UPDATE: Zillow this week issued a forecast that the majority of markets across the nation, including L.A., would hit bottom by the end of this year or beginning of next. Here's the money quote:
Low home values paired with extraordinarily low mortgage rates should serve as a signal to consumers that now is a good time to buy. As more home buyers get off the fence, home sales, both existing and new, will continue increasing and help stabilize home prices in the long run.
There's been a lot of good news on the housing front this week. Economist Mark Zandy declared that "the crash is over." And Dr. Doom himself, economist Christopher Thornberg, said "the recovery is here."
And then in today's Wall Street Journal (sub. req'd), comes this headline: Stunned Home Buyers Find the Bidding Wars Are Back. And as reporter Nick Timiraos reported, it's a simple matter of supply and demand.
From California to Florida, many buyers are increasingly competing for the same house. Unlike the bidding wars that typified the go-go years and largely reflected surging sales, today's are a result of supply shortages.
The article also notes that the declining inventory of older homes is spurring sales of new homes. New home sales are up 16% so far this year, compared with a year ago, while inventories of new homes fell in March to their lowest level since record keeping began in 1963.
Earlier in the week, several public homebuilders reported that sales were up during the first quarter.
All in all, it's been a pretty good week.