Open Forum (2/15– )

Posted by Dave Fratello on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 5:10am.

Is the internet destabilizing?

Ask Hosni Mubarak whether it was some kid Google exec, or Facebook, or Twitter that helped bring him down, and here's the answer you'll get (roughly translated from the Masri): "Huh?!?"

Sometimes, a regime, or a brand, just dies. Ask AOL. (HuffPo, be warned!)

No doubt, we live in interesting times.

In terms of real estate, we live in a time when the recent nationwide RE recovery stoked by cash giveaways and unspeakably cheap money seems now to have stalled out. But that's nationwide. (According to Case-Shiller, no bulls they.)

Hyperlocally, 2010 was a recovery year and, moreover, the respected Dataquick team says "luxury" real estate across California (prices $1m+) saw a 21% increase in sales volume last year. (See this LA Times story.)

The situation with $1m+ sales prompted some remarkable comments from Christopher Thornberg, largely viewed as a bear in the bubble years and post-bubble aftermath, who said last week: "Certainly, we're pretty sure we're at the bottom" for home prices, and "if you are borrowing, buying today makes a lot of sense because interest rates are just incredibly low."

When the bears turn bullish, what's to do next?

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Please use this "Open Forum" post to discuss whatever's on your mind – the Arcade Fire, new planets outside our solar system, the death (?!?) of Fannie and/or Freddie, etc. As always – and you've been so good recently – keep it civil and we'll all have a better time.
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