The state of housing
The U.S. housing market continues to struggle as home prices keep falling.
January 25th, 2011
01:44 PM ET

The state of housing

The housing market is a major indicator of economic strength.

Is that market better today than it was a year ago? Existing home sales are expected to increase 5% to 10% in 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Home Builders says new home starts are expected to increase by 21%.

"But what you have to realize is that the bar is so low from last year, that it's not much to talk about improvement," said Guy Cecala, CEO and publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. "We're improving from a terrible situation, but we're far, far away from any of the housing signs that we saw as recently as three or four years ago."

It is not a healthy market. Foreclosures continue to be a big problem. CNNMoney's Les Christie says 11 million to 12 million homes are still on the brink of repossession.

It all hinges on economic recovery.

"If fewer jobs are lost, there will be fewer foreclosures," Christie said. "If home prices start to rebound, there will be fewer," he said

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soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Stephen Paine

    The combination of tighter credit, more himes underwater (or almost so) and un- and under-employment mean that there are many more people one hiccup away from foreclosure, or imprisoned by their home in terms of job prospects (can't move), as there are people willing and able to buy and just dawdling about it. The economy will not support a recovery of any significance until the middle class has a significant recovery. And that is a pipe dream for the forseeable future.

    January 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • ldean

      We can't believe the National Association of Realtors & Homebuilders?? They NEED it to go up, so they put out these statements so everybody thinks "now is the time to buy." Why don't they ask somebody like HHS to keep up with real statistics instead of those fabricated by these self-interest groups?

      January 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kim

    They might be on market but no one can afford them and loan continue to be a problem I just do not care about these ignorant report. There just more lies that I personaly get sick of hearing!

    January 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bill r

    No more good times until corruption is stopped. We are not stupid.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • v

      The corruption is pretty bad. Why aren't people being held accountable? It is absolute insanity.

      January 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sam

    It's a farce. Unemployment is higher than they say. Housing is still going to correct itself when the next wave of foreclosures hit. The truth is many jobs are gone forever and the jobs remaining will be much less compensating. We are soon coming to a time where money will mean nothing when the have nots will uprise. Deflation of home prices coincides with energy and commodity inflation creating a storm of civil unrest.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tom

    its funny when the banks was going under they rushed right in....those ppl didnt lose there homes.....maybe they shoulsd of lost there homes so they knoe what it feels like to be me....the government didnt give me a special bail out just pretty much said sux to be u....

    January 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Guy

    Education started the problem and needs to be the focus to correct it. People who coudlnt create a budget to know what they could afford caused much of the housing bust and lack of qualified people to keep HiTech jobs from going overseas caused the rest. Followed by a corrupt government that looked the otherway for too long and allowed it all to happen.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. propertyvaluesareexcellent

    right here in cornfield midwest..solid worries. Best choice in the nation.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. propertyvaluesareexcellent

    I see the obsolete people crying here.. You do not like liberty? You want nationalised government housing. Why is that good? Show me the proof. Leavenworth kansas shows that no such victims truly exist other than the lazy stock market people.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Whatcorruption

    some people just hate working as they were promised those free university lunches and no real substance. Housing is basic national llberty just like bank stocks held by universties and parents alike. You are the country so if you say it is corrupt then that is your co creation. Stop your crying and work for america.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kathy Harren

    The comments above reflecting anger and mistrust are most concerning. The incivility in society blocks important disernment of the issues. My prayers for enlightment and understanding of thsoe who are so hostile. My efforts are focused on the positive energy and efforts in the country towards economic recovery.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RW

    An old investment axiom: things are never quite as good as they seem in booms and not quite as bad as they seem in a bust. A potential opportunity if you have the $ and the guts.

    January 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Neil

    Problem is that any increase in housing starts will employ low budget, illegals with the only Legal' on the job being the owner of the contracting company. A small little microcosm indicative of the 'trickle down theory' , the owner gets a deluge, the workers a trickle.

    January 25, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TimeFlies

    I always think it's funny when some blogger blames only the homeowner for not budgeting correctly. The truth is everyone has a share of the blame. From the stupid senior citizen voters who only vote down party lines for some politician who waves an American flag at them, or the dumb, uneducated, lazy youth who aren't involved enough in shaping this country. Corporate America has sold us out while partisan politicians allowed it to happen, so they could cash in on the higher stock prices. Now some poor family goes from $40,000 a year income to $16,000 a year and the talking heads tell them to buck up. Sure people got complacent within their jobs, but nobody told them to get back into school because the corporate think tank was sending their job to India. No worker is ever told anything ahead of time they are just given a pink slip.

    January 25, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sees All Evil

    @kathyHarren AMEN! A very keen observation could'nt agree with you more.

    January 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jason

    I think people need to be planning for harder times: we've had this tremendous boom, yes, but now it's time to be grownups and fix things. Become more self-sufficient, more agile, more willing to do work you'd never consider (this is coming from a white-collar-turned-blue-collar guy). There is still plenty to do in this strange new world of ours: no one need freeze or starve if they're willing to kick over the old paradigm...

    January 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
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