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Monday, March 27, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Crrrrrrash goes the housing market?

Editor’s Notebook: Crrrrrrash goes the housing market?

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Quite the eye-opener from the Virginia Realtors trade group, which recently released the results of a late-May “flash poll” of its members.

Remember how just a few months (weeks?) ago the real-estate market was tilted heavily toward sellers? Not anymore, according to the anecdotal information contained in the recent report.

While not apocalyptic for sellers, the reports from across the commonwealth suggest that prospective buyers are back on the sidelines. Some have been forced out by higher prices and interest rates, others have a nagging concern that a bubble has formed.

(Real-estate experts and economists tend to doubt that, but then again, they weren’t all that prescient about the calamity that transpired in 2006-07-08-09, were they?)


Many of those who responded to the flash poll are doomy-and-gloomy about coming months. Some of that could simply be emotion taking the place of reason, but with the economy in the tank (and the tank getting increasingly expensive to fill up …) it is looking like the days of easy-peasy home sales across the commonwealth, and nation, have drawn to a close for now.

Batten down the hatches, as Jamie Dimon advised.

ANOTHER TRIP BACK TO THE 1970s: Since society has now reverted to the 1970s — high gas prices, inflation, an iffy occupant of the White House — let’s make a trip in the wayback machine to the actual 1970s. June 18, 1979, to be exact.

The Northern Virginia Sun of that day reported on a new survey of Virginia residents, suggesting that those in Northern Virginia were more likely to favor gas rationing than were those in other parts of the commonwealth.

Makes sense: Northern Virginians could use mass transit to get to work; most of those outside this area but still in the Old Dominion couldn’t. Or maybe just another early “swampy” behavior from the local area — if the government says we should do it, we should do it without complaint.

Ah well, at least we’re unlikely to face gas shortages these days. Those regimes across the planet that provide our bubbly crude (since for some reason we aren’t pulling our own stuff out of the ground) are happy as clams to sell it to us at the current exorbitant prices.

For the moment, at least.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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