The same forces that built up the housing boom also played a major role in its drop-off, according to the latest annual housing market report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. "Except in the few areas facing real economic distress, this housing downturn has been driven largely by the market's own excesses. Chief among these is the oversupply of homes triggered by inflated demand from investors, second-home buyers and others intent on getting in on rapidly appreciating prices," according to "The State of the Nation's Housing" report. Builders yanked the reigns on housing production to work off the oversupply, though "the retrenchment came too late," the report states. "Overbuilding does not appear to be quite as great today as in the years preceding the last major correction in 1987-1991, but it is close." Markets such as Phoenix, which has strong job growth, should emerge first from the correction in housing inventory, the report states, while many overbuilt mar...
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