A Bear Market is a general weakening in the market over a specified time period. The term is commonly used in reference to the stock market but may also apply to the real estate market. A Bear Market is usually characterized by a decline in price of twenty percent (or more) that has been sustained for at least two months. A decrease in investor optimism is also characteristic of a Bear Market. If the money is on hand and the market has reached, or is nearing its bottom, a Bear Market can be a wonderful time to invest in real estate. The opportunity to buy low now and sell high later can be valuable to any buyer. If someone needs to sell their home or investment property during a Bear Market, using terms such as “buyers market” can be a way to encourage people to buy now while the market is low. In order to identify and recognize a Bear Market, be sure to keep an eye out for changes in the national economic climate as well as noticeable decreases in housing prices within the local market. If the housing market is heading into a Bear Market, homeowners may want to sell their properties as quickly as possible.