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You don’t need an Ivy League degree to figure out the housing market stinks. Harvard University released its annual State of the Nation’s Housing report today. Among its conclusions: “Despite some stabilization in homebuilding and home sales in the spring, real home prices continued to fall and foreclosures mount in most areas in the first quarter of the 2009.”
Adds Eric S. Belsky, executive director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard: “The best that can be said of the market is that house price corrections and steep cuts in housing production are creating the conditions that will lead to an eventual recovery.”
Interestingly the report touches on many of the same themes we at BusinessWeek wrote about in this week’s cover story Housing Market 2012. Yes the market stinks, but the same demographic trends that existed before the bust will help bring prices back. These trends include immigration, migration from pricier northern cites to the more affordable sunbelt, growth in high-tech jobs and the echo boom generation entering its home buying years.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.