Real estate outlook: scattered showers of optimism

Mood of the Market

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.