The housing market is showing signs of deterioration as the housing tax credits end and foreclosures pick-up. This morning’s Case/Shiller housing data was not a good omen for things to come in the real estate market. I expect housing to begin showing its true colors as we get later into the year and government aid tapers off. The weakness in global economies couldn’t be happening at a worse time. From S&P:
“In March, 13 of the 20 MSAs covered by S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and both monthly
composites were down although the two composites and 10 MSAs showed year-over-year gains.
Housing prices rebounded from crisis lows, but recently have seen renewed weakness as tax incentives
are ending and foreclosures are climbing.”
Comments from David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s were not upbeat:
“The housing market may be in better shape than this time last year; but, when you look at recent trends there are signs of some renewed weakening in home prices. In the past several months we have seen some relatively weak reports across many of the markets we cover. Thirteen MSAs and the two Composites saw their prices drop in March over February. Boston was flat. The National Composite fell by 3.2% compared to the previous quarter and the two Composites are down for the sixth consecutive month.
“While year-over-year results for the National Composite, 18 of the 20 MSAs and the two Composites
improved, the most recent monthly data are not as encouraging. It is especially disappointing that the
improvement we saw in sales and starts in March did not find its way to home prices. Now that the tax
incentive ended on April 30th, we don’t expect to see a boost in relative demand.”
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.