September 3, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
All eyes will be looking at Tuesday's release of the Office of Housing Enterprise Oversight home price index, which will cover April-June. Home price data takes center stage this week,
Home values are critical to the economic outlook. Economists disagree about how the housing slowdown will impact consumer spending.Estimates are that it will show a slowing in the rise of prices.
The rise in home prices has been an important driver of consumer spending. Many consumers have been refinancing their mortgages based on the higher home values and using the cash to finance purchases.
... On a national average basis, home sales have not fallen in any year since the late 1940s, said Berson. There have been some quarterly declines, and prices have been down annually in some regions.
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Interesting things going on in NYC, not just in sales but in rentals. For example, the one completed building at the WTC site, the replacement for Tower #7, is only 1/10th rented. Not because people don't want to work there, but because the price for renting is being kept artificially high, comparable to mid-town prices, rather than lower the price for fear of bringing down prices in the rest of the area. I don't know how many apartments, both for rent and for sale, are sitting empty for the same reason, but just asking around the neighborhood there are plenty of them. How long can the landlords hold out? Amazingly long, actually.
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