Then Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said, “The ongoing weakness in the housing market still represents a headwind to economic recovery.”
No wonder economists at Freddie Mac concluded in its April forecast that the data are, “noisy.” Then they too blamed it all on the weather.
So what are we to think, and how are we to play housing, here at the almost, sort of, bottom in some markets but not in others?
“Investor demand will drive many markets this spring and summer,” says David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv. “This means that, at the moment, the MBA purchase application index is a less reliable predictor of sales activity.”
Stiff says he thinks the housing market has bottomed out, but that won’t be obvious until next year. He also makes clear that the recovery will be driven by investors, and investors largely buy in the lower cost markets.
The one truth I heard in all the heated talk of housing today came from CNBC’s Jim Cramer, with whom I often disagree. He said, “aggregate numbers make you no money.” He was talking specifically about housing
Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.comAnd follow me on Twitter @Diana_Olick