I kept count. I’ve been asked that question five times today. How’s the market? The answer is “yes!” (One thing we can probably all agree on: there IS a market.) When we try to get much beyond that answer we have to start with the observation that “markets” are really about supply and demand. So it’s a fun question with some very general answers and implications. Maybe a more interesting and appropriate question is “How much does it really matter how the market is?”
The market doesn’t buy real estate. The market doesn’t sell real estate. If the market does anything it reflects some general trends regarding supply and demand. By its nature it is passive and historical. I’ve never had a market attend a closing.
Back when management by objectives was fashionable I had a little sign that read “It’s difficult to remember that your objective is to drain the swamp when you are up to your butt in alligators.” Likewise, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that we’re trying to facilitate the buying and selling of real estate when we’re up to our butts studying market information and other distractions. Instead of looking for the plug that drains the swamp we find ourselves yelling to each other, “Hey, have you seen any alligators?! How big are they? Let’s check over here…”
Alligators bite; the market doesn’t. I worry less about what (and how) the market is doing and more about what (and how) I and my clients are doing.