Housing market shows signs of revival

A vacant lot is offered for sale in a single-family housing development on March 16, 2011 in Volo, Ill. New home construction figures could provide momentum to the sense that the housing market is finally turning the corner.

Jeremy Hobson:There's a growing sense among economists that the housing market has finally hit bottom. Home prices and home sales have been stabalizing in many places. Well later this morning, we'll see if fresh numbers on new home construction help to paint this picture of a rebound in the housing market.

Marketplace's Mark Garrison has more.


Mark Garrison: Yes, this is the bottom of the housing market. Richard Green will come right out and say it. The director of USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate points to two key factors.

Richard Green: First, the lack of inventory. The second thing is, in many markets around the country, it’s cheaper to own a house now than it is to rent it if you can get a mortgage.

Experts like Green may say this is the end of the slide, but what about those on the front lines of the market? Veteran Charleston, South Carolina real estate broker Judy Tarleton agreed, once I managed to grab her on her mobile phone between showing homes.

Judy Tarleton: All of a sudden, we’re seeing two or three offers on the same property. And when you see that happen, you know your market is changing.

Hitting the bottom is better than falling, but it’s still the bottom. What about home prices actually moving up? Eric Belsky is with Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Eric Belsky: It’s not gonna be a strong recovery until we see some stronger growth in jobs.

And the job market is a whole other story.

I'm Mark Garrison for Marketplace.

About the author

Mark Garrison is a reporter and substitute host for Marketplace, based in New York.

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