By the less-demanding standards of the past few years, the latest housing figures look pretty good. Prices have risen now for several consecutive months. Experts are especially impressed that prices of the least-expensive third of homes lead the gains. Those homes had received the worst drubbing in the recent housing market collapse. Is this the start of the long-awaited and elusive housing recovery? one that would bring a stronger economy overall? Or is the market just taunting us as it bumps along the bottom??
Several factors have combined to strengthen the market. Extraordinarily low rates have allowed millions of homeowners to reduce their monthly payments by refinancing. Moreover, unemployment, while still high at just under 8%, is not rising, and fewer workers feel the threat of layoffs, The stock market has been very strong, making those with investments feel wealthier, and worries about a shadow supply are easing. Overall, all positive signs!