A couple of interesting paragraphs from Inman News yesterday:

“As real estate industry layoffs continue and the toll mounts, some industry experts predict a toll of as much as 40 percent of existing jobs lost by the end of the year, while others insist that the WaMu layoffs [2,500 jobs] are just an anomaly.”
“The real estate occupations tend to be more flexible and move with the economy because everyone knows they are cyclical,” said Dr. Delores Conway, director of the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecasting Project at the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate.”

“It might seem that one way to chart a drop-off in the real estate profession would be to tally the number of real estate licenses being granted. But, according to Vince Malta, the president of the California Association of Realtors, historically there is a two-year lag between a change in the housing market and any change in membership.”
“The California Association of Realtors has 180,000 members at present and Malta predicts there will be 210,000 members by the end of 2006. California’s Department of Real Estate currently has 475,000 current real estate licensees. Malta said the Real Estate Commissioner predicts there will be 500,000 licensees by June. “Generally there is a lag,” Malta said.”
“As far as the state of California’s real estate market, Malta said, “We are still projecting the state to have about 620,000 single-family (sale) transactions this year. The record is 625,000 last year and 624,000 in 2004, so we’re going to still have a good year in terms of transactions. We are going to have a more balanced market.”

A couple of key words: “cyclical”, “lag”, and “balanced”.
Real estate slowdown leaves casualties [Inman – $]

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