Is there finally some light at the end of the long, long, long, tunnel when it comes to the housing market mess in the U.S.? Well, the answer seems to be a firm—maybe! A small hint of light anyway.
According to a new report, home prices in different parts of the nation might still be falling, but they are falling at a slower rate.
And, says the report in Rueters, in some areas, home prices have even gone up, though not by much.
The best quote of the day belongs to Karl Case, who helped develop a well regarding gauge of the housing industry, the Standard and Poor’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. He told the news agency, “Anybody who tells you they know when the housing market will bottom is delusional, but anybody who denies there are some positives out there that could make the housing market bottom fairly soon is equally delusional.”
Will California Lead The Way?
California, of course, was among the hardest hit–if not THE hardest–housing market in this Depression-like downturn, mainly because the bubble was so large there, just waiting to POP!
And, of course, it is the most populous state in the nation. So, says one banking analyst quoted by Reuters, “The key is to try to get some stability in the price of homes, which appears to be happening in California.”
“California is the linchpin and so if the region flattens, that changes everything,” Karl Case is quoted as saying.
Yes, of course, there is a big but…in fact, lots of big buts…that could quickly reverse the slight apparent progress we are now starting to see in some regions: Even though home prices still are declining for the most part, credit is still harder and harder to come by, even for those lucky enough to have a pretty good credit score. And, the fixed rate mortgage has also continued to climb, making even the biggest of bargins unattractive to many would-be home buyers.
It is also not clear how helpful the emergency housing measure Bush recently signed into law will be? Many experts predict it will not be very helpful because lenders will have to agree to take a bit of a loss by reducing the mortgage while home owners will have to prove they can afford the new, lower payments, which many will not be able to.
So, it is premature to say happy days are here again…but, they may not be as far off as many feared?