Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

‘Innately good’ housing markets are turning

Commentary: Hope like hell inflation subsides, so the Fed can prevent a US stall
Published on Apr 27, 2012

On the surface, all is quiet. Since the first week of April, the 10-year Treasury note has not traded above 2.05 percent or below 1.93 percent. It's 1.95 percent this morning. Thrill-a-minute. Low-fee mortgages have been 4 percent for three weeks (depending on down payment and credit). The Dow has had 100-point days, but is just yo-yo-ing below the 13,200 top. In widely scattered patches of exuberance, innately good housing markets are turning -- not bottoming, turning. Markets are turning in attractive places with scarce land, in-migration, and good economies (global, IT, government, health care). Looking back at their distress curves, the dead-drop in listings last year has resulted now in competing offers and modest increases in price. However, do not confuse these places with the rest. New data are disquieting, but nothing scary. March orders for durable goods fell hard, down 4.2 percent even excluding volatile categories, and the multiyear chart shows gentle but unm...

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