Not My First Rodeo

By on 13 April, 2012 in Real Estate, Sandra Nickel with 0 Comments

What I know about rodeos can be fit into a few fleeting experiences as a spectator and one “celebrity ride” on which I wore a silk pants suit — slick as ice — and nearly slid off onto my backside!

And what I do know about the phrase “not my first rodeo” is that it means I have been down a road before. In this particular instance, it’s Recession Road and the current real estate economy. As severe as this downturn is, I’ve been this way before.

When I was licensed in 1981, interest rates were at 17.5 percent plus .5 percent for mortgage insurance. So it was like trying to buy a house on your Visa card! We survived. And then the market got better.

In October, 1987, the stock market tanked. It felt like the end of the world. We survived. And after awhile, the real estate market returned to normal. 2001 saw the Dot.com Bust (or the Dot-Bomb, as my friends called it). Real estate took another hit. And then things got better.

The current downturn has been, in the words of a late former Governor, a whim-doozy! We’ve seen foreclosures skyrocket and sales grind to a total halt. Guess what? Real estate has survived. And better yet, it would appear that the worst is definitely behind us!

Very quietly, over the past four years, the supply of homes on the market for sale in the Montgomery area has been declining — from well over 3,800 in 2008 to under 2,800 this month, a reduction of over 25 percent. And in Midtown, things have followed suit: 307 for sale at the end of last month vs. 413 four years prior.

Diminished supply is being matched by increasing consumer confidence. Over the past six weeks, we have noted a huge increase in buyer inquiries. And unlike has occurred in the recent past, those inquiries have actually translated to contracts and closings.

If the real estate market were a sick patient, you might say she’s finally off life support and may soon be moved from intensive care to a room. The recovery will be slow but recover she will. She always does. One thing we know about recessions: They always have an end. And ours may be nearer than further away.

Good riddance. Giddayup!

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 29 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.

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