A number of conflicting reports suggest that while the housing market recovery has yet to start, we are closer to the end of the carnage than the beginning.

Recent stats:

  1. The Massachusetts Housing Partnership reported that a potential 65,000 or more homes could add to the state’s inventory of unsold homes due to pending foreclosures, or homes likely to be foreclosed on even after mortgage modifications.  This possible 2nd foreclosure wave would add as many homes to the market as are typically sold in a given year, suggesting further price depression.
  2. At the same time, the Fed’s March 3 Beige Book reports slow but steady strengthening of the economy, including stabilizing employment and rising wages, all of which will help reduce the chance of future foreclosures as those who still have their homes and jobs will be in a position to keep both.
  3. Ultimately, home prices are the best gauge of market health.  Those prices have been stopped declining in most parts of the US and are starting to rise in some, according to the Case Shiller index. See S&P PDF file with the current national home price rate of change.