Forget Case-Shiller

It’s safe to say that all real estate is national, but not all national real estate is local. What do I mean by that? It simply means that yes, our local neighborhoods and markets make up the total national real estate picture, but the national real estate picture may not be a fair representation of your local market. I hear buyers and sellers all the time talking about the Case Shiller Index. I hear them quoting national real estate statistics like they apply to Denver and the neighborhood where they are interested in buying. So, you may be asking yourself, “Why don’t all the national real estate reports matter or apply to Denver?” The reason is that real estate is, and has always been a local event. What is happening on the ground, in say, a neighborhood like Washington Park, cannot possibly be represented accurately in a national index or a report in the Wall Street Journal.

I remember back in 2008 and 2009 when it seemed like everyone in the country was in the middle of the real estate crash. I would call and speak with my fellow Realtors in Dallas, Austin, or the Carolina’s and they would tell me how great their market was doing in the midst of the storm. I used to pull my hair out and could not fathom how they were doing well in the middle of the worst real estate crash in the country’s history. They would go on to explain how their unemployment rate was low and how people were moving from hard-hit areas to their cities. They would tell me why people still wanted to live in Dallas, Austin, Charleston, and Durham. These cities had a lot to offer and people were flocking there to improve their situations. This is a perfect example of local markets doing well when the whole national picture told quite a different story. I could go on for another two pages with example after example of cities, towns, and neighborhoods that are bucking the national trends.

The take-home point here is yes, it is important to understand what is happening nationally with the economy and real estate, but understand that it may not apply to your local market. When Realtors tell you that “this isn’t Florida, Nevada, or California,” they are most likely right and speaking from a position of knowledge and experience.

Dan Polimino is a Broker/Owner with the Colorado Dream House Team, Keller Williams Realty DTC. Contact Dan at 303-522-1161, dan@coloradodreamhouse.com, codreamhouse.com or coloradodreamhouse.com

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