Has The Real Estate Market Hit Bottom?

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I read an article in the Chicago Tribune business section “Housing Market hits ‘some kind of bottom'”.

In the article it sited a recent study by The Standard & Poor’s/Case Shilling Index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas.

According to this study, home prices have showed a 1% increase in seasonally adjusted median home prices. The conclusion based on this study is that the housing market is at or close to being at bottom.

The article did point out that there were some sub-markets still struggling like Las Vegas, Charlotte N.C., Cleveland, and Phoenix. All of these cities are struggling with foreclosures.

But in general most markets were improving and the number 1 reason for the improvement was the Federal Governments First Time Homeowner Tax Credit of $8,000.00. The tax credit brought new home buyers out into the market and these buyers took advantage of lower home prices and low interest rates and began purchasing homes.

The conclusion of the article was ” The fundamental story is that housing got way too expensive, and now you could argue that housing is cheap again, and that is what it boils down to in 50 words or less.”

Are we to take this last statement for what its worth as fact. I think that this a simple answer to a very complicated situation. I have heard these arguments before like ” Too Big to Fail”, or ” The market will Correct itself” and I think they all have some major flaw. They generalize a problem to 1 simple answer and that is a problem in itself.

I have learned that Real Estate can not be viewed on a global level. Real Estate prices and values are based on sub-markets. These sub-markets can be from block to block.

Real Estate is based on Supply and Demand. If there is an over supply of property then price of a home will go down.

Real Estate is based on supply of money. When interest remain low then buyers can afford to buy.

If the Real Estate market relied on “Cheap Prices” as the article suggests then I guess we would all be millionaires by investing in Real Estate.

Lets not fool ourselves. We cannot predict when the market will hit bottom.

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