It seems like a huge percentage of homebuyers have disappeared from the face of the Frederick County real estate market. It’s possible that it is just a seasonal aberration. Schools are back in session, holidays are upon us, its football season, and there are multitudes of fall festivals. While all of this affects activity in the real estate market, in my opinion, we might be seeing fall-out from the budget debacle on Capitol Hill.
Thousands of Federal workers received an unscheduled vacation a couple of weeks ago. The budget show-down, leading to the shut-down left many in the surrounding communities, concerned about their long-term prospects for employment. Even though there was a resolution, it was a short term resolution, and confidence about a repeat after the first of the year, is high, especially with the continued rhetoric being bantered about by the same legislators that contributed to the original shut-down. Frederick County, Maryland is one of the bedroom communities for Federal employees and so this area is part of ground zero for the disaster brought on by the Executive and Legislative branches of government. We are in a home buying nuclear winter after taking a direct hit.
The trickle-down effect of the bickering on Capitol Hill continues to run off. It has the potential for disastrous retail sales as well as Federal employees hunker down in preparation for the next round of more of the same.
Capitol Hill did not learn its lesson in October. They have returned to business as usual. The rest of us are left to scrounge to survive, wondering if it is safe to go back outside into the fallout they caused.
New housing is not an option that many will consider when they are hunkered down in protective mode. This should not be surprising. What will be surprising will be the reaction of economists and other financial gurus once this seeps into statistical data. Housing is a key factor, directing the nation out of bad times, and leading us back to less desirable fortunes.
Rosanna, Rosanna, Danna used to say “it’s always something” and that’s true, until there is nothing to make something out of and it appears, that is what everyone is expecting.