Sunday, June 10, 2007


Like a bystander seeing a corpse twitch, maybe.

Really, it is hard to see that the tiny little upturn from the 4th quarter of 2006 to the 1st quarter of 2007 as anything other than a seasonal uptick, which -- if you examine the charts -- happened strongly last year, and even in a little in the boom years.

In other words, I think it's a lot more pertinent to compare 1st quarter of this year with the 1st quarter of last year, for a more accurate appraisal. Hard to see anything positive there. Building permits drop from 392 in the middle of 05; they don't give us 2006, but I'm guessing after the little uptick at the start of of 06, looks to be well over 300 or more. This year? 163. A 50% drop? (I'm sorry, they give us 45% at the end of the article, my bad.)

Yes, housing units sold are up from 295 to 359 from the 4th to 1st quarters, but they are DOWN from 560 or so from the 1st qt. of 06. A 30% drop. (Again, at the end of the article, they say 26%, which doesn't look right, but I'll take their word for it.)

Median days on the market haven't seen any improvement from the last quarter, much less 2006. A increase from 82 to 142 days.

As a businessman, I find any comparisons month to month to be worthless. What would the fact that sales drop -- EVERY YEAR -- about 40% from December to January tell me? I compare December to December, apples to apples.

In the face of all this, the Bulletin finds it positive that new business filings have hardly slowed at all as a positive, whereas I see it as a disaster waiting to happen. I think that new businesses openings are a lagging indicator; and that many of these new businesses were planned in the 2004 to 2005 period, and won't come on line until later this year. Good luck with that.

Edited to add:

To put it in perspective, how many of you could absorb a 45% or even a 26% drop in income? How many of you would just shrug and say, "Gee, I was getting too much money, and now I'm just back to normal wages?"

In my business, I've survived up to 25% drops in business in the short run -- barely. I've survived 50% drops in business over a span of several years -- again, barely. It wasn't pleasant, and almost all my competitors didn't survive at all. I was just more stubborn.

It's really difficult to see any of these figures as positive.

No comments: