Saturday, October 20, 2012

Yard Sign Balloting II

I was going through Ft. Thomas again the other day and did another sign count. This was a different route, so I saw different signs.

This time no Obama. A few Romney, but more of the down ticket signs. But do you know what sign outnumbered them all?

For Sale signs. If I saw one I saw a dozen. They were everywhere.

Most of these homes were in the $120,000 to $350,000 range; mostly older homes, in the 70-110 year range, but a couple newer.

But what do the signs mean?

Are these the signs of a recovering housing market, or are they the signs of desperation, folks finally giving in? That is a key question. The answer is, who knows?

Personally I don't think it is a recovery sign. The ones I looked at were all listed near their Tax appraised value, and all were privately owned; no foreclosure dumps. All had been owned by the current owners between 6-10 years, and all were listed for very near what they had been purchased for a few years previous. That may sound like good news, but this area never had the massive run-up in values that some other parts of the country had.

Here is what I think; I think that after 4 years of sitting on their hands and checkbooks, people are figuring this is the new normal, and its time to get on with their lives. They aren't scared anymore. I also think there is a little optimism showing. Folks are seeing a recovery coming, and are preparing for it.

It also depends on what you see as a 'Recovery'. Anyone expecting a return to the 1990's will be disappointed. Unless something drastically changes, a change I don't foresee,  housing is no longer a short-term investment.

There is a lot riding on November 6th. I sincerely hope we are on our way back. It won't be easy, and I see a lot of fiscal pain in our future. Reagan did it once, 30 years ago. Can Romney do it again?

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