Friday, February 15, 2008

Answer cloudy. Ask again.

I have a feeling we're about to get an absolute blizzard of fluffy statistics in the next few months. Stats which can be interpreted any which way, such as leading an article with the figure that Oregon is 49 out of 50 in foreclosures, but burying the fact that, even so, it's the worst in 10 years.

So a lot of fuzzy stats are going to be flying around, just in time for the crucial spring selling period. And I do mean crucial. I think maybe the sellers are so anxious, they've already started. We have a friend in Redmond who showed her house 4 times last week.

In my store, I've learned that whatever is currently happening to me is most likely happening to everyone else, won't really get confirmation of that for at least 6 to 8 months down the road.

It's almost going to be a waste of time to listen to the local news over the next 6 to 8 months. We won't know until the dust settles.

It's a very effective strategy. I can't believe how unaware the average person is about the economy. They have a general idea, but almost always exceptionalize themselves. I keep going back to the day sports cards fell off the table for my store, circa 1991. For most of the industry, it seemed as though nothing had happened. There seemed to be very little awareness of the dangers, even among insiders. But rot was eating at the core. Finally, the 1994 baseball strike came along and was a convenient whipping boy.

But even then, I don't think I had an actual customer comment on the drop off for another 3 or 4 years after that!


People are aware in general, but totally unaware in specifics, especially how it concerns themselves.

Anyway, it's not like I'm going to wait for a government economist to tell me if my sales are going up or down. It appears that my guess is as good, no better, than theirs....

1 comment:

Duncan McGeary said...

I'd be tempted to think that the government and banks and powers that be would try to keep a collapse in housing from happening.

But, when I go to the Housing Bubble Blog (the national one) it's just one long litany of collapse, especially in California and Florida.

So, no reason to really believe it won't happen here -- and no reason to believe it would be just as bad as Florida and Cal.