- Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants - https://www.millersamuel.com -

Real Estate Day Traders

I am now at the age where the doctors and lawyers that I meet seem awfully young, however, some of the recent real estate developers I have encountered seem even younger.

Many of today’s future-Donalds are first time developers, often barely out of college and armed with some seed money from friends and family, or from a couple of good years on Wall Street. Like the day-traders [1] of the 1990’s, this real estate boom makes everyone, including these noveau-developers, seem brilliant, since all they have to do is convert an existing building into condominiums, and they walk off with a profit and seed money for the next project.

What scares me is how so few of these people entering the development market today have an understanding of basic real estate fundamentals [2] because they were still in elementary school during the last down-cycle. Valuation and analysis of these properties take a back seat to verve and bravado.

There is a limited collective memory of what can happen when things don’t go well. Does anyone know how many day-traders from the late 90’s are still trading?