Economists are like ancient soothsayers; they, metaphorically speaking, throw a bunch of crazy stuff into a big cauldron, heat it all up over a roaring fire, and then divine the future by reading the bubbling contents. The trouble is, no two soothsayers use the same secretive ingredients. I mean, do you throw in one eye of a toad or two, or one or three cups of crushed mandrake? Looking over a couple of midsummer data reports, it appears the soothsayers have decidedly contrasting views of where the U.S. housing market is headed. Some have opted for the optimistic viewpoint, but others fall into the camp of the cautious. Who knows? Maybe they are both right. At the beginning of August, the Wall Street Journal reported the number of homes listed for sale in U.S. cities declined during the second quarter. The Journal story focused on Realtor.com numbers that showed by the end June, nearly 2.34 million homes were listed for sale by multiple listing services in more than 900 met...
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