Out of the Woods Yet?

by 21 Apr 2010

Today?s newspapers are claiming that foreclosures are down from last month and nearly 40% from this time in 2009. No kidding. What they don?t say is how much short sale inventory has gone up! As an appraiser, I have been getting more and more assignments for short sale properties. From single family homes to unit properties. I am also seeing a rise in short sales in homes priced $600,000 and higher in Southern California. Commercial properties are really getting hit as businesses that use to lease their spaces are leaving. And finally, large community projects that were once on the books to be built are now on hold. Personally, I am optimistic, and do see that things are on the mend, but there are a few basic truths that we all need to face. Real economic recovery will be evident when: Unemployment has to come down to 6% and sustain this level for 3 consecutive quarters Businesses (across the board) sustain a growth of 3% for 3 consecutive quarters. The general public has either eliminated or paid down their debt and have been able to save 10% of their income for a 12 month period. And the banks have been able to eliminate 70% of their bad loan inventory and their new inventory has a small percentage of default. Even if things were to turn around within the next 12 months, most of the general public will be very careful in how they spend, and most of us have to get use to living on a more modest income, or well within our means. We are not out of the woods yet. Sincerely, Lamarr C. Banks

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