It's bad enough that the only diarist left who hits the Wreck list there is the Pied Piper of Doom, but now the economic lunacy has hit the front page as well.
Last night Joan McCarter put up a piece called Housing news remains bad, but is likely to get worse. Relying on a story by Kevin Drum, who is talking about housing *prices*, she says:
This ... is really not good news for the nation's economy.and continues:
Home values posted the largest decline in the first quarter since late 2008
....Of course, ongoing 9% and higher unemployment makes that picture even more grim, as does the news that more than 28% of homeowners are currently underwater on their mortgages. Foreclosures are spreading [and] home values continue to plummet....
Between high unemployment, stagnant wages, and rampant ongoing fraud and mortgage problems, who is going to be in the market to get a mortgage and buy a house?(my emphasis)
I should start by saying I don't know Ms. McCarter at all, and have no personal ill will towards her. But the above is pure nonsense.
To begin with, foreclosures peaked over a year ago, in March 2010.
More to the point, on the very same day that a DK front pager says "who is going to be in the market to get a mortgage and buy a house?" the blog Housing Wire reports that:
Florida existing home sales followed the national trend upward in the first quarter, jumping 13% compared to the year prior to more than 44,500 homes statewide.And via Data Quick, we learn that:
Existing condo sales rose 29% compared to the first quarter of 2010, reported Florida Realtors. The organization said all but one Florida metropolitan area witnessed annual gains in condo sales including Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla., which saw a 27% increase in condo sales. Only condo sales in Tallahassee, Fla. dropped compared to 2010, down 20%.
In total, 23,375 condos sold around the Sunshine State, up 29% from little more than 18,000 in the first quarter of 2010.
Phoenix-area home sales surged in March, rising more than usual from February and posting a year-over-year gain for the third consecutive month as sales to absentee buyers hit a new high.... A total of 10,352 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in March in the combined Maricopa-Pinal counties metropolitan area. That was up 44.3 percent from the month before and up 7.5 percent from a year earlier, according to San Diego-based DataQuick, which tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.
A sharp rise in sales from February to March is normal for the season, although this year’s jump was larger than usual.... March’s sales were the highest for that month since 10,712 homes sold in March 2007. This March’s sales tally was just 1.0 percent short of the average number of sales for the month of March since 1994.and further that:
Las Vegas region home sales held at a five-year high in March amid unusually strong activity among investors, cash buyers and others targeting sub-$100,000 homes.... In March, 4,953 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County) – the highest sales tally for any March since 2006, when 8,486 sold.
March sales were up 27.3 percent from February and up 1.6 percent from March 2010, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.... On average, the region’s sales have risen 29.0 percent between February and March since 1994, when DataQuick’s complete Las Vegas region statistics begin. March’s sales total was 0.1 percent higher than the average number sold in March since 1994.Memo to Daily Kos front pagers: when you make something cheaper, and the interest rates to pay for it go down, sooner or later it turns into a real bargain, and more people will buy it. Yes, prices are off an all time record from their highs -- which is awful if you are a seller, but is terrific if you are a buyer, especially a first time buyer. Which is most certainly not "bad news for the nation's economy." As I put it in March, describing this situation, Lo and behold, supply and demand works!