Grading 2011, and forecasting the new year - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

Grading 2011, and forecasting the new year

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Jon Beydler

Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 2:00 pm | Updated: 2:34 pm, Wed Oct 10, 2012.

A lot of people like to make predictions on what is going to happen. Too few of us take responsibility for their successes and, yes, their failures. Here is what I forecast on Dec. 22, 2010:

"I believe that the first two quarters of 2011 will be marked by an uptick in trustee sales as the banks play catch up with those foreclosures that were put on hold by the paperwork scandal. In fact, trustee sales may reach record levels by March. This may be the crescendo of bloodletting as the last of those "red nickels" are sucked out of the real estate market!" My grade: A.

"At the same time people are losing their homes in record numbers, the unemployment rate will have begun to fall marginally primarily due to the recent passage of the tax bill crafted by Obama and the Republicans." My grade: A.

"By the time school's out in the late spring, the local real estate market will be ready for a sizable uptick in sales and prices. By the way, people don't buy homes when prices are going down. The recovery will pick up speed when prices begin to steadily creep back up and buyers begin to panic thinking that they waited to long to make their move." My grade: A.

"By this time next year, our economy should be modestly improved from what is today. The real estate market should have returned to some degree of predictability. Home prices should be on a continued upward trend ... jobs more plentiful and consumer confidence much stronger." My grade: A.

"On the downside, I anticipate that interest rates will have returned to pre-recession levels." My grade: D.

"...the size of our debt will have continued to rise." My grade: Easy A.

"All of our problems will have not been solved but the carnage of the "Great Recession" will have abated." My grade: B (Many people are still hurting.)

Based upon my generous self-evaluation, my overall grade for 2011: B+.

Now for my predictions for 2012:

1. The unemployment rate should drop to close to 8 percent by election day, 2012.

2. Sheriff Arpaio will not resign from office. Additional charges will be levied against him by the Department of Justice. He loses in his attempt to win a fifth consecutive term. His "Reign of Terror and Errors" comes to an end.

3. Local real estate prices should increase on average of close to 5 percent during the year. This will be the first real equity growth in nearly five years.

4. Foreclosures will continue to drop as short sales become the new "in thing".

5. The U.S. Supreme Court will have declared sections of Arizona's SB 1070 unconstitutional.

6. Governor Brewer will lose her lawsuit against the federal government (again) on medical marijuana. Dispensaries will have open for business.

7. The tea party comes to an abrupt end. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats regain the U.S. House. The Democrats retain control of the U.S. Senate.

8. President Barack Obama is re-elected for a second term by defeating the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney. Obama carries Arizona by a narrow margin turning the State "Purple" versus "Red".

9. Republican Rep. Jeff Flake becomes the next U.S. Senator from Arizona.

10. The Arizona House of Representatives is taken back by the Democrats albeit by the slimmest of margins. The Senate remains in the hands of the Republicans.

11. The Phoenix Suns fail to make the NBA Playoffs. Steve Nash retires.

12. The Arizona Diamondbacks make it to the National League Championship Series.

13. Quarterback John Skelton leads the Arizona Cardinals into the second round of the NFL Playoffs.

Wow - my crystal ball is brimming over this year! Bet you can't wait to see my report card this time next year. I'm thinking probably a "B." A lot depends on you!

• Jon Beydler is a 32-year Valley resident and the former mayor of Fountain Hills who now lives in Chandler.

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