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Old 06-28-2012, 06:21 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Please, god: the housing market may be starting to recover.

Took us long enough. Jesus.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/bu...-way.html?_r=2

After Years of False Hopes, Signs of a Turn in Housing
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM
Published: June 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — Announcements of a housing recovery have become a wrongheaded rite of summer, but after several years of false hopes, evidence is accumulating that the optimists may finally be right.

The housing market is starting to recover. Prices are rising. Sales are increasing. Home builders are clearing lots and raising frames.

Joe Niece, a real estate agent in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie, said he recently concluded a streak of 13 consecutive bidding wars over homes that his clients wanted to buy. Each sold above the asking price.

“I just had a home that wasn’t supposed to go on the market for two weeks sold before it even went on the market,” Mr. Niece said. “It’s definitely a lot different than what we saw” during the last few summers.

Like the economic recovery that began three years ago, what happens next is likely to prove a little disappointing. The pace of recovery will probably be slow, and the prices of many homes will continue to decline.

Millions of people remain underwater, owing more on their homes than the homes are worth, and unable to sell. Millions of families still face foreclosure. And a setback in the still-fragile economic recovery could easily reverse the uptick in housing prices, too.

But roughly six years after the housing market began its longest and deepest slide since the Great Depression, a growing number of experts and people who actually put money into housing believe the end has come.

“Our sense is that the market is recovering, and we’re extremely confident that it’s not going to get worse,” said Ronnie Morgan, a San Diego real estate professional who recently created a $10 million partnership to buy foreclosed homes. The group, Alegria Real Estate Funds, already has bought about 20 homes in suburban communities, most of which they plan to hold as rental properties.

“It feels very much like we’ve hit a bottom and we’re starting to come off of that bottom,” said Stuart Miller, chief executive of Lennar, a major national home builder based in Miami. The company said Wednesday that second-quarter profits were higher than expected, and orders for new homes rose 40 percent.

“I’m a little nervous,” Mr. Miller quickly added in a conference call with analysts, “about saying the word ‘recovery.’ ”

The trend is clear in the data. The widely respected S.&P./Case-Shiller index reported earlier this week that sales prices for existing homes rose in April for the first time this year. Several other measures, including a seasonally adjusted version of the index, show that price increases began in February. The pace of housing construction has increased. And the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that pending home sales climbed to the highest level since the end of a federal tax credit for first-time buyers in September 2010.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the housing market has shown signs of revival, and each previous episode ended with prices renewing their downward slide.

But with each passing year, an eventual recovery has grown more likely. Prices have continued to fall, and the economy has continued to recover, a combination that has expanded the pool of potential buyers. The population has continued to grow while few new homes have been built.

Basic indicators of market health that bulged during the bubble, like the ratio of housing prices to income, have returned to more normal levels.

Government efforts to help homeowners have intensified, allowing more borrowers to refinance or avoid foreclosure.

“All bets are off if anything happens to the economy, but apart from that, I think the fundamentals look better than they’ve looked in 17 or 18 years,” said Richard K. Green, a professor of real estate at the University of Southern California.

Professor Green cited the combination of rising rents and low mortgage rates as a powerful inducement to potential buyers, both renters who would prefer to own and investors who want to become landlords.

“Compared to a lot of other investments right now this looks pretty good,” he said.

The influx of investors is a major reason that the market is looking stronger. Mr. Morgan, 56, built apartments before the housing crash. In 2010, seeing a new opportunity, he and some friends started bidding at the foreclosure auctions then held on the steps of the San Diego County Courthouse.

At first they bought properties to renovate and resell. Now they are focused on potential rental properties in the kinds of gated, planned communities in suburban San Diego that once were populated almost exclusively by people who owned their homes. Some of their tenants are former homeowners.

And competition has increased. The auctions were moved from the courthouse steps last year because the crowds had grown too large.

“There’s not a whole lot of other places to put your money,” Mr. Morgan said.

There are still reasons for caution. An unusually warm winter seems to have given a temporary and misleading boost to a range of economic indicators.

The pace of economic growth remains slow and fragile, shadowed by the risk that politicians in Europe and Washington will fail to address looming problems.

And the rise in prices is happening despite the vast number of vacant houses awaiting buyers, up to two million more than the normal level, with several million more houses still at risk of being foreclosed.

But this “shadow inventory” is not distributed uniformly, according to a new analysis by Goldman Sachs. Even within metropolitan areas like Phoenix, the vacant houses are clustered in less desirable neighborhoods, while buyers are seeking homes in areas where there are few vacancies.

Under these circumstances, the researchers concluded, “It is possible for us to see both house price increases and excess housing supply at the same time.”

Indeed, in a growing number of areas demand for homes is outstripping supply.

The number of homes for sale has been falling for more than a year, according to the National Association of Realtors. Some owners are waiting for prices to rise; some of them must wait because they are underwater.

Mr. Niece, the Minnesota real estate agent, said he and his partner had seen their book of listings decline from about 120 properties to 70 properties, about 45 of which already are under contract.

“I have buyers every single day complaining that they can’t find houses,” he said.

Driving through a neighboring suburb last week, Mr. Niece said that he passed a sign outside another real estate office that read, “The market is great. We’ve sold all of our inventory. We need listings.”
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:44 PM   #46
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And you are a financial planner????
No, I'm not. Never have been nor will I ever be a financial planner. They're glorified insurance salesman. Try again psuedo-shrink.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:46 PM   #47
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I wouldn't bring my business to him. He probably helps lefties and corporatists get rich off govt though.
I don't do sales. Go ahead and take your money to your ameriprise guy. We'll that is if you have any money considering you've been unemployed for the last 2 years.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:05 PM   #48
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You repeal the tax you 'neuter' Obamascare. With this being an election year this will have a chance to pass in the Senate and if does pass, Obama will VETO IT and thus seal his own fate not being re-elected and then after the election we will hopefully get totally rid of it.
Yeah, I've received notice to contact congressmen and senators now to vote to repeal just to get who is for this tax on record. Firing up my Fax template now.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:14 PM   #49
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http://libertystreeteconomics.newyor...tomed-out.html

Just Released: Housing Checkup–Has the Market Finally Bottomed Out?
Joshua Abel, Richard Peach, and Joseph Tracy
July 17, 2012

In this post, we examine a number of important housing market “vital signs” that collectively help to indicate the health status of local markets at the county level. The post also serves as an introduction to a set of interactive maps, based on home price index data from CoreLogic, that we will regularly update on the New York Fed's website for readers interested in continuing to track the convalescence of the U.S. housing markets. The maps show the year-over-year change in home prices for nearly 1,200 counties through May and include a video sequence tracking these price changes since 2003.


Over the past few months, some national housing market indicators have begun to look a bit brighter. As of May, the CoreLogic national home price index had risen three months in a row. While still at a relatively low level, housing starts now have a clear upward trend. These developments have led some analysts to declare that, after five years of generally declining prices and activity, the housing market has finally bottomed out. While the national statistics are encouraging, whether or not the housing market has bottomed out is actually a much more difficult question to address for a couple of reasons. First, the United States is not a single housing market but rather a collection of numerous local housing markets. Second, the health of a local housing market is determined by a variety of indicators in addition to prices.

Price Change
The most important vital sign for a local housing market is the change in house prices. It is hard to imagine a recovery in a local housing market being under way when house prices are still falling in that market. Our first chart presents the distribution of year-over-year changes in house prices from 2003 to the present. To construct this chart, we compute for each month the year-over-year house price change for all 1,166 counties for which CoreLogic reports overall house price indexes. Those price changes are ranked from highest to lowest and then reported as percentiles based on this ranking. For example, the 5th percentile (P5) tracks the 58th-lowest county-level house price change in each month. Note that an individual county can be, and often is, in different percentiles over time.



Several important features should be noted. First, the most recent data show that roughly half of the counties have measured house prices that are still declining, while half have stable-to-rising prices. In contrast, at the height of the housing market crash, more than 75 percent of the counties were experiencing falling house prices. Second, looking at the tails of the distribution, prices are rising for the 95th percentile county (P95) at a slightly faster rate than they are falling for the 5th percentile county. While the existence of stable-to-rising house prices in a county today does not guarantee that prices will continue to rise as the year progresses (look, for example, at early 2010), this finding does indicate that our most important sign of housing market recovery is evident in half of the reporting counties. A second point to note from the chart is the tremendous variation in house price changes across the country at each point in time, reinforcing the notion that the U.S. housing market is in fact a collection of smaller markets. At the height of the boom, the top 5 percent of counties experienced annual rates of house price appreciation that exceeded 25 percent while the lowest 5 percent of counties experienced essentially flat house prices. Similarly, during the most intense period of falling house prices, the 5 percent worst-performing counties recorded annual house price declines of 20 percent while the top 5 percent of counties were still experiencing house price increases.

The geography of this variation in house price changes for May is shown in the map below. Dynamic versions of this map at the national and regional levels are also available. While the “sand states” of Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada experienced the largest swings in house prices during the housing boom and bust, there are counties in each of these states that are now reporting stable-to-rising house prices. Overall, however, house prices have stabilized to a greater degree in Arizona and Florida than in California and Nevada. In addition, the counties that are still experiencing year-over-year price declines of 10 percent or more are not concentrated in any particular part of the country. This is in contrast to the boom and bust years, when large increases (and then decreases) in home values were observed much more frequently near the coasts than in the middle of the country. (We will update the dynamic map each month as new house price data are released.)



Transaction Volume
No diagnostic exam would be complete without measuring the patient’s pulse. The blood flow of a housing market is the transaction volume of its housing stock. Our next vital sign, then, is a measure of the repeat-sales transaction volume in each county. These are the same housing transactions that are used to construct the price changes. Repeat sales do not include new home sales, so this measure abstracts from what is happening to local housing supply. Rather, it is a measure of the degree of turnover in the existing housing stock. Given the vastly different sizes of the counties, we measure the repeat-sales transaction volume in each county relative to the average for that county from 2000 through 2002. To get a good reading on this transaction flow, we use a twelve-month moving count. Values above 1 indicate higher transaction volumes relative to 2000-2002, while values below 1 indicate lower volumes. The chart below indicates that more than three-quarters of counties are still experiencing reduced transaction flows relative to the flows in the 2000-2002 period. For the median county, the transaction volume today is less than 50 percent of the county’s baseline flow rate. However, it does appear that, for most counties, the decline in transaction flows has abated. This low pulse, however, indicates that most housing markets are still far from being normalized.



Percentage of Transactions That Are Distressed
Our final vital sign for local housing market health is the percentage of transaction volume claimed by distressed sales. In our data, distressed sales include foreclosure sales, short-sales, and deeds-in-lieu. In the chart below, we show for each month the distressed-sale share of county repeat sales over the prior twelve months. Distressed sales are a constant presence in local housing markets. For example, even in the strong 2003 market, distressed sales accounted for around 5 percent of repeat sales in the median county. However, as the housing bust set in, the fraction of distressed sales rose steadily, and the median county now reports roughly 40 percent distressed sales. It appears that across the distribution, the distressed-sale share peaked in mid-2011 and has started to decline. Distressed sales may be akin to a patient having a fever—a defensive reaction that, while painful, speeds recovery—as unsustainable mortgages are withdrawn from the market. And the data may be indicating that the fever is beginning to break.



Overall Health Assessment
The stabilization of the housing market suggested by various national indicators is corroborated by looking at a number of indicators disaggregated to the county level. Importantly, the median county is now experiencing stable house prices on a year-over-year basis. Transaction volumes in most markets, while still far below normal, have steadied. Finally, the share of distressed sales, although still very high in many markets, appears to have peaked. If these trends continue, then local housing markets are making progress in their convalescence. However, our analysis indicates that most local housing markets still have a way to go to achieve a clean bill of health.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:20 PM   #50
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Thread bump reminded me, WSJ declared the housing bust "over" last week:

Quote:
The U.S. Housing Bust is Over
The housing market has turned—at last.

The U.S. finally has moved beyond attention-grabbing predictions from housing "experts" that housing is bottoming. The numbers are now convincing.

Nearly seven years after the housing bubble burst, most indexes of house prices are bending up. "We finally saw some rising home prices," S&P's David Blitzer said a few weeks ago as he reported the first monthly increase in the slow-moving S&P/Case-Shiller house-price data after seven months of declines.

Nearly 10% more existing homes were sold in May than in the same month a year earlier, many purchased by investors who plan to rent them for now and sell them later, an important sign of an inflection point. In something of a surprise, the inventory of existing homes for sale has fallen close to the normal level of six months' worth despite all the foreclosed homes that lenders own. The fraction of homes that are vacant is at its lowest level since 2006.

The reduced inventory of unsold homes is key, says Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic, a housing data-analysis firm. For the past couple of years, house prices have risen in the spring and then slumped; the declining supply of houses for sale is reason to believe that won't happen again this year, he says.

Builders began work on 26% more single-family homes in May 2012 than the depressed levels of May 2011. The stock of unsold newly built homes is back to 2005 levels. In each of the past four quarters, housing construction has added to economic growth. In the first quarter, it accounted for 0.4 percentage points of the meager 1.9% growth rate.

"Even with the overall economy slowing," Wells Fargo Securities economists said, cautiously, in a note to clients, "the budding recovery in the housing market appears to be gradually gaining momentum."

Economists aren't always right, but on this at least they agree: A new Wall Street Journal survey of forecasters found 44 believe the housing market has reached its bottom; only three don't. (The full results of the Journal's July survey will be released at 2pm ET)

Housing is still far from healthy despite the Federal Reserve's efforts to resuscitate it by helping to push mortgage rates to extraordinary lows: 3.62% for a 30-year loan, according to Freddie Mac's latest survey. Single-family housing starts, though up, remain 60% below the 2002 pre-bubble pace. Americans' equity in homes is $2 trillion, or 25%, less than it was in 2002 and half what it was at the peak. More than one in every four mortgage borrowers still has a loan bigger than the value of the house, though rising home prices are reducing that fraction slowly.


Still, the upturn in housing is a milestone, a particularly welcome one amid a distressing dearth of jobs. For some time, housing has been one of the biggest causes of economic weakness. It has now—barely—moved to the plus side. "A little tail wind is a lot better than a headwind," says economist Chip Case, the "Case" in Case-Shiller.

From here on, housing is unlikely to drag the U.S. economy down further. It will instead reflect the strength or weakness of the overall economy: The more jobs, the more confident Americans are about keeping their jobs, the more they are willing to buy houses. "Manufacturing had led growth and construction had lagged," JPMorgan Chase economists said last week."Now the roles are reversed: Manufacturing growth has slowed as private construction comes to life."

Plenty could go wrong. The biggest threat is a large shadow inventory of unsold homes, homes which owners won't put on the market because they are underwater, homes that will be foreclosed eventually and homes owned by lenders. They have been trickling onto the market, slowed in part by government efforts to delay foreclosures; a flood could reverse the recent rise in prices. Or the still-dysfunctional mortgage market could get worse. Or overly zealous regulators or a post-election change in government policy could unsettle mortgage lenders or home buyers.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:21 PM   #51
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Of course, its worth pointing out that the end of a "bust" is not the same as a recovery.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:07 PM   #52
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WSJ, again, concludes the house market is picking up steam.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...788660796.html

Sales of New Homes Climb Sharply
August 23, 2012, 8:25 p.m. ET

Sales of newly built homes rose briskly in July, and inventory fell to the lowest level on record, suggesting the housing market is showing continued signs of recovery and that builders may need to ramp up construction in the coming months.

The Census Bureau said Thursday builders sold a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000 homes in July, up 26% from the same month last year. Inventory of new homes available for sale fell to 142,000 units, the lowest level recorded since the government started tracking the figure in 1963… A separate report Thursday by the Federal Housing Finance Administration, which regulates mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, showed prices of previously owned homes rose 1.8% in the second quarter from the first—the biggest quarterly jump in more than six years.

Both reports, combined with a recent spate of strong earnings reports from publicly traded home-building companies, are more evidence that the housing market is showing renewed signs of life.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:16 PM   #53
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:29 PM   #54
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:37 PM   #55
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We are experiencing a bump due to the I - generation reaching adulthood. It is only a small transient.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:40 PM   #56
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#1 shouldn't have taken this long
#2 we still have at least one correction to come BUT I think it will only negate the growth not set us back.. so I agree that we are at bottom now, but we may have to stay here a little while longer
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:43 PM   #57
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I have a CPA buddy who is completely convinced that this is going to get much, much worse before it gets better. He doesn't buy into the spurts of life shown recently. Couldn't tell you with detail as to why, that's just what he thinks.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:50 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
I have a CPA buddy who is completely convinced that this is going to get much, much worse before it gets better. He doesn't buy into the spurts of life shown recently. Couldn't tell you with detail as to why, that's just what he thinks.
I am torn because I think he is correct but only half so. I think there will be some serious movement UP that will offset the "much worse" and result in a net zero. My guess is that we stay fairly stagnant or inching upward but won't see anything significantly positive until at least next Spring/Summer.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:52 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
I have a CPA buddy who is completely convinced that this is going to get much, much worse before it gets better. He doesn't buy into the spurts of life shown recently. Couldn't tell you with detail as to why, that's just what he thinks.
Because interest rates have to rise. I just told you.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:54 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
I am torn because I think he is correct but only half so. I think there will be some serious movement UP that will offset the "much worse" and result in a net zero. My guess is that we stay fairly stagnant or inching upward but won't see anything significantly positive until at least next Spring/Summer.
To be fair, he's basing his projections on the election....

Romney wins, vast and somewhat immediate relief/improvement.

Obama wins, straight to the sewer.

He's a pretty sharp guy when it comes to the economy. I've come to take what he says when talking about such issues pretty seriously. Time will tell.
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