Stop me if you've heard this one: Congress, the Executive branch, and the Judicial branch walk into a bar. Congress tells the bartender, “Drinks are on me. Executive and Judicial can each have two Jack Daniels—plus, I’ll buy a Budweiser for everyone in the bar.”
The good news for the once-bleak housing industry is getting even better. Early last year, in the American Institute of Architects’ first-quarter survey on Home Design Trends for 2012, home sizes and volumes appeared to bottom out, showing signs of increase for the first time since 2006.
One common thread among dealers who have weathered this recession successfully is that they quit waiting for it to end and instead played the hand they were dealt. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be disappointed when a few aces come their way. Six months ago, observers were scared to death that housing would pull the same stunt in 2012 that it did last year: start strong, then fizzle out just as the summer building season cranked up.
Home Depot Launches Green Products Database
AIA and Broadcastr Use Social Media to Bring Buildings to Life
Real Estate Developers Use Crowdsourcing to Help Make Development Decisions
If you’re as diligent as most dealers about making decisions based on facts, here’s an item from the Washington Post that will make you sit up and take notice. WaPo’s reporter did something no one has apparently ever done: He read the footnotes to the Census Bureau’s monthly press release on the housing market.
It’s not time for a sigh of relief quite yet, but hang in there. If things keep going the way they are, you’ll only have to hold your breath a few more months.
You can be excused if you’re a little skeptical about all the optimism in the media over housing the past few weeks. Just the same, happy talk is better than the other kind. The Wall Street Journal says big hedge funds are “starting to wager on housing,” jumping into home builder stocks in anticipation of a big boost this year. Ivy Zelman of Zelman & Associates predicted the impending crash back in 2005, and was so relentlessly negative on housing that public builders called her “Poison Ivy.” Zelman is now convinced we’re on the verge of a comeback. Forbes, JPMorgan’s Jaime Dimon, and CoreLogic all insist the market has finally hit bottom and is poised for an upswing sooner rather than later. Let’s hope. So far this housing downturn has seen more false bottoms than a liposuction convention.