S&P Case-Shiller:  ‘Home Prices Rose 1.3% in April’

It’s well-known that various housing market cheerleaders (the National Association of Realtors; your friendly local Realtor?) have a tendency to put a positive spin on housing sales statistics.

But, prominent housing bears tend to do the opposite (would that qualify as “backspin??”).

Exhibit A:  Barry Ritholtz’s take on the latest (positive) Case-Shiller sales stats for existing homes (note:  May new home sales also showed an uptick): 

There is a tendency amongst many analysts to forget about the context in which residential real estate market has stabilized.

In terms of price, we know that not having distressed assets in the mix makes it appear prices are improving; what you actually are seeing are the impact of no foreclosures for a year.

Similarly, without as many distressed homes in the mix ” they are often sold for less than replacement cost ” New Homes have less competition, and  sales can tick up.

–Barry Ritholtz, “Annotated New Home Sales“; The Big Picture

The obvious rebuttal to the above?

Aren’t declining foreclosures the definition of a stabilizing housing market??

No, that’s not rhetorical; the answer would be “yes.”

See also, “Why the Housing Bear are Bearish.”

P.S.:  On a purely anecdotal, “in the trenches” level:  every veteran Twin Cities agent I know (including yours truly) has been working 60+ hour weeks since at least last February.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.
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