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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Is stability the best that U.S. real estate market can hope for?

I dislike this over-used cliché as much as anyone, but there was an important story on CBS News last night, which suggested that the current real estate market might represent “a new normal.”  In the feature—which ran as the lead story in the broadcast—Yale economist Robert Shiller challenges the conventional wisdom of those who are waiting for a real estate recovery.  Click here to see the story, or watch the video immediately below (commercial pre-roll required).

Implications:   Of course, this is not just a story about new housing starts and existing home sales; this issue impacts the home furnishings, home improvement and mortgage industries, directly, and virtually all other retail categories at least indirectly.

Frankly, I liked one of the messages sent by this story:  It’s time to stop waiting to see what happens, and get back to the business of doing business.  If the housing market recovers, great… consider that a bonus.  Meanwhile, the smart money is on regaining a focus on who your ideal consumers are, understanding their needs, and communicating how you can satisfy those needs—at least the most important ones—better than your competitors.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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