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Real estate outlook: scattered showers of optimism

Mood of the Market
Published on Jun 27, 2011

Real estate has become the bad news bear of an economy that is trying to break out of bearishness. In fact, I Googled the word "doldrums" the other day and one of the first results was a set of news stories about home values! After four straight years, the virtually incessant onslaught of downer stories about the housing market is exhausting -- even though these stories may reflect the actual state of affairs, and I suspect signal a new normal of much slower appreciation than we're used to, until the job and mortgage markets find some deeper healing. However, I have come across a few bright spots in the real estate news lately, which I want to share. Negative consumer sentiment in real estate and most other economic markets is truly a self-perpetuating cycle: the more negative we are, the less likely we are to buy homes, and that further depresses the market. I think this break from the bad is important, and not just for morale, because it exposes us to new ...

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