Housing market data have been mixed over the past few months, as harsh winter weather has appeared to put a damper of homebuying. Investors will get some more data on housing in the days ahead, when new home sales, pending home sales and home price data are released. But even if these numbers come in soft, some experts say the U.S. housing market is just getting heated up.
"We're still in the very preliminary stages of a housing market upturn," said Carl Riccadonna, senior U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank. "Housing is extremely seasonal, and there's a high season and a low season. This low season is particularly low due to the weather, and housing numbers have been vulnerable."
"In next week's data, new home sales will be pretty lousy, just because buyer traffic has been depressed. But I'm personally waiting to see the March and April data to see what happens in the spring buying season," Riccadonna told CNBC.com on Friday.
New homes sales for the month of February are set to be released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday morning. The consensus expectation is for sales to come in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 449,000 units, below the 5½ year high of 468,000 that was recorded for the month of January.
In other housing data that will emerge this week, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for January will be released Tuesday as well. This is designed to give investors an indication of the trend in real estate prices. And on Friday, pending home sales data from the National Association of Realtors, which tracks sales that have not yet closed, will give an indication of the demand for houses.
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"New home sales will be diluted by the weather, so don't expect much," said Peter Boockvar, the chief market strategist at The Lindsey Group.
Going forward, data should improve, because "there will be a time shift, and we should get some mean reversion," Boockvar said. "On the other hand, it will be telling if we don't."
For some, the big concern coming down the pike is rising interest rates. Treasury yields rose sharply on Wednesday, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that a federal funds rate hike could come six months after the end of quantiative easing.
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"Housing is the thing we have to focus on the most, particularly now in an environment where we think rates are going up, based on what Chair Yellen said last week," said Jim Iuorio of TJM Institutional Services.
But Riccadonna retorts that even if rising rates make house purchases more expensive to finance, homes remain highly affordable.
"For the last year, people have said that rates are going to rise and then housing's going to roll over. But these are still extremely low levels of mortgage rates," the economist said. "Even if we have 10 percent appreciation in prices, and interest rates back up 100 to 150 basis points, affordability will still be above average. So rising rates are not going to kill the housing sector."
Robert Wetenhall, an analyst at RBC who covers home builders and building products, agrees with Riccadonna's positive take.