Bill McBride comes up with his top economic questions and concerns heading into 2013 — and three of the ten have to deal with the housing market: Housing prices, housing inventories, and residential investments (i.e. new construction starts).
It’s a good list worth thinking about as we prepare for 2013.
What’s the world’s worst housing market? Hold the Detroit and Las Vegas jokes. Instead, it’s … Spain.
Check out some of the stats. Yikes.
How many times has someone predicted that we’ve hit bottom in the housing market? Probably a gizzillon times.
But recent data shows that we may indeed be at the end of the housing crisis — and it was ultimately about just letting the market heal itself.
An update — More evidence of recovery: Foreclosures were down last month in Massachusetts.
Here’s a thought-provoking article about how the current student-loan bubble resembles the build up to last decade’s housing bubble — complete with absurdly easy credit, low lending standards, government-backed loans, and large private lenders all too ready to push the risk envelope because they know they won’t be held responsible.
More than likely, it probably won’t — or can’t — end the same way the housing market did, i.e. a total collapse of market demand and prices, sparked and intensified by a faltering overall economy. But the combination of easy credit and escalating prices of higher education is eerily similar to last decade’s run up to the housing debacle. Who knows how it will end?
File under: De ja vu all over again.
You might be saying, “Huh? Don’t root for a housing recovery?”
That’d normally be a logical reaction. But a housing recovery also helps Too Big Too Fail Banks, allowing them to go back to their old reckless and risky ways. In a strange twist, the limping-along housing market is actually keeping the big banks in check these days, weighing them down like Lilliputians tying down Gulliver.
OK, yeah, of course, we all want a housing recovery. But you gotta be more than a little wary of unleashing the big banks.
Good news: US housing prices were up again in July, indicating a sustained if slow housing recovery. It should help the overall economy too. Boston’s prices, seasonally adjusted, were also up in July, Fyi.
And, oh, Atlanta’s market is also showing signs of improvement, though it’s like saying a few hours after a heart attack, “Hey, I’m feeling a little better.”
There’s more good news on the U.S. housing front: Sales were up over the summer while construction starts on new homes also increased.
It’s not exactly jumping-for-joy news. But, hey, we’ll take it.
Update – Hold that optimism! One prominent economist says we haven’t seen the bottom yet of the housing market and prices could fall by another 20 percent. Yikes. Sure hope he’s wrong.
What national nightmare? Laverne & Shirley reruns? Boiled spare ribs? What?
Wait, it’s the housing slump nightmare that’s now allegedly and unimpeachably over.
OK, we can live with that, though the only thing worse than Laverne & Shirley reruns and boiled spare ribs is watching Laverne & Shirley reruns while eating boiled spare ribs. And if you don’t agree with us about the nightmare of boiled spare ribs, take a gander at this photo.
Btw: You may have noticed we’re trying to put more photos and charts on Boston Real Estate Blog. But we’re drawing the line at posting photos of boiling spared ribs. It’s too … frightening.
Here’s an interesting piece about how sales of homes are picking up in the U.S. while the overall supply is dwindling. It’s pushing up prices, slightly.
Of course, there’s probably yet another wave of foreclosures coming out of the old pipeline. But it’s still encouraging news.
Can you guess where they’re talking about? Seaport? Cambridge? Nantucket? Weston? Nope, nope, nope and nope. Hint: It’s farther west. Much farther west.
File under: Energetic recovery