Monday, September 17, 2007


If you watched the most recent interviews with Alan Greenspan you may or may not be pleased with what you heard. As for the housing bubble, Greenspan says it is a global problem and we still have some distance to travel before the market levels off. He said, “We, unlike the rest of the world, are showing some modest price declines.” When asked if a recession was on the horizon, his answer was, “The evidence so far, is not yet. The economy at this stage, despite this fiscal problem, despite the financial problem, is still holding up.”

In hopes of slowing the downturn in the housing market and lessening the credit crunch the Fed is expected to lower federal funds rates to at least 5.0 percent; it is now at 5.25%. However, Greenspan still sees a great deal of pain ahead for those who overextended during the boom. “I think we're going to have to go through this adjustment, as indeed all the other countries are in the process of going through it. There are going to be a lot of people who will have very tragic stories," said Greenspan.

It appears Greenspan is less optimistic about the economy than he was while writing his memoir, The Age of Turbulence, and estimates the probability of a recession at just above one-third. One of the problems, according to an interview published in the WSJ is the “very large” inventory of newly built and unsold homes resulting in increased pressure on builders to sell them quickly.

Martha's Vineyard for the most part is a high-end resort and second-home market where many expensive properties are sold without need for mortgage financing. However, in order to stave off inflation in the future, Greenspan said the Fed would most likely have to raise interest rates to double-digit levels for the first time since the 80’s, but that increase period would be short lived. If you are contemplating a real estate investment on Martha’s Vineyard and need financing, I think that prediction alone is a good reason to get into the market while the rates are low.

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