Housing market slowly being nursed back to health

Yesterday’s housing numbers came in a little lower than expected, but overall the year 2012 is looking good as building permits jumped to its highest level since October 2008.Permits for multi-family units are much higher than single-family units, possibly reflecting the rise in investor activity in the housing market. Data on the sales of existing home sales for January and February also came out today, showing its highest level since 2007.

The Daily Ticker (Yahoo! Finance) argues that, even though things will some day improve, any recovery efforts in housing may be short-lived:

  1. Home prices are still high base on historic and fair value numbers
  2. A recovery should be suffocated should any shadow inventory come up on the market, while short sales can depress prices in the immediate area
  3. Unemployment is still high and many homeowners are underwater
  4. Rising Treasury yields, a result of the improving economy, can cut into housing affordability
  5. A mild winter and the Fed’s aggressive involvement has artificially boosted the housing strength only temporarily.

The problem with today’s market is also a lack of inventory, and it’s possible homeowners are holding off on selling until home prices stabilize.