Your Own Personal Economist

You have probably all seen it: Home builders and real estate agents are offering all forms of incentives to potential home buyers, such as deluxe party-style open houses and help with closing costs. Today I saw a new one—a free economist. Yes, your very own economist, at least for a little while.


Palermo Townhomes, in up-and-coming Westside Costa Mesa and near Triangle Square, is making an economist, Gary Watts, available to answer your questions at their grand opening this Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm.

You might want to take what this economist says with a bit of skepticism. Watts is also the broker for these homes, which are advertised as luxury condos. (See the OC Register article, Real estate economist cuts O.C. price forecast.)

22watts_md.jpgHere is a quote from Watts:
The housing analysts tell us we are in the 25th month of the current housing downturn. Historically, housing downturns average 27 months so we may be near the end. Although there has been a significant decline in sales volume, home prices have continued to show small amounts of appreciation. With the Fed cutting interest rates, Congress passing bills to aid housing, and more money available for home lending, the financial markets will begin calming down. This down cycle will come to an end, just as they have done since 1970, and an excellent buying opportunity may lie ahead.

Do you buy it? I’m skeptical. However, if you decide to visit this new construction development, here is the relevant information:

Palermo Townhomes—a gated development of Spanish-style buildings that includes 16 attached dwellings that are grouped in four clusters.

Where: 1940 Maple Avenue, Costa Mesa
Take the 55 freeway to 19th Street. Turn right. Go one block past Harbor Boulevard. Turn right on Maple Avenue.
When: Sunday 11/11, 11 am to 4 pm to get your questions answered by Gary Watts. However, this being a new construction development, I image open houses will continue for some time.
Starting price: $489,900