Tuesday, August 11, 2009

4 Reasons the Recent Housing Upswing is Nothing More than a Temporary Slow Down on the Way to the Bottom

The current housing upswing in sales that is leading many clueless media pundits to claim the housing market bottom is near is noting more than a pit stop on the way to the bottom. I believe that this "upswing" is really a mirage. Below are 4 reasons why the real estate market is still headed down.
  1. Low priced foreclosure sales are artificially inflating sales figures. However, don't take my word for it. According this Forbes.com article, America's Best And Worst Housing Markets, Stan Humphries, Zillow Chief Economist, states that "In many areas, low-priced foreclosure resales are boosting overall sales, which keeps overall home prices down."
  2. Cyclic sales are distorting the sales volume and sales price figures. Don't believe me? That's fine. Listen to a real estate appraiser. "Prices are supposed to go up in the spring; they're seasonal," says Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a Manhattan-based appraisal firm. "The seasonality is playing tricks on our eyes."
  3. Government meddling is distorting the market. In addition to the normal spring bump in sales volume and prices, the $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit is artificially causing a higher level of sales, particularly on lower priced homes where $8,000 is a larger % of the sale price. Buyers are rushing to buy homes and close on the purchases before the tax credit expires on 11/30/2009. Again, don't rely on me. The same Forbes article quotes Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist, as stating "Current trends may owe a lot to seasonality and the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit. As such, current demand may not be based on sustainable market forces. With negative equity rates high and unemployment continuing to rise, we have likely not seen the peak in foreclosure rates."
  4. More and more homeowners owe more than their homes are worth. According to the Deutsche Bank report mentioned in my recent blog post, SCARY STUFF: About half of U.S. mortgages seen underwater by 2011, 48% of homeowners will be underwater by 2011. The result of this will be that more and more homeowners will simply walk away from their homes as they give up on the notion that their homes will ever be worth what they owe.

No comments:

Post a Comment