As the housing hangover perpetuates, we still need to ask that age-old question, “Are we there yet?”
Economists now believe that while we might be there now (at the bottom), we aren’t going anyplace soon, as far as home prices are concerned.
Economists basically are projecting no change in home prices in 2011, and only a 7.2 percent increase in the next five years (revised downwards from 12 percent just this past May).
First and foremost, however, we need to note that there really is no such thing as a national housing market. Every city and town are unique and even within cities and towns markets vary depending on location, product type and price range. While the Florida market still sputters, for example, the Texas market behaves well.
The shadow inventory of homes, which are properties not currently offered for sale but either have been foreclosed on or are in the foreclosure process varies widely. Nationwide, that number is a staggering 16 months, according to CoreLogic, Inc., while in the Houston MSA, shadow inventory is just 7.3 months. No wonder housing prices will be stagnant nationwide this year, but up in Houston. While the U.S. has a 10.5 month supply of homes currently available for sale, Houston has just 7.9 months—which is pretty close to normal.
Contrast these price series of median prices as reported by the National Association of Realtors®.
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