To score a run in baseball, you have to cross home plate. To do that, you first have to touch first base, then second, and then third base before heading for home.
It's the same basic idea with a sustainable housing recovery, which necessarily precedes any lasting economic improvement in the broader U.S. economy.
So while it's no time to declare victory, it is appropriate to note that we've reached the bottom and are beginning the long climb back.
Case-Shiller shows home prices rise sharply again has this morning's breaking news:
"U.S. home prices rose in July for the fourth straight month to reach their
highest level in nearly two years, according to an index released Tuesday. The
S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite posted a 1.6% increase in July in the
wake of a 2.3% advance in June. And home prices are now up 1.2% compared to one
year earlier. For the third month in a row, all 20 cities in the index recorded
price increases. The rise in home prices reflects increasing demand for new and
pre-owned homes following the real-estate market's worse slump in modern times.
"The news on home prices in this report confirms recent good news about housing.
Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year's pace, existing home
sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity
is slowing," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P
Dow Jones Indices. "All in all, we are more optimistic about housing." Despite
the recent increase in prices, homes still sell for about 30% less compared to
the market's 2006 peak."
In baseball terms, let's just say we've safely reached first base and will be heading for second soon. At least that's the plan.