2013 WHATS AHEAD IN REAL ESTATE AND SMALL BUSINESS.
As the New Year dawns is there really much positive news ahead in real estate and small business or is it more of the same that we have experienced over the last several years? I'm afraid the answer to that question seems to be more of the same and perhaps even worse news ahead in 2013. Don't read me wrong, I wasn't a Romney supporter so I don't lament the outcome of the recent Presidential election as all doom and gloom; to the contrary, I have often been called a perpetual optimist. That being said I am also a realist and there are not a lot of positive indicators out there right now!
My fear is that 2013 will be a year when what is happening on the international and national scene will have even a far greater impact on the local scene then it has in the past several years, especially with an economy like Florida that relies so heavily on the tourist industry for jobs and income.
The European economic situation casts an ever increasing shadow internationally and downturns in manufacturing in China blow ill winds across the entire globe. Ever increasing unrest throughout the Middle East raise strong possibilities of continued warfare and armed conflict. Terrorism continues as a real threat.
Nationally we face an immediate budget crisis with little indication that this time around Congress and the President will be any more mature in dealing with it. Banks and financial institutions continue to tighten credit as we all experience downturns in our income and credit ratings.
The small local banks and "mom and pop" businesses continue to close as they are either swallowed up by the big fish or are forced to close down as their credit is called.
Overall, the sense I get from my clients are that they are nervous, depressed, and unsure of their futures. Some have spent their entire life savings just trying to survive the last several years and now question how they will ever be able to even consider retirement in the future.
Locally, some proclaim that real estate is finally back and home sales are on the rebound, but I wonder if we are once again falling into the same trap. Are these real home buyers or just investors "bottom feeding" on foreclosures and short sales while hoping to make a killing if and when the real estate market ever does rebound?
Locally, nationally and internationally the job markets remains extremely poor. If you don't believe me then just ask our recent college graduates, my son included. There was once a time when a college education meant a good paying job and a future. Now it doesn't guarantee anything other than more debt and doubt.
Let's hope the Mayans were wrong and the World doesn't end this month and that Congress finally gets its act together and keeps us from going over the edge come January 1st. Who knows, with a little luck we may just make it.