The Strib is running an article today about the slowing housing market, and how it’s putting the screws to some home sellers, especially ones trying to unload expensive homes or ones that are distant from the metro area, like some of the McMansions that dot Western Wisconsin. While the market has been horrible this year, it seems we’re still doing better here then people in other markets. If you’ve got a reasonably-priced house, it will still sell since there’s a shortage of ‘affordable housing’ out there.
In a similar vein, Steven Lagavulin is describing his trials and tribulations during his leaving Minneapolis for the more pastoral regions of Wisconsin, and gives us a warning in today’s posting on his excellent blog Deconsumption. His house would be ‘reasonably priced’ by overall market standards, and he’s had a devil of a time selling his it, leaving his family in limbo. Like us, he decided to list his property this year instead of last, and, like us, missed the top of the market. The main difference is that we listed our house earlier in the year and were fortunate enough to close before the end of May.
It’s obvious to all that the housing market has turned. The question now is whether prices will stay stable, gently decline, or correct by 25% or more. If the latter case happens, it will have nasty effects that will permeate across our entire economy. This is why I think the feds will do what they can to try and stabilize things, at least for the next few years. George Ure over at Urban Survival thinks that we’ll see a pause in Federal Reserve rates hikes, if not a surprise lowering of rates to try and spur the markets. A house is the only real ‘asset’ many Americans can claim to own these days, and when the bubble finally deflates, it will spell doom for Wall Street, I think. So, we’ll get to see Washington scrambling to keep business as usual at least until the elections, if not longer.
I wish Steven well in his attempts to sell his house, and look forward to more installments on his transition to a simpler life. He’s taken a much larger step down that path than I will be able to anytime in the near future, and I salute him for that.