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Real Estate

A month does not a year make

By - Last modified: February 22, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Recently, there have been some rather sad articles about how the new year is off to a bad start.

Apparently January real estate closings were down versus last year in the Harrisburg metro area.

I say “sad,” because the tone of those writers is one of gloom – or at least that’s the intention.

Which prompts the title of my musing this week. I heard some blowback from well-placed folks in the local real estate market complaining about the above-mentioned tone. My response was, “This too shall pass.”

I also thought it timely as we begin another year of real estate sales to point out that “a month does not a year make.” Thoughtful people realize that any single month in the 12-month cycle will little tell us how that cycle is faring.

In addition, I think most people would realize that January, of all months, is not to be relied upon as a bellwether of things to come. Year after year, up or down market, we’re in the low point of sales activity in January and February. Watch for interesting things to develop no earlier than the end of March in these parts.

Which brings me back to the story writers who set a tone for their articles. Perhaps it’s the guiding hand of an editor or just some burned coffee, but we’re always going to have articles written with various sour points of view. Hopefully, however, even these writers will realize that it’s only fair to analyze market trends over a quarter or season as opposed to a random 30 days. Regardless of the industry, really.

My sincere advice to real estate writers is to secure the sales figures for at least two years previous and consider the macro trends before committing conclusions to paper.

Short of a crystal ball or tea leaves to read, we’re all at the mercy of the future when it comes to market predictions. However, let’s agree at least that a month does not a year make.



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