Housing Declared Bottoming In U.S. After Six-Year Slump

April 26, 2012

in News

Housing Declared Bottoming In U.S. After Six-Year Slump

The U.S. housing market is showing more signs of stabilization as price declines ease and home demand improves, spurring several economists to call a bottom to the worst real estate collapse since the 1930s. “The crash is over,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics Inc. “Home sales – both new and existing – and housing starts are now off the bottom.” Data showing better-than-estimated new- home sales and a slowdown in price declines are bolstering optimism that the market is poised for a sustainable recovery. Economists including Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s Chris Rupkey, Bank of America Corp.’s Michelle Meyer and Mark Fleming of CoreLogic Inc. are also predicting prices are close to a trough after a 35 percent slump from a July 2006 peak, even as the threat of more foreclosures loom to boost supply. Values in 20 U.S. cities fell 3.5 percent in February, the smallest 12-month drop since February 2011, the S&P/Case-Shiller index showed. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s home-price index, which measures properties with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, had a 0.4 percent rise for the same period, according to a separate report. New homes sold at an annual pace of 328,000 in March, up 7.5 percent from a year earlier, the Commerce Department said. [Read this article]

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