I admit it.
The headline is almost too upbeat. Too optimistic. Too bright and bouncy. Too bubbly. Too rose-colored. Too bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Too much like one of those old pronouncements from the Bush White House. And, yet….And, yet….
home prices in 20 U.S. cities, says Bloomberg, “rose in October for a fifth consecutive month.”
This is all based on the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index which is to the housing industry what the burning bush was to Moses.
Of course, there are some little, tiny, don’t worry too much about it,items that make me think back to that fake “kid trapped in escaped balloon” story where the balloon also went up! up! and away!At least, that is, till it came eventually back down to earth.
For one thing, the index is still down 7.3 percent from October 2008.
For another thing, foreclosures are still poised to set new records in the months ahead as the national unemployment rate continues to indicate a limp recovery at best for the time being.
Lastly, apparently, says Bloomberg, real estate agent commissions have fallen to their “lowest level in seven years” because of all the low-priced homes (so-called distressed homes) that are being bought up by many first timers charged with an infusion of federal tax credits.
But then again
Highlighting how figures can mean different things to different people, today’s New York Times takes a much darker view of the latest housing price index–pointing out that while prices, on average, did, indeed, go up according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index, “…the rate of increase has dropped sharply from the impressive gains of the summer. Prices in nine of the 20 cities were flat or down.” So there!
You be the judge,then. Think the headline to this post is just a tad bit too….too……too…………….
Photo: aka Kath