That is the question we are asking ourselves today.
In some ways the land market today feels like the land market the second half of 2010. Starting in June of 2010 all the way through January 2011, the land market was active.
Mistakenly, we thought a year ago that the activity we were experiencing was the beginning of a recovery in the land market. But just as we were getting comfortable that the land market recovery had started, somebody hit the off switch.
If the land market had been a patient in a hospital between February and August of this year, someone would have called for the gurney to take the body to the morgue. There was no sign of life.
In mid-August of 2011 our activity index began increasing, the phone started ringing in September, and sales started to occur. We enjoyed selling some of our clients’ land in September, October, November, and even December has been a good month for our clients. Currently the Grant Massie Land Market Activity Index is not quite as high as it was a year ago, but it is remarkably higher than from February through July of this year.
Our advice to our clients is that we don’t know if this is a surge or a recovery. Discussions with REALTORS in other market segments indicate that they are seeing an increase in activity. Conversations with businessmen in non-real estate businesses have also indicated that some are seeing an increase in business.
However, after last year’s experience, we are not ready to say that it is anything more than just another surge. We keep hoping that it is the beginning of a recovery, but we are not confident of it. By the end of the first quarter of 2012, we will be better able to state what is happening in the land market.
In the meantime, we are enjoying the level of activity, advising our clients that every offer may be the only one they receive, and hoping that everyone will have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.