Sunday, January 17, 2021

What's Up for 2021?

There are a lot of articles telling us what we will be living with in the coming year. Everyone seems to have an opinion, and that is a good thing – that we are all free to see things through our own lenses. So, I thought I would put in my two cents, although due to inflation, it may be up to a nickel or even a dime.

Some are predicting a real estate boom, although I am not sure what the see as driving it, but that is what they see. Others see doom and gloom on the horizon. I find more evidence for that, but I really don't believe there will be a universal collapse.

The Great Migration

One of the factors we have to consider is the exodus from states like New York, California, Illinois and, to a lesser degree, other similar places that have not handled the Chinese flu or fiscal policies well. But it cannot be blamed soley on the actions of the communist regime – the one in China that is. Restrictive regulations, high taxes and general lack of concern for middle class Americans who make the country function has pushed many who can afford it to pack up and leave for friendlier places.

It is not just the worker bees leaving, but corporations are leading the pack in some cases as they look for a more favorable environment for themselves and their employees. Two notable examples are Elon Musk bringing his operation to Texas, as is Oracle as they desert the silicon valley environment. The NRA is reconstituting in the Lone Star State as well.

These actions do not bode well for the economies of the donor states, but what does it mean for their states with expanding populations? The influx of affluent residents would indicate that even if it doesn't result in an actual real estate boom, the market will have more support than areas with collapsing populations.

All this movement is on top of the normal movement of those of us who have had enough ice and snow to last a lifetime and headed to warmer climates.

The Caveat

This may not necessarily be good news for those of us who see fleets of moving trucks in our neighborhoods. If our new neighbors have not learned from their experience and want to create a world something like they left, it could be bad news for all of us, only we would be more comfortable when we are all out of work and can't afford to pay for heat.

The Opportunity

Obviously an expanding population puts sellers in a better position, whether they are regular homeowners, real estate agents or investors. It is possible this prosperity could be just an illusion. Homeowners who jump at the chance to sell their property for a price they never dreamed of will benefit them little if they are looking for another place to live in a similar area, as the house they are looking to buy will be selling at a premium as well... unless they want to move up north to retire. Who in their right mind does that?

However, agents will be cashing larger checks. Investors, if they watch their pennies, can turn larger profits. Businesses that cater to consumers will have more people to serve – if they are not in a business that has much online competition.

For those with deep pockets and the intestinal fortitude for long term plays may actually be able to make a profit from falling prices in the areas losing population – if they believe it will come back in the foreseeable future. Even in bad times there are always people who find a way to prosper. Fortunes were made even during the great depression. One good thing about looking for the golden ticket in these places is that you probably won't have a lot of competition.

One Certainty

There are always opportunities. Sometimes they are disguised as work. While occasionally they will come knocking on your door, most of the time you have to chase them down and catch them – but you can't even do that if you aren't looking.

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