Monday, July 13, 2009

Signs of Better Times Ahead

Last week I talked to a friend of mine who lives in Florida. The high-rise condo she bought a few years ago is worth about half of what she paid for it. She has a lovely view of a neighboring, unfinished, abandoned high-rise building. We compared housing values—my home’s value has fallen to just slightly more than what my husband and I paid for it ten years ago. Its value today is $150,000.00 less than its last appraised value in 2007, and over $250,000.00 less than its value at the peak of the housing craziness. “It will just take some time for things to turn around,” I told my friend.

“You really think things are going to turn around?” she asked me. “I’m not so sure about that.” She’s pretty sure the entire country is going to you-know-where in a hand basket.

I don’t think that things will return to the insanity of the housing boom, but I do think better times are ahead. As I told my Florida friend, supply-and-demand will come into play as more and more people start snapping up incredible deals on everything from homes to clothing.

Businesses are starting to slowly take over some of the empty buildings that dot our landscape. Near my home, Walgreens has taken over the old Rite-Aid building, Chipotle Restaurant occupies the former Blockbuster building, and a handful of smaller businesses have their “Coming Soon!” or “Now Open!” banners splashed across the faded names of now-defunct stores. Theoretically, this is the market at work—the old and failed businesses disappear, and the new and innovative step in to take their place.

What do you think? Can you see signs of better times ahead, either here in Las Vegas, or in the city in which you live?
Photo info: My picture of the new Walgreen's at Fort Apache and Sahara.

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