We believe that motivated sellers, excess supply, and low interest rates make now an attractive time to buy a home, but weak consumer confidence continues to buck these positives. Broader concerns about the nation's economy have magnified worries about potential price declines in the housing market.
It's not a matter of if, but a matter of when, this oversupply is absorbed. Then we shall return to better times. I believe those who wanted to buy but didn't will kick themselves for their reticence, but the biggest hurdle for our clients right now is their concern about their ability to sell their old homes. An inability to obtain mortgages does not appear to be a problem for our buyers, but probably is a problem for our buyers' buyers.
This downturn may be our toughest test yet, but I believe our great team is up to the challenge. We still believe the demographics exist to hugely support the housing market. Pent-up demand has to be building. Immigration is at record levels and large amounts of wealth have been created. With interest rates still quite low and very few new lots moving through the approval process, as soon as we remove the fear of dropping home prices, we may witness a faster and stronger recovery than anticipated.
~ Robert I. Toll, chairman and CEO, Toll Brothers, "Toll Brothers Reports 4th Qtr and FY 2007 Results," December 6, 2007