It will be another year before the U.S. housing market fully rebounds, a top economist told CNBC Friday.
“The good news is the crash is over,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “The bad news is that the housing market’s not really going to get going until next spring after we digest the end of the policy supports.”
Those supports include the homebuyer tax credit, which expires Friday. Zandi emphasized the importance of the 2009 credit. “The November credit was incredibly successful and the key to turning around the housing market and ending the housing crash,” said Zandi.
The major problem, according to Zandi, is an inventory of about 10 million vacant homes for sale or rent, an excess of 1.5 million in Zandi’s view. “We’re going to have to see very low rates of construction and much stronger demand for an extended period to sort things out before we see some housing price growth,” Zandi said.
Earlier this week, the latest Case-Shiller price index showed that unadjusted seasonal rates fell 0.9 percent in February. It was the fifth straight decline. Meanwhile, seasonally adjusted rates dropped 0.1 percent after eight consecutive months of increases.
Zandi’s analysis of the impact of a stimulus package was cited by the Obama administration when it implemented its plan in 2009.