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COULD 'CHICKEN LITTLE' BE WRONG?

Add Chicken Little of "the sky is falling" fame to the list of bearers of bad news of the impending recession. Then, consider the sources.

Yes, there has been a decline in the number of real estate transactions as of late. This is not necessarily shocking. There are seasonal adjustments to consider as well as normalization after a period of abundant activity.

The number of foreclosures may be up, also a seasonal matter. This should not alarm us.

Buffalo real estate is still relatively strong. If you doubt this, try to purchase a new home or a new commercial building.

The commercial vacancy rate is climbing. This is due to some national economic changes to say nothing about local overbuilding during the recent "boom" period.

Few desirable buildings are hitting the skids. Problem properties remain in trouble.

Historically, our market seems to relate to the national trends but in a less severe indirect fashion. We have withstood the closing of the steel industry; the loss of Empire of America will not be as devastating.

It is part of the business cycle for some to go out of business as it is for other ventures to take their place as well as the spawning of new entities.

Enterprises that lack adequate financial backing or limited managerial talent are always at risk. We are reminded not to put all the eggs in one container. One is at great risk when they are dependent on one customer or one financier.

Changes in administration or policy may cause the winds to blow in a different direction. We have survived because of the city's broad economic base. The basic conservatism of many of the city founders has been passed on to their progeny.

Some over react when they hear of declines. This is not the time to run and hide, but to ambitiously face marketing problems.

Cutting back on advertising and promotions certainly are way to assure a decline in business.

Don't overact, a new year is within sight. The promises of the new day are favorable. Buffalo offers many advantages over competing communities including a modest cost of living, excellent housing, abundant water, favorable weather, fine restaurants, the Bills, the Sabres and maybe soon major league baseball.

Richard Bronstein, president of R.W. Bronstein Corp., an appraisal, auction and real estate firm, is a senior member of the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers and the American Society of Appraisers with IFAS, ASA and CRA designations.

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