Next Tuesday, January 31st, will see the next S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report with data for November 2011. Coming off some signs that the economy is strengthening combined with mixed reports on housing, attention will focus on home prices.
Bullish sentiment will point to the preliminary 4th quarter GDP report released on Friday, January 25th. While overall real growth at 2.8% was a touch weaker than most analysts expected, residential construction made positive contributions for the third quarter in a row, the best string since before the financial crisis. As noted on this blog recently, RealtyTrac reported that foreclosure activity in 2011 dropped sharply from 2010. However, some cities showing the largest price declines in S&P/Case-Shiller were in states with the worst foreclosure results including Las Vegas in Nevada and Phoenix in Arizona. Another bit of positive housing news may be the Fed’s comments that rates will stay low even longer than previously expected. Not all the recent news was good — while single family housing starts and existing home sales were up in December, pending sales of existing homes and sales of new homes were soft and the overall picture is, at best, stable.
Where do we go from here? Tuesday morning should give