On the plus side is the Wall Street Journal. In the 03/08/2010 article entitled The Ten Best Places For Second Homes, Steven M. Sears declared, "At long last, the market for luxury real estate is coming back to life. Prices for primary residences, which plunged at least 20% from the peak in 2007, appear to have bottomed. In some of the snappiest locations, scattered bidding wars are breaking out and prices are turning upward. In Greenwich, Conn., realty brokers say, the final months of 2009 were almost record-setters for sales volume, as two years of pent-up demand was unleashed."
Also pertinent are data in the newest Wealth Report (3/15/10), with inferences that seem promising: "Retail chains post a 3.7% increase in February comps, with luxury outperforming the overall group. Consumers are again indulging in luxury purchases."
Could this mean that the 2009 severe recession earthquake is behind us? Well, hopefully. But it's necessary to remember the concept of false positives. In medicine, economics, statistics, pregnancy tests and LIFE, they are results that look good but, after the dust settles, may not yield the results originally expected. Consistently valid results take time. So with the shoots of hope within the numbers above, there is still room/time for questioning. We receive clearer pictures as time goes on, understanding that hope should be tempered by the economic history of the recent past.
Maybe the consensus of philosophers and economists were right – that it takes trauma to change minds and actions, and because of this unexpected economic jolt, what has also changed over the past 18 or more months is an unexpected evolution in the definitions and dimensions of luxury.