Well that all depends. The Rosy-ness depends on Congress not blowing it again; it depends on the election dialog and most importantly it depends on Jobs.
The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Index posted another month of improvement and yet another sign that the housing market recovery is gaining traction. As a watcher most specifically of the Western Region, I am again stuck by the strength of the bounce in homes under contract. Seasonally Adjusted (SA) numbers indicate improvement across virtually regions, but only the West showed improvement (1.7%) Non Seasonally Adjusted (NSA), This was because the seasonally adjusted numbers in the West were up a staggering 14.9% over last month – an indication that we are finally getting out from under the shadow of the debt ceiling debacle and back on track. Moreover the numbers show a 2.9% increase (SA) over last year and a solid 3.5% improvement NSA, year over year.
There’s a familiar saying that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck! The continuing signs are that we are on the path towards stability in real estate. In September S & P’s Case-Shiller spokesman, David Blitzer said, “Continued increases in home prices through the end of the year and better annual results must materialize before we can confirm a housing market recovery.” By my measure, we are at year end and the market continues to improve month over month and year over year, so according to Blitzer, we are in a recovery. The pending numbers figures are the closest thing to real time we have in real estate data and to me the most important to watch.
So how am I feeling you ask? How’s that song go? “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” That’s right; my optimism is growing and so should yours.