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May 7th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Housing market better or worse than 6 months ago where you live?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There are some signs that the nation's beat-up housing market might be starting to recover...

USA Today reports that more homes for sale are now getting multiple offers as buyers are trying to lock in deals at low prices. Real estate experts say this has especially been the case in states like California that are hit hard by foreclosures and dramatic price drops.

One Florida realtor says that one in 10 homes now gets multiple offers - that's up from one in 30 last fall. The competition for some homes is driven by low prices - down almost 40 percent in some places - low mortgage rates, and also a new tax credit of up to $8,000 for some first-time buyers.

Meanwhile first time owners are now buying more than half of all homes; and experts say they could help the industry by snapping up much of the excess inventory.

There are other positive signs:

– Pending sales of existing homes just posted their first back-to-back gains in almost a year.
– Construction spending unexpectedly rose, ending a six-month slide.
– And, one report shows the decline in home prices in 20 major cities slowed during February for the first time since 2007.
– When you add in some scattered signs that the job situation is not unraveling quite so fast and an uptick in consumer confidence, you have the makings of a better spring than a lot of the experts expected.

Here’s my question to you: Is the housing market better or worse than it was 6 months ago where you live?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jonathan from Phoenix writes:
Jack, The housing market here was terrible 6 months ago, got worse for the next 3 months, and now appears to be making a turn-around. There are still some home owners and banks pricing their houses above market value, impacting our ability to get through the supply, however most individuals have realized the true value of their homes and we are seeing a moderation in the number of houses sitting on the market.

Anthony from New Jersey writes:
Funny you should ask. I sold my house and purchased a new one before the bubble burst. Made a killing. But now, in my new, once-burgeoning community, I see idled bulldozers all over the landscape. It feels like an eerie ghost town.

Chuck from Sheboygan, Wisconsin writes:
God, I hope so. I work at the largest manufacturer of kitchen and bath products in America and if things don't pick up in the housing market soon, I'm going to be out of a job.

Micah from California writes:
It's gotten somewhat better. I've noticed that there are fewer "For Rent" or "For Sale" homes than there had been 5-6, even 3 months ago. Granted, there are still many out there that haven't been moved into. It's kind of in limbo, I think. However, if people are beginning to gain confidence in the economy and housing market again, then things will continue to look up. Here's hoping.

Dan from New Jersey writes:
The housing market is about the same. Sellers are just more resigned to accepting the lower prices.

Anna from Florida writes:
I live in Orlando, and I certainly hope the housing market is getting better. We're moving to a new home in June, and we're going to need to sell our old one. Wish us luck.


Filed under: Economy • Homeownership
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Paul Austin, Texas

    Not much Jack sales in my area are still very slow compaired to the normal market. Used to be a home would last on the market one to three months max now it could be up for one year if you stick close to your price.

    May 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  2. Cheryl

    As a Realtor in Houston, yes. The new home buyer $8000 tax credit in the stimulus package is motivating people to buy now that have been putting it off. Low rates, low prices, and the tax credit incentive are good for those that didn't get caught up in the over-buying frenzy. People are more cautious now about what they can afford. That is good.

    May 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  3. Ben from Gaithersburg, MD

    Only when I flip the page of my newspaper.

    May 7, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  4. Samir from Florida

    It doesn't seem that the prices are getting any lower. It has pretty much stabalized and let's start giving credit to the banks. Many banks have flat out refused to sell properties at ridiculous offers. I think that has helped the housing market bottom out. Now if they can start loaning money again, we should see a recovery real soon.

    May 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  5. Julianna, Biloxi, MS

    No, there are no SOLD signs on any of the numerous houses for sale on my street.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  6. maggie from Selwyn

    One of the major issues that is slowing down the recovery of the housing market was having the bill defeated that would allow the courts to alter mortgages for the homeowner who is in dire straits.

    As soon as Congress can get out from under the money the bank lobbyists are paying them and pass this type of legislation housing prices would likely stabilize and start on the road to recovery.

    Until then I would expect the housing market to remain relatively stagnant and prices continuing to decline along with property values.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  7. Scott in Canada

    No! Let it drop for another year! I still am in an apartment with a stable job so if it goes just one more year, I'll be able to buy a house for dirt-cheap prices!

    May 7, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  8. Mike A,Charlotte,NC

    so what if it does turn around? It's too little to late for millions of americans who lost their homes, had their credit destroyed and, are waiting to see if they have a job.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  9. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Yes the housing market is turning around – in circles. The only people who are buying houses are the same flippers who started the crisis in the first place and are now trying to cash in on the low prices again. I still hope they loose their shirts.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  10. Remo .............. Austin, Texas

    Jack, we're seeing an unexpected uptick in our area. It's small, but it's an up trend. Hopefully the rest of the country follows.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  11. Jason, Koloa, HI

    In Hawaii? No. It's not like we bottomed out like parts of the mainland, but there is nobody buying. The median prices are finally going down some, but not enough for there to be a surge. We seem to be running a little behind everywhere else when it comes to the economy.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  12. John from Alabama

    Jack: I hope housing market is turning around for this nation, real estate agents, and neighborhoods which are better places to live when there are few vacant homes up foreclosure. But I believe the housing market has a long way to go. In my neighborhood there are over 21 houses up for sale, and most have been on the market for 1 to 2 years. These houses are less than 3/4 of a mile from my home.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  13. Terry, Chandler AZ

    IAs a construction materials supplier, I am part of the homebuilding industry. In the Phoenix area it appears as if home construction is beginning to improve. We are experiencing a slight, very slight, inprovement in delivery to home construction sites.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  14. Peg from NY

    I see the inventory getting bigger and far fewer sales in the Albany NY area.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  15. Scott - Dallas, TX

    Ummm.... Jack. Have you seen the wave of option adjustable rate and alt-a mortgage resets that are rising now, and will continue rising to a spike sometime in 2011? They are worse than the subprime loans. Have you read the reports about banks holding back on foreclosing to keep them off their books? We are in a happy little lull, get ready for some more pain. What we are living through what will be called a Depression by people that read about it in textbooks years from now; IF we manage to survive it as a nation. I have my doubts about that, the 30's this is not. Things are about to get real hairy come Fall of this year.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  16. Joe CE

    Seems to be stabilizing but too early to call it a turn-around.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  17. Joe, Clinton Ma.

    I don't see it at all, but I just had one of those brownies mentioned in the last segment.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  18. Dennis North Carolina

    The question is who do you believe when they talk and what figures are true? Is the media reporting the truth or is it reporting the news that they feel we want to hear. one example is the fed chairman said the recession will be over at the end of the year and next year we will have growth. the question is do you believe the man who led us into this recession along with the person who he replaced. Would you believe the devil if he wore a white robe So Jack is the housing market cured?

    May 7, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  19. Tom from Philly

    Ok its like when you go over the top of a really big roller coaster and after feeling like you are going to fall to the center of the earth you start to feel it pull the other way, forward and less down. Its like that, the housing market is at that point, lots of thanks to governmental actions to spur sales, otherwise i think wed still be going down faster like before.....

    May 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  20. Tina Tx

    I know I still can't afford to move so no I see no change.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  21. Chuck in Sheboygan, WI.

    God, I hope so. I work at the largest manufacturer of kitchen and bath products in America and if things don't pick up in the housing market soon I'm going to be out of a job.

    May 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  22. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    All we are seeing now is the calm before the real storm – when the increased interest rates of the ARMs come into effect in the next few years for many.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  23. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    The only signs I see are "For Sale" signs. If the housing market is getting better, it isn't being reflected on the streets yet.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  24. dan in Tucson AZ

    No signs here Jack, people are still losing their jobs and homes. I don't see how anyone can say things are getting better until we are back to work and paying taxes again. The recovery has to start from the bottom up because the fall happened from the top down.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  25. Ray in Nashville

    Yes, Jack. Houses in my neighborhood that have been sitting empty since they were built two years ago have sold in the past month. It may not be a huge turnaround, but there is positive movement.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  26. Bizz, Quarryville, PA

    No I see more people sitting on the curb in front of the house they used to live in.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  27. Melissa

    Well jack, on one block near my house four houses were for sale. They've all sold in the last couple months. So I'd say that its better.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  28. Carol McKinney, Texas

    It is about the same. There are plenty of jobs in Texas and it has not been hit as hard as other parts of the country. Money is still tight do to the high fuel prices which seem to drive up the price of everything proportionately as most things have to be transported to the consumer.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  29. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    It's about the same, I think. Colorado Springs is a military city, so it does fluctuate. We are expecting 10,000 troops from Texas this summer so the housing situation will change again.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  30. Pablo in Tejas

    Jack
    oddly, it is about the same, no better; no worse. Go figure.

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    May 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  31. Jim/NC

    Not any appreciable difference.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  32. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    Here is southwestern Ohio it seems about the same to me. A few houses are selling in my neighborhood and in the county in general. I don't think that the real estate market is on the upswing in Ohio just yet.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  33. Karen, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    The housing situation hasn't changed–those with a lot of money are buying expensive houses, those with some money are hanging on to what they have by their fingernails, and those without money are out of luck and probably living in their cars.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  34. Tony from Torrington

    The housing market is worse today than 6 months ago, but it's either at or close to the bottom. The rise in the market will be slow to start, but when it does start, it will move at a decent pace. Buyers will see that it's the right time to buy, and as more buyers hit the market place, house prices will rise, and then the fun begins! As the inventory disappears, prices will go up and the market will become more stable.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  35. Albert.K. Los Angeles

    It only appears that the bottom in housing prices has been reached as evidenced by the small increase in wealthy people buying more houses at foreclose auctions and "pre-foreclosure sales." The actual “turnaround” will come when the rich turnover their investments by selling those homes back to the poor for higher prices.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  36. ALAN-BUXTON, MAINE

    It is about the same; dead.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  37. Jackie in Dallas

    Luckily for us, the Dallas area housing market hasn't been in a tailspin, like other cities. I'm not saying we were unaffected, but we were not AS affected to begin with, and therefore are neither significantly better or worse than 6 months ago. While the country as a whole went into recession last fall, this area has been in a downturn since early 2001 when telecommunications cratered. We've had our downswing, market values fluctuations, and rising and falling property values pulsating for eight years, now. While the banking industry is still wary about lending, there is still an active housing market. And certainly my property taxes have shown no sign of decline!

    May 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  38. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    The housing market seems to be getting better for the seller. I believe the banks are sitting on a lot of property to avoid another glut of foreclosures. They are trying to drive the prices back up. The average price of some bank owned properties are incredibly low, and investors are snapping them up at bargain basement prices, and renting them out. As a result, inventory is much lower in California right now.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  39. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    It may be worse. I see more homes up for sale and more pages in the papers advertisng sheriff's sales. The job market being the way it is, people are very leery of taking that step buying a home and people that want to put their homes on the market know they are not going to get what their property is really worth. It is a catch-22.

    May 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  40. Daniel Indiana

    I believe that there are more houses for sale here, in this small town, than there were six months ago. My feeling is that this small town has had an incredible number of houses for sale for some time and most of them have been on the market for a long time. But then, this area could be the "poster child" for "brain drain". How much lower will the population in this census than in the last? There were nearly 10,000 people here in 1960. The 2000 census said just over 6,000. We have progress here.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  41. Gigi in Alabama

    The housing market is still about dead in my area. There are about 6 or 8 homes for sale in my immediate neighborhood and they have been on the market for at least a year. I have no idea as to why they are for sale, but I think one or two may because the owner died.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  42. Carl C. in Brick NJ

    Worse. I bought a home 6 months ago and could not sell it now for what I paid for it, if at all. The number of homes for sale in my neighbored has exploded.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  43. JIM CALIFORNIA

    The housing market is slightly better, It is still very difficult to sell a home. I don't believe it will pick up significantly until all the foreclosed homes are sold.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  44. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    It is getting better slowly. Now the people need to use their head when buying again and not bite off more than they can chew. That was what got them into trouble before.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  45. Robert - North Port, FL

    Jack,

    Are you serious??? I'm in a short sale program to try to sell a house purchased 3 years ago for $239,000. And when my purchase was finalized I had 20% equity. The house, which is in prime condition, has been on the market since the middle of March for $119,000. To date, one, count em, one potential buyer has even looked at it. One house up the street is on the market for $80,000 and hasn't moved in a year. You bet it's worse.

    Robert
    North Port, Florida

    May 7, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  46. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    I think it's worst. With the bail-out money, Now they sit back and try to get more.They don't care if they sell a house. They have plenty to play with. and brag on how they got the goverment.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  47. Pugas-AZ

    Getting better but a long way to go. Hopefully, we can keep an eye on any upswing and not let it get out of control again. Has this country learned a lesson? We willl see.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  48. Dan from Alliance, OH

    Worse, there are no jobs in the rust belt since we off shored our manufacturing job.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  49. Jonathan/Phoenix, AZ

    Jack,

    The housing market in Phoenix was terrible 6 months ago, got worse for the next 3 months, and now appears to be making a turn-around. Though there are still some home owners and banks pricing their houses above market value, impacting the ability for us to get through the supply, however most individuals have realized the true value of their homes and we are seeing a moderation in the number of houses sitting on the market.

    Jonathan

    May 7, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  50. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    If you're looking to buy a house it's better. If you want to sell or need to sell then it's much worse.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  51. jacki Matthews

    I am a new home sales person in North Florida and we are deinitely selling homes again. The perspective of the buyer is more positive and as sales increase, we are talking of SMALL price increases. Its been a long 2 years. We see the light now and its even more beautiful than I remembered 🙂

    May 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  52. Alex (CT)

    I would say there hasn't been much of a change here where I live. Back in 06/07 though there was a massive influx of people because the town that I live in built its very first high school so a lot of people with young to teenage children moved into town. But right now there's really not that much going on where I live in CT. I've seen some really bad places though but I've also seen some streets where there's not a single "for sale" or "sale pending" or "open house" sign anywhere. I would say there might have been a net decrease in the population here if there was any statistically significant change at all.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  53. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Getting better here only because the Northerners still coming down housing is still cheaper down here than up north, you get more bang for the buck.

    May 7, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  54. Chryssa

    Six months ago I got a steal on an older place that was going into foreclosure. Today, I could get a completely updated and remodeled townhouse right next door in the same complex for less than what I paid for my outdated one in September. Clear sign that we haven't hit bottom yet.

    Boise, ID

    May 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  55. Jack Carlson

    I am in the housing market and it is worse – it will be three years at least before there is improvement (irregardless of the talk you hear on TV).
    Jack CArlson
    WA

    May 7, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  56. kerry diehl

    HAH!! .....I'm living in Michigan, close to Detroit and with two failed auto companies now under control of our Government !

    It is getting "worster" by the day ....make that the minute!

    May 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  57. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Thank GOD! We have been hearing from friends whose homes sold quickly, or who are thinking of selling and buying another home! After THREE long years, real estate is beginning its come back!

    Obama's Recovery is starting!

    Hope trumps fear & nay-saying every time!

    May 7, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  58. Kevin in Madison, Alabama

    Jack,

    Where I live in Madison Alabama we did feel the huge bubble burst like California, Florida, and Las Vegas. We also live in the part of the country where you do not buy a house for a year or two in order to make a seriously inflated amount of money on it. It seems some states lost their common sense along the way and allowed their greed to takeover.

    I am sure those of us that acted reasonably on our mortgages will have to bail out the irresponsible get rich quick crowd.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  59. Ed from Tallahassee Florida

    It has slowed down quite a bit, but the fall in Tallahassee wasn't as bad as other parts of the State.

    I have a friend who is in the business and he said his number of sales have gone down, and people are buying more affordable houses then they did during the boom.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  60. Jay in Texas

    I haven't noticed much difference in the area where I live. There are no more "For Sale" signs in yards than before, maybe even fewer. I do know that the apartment complex that I have lived in for 10 years has no problem keeping its 48 apartments full. We don't have any homeless camps in our area of central Texas, either, like there are in many other areas of the country and no one seems to be having a problem finding a place to live in our town.
    Brownwood, Texas

    May 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  61. Chamorrita, MD

    Better.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  62. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    I live in a town that had all of the factories close within 10 years. If you are looking for a house here, they are cheap and plentiful. If you want a job to go along with that house, good luck.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  63. odessa

    i hope so but i do alot of folks in my area moving in or moving out.majority folks that i know are renting a home than buying because they can't get credit from their banks while some can buy a home trying to own one. whatever happens, i hope that everyone can afford to pay a mortgage so they can say "i finally have a home to appreciate which i worked for".

    May 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  64. Ed'sKate

    Worse. I have not seen so many houses with For Sale signs on them nor have I seen so many apartment houses with For Rent signs in their windows in all my life.
    The pages of Foreclosures is astonishing also in our daily newpaper. People in charge of the Financial System in this country better get a move on fast to straighten out this mess.
    The CEO's and Board Members of all the Insurance and Banks involved in the whole financial mess should be brought to justice not just before a hearing by Congress. These people are outright thieves and jail is what they deserve.
    They duped people into thinking they could afford houses way above their means and have paid out outrageous bonuses to their employees for WHAT. Since when do people get rewarded for ruining companies and peoples lives? OOPS, I forgot, during the past 8 years under the previous administration, that's how!!!!

    May 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  65. Dee in sunny (and dry) Florida

    Here there are still a lot of foreclosures in the paper each week. But prices are finally starting to get lower and in some cases are really reasonable. For example, homes that were going at an inflated price of nearly $200,000 can now be purchased or less than 2/3 of that price.

    There are even some homes that are in the very affordable $100,000 range!

    BUT, there are LARGE numbers of empty homes here, and if the market is picking up it is not apparent by home occupancy.

    The problem there is that, while home prices are finally getting to a reasonable range, too many people have no jobs!

    May 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  66. ricky mathis nc

    Starving to death. I thought once we got rid of that idiot Bush things would get better but us poor southern mountain people are on the verge of a economic collapse.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  67. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    Here in Phoenix, Arizona...you betcha! Of course, many of those around here who bought into homes should never have qualified and should never have been allowed to wander beyond rental.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    May 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  68. Billy in Las Vegas

    seems to be getting somewhat better here in Las Vegas, Jack and we are one of the epicenters of the housing market earthquake. still have quite a number of foreclosures BUT the banks are getting more and higher priced bids for those properties than even a couple months ago.

    time to buy esp for retired people from the east coast and rust belt tired of fighting the winter weather, the layered government and high state taxes.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  69. dave

    better

    May 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  70. Thomas Harrell

    The housing market has slowly started to improve, starting at mid-April. Though not robust yet, it's much better than 6 months ago.
    Think positive! Raleigh, N C.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  71. Deanna from Fayetteville NC

    our housing market is pretty good in Fayetteville NC, mostly due to the mobility of military members from Pope AFB and Fort Bragg.

    We have steady incomes, housing allowances if we rent or buy off base, VA loans with decent terms, and the ability to continue to make payments if our troops are injured and can't work anymore.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  72. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    Jack
    When the cost of a home falls within the income level of the average joe the housing market will return. If a house won't rent for positive cash then the price is to high.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  73. Christine, Thousand Oaks Ca

    It is better. Money isn't as tight, interest rates are low and inventory is priced realistically. I am a realtor, and we are seeing multiple offers on many properties. The luxury end of the market is slower to get going but even it is starting to show signs of life.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  74. Moreta Shifflett

    I live in Weatherford, Oklahoma, a town of approximately 15,000. This is a college town with about 5,000 students. The industries here are oil and gas, farming, Kodak, Bar-S, Doans Dog Food, and Southwestern Oklahoma State University. The oil field has died here and all the related service industries are suffering because of it. There are lay offs and not very many ads for help wanted. Unemployment is way up and they are still stacking out rigs. The same ads are in the paper for the same houses with "New Price" or "Price Reduced" on them, yet the realtors and everyone else says Weatherford is protected in an economic bubble and the foreclosures have not and will not affect us. I say that is BULL. Get real, people and look around you. No one is buying a house and construction is at a stand-still with all the lay-offs. There are a lot of high end houses here and low-end crappy houses that need to be burned down but not much in between. We have been looking for an affordable house for over a year and cannot find one we can afford the payments on. Plus, the financing is horrible. Banks still aren't lending and no one else is either. Houses have sat on the market for 6 months to a year but the seller still won't come down on their prices! So i guess they will sit with them empty.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  75. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    When everyone said the market was booming, it seemed that homes were being built, but not that many being sold. I guess it must be getting better, I see lots of homes for sale.....

    May 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  76. John in VA

    I work in the sales department for a cable company, and I am noticing more and more that people are putting in for transfers of service out of apartments and rental homes into homes they actually own. We still get the occasional person looking to lower their bill or try to take us for a ride, but this to me, as a cable salesperson and as an eceonomic observer and MBA student that things are starting to turn around.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  77. Terry from Illinois

    Of course the housing market is worse in northern Illinois than it was 6 months ago. Less people have jobs in this area today due to "outsourcing" than 6 months ago.
    Republicans and Democrats in our Congress may not understand how all of this goes together but no job, no taxes can be collected, no mortgage payment can be made, no extra spending, no college for kids, etc...
    Global Economy and NAFTA have caused the middle class high wage jobs to go over seas while either being rplaces by lower wage or no job and while giving companies tax breaks to do so....

    Can Congress be "outsourced" ???

    May 7, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  78. T. Morris

    Yes, it is a little better in New Kent VA. Seeing the once overwhelming growth in our rural county slow down last year was at first a relief–then concerning. Now that construction plans are starting back up it feels like confidence is also building in America.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  79. Linda in Arizona

    It was pretty bad here six months ago. It's still bad, but we follow California, so maybe it will improve.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  80. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    I sold my house in Florida over a year ago for a drastically reduced price within days of defaulting on a conventional mortgage. It took over two years to sell it while cutting the price repeatedly while taxes and insurance skyrocketed. I now rent an apartment. The grief of "home ownership" and the anxiety of another price collapse or more tax gouging and insurance rip-offs are gone. I'm free.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  81. Adam Thousand Oaks, CA

    Jack, inventory in LA is low so multiple offers on houses is common. But it is deceiving because FHA loans, backed 100% by taxpayer money, make up a third of all the new loans and since the banks collect originating fees and have no downside risk, they continue to pump out loans to non-viable homeowners with virtually no money down. So the uptick in the housing market is largely temporary, pending the next government bubble burst.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  82. Ralph Nelson

    There used to be 11 houses for sale within a 4 block area, now maybe 8. My house went down $12,000 on the assessment, yet reports are we have escaped the worst of it. The house next door sold, but the guy appears to be running a construction business out of the place (illegal). I just worry about thiefs and Republicans, sort of birds of the same feather. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    May 7, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  83. dave

    Jack.
    Better I notice some of the houses on my block Finally sold.

    May 7, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  84. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Luckily for us, the Dallas area housing market hasn’t been in a tailspin, like other cities. I’m not saying we were unaffected, but we were not AS affected to begin with, and therefore are neither significantly better or worse than 6 months ago. While the country as a whole went into recession last fall, this area has been in a downturn since early 2001 when telecommunications cratered. We’ve had our downswing, market values fluctuations, and rising and falling property values pulsating for eight years, now. While the banking industry is still wary about lending, there is still an active housing market. And certainly my property taxes have shown no sign of decline!

    May 7, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  85. Jeff Crocket

    In my Hartford Connecticut suburban condo complex there is not one issue around real estate, and the prices haven't declined much either!!

    It is time for the media to stop the doom and gloom campaign! You too Jack!!

    Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    May 7, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  86. Dave in Saint Louis!

    Turn on the TV the media has proclaimed it much better! Actually everything is better because Obama is President, right Jack? These media people kill me. They almost drive the economy completely into the toilet trying to get there guy elected now they are going crazy trying to build the economy up to get it better so there guy can get reelected. Sickening.!

    May 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  87. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    Believe it or not, there hasn't been any change whatsoever. I see the same prices being asked and the same amount being paid for both homes & condos.

    May 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  88. Jenna Wade

    Housing market better or worse than 6 months ago where you live?

    Worse. I don't know of any community in California that has stablized yet.

    Jenna
    Roseville

    May 7, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  89. Jim

    Jack,

    Much better. I've lost three sets of loud, obnoxious neighbors so far.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    May 7, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  90. Ed S.

    I can say it has improved greatly in the last few months. As a renter in Colorado I could not find a place to live a few months back. I had to stand in lines to view a place and put in my application. Then I was forced to pay above market prices for a place that I did not even want. As things stand now prices are coming down and there are many places available for rent. I am personally happy with the market because I know that I am not stuck with what I have now. I have options.

    Ed S.

    May 7, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  91. Brian

    worse.. Houses still sitting around and values coming down. It will bottom soon through.

    May 7, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  92. dawjaw

    I think it is better Jack, because when the slump came into the market took out all of the hot air. Prices had gone up so much, and nobody paycheck going up with it so the bottom had to fall out. So it stabilized it market from my point of view.

    David
    Martinsburg, WV

    May 7, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  93. simon

    We live in western New York...where you can (honestly) get a wonderful house for $60,000. Ours actually cost us just $35,000 fifteen years ago. Because the housing boom never hit the rust belt, we didn't suffer when it took a downturn. So, to answer your question, we haven't noticed a big difference in the past six months.

    Simon
    W NY state

    May 7, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  94. Bruce

    Worse. But watch in in the fall. The bad numbers will quadruple, but of course the Bankster thieves that have taken over the government will hold a knife to our throats and demand more bloody bailout.

    May 7, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  95. Greg, Ontario

    No doubt it is better depending on where you look Jack. The real question is did we learn from what happened? My guess is a year from now the brokers will be selling 500 thousand dollar homes (really worth 300 thousand) to hamburger tossers working at MacDonald' s and the cycle will start all over again.

    May 7, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  96. Rick, New Albany Mississippi

    Jack,

    As a residential contractor I've seen the housing market in North Mississippi perk up slightly in the past month or so. The volume of spec houses sold is probably where it was about four years ago. I know I've rented a brand new house because I can't sell it although the very weathy clients are still building enormous mansions. All the factors that generated so much growth over the past 3 years are still in place except mortgage financing. Mortgages are being approved but at a much slower rate and with a lot more red tape. This recession will definitely thin the herd of contractors, realtors, appraisers, and anyone else associated with residential construction, including me.

    May 7, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  97. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Jack:

    For first home buyers with living wage employment the housing market and low interest loans and those who survived the economic adventure able to invest in property, the market is sweet. For all who lost their jobs and homes to foreclosures, the improvement is irrelevant and likely to be so for a long time.

    May 7, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  98. John - Houston, TX

    I moved out from the freezing Boston to a brand new home in a very nice and sunny subdivision of Houston area a year ago. . Now, with all this conversation about legalizing pot and our current problems with drug cartels and open borders policy I really want to bring my wife and two little daughters to live in Canada. Since the market is getting better, would you like to buy our nice house, Jack???

    May 7, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  99. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    With all of the contractors, lobbyists and others that feed off of the government while the government feeds at the public expense nah, it's still samo-samo.

    May 7, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  100. Dan from NJ

    Housing market = about the same

    Housing Sellers= more resigned to accepting the lower prices

    May 7, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  101. Micah from California

    It's gotten somewhat better in the town I live in, Jack. I've noticed that there are fewer "For Rent" or "For Sale" homes than there had been 5-6, even 3 months ago. Granted, there are still many out there that haven't been moved into. It's kind of in limbo, I think. However, if people are beginning to gain confidence in the economy and housing market again, then things will continue to look up. Here's hoping.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  102. Kirk Williams

    Well Jack, it depends which side of the fence you are on. I don’t own a house at his time; however since the prices have dropped so much here in Peoria, AZ, (suburb of Phoenix.) I can finally afford one, this is great for me.
    Soon to be home owner, Kirk

    May 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  103. Charles from NJ

    Same. It's still bad. No difference.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  104. Anthony...New Jersey

    Funny you should ask. I sold my house and purchased a new one before the bubble burst. Made a killing. But now in my new, once burgeoning community, I see idled bulldozers all over the landscape. It now seems like an eerie ghost town. I haven't seen any contruction since arriving. Looks like I got my foot in the door before it slammed shut and I'm enjoying the vacant scenery.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  105. David from Phoenix

    just the same expect it to get worse after the rebate ends in july

    May 7, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  106. Richard

    No one is selling their house where I live and some may just be barely keeping the home they have. The housing market may be showing a slight improvement now but with the billions of dollars our Government is handing out like candy, I am sure it won't last long.

    Richard
    Orlando,Fla

    May 7, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  107. Kathy London ON

    Its rising, here; more and better offers, quicker turnover.... slowly but surely, its improving.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  108. Matt in Stafford, VA

    The market has not changed here in the last six months. When I moved into my development the homes in the area were going for around $300k. At their peak, $800k were not uncommon. The prices went back to their original price about a year ago, and have not changed since. I don't foresee the market improving until the recession ends. Houses are not selling due to lost equity, and most homes are still out of perspective buyers' price ranges.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  109. Anna

    I live in Orlando, and I certainly hope the housing market is getting better. We're moving to a new home in June, and we're going to need to sell our old one. Wish us luck.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  110. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Jack:

    Within the last 6 months I helped an associate depart his forclosed home in a panic. An agent within his so-called chosen realtor, bought his house at nearly half the valuation, and thats the news from this area.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  111. Terri - Tulsa

    Rentals will always be big business in Tulsa. Our biggest businesses still struggle, and people are still just trying to stay afloat. But here's a question for you Jack. Benefits for first time buyers? Isn't this what got the housing market into problems in the first place?

    May 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  112. Valerie Port St. Lucie

    Jack, between the economic drought and the rain drought here in central Florida. It stinks!!!!! The house we have for sale, last year it looked great, GREEN lawn and flowers, NOW brown and no signs of GREEN Money either!

    May 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  113. Judi in Illinois

    I'm a Realtor, and watch market absorption all the time. 6 months ago, in a wide assortment of areas and price ranges, we were seeing roughly 1 in 11 of the available inventory go under contract, despite the decline in total available inventory. Today, despite the fact that we now have about 30% MORE inventory, we're running about 1 in 7 or 8 homes under contract. Short sales and foreclosures are definitely driving things, though...depending on area and price range, it appears that roughly 40% of sales are "distressed". That number may actually be higher since not all distressed properties appear in MLS.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  114. Glenn

    Jack,
    I bought into the market in January 2008, and my condo isn't worth what I paid for it, so from my point of view it's still bad.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  115. Jackie

    6 months ago Prince William County, Virginia [where I live] had the greatest number of foreclosures [10,000 to be exact].
    It's still stagnant, but we do see the light at the end of the tunnel due to new home buyers buying foreclosures.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  116. Gloria

    You and David Gergon are the greatest!!!!! You are very real and very fair.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  117. Theresa Ceresini

    I believe the housing market in the North Atlanta suburbs is much improved over the last three months of 2008. Average daily pending sales were never above 150 during the last quarter of 2008 in Forsyth County, GA. According to First Multiple Listing Service, there over 360 homeS pending sale in our little corner of the world. It seems that buyers are beginning to come off the fence and we are beginning to see entry level properties being absorbed by the market.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  118. Bob in Ohio

    Things are worse then they were 6 months ago out here. Housing values have probably dropped 15% and it does not look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. With impending layoffs and plant closing, the unemployment raise is probably going to rise to 10% or more by yearend. As this occurs, more people will be facing foreclosure and will have no choice but to put their home on the market. I don't see this changing very much in the next 6-9 months.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  119. Joann

    Jack, I am a real estate agent in Lake Placid, New York and I am pleased to report to you our real estate market is picking up each day. I am busier now than I have been in a long time. This is a huge, huge change from six months ago. Thank goodness. Of course, I sell pieces of paradise here in the Adirondack Park, but even here in paradise, things were quite slow six months ago.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  120. Joe Schaake

    Jack, In Las Vegas, you would not have to ask that question. Foreclosure capital of the US, and resale prices still falling. New home prices down to givea away levels just to keep the builders in business. New Home prices rapidly approaching the level of 1995, when we bought our 2100 sq ft single story, 3 car garage home for 140,000.

    Great weather, lowest humidity, great local areas and National Parks, and NO income tax: send buyers out here.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  121. Paul

    Come on Jack. I wish you were right with all those figures and statements like about an improving economy and housing market,
    but, I think it is time the media stopped hyping the turn around that
    isn't. All you and others appear to be doing is to try to get the public
    to spend money they don't even have, so that the plunging market
    sectors revive. The American People are still waiting for that money
    given to the banks to reach them. All the wealthier folks, God rest
    their selfish souls, are back at the same old game of "convincing
    the public that all is well!!" The question is really .. for who and where?
    Paul

    May 7, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  122. Maria Slizys ((Realtor, Lompoc, California)

    Yes, the market is generally better – more active than 6 months ago – but what we are seeing now in what I call "infill" – that is, entry level homes with multiple offers – one sign of real health in our Real Estate economy wil come when we begin to see move-up buyers which will stimulate all levels of the market and the economy in general.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  123. Duncan in NJ

    Jack

    As a Realtor in New Jersey I can tell you the market certainly has improved. The buyers are back, but looking for bargains. For the first time in a year we're seeing multiple offers on properties. If you're a buyer who has been waiting for the bottom of the market, you may have missed it.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  124. Vernon Young

    The housing market is always fine! It is supply and demand based. It just depends on your point of view as a buyer, seller, realtor or politician

    May 7, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  125. Stepehen J. Kowak

    Well Jack,

    I have to say that the houses in my area have gone up. Why you ask?

    Because their prices were not inflated when people purchased them. My house increased in value in the last two years to more then $10,000.00.

    Steve

    Stockbridge, GA

    May 7, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  126. Paul

    Better? Depends on whether you are buying or selling.

    Paul, Mystic CT

    May 7, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  127. David

    NOT AT ALL. My recent experience trying to refinance my mortgage was EXTREMELY frustrating. The government is using MY TAXES to help people that is 'underwater' but won't help me that am in the exact same situation – just because my loan is not backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. This is not socialism... it is SELECTIVE SOCIALISM!! It is crazy... you need to be with the BAD GUYS to actually get help, otherwise you are on your own!

    May 7, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  128. Rick Whitman

    I think that all the news reports about how the economy is is in a severe recession are true but I think, if a bank gets bailout money, and then goes and makes the decision to demolish homes in Michigan instead of trying to sell them, because they say it would take probably 5 years, whoever made that decision should go to prison.
    I know that its all about money, but hard working Americans are more than just a statistic or a number in a poll. You don't see very many reports that say America helps every country in the world but fails deeply when it refuses to look in its own back yard first.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  129. Sherry, N. Calif.

    NO better here. Foreclosures in Shasta County, CA., in the first quarter 2009, rose 126 percent over the same three months a year ago. This information comes from a national database. There are one in 89 homes in forelcosure in Redding right now. We also were #9 in umemployment on a Nationwide list just released a few days ago. Over 16%. I have never seen so many homeless people walking around the street of this small city of 100,000+ Very, very, sad.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  130. Charlotte,NJ

    Do to constent negative news housing market in NJ still stagnant. Buyers don't rush to bid higher and they are still thinking that the price still going done and will go done even more.
    Thaey are looking for bargains, telling homeowners that they are asking to much for their homes. Bank are still making hard to refinance or to give mortgages. Citimortgage and other banks are not doing much to help. They are looking to even more drain our packets.
    If you want to refinance they charging points and fees telling that the FANNIE MAY requires that they charge the fee. They call them pionts.
    I beleive this is biggest rip off. People have financial difficulties as it come and they still allowed to this.It is insane. I think the crooks form
    WALL STREET are at large and they want to rip off poor homeowner.
    Nothing had chaned so far even the President said it should be easy to refinance.
    Thank you Charlotte, Northen NJ

    May 7, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  131. Gloria P (Aberdeen, Md)

    I have a house I put on the market for sale in the inner city, but there is almost 260 properties or more on the market for sale in the same area. I think the market is getting worser. The banks are not loaning money to certain minorities.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  132. Roland(St George,UT)

    I'm not in the housing market anymore, but just from what I see around the neighborhood based on for sale signs still hanging, and based on billboards showing new developments that are still dropping the prices of new homes, I think it's about the same as 6 months ago. However, since we are a secondary market for retirees, if markets in other areas are picking up again and giving those folks equity and a good exit strategy, then I would expect to see things start to pick up here in the not-too-distant future.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  133. Kuda in Algeria

    where l live six months ago in the housing market seem to be the same year round in Algeria, in fact demand seems to have increased?

    May 7, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  134. Elena, Oakland CA

    Jack,

    I was told the same thing by three independent realtors: the real estate prices will keep declining a little bit for 2 years from now, and maybe we'll see some recovery five years from now. The boost in house buyng in Bay Area, CA, is primarily explained by multiple bids from investors who are willing to pay cash in order to either fix and re-sell the property or use it as rental. The prospects of our economy remain gloomy despite of mass media optimism. Those who will survive will recover – same as in healthcare business .

    Elena

    May 7, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  135. Mike S., New Orleans

    The housing market is better, the stock market is better, and I get to keep more of my paycheck these days, all because of the Obama administration. You don't hear about this in the right wing media, do you?

    May 7, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  136. Karolyn

    It's better if you're a mortgage company with customers unable to refinance to lower rates. It's good if you're looking for a house and don't have a lot to spend. It's not so good if you've got good credit and a good job but you're upside down in your house.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  137. Larry Trevillion

    I live in an historic district in Phoenix Arizona. Over the past several years, home flippers in my area cranked prices to rediculous levels. Now that home prices have dropped back to realistic levels, home sales have started to improve noticeably.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  138. vern-anaheim,ca

    worse here,mine and other houses where i live have lost alot in value pehaps as much as 50%and i live in california which probally has been hit harder than any state.not much house selling where i live,people are hoping for prices of homes to increase before they sell and stay in the homes they presently have as they can't afford to buy another

    May 7, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  139. Ken in NC

    I think it’s better Jack. A year ago I paid off my house and in the last 2 months I have had 9 offers to refinance my house at a lower interest rate. I think they have been smoking some of your legalized marijuana. Ya think?

    May 7, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  140. Celestine

    I live in one of the richest neighborhoods in Southern California. Currently, our water rates will go up in price very soon , as well as, a required drought watering system in June or else massive fines.

    I live in San Diego, where people have pulled their houses off the market hoping for a return to very high prices and over developed areas that would require people to leave their new housing developments to buy and live in newer house housing developments.

    California is a drought state, but people seem to have lost their minds and common sense for the sake of greed and the expense of our quality of life as a whole.

    I think we are better off , although developers, real estate people and sellers of potential properties would disagree with me. This breather gives our state a chance to do something different , rethink and not return to senseless over building and over inflated prices in a state that gets it water from Colorado.

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

    Celestine

    May 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  141. Richard New Hampshire

    It hasn't changed much.This is a unique area.I hope it gets better.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  142. Tony

    Jack.

    Does it matter, once people learn a home is for living in and not an investment, then and only then will things improve. Realtors, and Mortgage brokers will always fleece people by pretending to sell them a dream home, problem is they just sell nightmares. Once you fall asleep, you wake-up in debt. A house should be a home to live in, end of story. Cheers Tony. Cambridge , england

    May 7, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  143. viji Rajan

    I am from Santa Monica CA. I don't see too many homes with sold
    sign. I do see the multiple offers on forclosed property in other
    parts of town. Most of the forclosed property are selling.

    Viji – ca

    May 7, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  144. jack frost in vermont

    No change here Jack. In fact I don't think home prices will increase to where they were a couple years ago during the bubble. And probably no solid economic reason they should return to those levels.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:52 pm |