Don’t believe the hype. That’s the message Anthony Randazzo, writing at RealClearMarkets.com, delivered Thursday about the housing market. Randazzo, director of economic research at the Reason Foundation, quotes from a number of media and government sources about how “the skies are clearing. And the sun is shining. And all is going to be well with the world,” when it comes to the housing market, before debunking the premise, saying any glimmer of recovery has happened only in “fantasyland.”
“The reality is that we are not at the bottom of this housing bust,” Randazzo writes. “And this is important to understand because the economy is not going to recover until housing prices are at their bottom, with toxic housing debt cleared off the balance sheets of households, financial institutions, and the federal government’s bailout bucket.”
He concedes that all 20 cities that are tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller index saw home values increase in June by an average of 2.3%. The National Association of Realtors also reports that existing home sales in July grew 9.4% year over year. Heck, Census Bureau data show new home sales jumped an “eye-popping” 26% in July from the previous year’s numbers.
But, he adds, such short-term increases have happened before, without leading to a full-blown housing recovery.