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People often ask Realtors, “How’s real estate?”

For starters, real estate is pretty solid, rarely moveable, and firmly attached to the ground as it, along with the oceans, makes up the planet Earth.

And in most cases, at least for housing purposes, it’s dry. Hence the term “terra firma.”

Of course, what folks really want to know is the business status of purchasing and selling, usually in the residential side of things. Most inquiries are social niceties and conversation openers.

Others, however, may be in the truly inquisitive vein as they may want to know if it really is a good time to sell an existing home and buy a new one or finally make the leap from renting to owning their own dirt.

National stories over the past several months have painted a very dire picture of the housing industry with descriptions ranging from “severe slump” to “collapse” in both the new homes and existing homes sectors. They use “medium home prices” and “national average of” various interest rates in their compilation.

And these national surveys create an average across the country where there may well be a collapsed industry in one area but a robust business in another.