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The Future of Housing Demand

Posted on Mar 3, 2008

Heard a good economy joke lately? Me neither. Everyone seems pretty down on the prospects for the immediate future of the US GDP. The dollar is down. Gold is up. Stock Market’s down… no it’s up… no….? And so it goes: it seems the harder you look for answers to where this train is headed, there’s still one more gloomy ‘bridge-is-out’ prediction up ahead. At least that’s the typical News-at-five, sell-another-ad, soundbite takeaway message. Even Bernanke can’t seem to give us anything but mystery shrouded in intrigue. And we all thought Greenspan was opaque.

But, stepping away from the abyss for a minute, if you look out toward the horizon there’s the glimmer of something brighter – could it be…we do have a future!?

Remarkably enough, hope comes in the form of some concrete, positive, undeniably real numbers. Seen the latest census report? Maybe you had heard – there’s a new American created every 13 seconds! In fact, with a new birth every 8 seconds and a death every 11, that’s a net gain of 3 per second. And if you clicked on the previous link, you’ve seen the dramatic counter on the US census site- we’re now a nation of just over 300 million! In the time it’s taken you to read this far, we’ve grown by 15 people.

Additionally, our immigration rate adds a new citizen every 30 seconds. But even as this news offers economic hope, it must be viewed as the double-edged sword that it is- with significant, and possibly severe environmental implications. The projections cited by the census indicate we could see a population doubling, to 600 million people in the US, by 2050. The equivalent of adding 48 Chicagos! So, if you thought traffic was bad now…

Which means density will be even more of an issue for city planning, mass transit solutions must be implemented, and our land use policies must address a wide range of needs and concerns. Not really a surprise is it? We keep hearing this from our public officials but it seems so distant, so abstract and unrelated to our personal current realities.

On the more immediate front, what does this mean to you? Well, if you’re looking at the tv, thinking, “wow, I should just hole up and wait for my pre-approval to expire because this mortgage mess is tanking the whole economy, and there’s an election coming that might turn things around, and…” Don’t do it.

If you’re of sound mind, able in spirit, and have the ability and desire to better your financial future- oh, and you must also aspire to live beyond the immediate moment- take a look around, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Now let it out and say to yourself, “this is what opportunity looks like!” The rates are down, the selection of available properties is great, and it’s time to stop dreaming and start being a homeowner!

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