August 8, 2012

THE HOUSING CRISIS IS THE SHORTAGE:

Home Prices Climb as Supply Dwindles (NICK TIMIRAOS, 8/08/12, WSJ)

Prices are rising because "there's not enough supply, given higher levels of demand," said Ivy Zelman, chief executive of Zelman & Associates, a research firm. Last week, Ms. Zelman revised her 2012 price forecast to a 5% gain. At the beginning of the year, she predicted a 1% decline. "With every passing month, distressed homes are being absorbed at better and better prices," she wrote recently.

Inventories are low for a handful of reasons. Investors who are scooping up homes have been converting them into rentals rather than flipping them, keeping the properties off the market. Banks have slowed their foreclosure processes in the past two years after they were found to be rushing through incomplete paperwork to repossess homes.

New-home construction has been at depressed levels for years, as builders have had to fend off competition from bank-owned foreclosures. That lack of new construction "has set the foundation for a snapback in pricing," said Michael Sklarz, president of Collateral Analytics, a Honolulu-based research firm.

And that's before immigration reform.
Posted by at August 8, 2012 5:21 AM
  

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