Happy (that it’s a) New Year!

2008 has thankfully come to an end.  The real estate meltdown has finally hit the Bay Area – hard!  I just tallied the announced layoffs by Bay Area companies with 75 or more employees since 9-1-08:  13,366 folks have been given pink slips, so far.  And that doesn’t include all the layoffs at smaller companies, independent contractors, and the self-employed who are out of work.  Yikes!

A Dec 31 Bloomberg News articleby Matthew Benjamin outlines just how nasty ’08 has been:  worst job loss since WWII; worst stock market and housing market since the Depression; record setting Holiday spending slump; record volume of mortgage forclosures.   He states, “The National Bureau of Economic Research this month determined the U.S. economy had been contracting for 12 months, already the longest downturn in a generation, with no end in sight.”

What’s the good news for 2009?  Record low interest rates!   Affordable home prices in the best neighborhoods (well, affordable for some, anyway). 

Buyers: Here’s your chance – don’t miss it! 

Sellers: You’d better price it right!