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Moody’s Zandi: I'm Optimistic on Housing Sector

Friday, 30 March 2012 02:05 PM

Less-than-stellar data on the housing sector shouldn't sound alarm bells, as the sector is poised to recover, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller U.S. house price index fell at an annualized rate of 3.8 percent in January from a year earlier, while the National Association of Realtors reports that its pending home sales index fell by 0.5 percent in February after rising by 2.0 percent in January.

Similar indicators have come in little sluggish as well, while many homeowners still owe more on their homes than they're worth while others are battling foreclosure.

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Don't fret too much, Zandi says, as even though the sector's recovery is moving ahead battling bumps on the road, it's still moving ahead.

"I feel as confident as I have since the crash began that it’s now coming to an end," Zandi tells the Washington Post.

"With a little luck, I think we’re going to be feeling better about housing six months from now and certainly a year from now. … All the fundamentals for housing are much, much better today than at any time since the crash."

Housing prices are very momentum-driven, meaning when they rise, they rise for a while and when the fall, the downturn lasts for a while, but other experts point out that light could be appearing at the end of the tunnel.

"It could turn around, you know. It's been going a long time," Robert Shiller, Yale economist and co-founder of the Case/Shiller Housing Index, tells CNBC.

"We're seeing some good news now. Starts, permits, confidence, the NAHB housing index is strikingly up, though it's still low, but it's up. So it could turn around."

Confidence on the National Association of Home Builder's (NAHB) monthly sentiment index jumped 4 points to 29 in February, its highest level in four years, according to CNBC.

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Friday, 30 March 2012 02:05 PM
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