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I keep searching for metaphors for the current real estate market and I think I’ve finally found one I like: the real estate market is in that stage right now where it’s just been kneed hard in the nuts but the pain hasn’t fully kicked in yet.

Right now it’s telling itself that maybe the knee missed or just grazed the nads. Maybe it won’t hurt this time. It’s in that in between stage, where it’s doubled over and wincing and at the same time hoping to God the pain doesn’t kick in.

For most of us, that in between time is maybe a second but for a behemoth like the real estate market it can last for months. If the stock market is a sports car, the real estate market is a huge ship. The stock market can crash in a day, ala 1987. Like an oil tanker, it seemingly takes forever to turn the real estate market. It’s just not nearly as liquid a market as that for stocks.

Once it gets going, though, it’s not going to reverse course easily. The real estate market is clearly weakening (at best) right now. To think that this sinking ship will right itself before the real pain in its balls kicks in is to think that the tips of icebergs are the biggest part.