I’ve heard it said that our housing market is going to swoon next year.
I’ve also heard it said that it’s boring, stable and unlikely to dip more than a few percentage points, if at all.
Do you know? I sure don’t. That’s because of scenarios that are unknowable, of which herewith a few:
Greece defaults on its debt. So. . .
The global financial markets shrug, and our housing market is unaffected. Or. . . .
Those markets collapse, a spasm wracks Wall Street, and our housing market seizes.
What if Italy, Spain and Portugal then also stop meeting their loan obligations? But . . .
The global financial markets have anticipated that eventuality and barely seem to notice, keeping the Dow-Jones and S&P 500 generally unmoved. Or. . .
We were wrong in thinking the worst was over. And. . .
The world is plunged into a deep, black depression, and business tycoons start hurling themselves through windows. Unsurprisingly. . .
Real estate brokers, especially in Manhattan, look for other work, which is nonexistent. Ironically, some become homeless.
Now consider what happens only if unemployment persists at unnaturally high levels. In that event . . .
Probably our housing market functions more or less smoothly, with little damage. Or . . .
Pessimism shrouds our existence, consumer confidence plunges to new lows, and the housing market is paralyzed.
Next, put the foregoing possibilities into various combinations, and tell me what will occur.
I could go on — but will spare you — with other imponderables involving breakthroughs or continued stalemates in the House of Representatives, new disclosures about presidential contenders, the final amount of Wall Street bonuses, next year’s election results for the Congress and Senate, natural disasters, international conflicts, the extent of real estate investment by foreigners, scientific discoveries, the impact of huge losses in the stock market yesterday and so on.
I know that I, for one, cannot forecast which way the wind is blowing, and I don’t trust anyone who pretends otherwise.
Tomorrow: Weekly Roundup
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Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022