I always find it interesting when people assume Realtors are all make a killing when the market is hot, and that we're going broke when the market slows down. In truth, both present their own challenges. Similarly, right now everyone assumes that anyone who was a mortgage broker or lender is out of work or in huge financial trouble. But this article points out that GMAC is hiring 1,000 new employees.
The article sites refinancing, and increase Jumbo loan business, for the big uptick in GMAC's business. My guess is that re-fi's account for 90+% of the hiring. One of my listings is in contract and the Buyer's mortgage broker called me to see if I knew any Appraisers who could make it to the home earlier than his "go-to" guy could. Sure enough I have a friend I'd been out of touch with for a while who got his Appraisal licence around the time we lost touch, so I took the opportunity to catch up and see if I couldn't throw him a little business... just assuming he would be struggling right now. The truth is he is slammed and couldn't fit in the appraisal for days after the mortgage broker's guy. Re-fi's have him slammed.
It was sort of a "doh" moment... when interest rates at an all time low, of course everyone in the entire world is trying to refinance.
So it would appear that the acts of the Fed to lower interest rates is helping in quite a few ways. GMAC and other lenders, as well as Appraisers are hiring, and making money. Many homeowners are getting rates that are likely to keep many of them in their homes... fewer sales = less inventory, and fewer in-trouble owners = fewer foreclosures.
As for my business.... my partner Ciara and I are very busy too... but not too busy for your phone call. The "downturn" if you can call this relative blip in the San Francisco market has meant a lot of "wanna be" agents have left the business, and that makes our job easier. Hiring a quality agent is more important than ever, and whether you are Buying or Selling we recommend you interview several agents... just so long as we're one of them :)