Is Housing Recovery Real? Not Everyone is Convinced: NPR

From Housing, the sector that led us into the recession, now looks to be one of the brighter spots in the economy. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years. More homes are selling, and at higher prices.The question, of course, is whether this is a solid enough foundation to sustain a full housing recovery.  Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says housing woes are largely behind us.  “It’s been a harsh downturn, but the downturn is over,” he says. “Now we’re beginning to turn the corner. [The] question is: How fast will we be turning that corner?”

He points to increased home sales, rising rents and low interest rates among several reasons why he’s certain the housing market is pointing in the right direction. And low inventories mean that price increases “will surely be sustainable,” he says.

Yun says it may be counterintuitive, but in places like Las Vegas, Phoenix and southern California, the number of homes for sale is at a fraction of where it should be in a normal market, and the competition among buyers is fierce.