Poll results: Calling the housing-market bottom(s)
A plurality of you (there's your word of the day) don't think the Baltimore metro area's housing market has hit bottom yet. But you do think prices and sales will stop falling around the same time.
That was the result of last week's twin Wonk polls, which asked you to put on your forecasting hat.
The most popular answer was 2010 for a market bottom, both for sales (30 percent of votes) and prices (33 percent of votes).
Here are the rest of your answers:
For a bottom in home sales, 20 percent of you said "now," 17 percent said 2011, 16 percent said not for years and 15 percent said by the end of the year. (If you add the "now" folks to the "end of the year" folks, you get a plurality of people who think sales have or will stop falling this year.)
For a bottom in average home prices, 26 percent said 2011, 22 percent said not for years and 18 percent said this year.
And one reader said "when we have 1999 prices" for both questions. (Darwin Rules, I presume?)
You had a lot to say about this topic, not surprisingly.
BigDragon, for instance, wrote: "Calling the point where home sales stabilize is rather tricky. I think what you're seeing right now is a bull trap. It's not so apparent at the moment, but government interference in the foreclosure process has artificially limited the supply. Soon a whole new batch of foreclosures will hit the market and slow things down again."
Readers "Little Debbie," Frank Rizzo and Darwin Rules battled it out, with "Little Debbie" generally more optimistic.
Frank Rizzo wrote, among other points: "Price declines have a long way to go. As more and more people are underwater, more and more people will walk away."
"Little Debbie," asking him to cite sources, said: "Opinions and speculation are silly."After some back and forth, "Little Debbie" issued this modest forecast:
I herewith change my position: We will see 1979 (2nd quarter) prices before we hit 98.902% inflation because 83.9% of all homeowners will foreclose (that includes people who own their house free and clear). This is because there are 37.97 million homes on the shadow inventory and lenders will soon start charging 57% interest rates after 73.5% of the lenders go belly up. Once the 8k tax credit expires, oil will hit 5000 a barrel and everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) will begin to foreclose.Jaded responded: "Your last post made me laugh 107.43% of my pants off!"
This is all extremely clear because we are already on this trajectory. That is how economics work!
The bottom is NOT close. We are only at 2003 prices: we have 24 more years left.
The only safe investments are guns and gold. I would also recommend moving to Greenland and buying an igloo with cash.