Shawn Tully, editor-at-large for FORTUNE Magazine offered this optimistic and powerful argument why now is an excellent time to invest in real estate. Tully opens his argument by introducing us to Mike Castleman, the founder and CEO of a company called Metrostudy. What Metrostudy does, and does well, is collect the number of homes that are vacant and for sale in each city, and the number of months it takes to sell all of them.
Today Castleman is witnessing an extraordinary reversal of the new-home glut that helped sink prices just a few years ago. In the 41 cities Metrostudy covers, a total of 78,000 houses are now either vacant and for sale, or under construction. That’s less than one-fourth of the 343,000 units in those two categories at the peak of the frenzy in mid-2006, and well below the level of a decade ago. “If we had anything like normal levels of buying, those houses would sell in 2½ months,” says Castleman. “We’d see an incredible shortage. And that’s where we’re heading.”