Improving Markets Index Stalls In May
May 8, 2012
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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has determined
that 100 markets in 34 states have exhibited growth in the last
month, which is about even with the figures observed in the month
prior. Industry observers are optimistic that improvement is
occurring, even if it is just in isolated areas for now.
"Many of these [improving markets] are relatively small markets
in terms of their population and building volume, which is why
their improvement is barely registering on the national scale as of
yet," NAHB chief economist David Crowe said in a statement.
"Moreover, we are seeing some shifting of markets on and off the
list primarily due to small seasonal house price changes in areas
that have had flat, stable prices rather than a boom-and-bust
The unveiling of this list comes as Lewis Ranieri - known in the
industry as the "Father of Mortgage Finance" - delivered comments
on Monday, April 7, at a Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)
conference in New York. Ranieri told the assembled crowd that he
believes the housing industry has finally reached its long-awaited
bottom, after values have steadily dropped for the better part of
six years. He said that he expects prices to begin to rebound just
after the second or third quarter of this year.
If Ranieri and other industry observers are correct, homeowners
may still need to weather another few months of financial struggles
until the values of their properties begin to climb again. Until
that point, they may need to identify strategies to make their
monthly payments more affordable. Underwater homeowners can apply
for a Home Affordable
Refinance Program (HARP)
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