Markets up, and markets down. Interest rate charts looks like an EKG. No inventory, some inventory, inventory that won’t sell, then in a matter of a weekend has ten offers. Welcome to the real estate market circus of 2021.
About a month ago I decided to commit to reading the Wall Street Journal every morning with my coffee. I do like the financial news - and I am particularly fond of Marketplace on NPR, but never have I made it a point to read the WSJ cover to cover every day, until now.
I love the Leisure section. I love the Mansions section. Front page and the column down the left side - particularly handy for the up to the minute - or day - news. Editorials get my blood pumping and I argue audibly with the writers, in fun in my pajamas, but I still do. Then comes the market section - the famous Section B with all the graphs and stats.
I have never claimed to be a math person or anything related. Econ terrified me and statistics was just learning an alien language. However, I persevere through Section B every morning and what I have realized is that these poor schmucks are just as confused as we real estate agents are. The backtracking is mind-blowing because just a day before they predict a sector of the market skyrocketing and then the next day it plummets to earth like a deflated weather balloon. At least in real estate we get a few months, not minutes.
This brings me to Bitcoin. As I sit here typing away on a basic word processing program, someone, elsewhere in the world is writing code that becomes currency. I am crafting words, and they are crafting cash. And as we sit here - at this exact moment, one single Bitcoin is worth $58,808 dollars. And apparently you can go to your local car dealership and buy a car with this. But this is the crazy part. I am writing this letter to you on Monday, April 26th at approximately 9:24pm. The number I quoted you is $58,808, at this moment.
On April 23, Bitcoin had $200 Billion in losses and the price plunged below $50,000. ($200,000,000,000.00) - get your head wrapped around that number. I can’t. Then, at the opening of the markets- not sure which market - it rose again to $54,000 making up 10% gain to settling in at the $58,808 mark as I am writing this. Now, whoever thought this up is genius. Do you wake up in the morning and say, I think I am going to create some new money so I can avoid international currency exchanges? Avoid taxes? How does one just make this happen?. It gets traded, out in the open. Just like that. The IRS can’t even figure out how to tax people on this yet, and somehow they - not sure who they is - just lost $200 Billion. Poof.
So, for those of you, like me, who can’t just seem to get their heads around this either, stop and think for a moment. You may be getting frustrated with our current real estate market because of a lack of inventory, and that there is nothing for you to “move to” and things are getting really expensive. Or, maybe, we are just seeing the real value in the area that we live in. Either way, we aren’t going to see the volatility in the real estate market like the rest of the investment world and we know that land is still just as priceless as it has always been.
Glad that the WSJ has solidified my belief in real estate. We can’t write code to create more dirt..yet.
CNBC - UPDATED FRI, APR 23 20214:06 PM EDT