There were definitely many laughs about graphs at the Naples Grande Beach Resort on Tuesday for the annual outlook summit of the Naples Area Board of Realtors. The key note speaker, Elliott Eisenberg, a former senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C. traveled to Naples for the event.
The borderline comedian gave an informational, yet hilarious presentation about the underlying factors that are causing the current economy boost! Eisenberg runs his own firm called Graphs & Laughs and even posts a daily 70 word blog post about the economy. His enthusiasm and priceless graphs held the attention of about 400 Realtors for an hour and a half as he bounced back and forth between the presentation screens, interacted with the audience, and stood up on a few chairs occasionally.
He pointed out the lower energy prices and interest rates have allowed households to pay down debt and spend the extra money in their budgets on “stupid stuff, which is the American way and is good for the economy.” Since the dollar is strong, it does make it harder for American manufacturers to compete internationally causing a downfall to imports and exports.
New job openings are up and unemployment is at a low. When in the past during the recession, as many as 8 people could be competing for the job and now it is more likely that there is only two or fewer.
He saved the best topic for last: the housing market. One notable topic he spoke on was the low and almost non-existent interest rates on 30+ year fixed rates. This hasn’t happened in years, but Eisenberg did predict that by either June at the earliest or September that the Federal Reserve will start raising short term interest rates. They won’t do this quickly because they don’t want to spark inflation.
His predictions indicated that our economy is on the rise and isn’t slowing down any time soon. The future is bright and there is no recession in the forecast unless something external and unanticipated happens!
The first speaker of the afternoon, Cindy Carroll, a well-known Naples appraiser spoke of varied long-term appreciation rates and home price growth over the last 50 years in specific areas of Naples. She said home values should continue to rise at about 4.5 percent annually. Also, some neighborhoods may have already reached their peak – Port Royal and some may have room to grow – Royal Harbor and Vanderbilt Beach area.
With a population influx of visitors, a housing boom, and more money in pockets, Naples will continue to grow. Cindy Carroll said, “This is paradise, everyone wants to live here.”