6/26/1210:05 AM – Home Prices Recovering

The Case-Schiller composite index of housing prices in 20 major metropolitan areas came out today and was higher for the 3rd month in a row, up about 1.2% if you strip out the seasonal adjustment.

Prices were still about 2% lower than last April but it is encouraging to have 3 months in a row of higher prices, suggesting that perhaps housing prices hit bottom in February. We’ll see. It will take a few more months of an upward trend and prices that are higher than the year before to confirm it.

In some places that are recognizeable names for foreign investors, like Miami, condo buildings that were empty 2 years ago are now nearly full, the units having been bought almost entirely by wealthy foreign investors who paid cash and are looking for solid income investments in the U.S., a country that they see as the most stable in the world, certainly more stable than the European or South American countries in which many of them live. NPR did a story on this yesterday evening.