Carpe Diem's Mark Perry has been highlighting positive signs of economic recovery and expansion in the U.S. economy, including some indications that some the regions where the U.S. housing market has fallen the most may finally be bottoming out. Here, he points to a Wall Street Journal article that looks at the housing market of Phoenix, Arizona:
As home prices continue to drop in most cities, a nascent real-estate rebound here holds lessons for the rest of the country. This sprawling desert metropolis was one of the hardest hit housing markets during the bust. Phoenix home prices declined 55% from 2006 through the end of 2011, and Arizona's foreclosure rate jumped to No. 3 in the nation in 2009. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners are underwater, meaning they owe more than their homes are worth.
Now real-estate economists across the country are studying an early but surprisingly broad Phoenix turnaround. The sharp drop in home prices has brought new buyers into the market. Unlike other markets where housing recoveries have been snuffed out by big overhangs of homes for sale and foreclosed properties, inventories are lean here.
Phoenix has hit a bottom," says Thomas Lawler, an independent housing economist who was one of the first to warn six years ago that prices in overbuilt metros were poised to fall.
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