Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Putin’s World: Why Russia’s Showdown with the West Will Worsen - John_Mauldin
2. Stocks Bull Market Grinds Bears into Dust, Is Santa Rally Sustainable? - Nadeem_Walayat
3. Gold and Silver 2015 Trend Forecasts, Prices to Go BOOM - Austin_Galt
4.Gold Price Golden Bottom? - Toby_Connor
5.Gold Price and Miners Soar on Huge Volume - P_Radomski_CFA
6.Stock Market and the Jaws of Life or Death? - Rambus_Chartology
7.Gold Price 2015 - EWI
8.Manipulated Stock Market Short Squeezes to Another All Time High - The China Syndrome - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Gold, Silver, Crude and S&P Ending Wedge Patterns - DeviantInvestor
10.Is the Gold And Silver Golden Rule Broken? - Michael_Noonan
Last 5 days
TrueShopping.co.uk Real Customer Experience Review - Online Shopping Lessons - 26th Nov 14
Is There A New Global Consensus About Cheating Investors To Reboot Employment? - 26th Nov 14
EUR/USD – Currency Bulls Don’t Give Up - 26th Nov 14
Swiss Gold Referendum A Golden Opportunity for Switzerland - 25th Nov 14
Silver: What COT Analysis Tells Us - 25th Nov 14
Stock Market Big, Bold and Ugly - 25th Nov 14
U.S. Dollar Near Top? Gold and Silver Trading, Platinum Breakout Invalidation - 25th Nov 14
Buy Fear - Easily Pick Up Profits on Stock Market Dips - 25th Nov 14
The Islamic State Reshapes the Middle East - 25th Nov 14
Gold Price Forecast 2015 - 25th Nov 14
The Swiss Referendum On Gold: What’s Missing From The Debate - 25th Nov 14
Clash of Generations - Why Millennials Still Live at Home; Not Jobs, Student Debt, or Housing - 25th Nov 14
Stock Market Reminiscent of Pompeii - 25th Nov 14
Once Upon A Time There Were Philosopher Kings - 24th Nov 14
The 2014 Crude Oil Price Crash Explained - 24th Nov 14
China Stock Investing - Follow the Money! - 24th Nov 14
122 Tonnes of Gold Secretly Repatriated to Netherlands - 24th Nov 14
What Causes the U.S. Dollar to Move? - 24th Nov 14
Stock Market Indexes New Highs - Will Uptrend Extend Even Further? - 24th Nov 14
All Hail the King U.S. Dollar - Trend Forecast - 24th Nov 14
Where Is China Economy On The Map Exactly? - 24th Nov 14
Most of The World Economies Panic - Is The US Next? - 24th Nov 14
Stock Market Exhaustion Gap? - 24th Nov 14
Gold Golden Gains Come After The Pain - 24th Nov 14
Crude Oil and Stock Market Setting The Stage For The Next Recession - 23rd Nov 14
This Publicly-Owned Bank Is Outperforming Wall Street - 23rd Nov 14
Who’s Ready For $30 Crude Oil Price? - 23rd Nov 14
Strategic, Methodological and Developmental Importance of Knowledge Consumption - 23rd Nov 14
Manipulated Stock Market Short Squeezes to Another All Time High - The China Syndrome - 23rd Nov 14
Gold Price 2015 - 22nd Nov 14
Stock Market Medium Term Top? - 22nd Nov 14
Is the Gold And Silver Golden Rule Broken? - 22nd Nov 14
Malaysia's Subsidy and Budget Deficit Conundrum - 22nd Nov 14
Investors Hated Gold at Precisely the Wrong Time: What About Now? - 22nd Nov 14
Gold and GLD ETF Selloff - 22nd Nov 14
Currency Wars, the Ruble and Keynes - 21st Nov 14
Stock Market Investor Sentiment in The Balance - 21st Nov 14
Two Biotech Stocks Set to Double on One Powerful Catalyst - 21st Nov 14
Swiss Gold Poll Likely Tighter Than Polls Suggest - 21st Nov 14
Gold's Volatility and Other Things to Watch - 21st Nov 14
Australia Stock Market and AUD Dollar Analysis (ASX200 and AUDUSD) - 21st Nov 14
New Algae Research May Have Uncovered an “Energy Forest” Under the Sea - 21st Nov 14
The Cultural and Political Consequences of Fiat Money - 20th Nov 14
United States Social Crisis - No One Told You When to Run, You Missed the Starting Gun! - 20th Nov 14
Euro-Zone Tooth Fairy Economics, Spain Needs to leave the Euro - 20th Nov 14
Ebola Threat Remains a Risk - New Deaths in Nebraska and New York - 20th Nov 14
Stock Market and the Jaws of Life or Death? - 20th Nov 14
Putin’s World: Why Russia’s Showdown with the West Will Worsen - 20th Nov 14
Making Money While The World Burns - 20th Nov 14
Why This "Quiet Zone" Is Now Tech Stocks Biggest Profit Sector - 20th Nov 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Gold Report 2015

Is This the U.S. Housing Market Bottom?

Housing-Market / US Housing Apr 25, 2012 - 10:13 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Housing-Market

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleDon Miller writes: Analysts, government officials and certainly homebuyers are spending hours trying to figure out if we have reached the housing market bottom.

Yesterday's (Tuesday's) data would seem to suggest the bottom is a bit bumpier than most people think.

According to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 cities, home prices declined 3.5% from a year ago, while the 10-city composite slipped 3.6%. That meant fresh new post-bubble lows for home prices.


New-home sales in March also fell from their February level, the Commerce Department said. Together, they pointed to a more lackluster market.

"We're still in a slow period," said Robert Shiller, who co-founded the index that bears his name. "We're still in a funk."

But behind those numbers, there are reasons to be hopeful.

With borrowing costs near all-time lows, an economy that's bouncing back and cheap foreclosure properties attracting buyers, housing could be on the mend.

Knowing whether the housing market has bottomed out is important because nobody wants to pay thousands of dollars more for a property that could decline in value next week, next month or next year.

"The perception that prices could go lower...that's certainly keeping some people on the sidelines," Louis Cammarosano, general manager at HomeGain told Bankrate.com.

That's a problem because until buyers come back in significant numbers, the housing market can't completely regain its health. And without a housing market recovery, there won't be a real economic recovery.

But while we'd all like to know where the bottom is - pinpointing the exact date really doesn't matter.

Here's why...

The Real Housing Market Bottom
Instead of an exact date or even a range, the real market bottom will be a series of events that set up the real estate industry for recovery, according to Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.com.

"The market bottom is a multi-step affair," Humphries said. First, home sales have to bottom out, which happened in early 2009.

Next, investors, second home buyers, and retirees with longer views will need to move into the market, because they're the ones that can hold out through near-term price declines.

And finally, sideline buyers will need to come in as rising prices and interest rates force them into the market.

So where are we now?

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR),sales of existing homes in January were the most in the last 20 months. Also, housing starts in March were 10% higher than a year earlier, while building permits jumped 30%. Altogether, builders will start on 750,000 total new units this year -- up 23% from last year.

What's more, the total number of homes listed for sale has dropped - on a year-over-year basis - for 12 consecutive months. Inventory of homes for sale fell to 6.1months in March, down from 12.1months in 2010.

That's the lowest level since April 2006, the NAR says. For the market, dwindling supply is a positive.

Case-Shiller Math: It's More Expensive to Rent
Still, getting window-shoppers to take the leap has been a problem that continues to weigh on the housing market.

"It's an interesting phenomenon," Humphries said. "Despite unprecedented affordability and record-low mortgage rates, buyers remain on the sidelines."

But rising rents and home prices are pushing Americans to pull the trigger on purchasing a home.

"It certainly is a reasonable thing, if you want to own a home, to buy right now," said Shiller.

Today, it's more expensive to rent. As Deutsche Bank AG USA (NYSE: DB) recently reported, the average rent is now 14.9% more than the average home loan payment.

And although national prices continue to lag, many local markets are beginning to rise. That includes Phoenix, which was one of the metro areas hardest hit by the housing bubble and bust.

In fact, Humphries says somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% of ZIP codes are now seeing price increases.

Those factors are bringing back more "traditional elements" of the real estate market, Budge Huskey, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate told U.S. News & World Report.

"We are now beginning to see a return of the move-up market and the second home market," he said. "The fact that those buyers are returning to the market is very much a positive."

Interest rates will be one of the keys.

Rising Interest Rates and the Housing Market Bottom
Mortgage rates did hit an all-time low of 3.87% in February, but with economic growth picking up steam, experts say there's really only one direction interest rates can go. That's up.

And for those who are waiting for the "bottom," the threat of losing a few thousand dollars to lower prices shouldn't be their biggest concern. Instead, buyers should be worried about the specter of rising interest rates.

For instance, a $200,000, 30-year mortgage at 3.9% would cost the buyer $139,599 in interest. Meanwhile, the same mortgage at 4.9% would cost $182,120 in interest.

So is it time to call a bottom in the housing market and jump in with both feet? Probably not.

But since it's still fairly early in the cyclical recovery, it's not too late for investors to start nibbling.

One way to benefit from the current state of the housing sector and to position for the eventual rebound is with home improvement stocks such as Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Lowes (NYSE: LOW).

What's more, the spring season is money for both of them. It's comparable to Christmas for the retail sector.

Finally, take a look at the iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction (NYSE: ITB) ETF for a play on the resurgence of homebuilders.

These stocks should thrive whether we've technically reached the housing market bottom or not.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2012/04/25/case-shiller-index-is-this-the-housing-market-bottom/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2011 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014