I’m a huge fan of housing market analogies. Of course we can keep it plain by sticking to the numbers, but there is so much more flavor when we use a fitting comparison. Not only can analogies capture people’s attention, but they can also help break down complex ideas to communicate to the masses. Moreover, sometimes a funny or relevant comparison can open up the door to further conversation about trends. Today let’s take a look at some housing market analogies that complete the sentence, “The housing market is like a ….” Thank you to everyone who contributed to this post.
Do you have any other analogies to add? I’d love to hear your take.
The New York City market was like a donut in 2014, strong on top and bottom and weak in the middle (Jonathan Miller).
The Sacramento market is like a pizza. We are affordable, there is a piece for everyone, and even when we cool off a bit, we are still great (Barbara Lebrecht)
The market is like a matryoshka doll. Just as there are many little dolls within one large doll, there are many sub-markets within the larger market (Ryan Lundquist).
The market is like an iPhone. Everybody has used it, some people use it too much, but few really know how it works (Gary Kristensen).
Real estate is like a cup of coffee – too hot you’re going to get burned; too cold you don’t want to drink it; but when it’s just right you’ll probably have another cup or two (Michele Skupic).
The market is like ocean waves. There are many things that create the waves and their size, and it’s always changing – just like the many things that make real estate values move (Craig Dunnigan)
The housing market is like the stock market in that a home is worth what the market says it’s worth at a point in time; if a seller isn’t happy with the current value, he can wait and hope it increases, but as with the stock market, the value could also decrease (Dean Rinker).
When real estate values are inflated, we like to say the market is like a “bubble” because we think at some point values will “pop” or correct. Interestingly enough, the National Association of Realtors used to describe the previous housing “bubble” as “a balloon with a slow leak” from 2003-2007 (thanks Jonathan Miller for that tidbit).
The market is like a roller coaster…and we are hanging on for the ride (Paula Swayne).
The market is like a playground teeter-totter, it likes to be in balance, but adults keep coming along and screwing things up (Gary Kristensen).
Parent who Threatens Consequences (and doesn’t give them)
The Fed’s talk of raising interest rates is like a parent who threatens consequences but doesn’t give them. We all know interest rates will eventually increase in the future, but we’ve been hearing about an impending increase for years now. All we know for sure is rates will definitely, probably, maybe increase soon (Ryan Lundquist).
The housing market is like a relationship, meaning it’s full of ups and downs. Any meaningful relationship has both good and bad days, right? That is very normal, and the same exact thing is true in real estate. However, one of the temptations in the real estate community is to talk like everything is always good as if values are always increasing (Ryan Lundquist).
Multi-Layered Real Estate Cake
Value in a real estate market is like a multi-layered cake since there are many “layers” in the market that help impact or create value. When one of the layers changes, it can change the rest of the market. See more here (this is my favorite analogy to use). Source: Unknown (though I first heard it from Dennis Lanni over a cup of coffee years ago).
I hope this was a fun read. Thank you again to everyone who contributed some thoughts. On a serious note, analogies can be an amazing way to describe the market, and I hope you feel encouraged to use them even more.
Questions: Do you have any analogies or metaphors to add? Which one(s) work best for you? I’d love to hear your take in the comments.
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