Catfish Recovery: The Future Of US Housing

June 2, 2011

by jon


For a full explanation on the current state of housing, listen to the webcast from earlier today “Double-Dip, Volatility, or Something Else?”  Our VP of Analytics, Scott Sambucci, breaks it down with some great insights and visualization.

IMPORTANT: The good stuff starts close to the six and a half minute mark, so fast-forward to that point for maximum enjoyment:

Classifying the current housing market as a “double-dip” isn’t exactly accurate.  The housing market, like any market, experiences volatility.  There’s no such thing as a perfectly balanced market and the housing market is no exception.  We’re experiencing the beginning of the next housing cycle, not a double-dip.

Looking back 100 years and studying median home prices in the US, there are peaks and valleys.  Some peaks are high and some valleys are low, but the median price of housing stays relatively constant over time.  The market experiences volatility, but the big, sustained spikes and dips are the exceptions, not the rules.

We’re entering the catfish recovery. What is the catfish recovery?  Housing prices will find their way back to a fairly stable and sustainable place near the bottom and they’ll stay there for a while.  Catfish live on the bottom of lakes and streams, bobbing up and down, moving around without any clear direction.   The housing price trend will look like the path of a swimming catfish, and that’s why it’s the catfish recovery.

Or view the slides here:

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