Home prices, permits, and starts are surging across the nation. With prices up 25% and more on the year, there's talk of a new housing bubble. But in a Wall Street Journal/MarketWatch analysis, Ruth Mantell takes a look at a handful of key indicators and concludes: it's still cool ("Why there's no housing bubble...yet," by Ruth Mantell).
The rebound effect is exaggerating the rate of price increase, MarketWatch says: "Many of the cities with the largest price gains are where housing crashed hardest when the bubble burst. For example, Las Vegas home prices recently posted year-over-year growth of 22%, but (as seen in the chart) remain more than 50% below a 2006 peak, according to the most recent S&P/Case-Shiller report. Prices in both Phoenix and Miami also more than 40% below local peak levels in those cities, despite recent jumps higher."
Mantell goes on to look at other indicators, noting that mortgage lending standards remain very strict after the bubble and crash of the last decade, and that prices are still relatively affordable in most markets.