One month ago (Sept. 14), we were averaging 35,000 new cases of COVID per day. Today (Oct. 14), it's at 50,000. With the cold weather settling in, along with cold and flu season, it's easy to believe Dr. Fauci's prediction of 100,000 new cases per day. Hospitals will be overrun, and businesses will once again close.
At this point, absolutely nothing is being done at the federal level about this pandemic, and there will be no more stimulus money anytime soon. We're on our own.
After being down 35 percent in the second quarter, new-car sales were down 10 percent in the third quarter. Even though there are some signs of life in the fourth quarter, sales are still not where Wall Street predicted they would be.
Housing is a little more interesting. My wife and I moved here last December, and about this time of year we were looking for a house. Using realtor.com, we found approximately 50 homes in our price range, 15 of which we wanted to see. For sale signs were everywhere.
This year, in that same price range there are only 19 listings, four of which have had price drops of $7,000 or more. However, a lack of inventory and low-interest rates have driven the price of some existing homes up. So, if you're selling, that's great, unless you're also wanting to buy, then that's not so great.
But the fact is, no one's wanting to sell. They're all hunkering down. That's why there is no inventory.
In our neighborhood, three houses have come up for sale since the first of the year. Two were because the owners died, and one was people who were downsizing. Only two of the houses have sold.
It boils down to this: I hope you have at least four months' house payments in the bank. If not, it could be a long winter for you.