Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Sean Donovan was on Bloomberg this morning discussing the state of housing and the Obama Making Home Affordable Plan. There are some signs that the program is starting to work.”I think we have a good balance of carrots and sticks” said Donovan when asked about banks and servicers working together to modify mortgages for homeowners unable to make mortgage payments. Time will tell if indeed the plan is working. I can tell you that here in Arizona, one of the hardest hit areas, the numbers are starting to be not as dismal. Mark Tait, a principal in NXT Generation Real Estate shared some interesting numbers with me last week:
In the greater Phoenix Metro area:
- Year over year closing are up almost 4000 units.
- Inventory has dropped almost 9000 units since December, 2008.
“As a man on the street, I can tell you multiple offers are back and most REO properties.” said Tait, “$200k and below are going out at FULL PRICE.” Now does this mean that we have a bottom in housing? No, I don’t think we have hit bottom in terms of values yet, what I can say though is that activity is returning to the market–and that is the first step on a long road to stability.