Looking for a housing market recovery
Predicting when the housing market will recover and/or when prices will rise is a game that has attracted many players, if only because the slump has dragged on for so long that everyone's had an opportunity to weigh in.
Here are two more forecasts in that vein:
Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, the company that runs the local multiple-listing service used by home buyers and sellers, says in a report issued today with real estate information firm Delta Associates that it's "too soon to declare the Baltimore metro area housing market in recovery, but 2010 may herald recovery."
"Yearly statistics show a modest decline in prices since the 1st quarter of 2009, but improvement in both volume and days on market," the report said.
First American CoreLogic, another real estate information firm, offered its own take in a separate report on single-family home prices. Baltimore metro area prices were down 6.6 percent in February compared with a year earlier even as national prices bumped upward ever so slightly, it said.
The company expects continued -- but smaller -- decreases for a while in the Baltimore metro area. Its forecast is that prices next February will be down almost 1.5 percent.
Maryland, meanwhile, had the seventh-largest price drop among the states in February, the company said -- 7.5 percent.
Distressed sales are playing a significant role there. Counting only traditional home sales, prices are down 3.2 percent in the state, the company said. And its forecast for Maryland is for a 1.5 percent drop in price overall next February, but a more than 5 percent gain when excluding distressed sales.
More food for thought ... and debate.