to buy.

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