As the holidays arrive and afford us the downtime to contemplate the last year, I’m struck by how much we have to be thankful for in the real estate industry. The economy remains fragile, yet we seem to have reached the end of the worst downturn the majority of us have ever experienced in our careers. We’ve worked long and hard to stay atop the housing market as it has rapidly evolved, and for many it’s finally paying off.
Just look at the numbers: October’s home sales were up 21.6 percent, year over year, despite rising interest rates. For the same month, the unemployment rate in the real estate sector fell below 6 percent. Unemployment in construction remains higher but continues to drop to levels not seen since 2008. All of this is driven by recovering home prices and double-digit increases in housing starts in markets across the country.
In my work as a recruiter, I’ve had the pleasure of working with both the industry’s existing leadership and its rising talent as homebuilders, commercial real estate firms and others restart their hiring. Engaging with these truly driven and knowledgeable professionals this year has left me absolutely confident they will capitalize on today’s growth and lead the industry to a sustainable, lucrative future. To all of you I’ve had the chance to correspond with this year, I wanted to say “thank you” for letting me be a part of your professional development.
Even as excited as I am about the prospects for 2014, the things I’m most grateful for this season are not professional but personal. This year, I’ve been privileged to watch my daughter enter college and to visit my own tight-knit classmates at The Citadel in South Carolina. I’ve had the chance to enjoy time with my family in Houston and New Orleans. I’ve also had the opportunity to deepen relationships with the outstanding professionals I’ve worked with over the years. The downturn drove home the fact that relationships are the most lasting, most important blessings that I’m thankful for each day. With better times on the horizon, that hasn’t changed.
I hope this finds you and your loved ones enjoying this season and looking forward to a prosperous 2014.
Principal, Christopher Frederick Search Consultants