Friday, March 05, 2010

It's Slow But Things Are Getting Better!

Well, as we continue through the morass of the ongoing recession/housing market, there are a number of signs that things may have past the bottom and begun to move upward. In the housing market specifically, many signs indicate prices are in a very gradual climb out of the abyss. For the second (or third--depends on which report you read) consecutive month average prices and numbers of homes sold has risen from the prior month's levels. True, they have not come anywhere near their height in early or late 2008, not even near where they were exactly a year ago, but the fact that a trend has apparently been established is a very encouraging sign.

Separately, jobs, without which no-one is going to be buying anything at all, much less homes, are also showing some encouraging signs. In numbers just released today, jobless claims dropped from a month ago, and unemployment remained at 9.7%. This is the first time since 2008 that these numbers have shrunk in consecutive months. Even better, for the third consecutive month, employers have increased the number of temp hires, normally a precursor to increases in permanent hiring. This is the first string that long since 2006!

Assuming these trends continue, it can only bode well for the housing market in general, and Marin County's home sales market in particular.


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