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“We are now in the midst of a recovery in the housing market.”

Just an opinion, yes, but the opinion of one David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. Blitzer’s comment came on the heals of Tuesday’s latest report from the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, which showed September marked the sixth consecutive month home prices inched upward.

According to, “All three composite indices and 17 of the 20 metro areas tracked posted year-over-year improvements, and on a monthly basis numbers were up in 13 cities and both the 10- and 20-city composites … The S&P/Case-Shiller National Index has risen 3.6% over the past year.”

Nick Timiraos at the Wall Street Journal points to five key factors in the trend:

  • Housing affordability is attractive based on traditional metrics such as price-to-rent and price-to-income measures, largely because prices have fallen so far. Housing is even more affordable considering today’s low mortgage rates.”
  • Household formation is revving up. The U.S. is on track to add 1 million new households this year, up from 630,000 last year and an average of 570,000 over the past five years.”
  • Rents are rising. Falling mortgage rates and improving job growth didn’t do much for housing last year, in part because buyers didn’t have much confidence or urgency. Rising rents have changed that. Initially, they spurred more investor purchases of properties that could be rented out. More recently, they’ve given buyers a reason to get off the fence.”
  • The share of distressed sales, such as foreclosures, are down, and in many Western markets, they are down sharply over the past year.”
  • Inventories of homes for sale have plunged. Inventories of new homes for sale are at their lowest levels in nearly 50 years as builders sharply cut back construction over the past three years. Inventories of existing homes for sale are near a 10-year low, and down by one third over the past two years”

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