Thursday, July 26, 2012

Noodling Housing

Are we up? Are we down? Are housing values increasing? Can you be optimistic about housing or do you want to pull the covers over your head? I pulled these out of my cache of stories from the last few weeks. Only a paranoid schizophrenic bi-polar manic-depressive economist would understand what’s going on.

Optimists Abound:
The good folks at RCLCO are almost always optimistic, that’s what they are paid to be. They do have a national eye on what’s happening in many layers of the building economy. So to start out this week, check out their current report by Charlie Hewlett (GO HERE)
At RCLCO, we remain confident that the U.S. economy and real estate markets are on a path towards a sustained recovery. And while there are certainly risk factors, the likelihood of the economy slipping back into recession is low in our view. We expect to see slow to moderate growth in the U.S. for the balance of this year and through 2014, with annual GDP growth in the 2% to 3% range.   Charlie Hewlett

Price Increases Gaining Momentum:
In the category of wishful thinking, Natalie Dolce posted this article on citing that RE/MAX believes the housing recovery is real. There are sellers markets in many places (I made this call a year ago) due to lack of quality properties and the inevitable problem of selling your home – seller’s market with problems selling a house? Much of this is due to a seller who is still underwater not wanting to take a loss – the prices have not climbed high enough yet to get out. There are some good charts here for the real nerds out there. (GO HERE)  

CNBC Believes Otherwise:
While the above may make you happy, leave it to CNBC to throw water on the old campfire. Doom and gloom.
Sales of newly built homes fell hard in June, despite newfound optimism in the housing recovery, especially among the home builders themselves. Signed contracts to buy new homes fell 8.4 percent from the previous month, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, although they are still up 15 percent from a year ago. Sales levels are now at their lowest since January.    Diana Click

So you can have your cake and eat it too. (GO HERE) 

On the Contrary:
But the folks at Calculated Risk take issue with this article by Bill McBride who says that the CNBC folks are just wrong, and he lays out his case here (GO HERE)

The bottom line, “Is the glass half empty, or is it half full. Stick your hand in and noodle it out.

Stay Tuned . . . .

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