Friday, February 3, 2012
Did we get that wrong?
Nope. That’s the figure for non-distressed sales – that is, ‘normal’ sales unaffected by foreclosures and short sales, according to mortgage number cruncher CoreLogic. Prices were down only by 0.9% for non-distressed sales, but dropped a scarier 4.7% for all properties, with distress sales factored in.
That the real estate market is scraping along is actually good news, reports Mary Umberger in the Chicago Tribune. She interviewed a prescient economist who predicted the housing bust. Now, he’s saying that things are looking up.
Here’s what Christopher Thornberg told her:
“A couple of years ago, I was saying that we were still in the bubble, don't buy. But now I've been saying, if you need a house — if you recognize that a house is a consumption good and not an investment opportunity, you should consider buying. With interest rates continuing to come down and with prices that have sagged, in some markets — particularly Florida, Arizona and Nevada — affordability is at record levels. But it has to be a long-term hold — you have to be in long term.”
His position: if you aren’t counting on your house to be an investment, but you simply want to recoup what you’ve put into it, today’s low prices combined with today’s low mortgage rates make today a pretty good time to buy.