Markets & Economy

What’s the truth about the housing market?

Allan Weiss and Hui Shan weigh in with their thoughts
  • The West Coast is generally stronger than the East Coast, and urban areas are generally stronger than suburban. Within those generalities, there are exceptions.
  • Overvaluation and oil prices are things to watch.
  • Millennials are delaying their homebuying activity, but they are such a large group that this tailwind could be significant.

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When Leigh Gallagher, assistant managing editor at Fortune magazine, asked two economists at Global Connect to recap the housing market, she got very different answers -- perhaps unsurprisingly. Allan Weiss Allan Weiss, founder of Weiss Analytics, compared the housing economy to "90 million individual molecules, like the wind, and it's a whirlwind. "It used to all be blowing in one direction, but there are many different strands and it's impossible to generalize. It's moving in multiple directions," he said. Hui Shan, vice president at Goldman Sachs, had a more straightforward explanation: "We are in the second phase of recovery," she said. After the first phase (2012-2013), the fundamentals, like job growth, are what will drive the housing market. Are there regional strengths and weaknesses? To generalize, said Weiss, the East Coast is not doing as well as the West Coast, urban areas are more robust than suburban areas, and rentals and condos are doing better than sing...