Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

November 13, 2008
The real estate creed: Always leave them smiling

This is the time of year in real estate circles when industry people gather with consultants and experts and hope that next year is better. I had a good ringside seat for one of these this week when the Sullivan Group Real Estate Advisors of San Diego offered its fall outlook.

 It proved that even a bad real estate market is still fascinating. Some highlights - slightly magnified by humor - about what's really going on in real estate: 

  • The next generation of home builders will probably not learn a lesson from today's housing meltdown. The Sullivan Group's Tim Sullivan and Dean Wehrli said builders next time must not go so crazy. They must focus on what people can afford in a market and be prudent. Go easy on the $500,000 homes. But Tom Jacobs,west region chief of Kimball Hill Homes (which filed for bankruptcy protection last April) said, "I think the next generation of home builders will make the same mistake."
  • More than half the nation's big publicly-traded home builders may yet fail. David Butler, vice president for JPMorgan Real Estate, repeated what he heard at a similar conference in Hawaii: "There of four believed that half the Wall Street home builders will not be around in  three or four years."
  • Maybe Barack Obama can save the day with that talk about "Hope." Said Sullivan, "A new year and a new president who ran on hope and change could be the beginnings of a confidence rebuilder. The fact that there's something new could be a positive for us."
  • If that doesn't work, trust in Generation Y. That's the many children of fertile Baby Boomers. The generation's forward edge is approaching its 30s - prime home buying years - and most of its members are renters. Sullivan said, "This generation is even bigger than the Baby Boom. The pig in the python is coming."
  • It's bad, sure, but you should have been around in the 1930s. In 1933, unemployment was 25 percent. It's 6.5 percent now. In the 1930s, 40 percent of mortgages were delinquent. It's less than 5 percent today. And in the 1930s, gross domestic product contracted by 25 percent. Officially, our recession is just starting. And lastly, the 1930s saw 9,000 bank failures. So far we've had fewer than 40... Always, leave them smiling.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

Jim Wasserman on Twitter

Follow "jimwasserman" on Twitter

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31