Did you get the feeling this week that maybe the press had changed the story from “housing market in free-fall” to “housing market stabilizes, good times on tap!”?

I did.

Neither is accurate, in my opinion.

I feel as though prices in Boston may have bottomed out, and that sales volume will remain at its current pace, for the next several years. Same is true for most of Massachusetts (go, Hadley!).

Other parts of the nation, such as Phoenix and parts of Florida, are still going to have a hard time, over the coming 18 months, right?

(What will happen, however, if new construction prices come down much quicker than anyone expected – will investors (not speculators) buy condos, to rent out, instead?)

Having said that, here’s an interesting question, posed by Peter Coy, over at Business Week:

I wrote an article for the current issue of BusinessWeek called Boom! Bust! Boom?

My main finding is that around 40% of the major markets where there were housing busts eventually came back stronger than ever in terms of inflation-adjusted house prices.

Which will come back faster, markets like Phoenix and Las Vegas that are still relatively cheap, or markets like San Francisco and Boston that have always been expensive?

Yet another way you could ask the question: Which will come back faster, a city like Phoenix where there’s still lots of open land in the metro area, keeping a lid on land costs? Or one like San Francisco, which sits on a peninsula with very little open land and has strict zoning?

Your thoughts welcomed ….

Go to the Business Week story and leave your comments.

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