Where is the housing market headed? Ask three experts and you’ll get at least four opinions.
The pessimists at Fannie Mae don’t see prices hitting bottom till 2013, based on the weak economy.
Over at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says that as of April, “Home contract activity has been above year-ago levels now for 12 consecutive months. The housing recovery momentum continues.” Sales have been going up for awhile now, but now prices are starting to catch up too. Some of yesterday’s basket cases are now seeing “double-digit” price gains (e.g., Florida, Phoenix). NAR expects prices nationally to rise 2-3 percent for 2012, increasing to 3-4 percent in 2013.
How about mortgage delinquencies? Lender Processing Services (LPS) reports delinquencies dropped almost 10 percent in May, compared to the year before. Similarly, the shadow inventory dropped 14.8 percent in April to 1.5 million units, according to CoreLogic.
Sounds like a seller’s market to us. A great time to buy if you can get the cash. And, given the profusion of programs for distressed borrowers—a great time to short sell.