If you listen to the Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poors-Dow Jones, the nation’s housing market has reached an important milestone—one likely to be appreciated by real estate holders—Lacey homeowners and investors included.
The gentleman in the spotlight is David Blitzer, who is the head man when it comes to the S&P Case-Shiller Index, the most widely-respected measure of housing activity.
Mr. Blitzer’s comments were aimed at the latest report, released last Tuesday. It covered three-month price averages for the quarter ending in September. They notched a 5.5% higher average residential price over the previous year.
Now at this point, Lacey real estate observers might wonder what is so newsworthy about yet another appreciation in residential real estate prices? After all, (yawn)—we’ve enjoyed years of Lacey real estate price rises. There may have been momentary pauses and even a dip or two, but all have proved to be momentary hitches.
So, what’s the big deal?
A couple of things. First, according to MarketWatch, although the reported climb at the end of the quarter was at the upper end of what had been expected, it still put prices “at an all-time high.” It’s hard to argue that all-time highs aren’t significant. But as stock market chart followers know, they can also mark the point at which prices can bounce off a “ceiling.”
That brings up the remarks by Chairman Blitzer, who sees the report’s significance, not in terms of a market top having been hit, but more as a mark that may be remembered as “the start of a new advance.” Quoted in the realestateinvestingtoday website, he cast Tuesday’s report in its likely historical significance. “The new peak set by the S&P Case-Shiller National Index will be seen as marking a shift from the housing recovery.”
In other words, we’ve probably just passed the end marker for the entire epic of the real estate housing crash. The Wall Street Journal saw it that way, observing that the prices “brought to a close the worst period for the housing market since the Great Depression.” Their accompanying illustration was a stark V-shaped line chart with the title, “Back From the Abyss.” Adding to the probability that the V is behind us was the NAR report of Pending Home Sales. They “squeaked out” a 1.8% rise over the previous year. Since the PHS is a forward-looking indicator, it bodes well for how November will eventually be reported as well.
National momentum like what we are seeing is always a positive for Lacey real estate activity. Especially now that mortgage interest rates are beginning to climb, for anyone who has been waiting for a positive sign or two, it certainly does look like an opportune time to give me a call. So…why not give me that call?