Do the extreme fluctuations of the stock market impact real estate sales?
The question of the week last week was "Do the extreme fluctuations of the stock market impact real estate sales?" The answer in the short term is "no." The roller coaster effect of the stock market and record prices for gold have people talking and considering the best, safest places to invest. If these markets continue to behave as they did last week, posting near record declines one day and rising steeply the next, the real estate market will feel the impact of greatly shaken consumer confidence.
Prior to the last month, the impact of gains in the stock market brought the value of many people's portfolios back to levels they seemed comfortable with. In our office, we were hearing from buyers looking to move some of their assets into real estate. The general feeling was that prices had dropped to very attractive levels and as a result, we experienced more than the usual number of transactions with large downpayments or no bank financing involved.
Changes in the Central Vermont real estate market aren't tangible overnight. Despite continuing market hurdles, we are experiencing steady home sales. Residential interest rates have dropped, as have fuel prices, giving us optimism about near term sales.