5/26/2006

Housing Forecasts Unpredictable

Marcie Geffner at Inman News says: "A look back at housing market forecasts over the last five or six years makes the point. Forecasters consistently under-estimated the strength of the housing boom and predicted year after year that the housing markets were headed into a period of fewer sales. That prediction may be realized this year, yet any forecast can come true eventually if the time horizon is long enough, particularly when a market is known to have been cyclical in the past."
Local market information within the larger picture is what the buyer or seller really needs to know to take action. Believing that the market is going to come down 20 percent in price is not believable at this point, yet many people continue to wait for the end of the current year believing the magic point in time will occur, and they will be ready to buy. Yet they will lose tax advantages by doing that, and an increase in interest rates may offset any reduction in market price. The best time to take action is when you're thinking about it, future events are unknown. The best plan is one that builds in contingencies for best-case or worst-case scenarios, in other words, be prepared. AS Ms. Geffner says, "Forecasts should encourage people to think ahead about what might happen and how they could prepare to make the best of whatever occurs."

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