You don't have to wait for a news report that declares we've hit the bottom. Rather, tracking the right data in your area can tip you off to home building's turnaround. Chuck Shinn presented a list of key predictors at this year's International Builders' Show and broke down what you should watch into three categories:
General local housing market data:
Existing home market data:
Your Internal data
You've got the internal data, but where do you go for the rest? Make friends with your local car dealer and try to arrange an agreement where you can see what they gather, he says. Dealers watch local housing market data like hawks — and getting into conversations about their sales rates can tip you off to your market's economy, too.