The situation is improving, but by any realistic standard, US housing remains in a depression and clearly will for years to come. It is worth noting that the NAHB index took a slight wrong turn in February, dropping from 47 in January to 46. Of more concern is that the present sales index component fell a bit from 52 to 51, and the traffic component fell to 32 from 36. Expectations for future sales remained high.When current indicators are worsening, expectations mean less. This despite the NE boost from Sandy!
That we should remain at these levels, despite staggeringly low mortgage rates, is a rather frightening prospect. Mortgage rates will go no lower. If anything, risk premiums on mortgages will rise, and interest rates are apt to rise somewhat. That will tend to exert downward pressure on home prices.
The problem obviously is lack of money in the homebuying prospective population. There will be no quick fix for that.
AND THAT'S BIG TROUBLE FOR AN ECONOMY THAT'S NOT PRODUCING JOBS, AND THAT'S NOW - OUTSIDE OF HOME PRICES - QUITE INFLATIONARY (BECAUSE CENTRAL BANKS ARE PRINTING GOBS OF PAPER MOOLA), AND THAT HAS EXPENSIVE ENERGY.
A CORRECTION IS COMING.