Gary Maler the Director of the Texas A&M real estate center recently talked to a group of real estate agents in Tomball about the state of our economy. Much of the talk was about the state of our national economy but he also went in to specifics for us here in Texas. Some of the daunting challenges we face.
- Business uncertainties from Washington policies
- The great credit contraction
- Budget cuts for states, cities and school districts.
One of the things that I came away with is that as a state Texas is weathering fairly good. A few years ago I would have told you that we had not been hit as we really did not have a bubble to burst. That is not the case any longer. He explained it about the best that I have heard. Here in Texas we did not experience a home price bubble we experienced a home sales bubble. The majority of our problems stem from the loans that were given since 2003. He explained that prior to that we had 17 homes sold per 1000 houses. During the no income/no assets loans that increased to 30 home sales per 1000 households. As he explained that was unsustainable and it is what we are dealing with now.
He was honest in that it took us sometime to get in this mess and it will take some time to get out of it. He said in all truthfulness this has been going on for a long time going clear back to LBJ’s administration. We have been living beyond our means for a long time. We will have some pain as we reel in from the excesses.
Future home sales are going to be dependent on job growth, mortgage rates/credit terms and home price affordability. Up to this point the American way has been to buy high and hope for higher. That said he said that NOW is probably the opportunity of a lifetime to a buy a house. Who would have thought we would see interest rates of 4.5% or less. He talked about the interest rates of the 1970’s when 12% was considered a good rate.
In the excerpt below he talks about the characteristics of a recession. The graph that shows the difference in unemployment between those who have a college degree and those who do not is an eye opener. As he said if there was ever an advertisement to get a degree this is it. If you have a son or daughter who is deciding whether they want to go to college this is a clip you might want to show them.
In his closing thoughts he said we will get through this. The other thing we have going here in Texas is a huge influx of people moving to our state. There are many places in our state where the market has stayed relatively flat and in my mind with this economy; flat is good.
Copyright © 2010 Marchel Peterson, All Rights Reserved. *Characteristics of a Recession - Texas specific!!*