I Googled “housing market” last night to see what the news headlines were. Here’s what I got:
It sounds like a market of sunshine and roses, doesn’t it? Typical is this comment from CNBC: [Thanks L!]
For nine straight months, national home prices have been in the positive, and the gains are only getting larger. The latest reading for November shows a 7.4 percent jump from a year ago, according to CoreLogic. That includes sale prices of distressed properties, bank-owned homes and short sales. This is the largest year-over-year jump since 2006 when we were at the height of the housing boom.
They did, however, offer this caveat:
There are, however, still looming headwinds to home prices, as banks ramp up foreclosures especially in states that require these cases to go before a judge. That new inventory could slow price gains in those states. Inventory, or lack thereof, is the primary driver of much of these gains.
The housing market did show some improvement in 2012, but it took a lot of inventory manipulation on the part of lenders to do it. The question is, what happens with the inventory this year? If lenders can keep the supply down, then we could be looking at further price gains. If foreclosures increase, though, and/or lenders start dumping properties, or the economy deteriorates, things could deteriorate.
The big question for the 2013 housing market will be, what’s more important, the headlines, or the caveats?