Is the house market in for a double dip this summer?
A year ago, many were worried about the economy slipping back into recession. That hasn’t happened. The job market has shown signs of life and the stock market continues marching higher. Instead it’s the housing market that has been looking more and more vulnerable.
After a long, cold, snowy winter, the U.S. housing market is not thawing out. Instead, both the pace of sales and sale prices has cooled off again. On Wednesday, the March existing-home sales report will be released. Hopes are the housing market won’t show new signs of slowing. But after crawling higher for three months, the number of homes sold dropped significantly in February. And that was with median prices falling to their lowest level in almost a decade.
The symptoms of a healthy housing market may be far off.
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Companies are creating jobs again, but wages are stagnant.
Banks are flush with cash, but qualifying for a mortgage is tough.
Buyers may be plentiful, but there are lots of homes for sale and many more lurking in the shadows to go on sale.
Wednesday’s home sales report for March is only a snapshot, but it may show new cracks forming in housing if it dips downward once again.