I’ll admit to getting a chuckle out of this piece by the normally strong reporter Binyamin Appelbaum at the NYT: After Years of False Hopes, Signs of a Turn in Housing
The clear signs have been there for months.
From the piece:
Announcements of a housing recovery have become a wrongheaded rite of summer, but after several years of false hopes, evidence is accumulating that the optimists may finally be right.
The housing market is starting to recover. Prices are rising. Sales are increasing. Home builders are clearing lots and raising frames.
Sales of new and existing homes have been increasing for a while now. The price increases that we’ve seen this spring in some markets could be largely undone in the fall when demand slips again, but decreased levels of inventory and fewer foreclosures in the share of distressed sales will probably prevent a precipitous decline in the national numbers.
2012 is going to be one of the worst years ever for residential investment as part of GDP, but it’s going to be a better year than the previous ones.
The article mentions the homebuyer tax credits but does not explore the ways in which those credits contributed to those false bottoms.
Even more amusing than the Eureka tone of the article are the dreary, pessimistic reader comments. The comments show virtually no awareness of the data — inventory, price-to-rent ratios, etc., etc.