Author Archives: David Blitzer

Convinced Rising Mortgage Rates Will Hurt Housing?

The chart shows the 30 Year Conventional Mortgage rate published by Freddie Mac and the S&P/Case-Shiller 20 City Home Price Index.  From 2000 to about 2005, rates fell and home prices rose. At the top of the bubble — 2006 to 2009 — mortgage rates were volatile but little changed and prices surged and then […]

Questions for Housing in the Next S&P/Case-Shiller Release due Tuesday June 25th

Continuing increases in home prices across the country are likely run into rising interest rates in coming months.   So far the upturn in home prices and overall housing activity has been supported by a combination of low mortgage interest rates and investor buying of homes to rent.  This combination has supported strong price gains across […]

Builder Confidence Up

From the National Association of Home  Builders: Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes hit a significant milestone in June, surging eight points to a reading of 52 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. Any reading over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions […]

Foreclosure Activity Up as Bank Repossesions Jump

— RealtyTrac® (, reported on June 13th that  foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 148,054 U.S. properties in May, an increase of 2 percent from the 75-month low in April but still down 28 percent from May 2012. The report also shows one in every 885 U.S. housing units with […]

Up or Down

Despite continued gains in home prices doubts are heard about the housing recovery.  As the Wall Street Journal noted on Monday both the bulls and the bears cite the same evidence in support of their arguments.  One disconnect is that different cities show different results.  The northeast is seeing modest gains in prices combined with […]

Cities Performance and Institutional Buying

The rebound from the lows for four of the 20 citites in  the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices standout — Phoenix, Las Vegas, Detroit and San Francisco. (see the right hand column in the table). All have bounced back by 25% or more.  While the price gains are certainly welcome news for home owners (and a […]

What Next from Housing

Housing is boosting the economy, but will it last?  Recent data point to stronger activity in housing and residential constructions with prices, sales of new and existing homes and housing starts heading higher in recent months.  However, household formation, home ownership and employment gains are still mixed.  Can the combination of the Fed’ quantitative easing […]

Stocks and Houses

Twelve years ago when the boom in tech stocks ended, housing was considered a safe investment to escape to.  Six years ago the financial crisis took down both stocks and housing.  Clearly neither is without risk, but maybe the past can offer some hint as to which might be better.   Looking at the period […]

Gold in the House

Through the last decade or two of gyrating stock markets and financial crisis two investments have been heralded as booms, busts and the only place to safely stash your assets: gold and your house.  With gold prices appearing to take a hint from the past behavior of home prices, it might be interesting to compare […]

Homes vs. Condos

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices cover condominiums in five markets as well as single family homes in 20 cities.  The table compares the boom-bust and recovery results for homes and condominiums in the five cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and New York.   The overall performance is similar between homes and condos but there […]


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