As I am setting here planning my day, I thought "How does today feel compared to six or nine months ago".  I found my answer to have mixed reactions.  So many friends are looking for work or have suffered dramatic cuts in their business or income, that you wonder-are things getting better? 

We know from past recessions, the recovery starts way before the unemployment falls.  Yet, I am more optimistic today than 3 or 6 months ago.  There are many positive signs, that the economy is starting to see some recovery....housing is showing increased activity. 

Sales in the Charlotte area has slowly increased month over month since January.  Inventory of existing homes for sale is decreasing as buyers are becoming more eager to purchase their first home or that move up home they were not able to afford earlier, but in today's market is a reality. Builder have started building new specs, something unheard of three months ago.  Their quick action to stop new starts of spec homes, has kept "new home" inventory in the 7 months range compared to 6 months in a strong market.  While mortgage approval criteria has been more restictive, for buyers with good credit scores, the low rates is making it an opportune time to buy. Meanwhile, without media fanfare, we are getting people relcoating to the area on a weekly basis and those people need homes and guess what....they are buying.

So, my answer is--Yes---while it's going to be a steady but slow return, things are feeling much better. I share with you a headline from today's Business Week, -Now is the Time to Buy. 

Now's the Time to Buy in Real Estate
Investors are returning as the real estate market recovers.

BusinessWeek’s real estate guru Marc Roth points out these opportunities, which he says make sense if investors are willing to look over the property carefully and ask tough questions.

Options they should consider include:

  • Buying a single-family house. This could be a first home or a dream home or a home to rent out.
  • Buying a multi-family investment property.
  • Snapping up a vacation property. There are deep discounts to be found in high-end resort areas.
  • Investing in a Real Estate Investment Trust. REITs were hit hard in the downturn, but many are on their way back.

Source: BusinessWeek, Marc Roth (08/26/2009)