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Putting the housing rebound in perspective [ClearOnMoney]
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Putting the housing rebound in perspective

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Commentary

Putting the housing rebound in perspective

18 Dec 2012 by Jim Fickett.

Home builders are less pessimistic than before, but still, on the whole, pessimistic. We'll see what mountains of free money can do.

From Reuters:

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index rose to 47 this month, its highest level since April 2006, from a downwardly revised 45 in November, the National Association of Home Builders said on Tuesday. …

Readings below 50 mean more builders view market conditions as poor than favorable. The index has not been above 50 since April 2006.

I continue to be somewhat skeptical about the housing recovery, due to the huge backlog of distressed homes. But I admit free money is powerful, and perhaps the Fed will succeed in creating a new bubble. (Not surprisingly, Nevada might lead the way.) The scenario: the search for yield would provide enough cash to buy up a significant fraction of the homes with distressed mortgages and, at the same time, the resulting increase in prices would reduce the fraction of owners with negative equity. We'll see.