Posted by eric-fl on March 06, 2001 at 13:26:56:
The local Chamber of Commerce and board of realtors often have good info. You can also check the Places Rated almanac for good indications of different economic factors for any metropolitan area in the country. Additionally, dismal.com provides a lot of excellent economic and demographic information for free. Also, your local library will have numerous resources such as SRDS, etc. for these types of things.
But I must ask, and caution you against, what we call “paralysis of analysis” around here. Why do you need to look at real estate forecasts? This whole forum is about buying real estate as an investment, either by getting a good price, terms, or both. You can make money in any market if your strategies make business sense. If you are looking at holding real estate for the long term, then buying at a low would be better, but we’re unlikely to see that any time soon. If the Fed keeps lowering rates as they have been, not only will that trigger a buying boom, but also a refinancing boom, as people “re-buy” their houses in order to get their equity out, and have a lower payment to boot. This will drive values up in the near term. In the long term, real estate is much like stocks - just about anything will go up if you hold onto it long enough, even if only as a hedge against inflation.
Do you have any reason to think values in your area might go down soon? Usually if you have a hunch, there’s a reason, and if there’s a reason, then you probably already know the answer.
I’m not saying don’t do your homework; I’m just saying, you must eventually go out and take action, if you wish to be successful. I know all too well, it is very easy to get caught up in the studies of economic trends and demographics; I myself have done it, and I think I have lost opportunities in the process, when I was sitting at home rather than out looking at property to buy and sell.