Posted Wednesday, February 01 2012
I was reminded by Lee's post on the Case-Shiller numbers (and their inherent lag) to post something about Y/Y asking prices going positive for the first time since I've been keeping track of that data (early 2006). Actually, the Y/Y median price went positive in December (as the Bondad Blog immediately pointed out), but I wanted to see January's data follow suit lest I prematurely announce a sign change only to have it reverse direction the following month. Of course there's nothing that precludes that even with two months of positive Y/Y numbers, but it does tell me that the housing market is slowly healing itself. The Y/Y inventory decline of roughly 15% (which puts it at an all time low for the series) offers additional supporting evidence. That's not to say that we'll be returning to rapid price appreciation any time soon; I certainly don't foresee that. But I try not to make predictions, just observations. And the relative uniqueness of this observation seems worth noting.