The Case-Shiller index reveals falling home prices across the nation. The move is relentless.
The happy-face press releases by the ever-optimistic National Association of Realtors appear mid-month.The news was bad for February, but the NAR’s economist tried to make things look better.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said underlying factors are much better compared to one year ago. “The market is trending up unevenly, with record high consumer buying power and sustained job gains giving buyers the confidence they need to get into the market,” he said. “Although relatively unusual, there will be rising demand for both rental space and homeownership this year. The great suppression in household formation during the past four years was unsustainable, and a pent-up demand could burst forth from the improving economy.”
Then the Case-Shiller index numbers are released toward the end of the month. Reality intervenes.
The Case-Shiller index is a three-month average.
The media want to persuade people that the recovery is in full swing. But then comes the Case-Shiller index. Here, reality cannot be spun easily. The news reports tell us that the housing market will revive when the unemployment rate falls. But the unemployment rate stays high.
So, the good news on the housing front is for buyers. Investors can still find desperate sellers who will sell at steep discounts.
The owners are still suffering losses of their capital. This makes them feel poorer.
To see how far down prices went in your city, click here. Prices rose in two devastated cities, Phoenix and Miami, and in Washington D.C. The other 17 were down.