PARALLEL WORLDS???....Two Leading Indicators follow similar paths!!!

PARALLEL WORLDS???....Two leading indicators follow similar paths!!!PARALLEL WORLDS?

I was reading a terrific, thought provoking post by Ann Sabbagh this evening: "Is Spring Coming To Real Estate?"....and in my comment to her I mentioned a conversation I had with one of my associates this afternoon: This agent said to me:"I feel like it is Spring or something--doesn't it feel like Spring selling right now?? " The real estate market is going through a major adjustment here; it seems to be settling back into the normal  Spring and Fall markets....we had lost sight of these key selling periods during the massive upswing in sales and prices during the '06-'07 markets and then the complete collapse in '08-'09! As a new agent, starting last year, this agent has not experienced "normalcy" in the real estate market!

After feeling a "Flash Back" to my days in retailing when Spring was a key selling period, I told her that Fall markets should be just as strong as the Spring and as a second home market, with people ready to spend money on more affordable homes, we may just be "a leading indicator for the rest of the nation's real estate markets!"... The Hamptons may be JUST that!  SPRING IN REAL ESTATE?

No where else but the Hamptons does there seem to be a market bursting with buyers ready to buy; ready to spend money on affordable homes as a long term investment! I have 4 deals on the table, ready to close as all cash transactions! Only one other place can you see the same attitude:

Apparel Retailing is seeing a resurgence as buyers rush in to affordable stores to spend money on bargains, clothing that will last them, that will fill their requirements for years perhaps....they call it "investment clothing"! There you have it! I see a parallel; DO YOU???


Let me explain my thinking on why I believe the Hamptons may be a leading indicator to all other real estate markets:

At one time, Big Box Retailers were part of the financial markets leading indicators; this was in the time of a very large segment of the population growing into adulthood and buying clothing was the "thing" to do! Department stores committed entire floors of the Big Box stores to Ladies Apparel.  I am of course talking about the "Baby Boomers" who came of age in the 60's, 70's and reached their peak buying power in the 80's and 90's before the whole world of fashion retailing came crashing down, much like the housing market in the '08-'09 time period.

In my years in Fashion Retailing, the Designer Market was the trend setter---all other levels of retailing from Moderate to Updated to Budget Sportswear for women were all lead by the Designers. And designers got the credit for being the trend setters and were subsidized by high ticket prices...HIGH TICKET ITEMS BRING IN THE BIG BUCKS

NOW,We have just gone through a major adjustment in housing,  just as retailing did in the 90' that time, fashion leaders such as Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan lost their footing and became so expensive that the average woman could no longer afford to buy their $2000 blazers. That buyer stopped buying on impulse---she became a buyer of affordable sportswear and dresses--seeking to spend her money only on those items that offered her long term wear-ability. The instability of the retail market continues to this day as women remain unwilling to spend the huge sums that they once spent on something to put on their backs.

SOUND FAMILIAR???HOUSING AND APPAREL??? Is it possible we will see the same instability in real estate???



I left the world of retailing after 20 years of travel, creating exciting clothing for women in Turkey, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. I was tired of traveling but the business had started a downturn too. I couldn't see that until I was well out of retailing and into the world of real estate! Now I see the parallels of these professions. 

The Hamptons real estate market became the "Designer Market" to the nationwide housing market in the early 2000's....prices were so high that the average buyer, waiting to buy a home in the Hamptons lost all interest and dropped out of the search. Only the most affluent were buying and they were paying top dollar...interestingly, they seemed to be the same demographic that put the world of retailing into the stratosphere, when Big Box designer retailing ruled as a leading indicator for financial markets.

The irony is: We have seen the downturn of two of America's leading professions! The question is: WILL THIS ONE FACE THE SAME FUTURE???

Your opinion would be greatly appreciated!!!








                                     **ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY.  The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate


Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995;  Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York

Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005


Click here to see my Hampton's website to see all my listings; please email me or call me for all your real estate needs in Southampton, Bridgehampton and Watermill:



Comment balloon 53 commentsPaula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA • September 21 2010 08:09AM
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