Bottom Bounce

By Richard Florida
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Is the Phoenix housing market starting to turn the corner? The LA Times thinks so (pointer via Planetizen):

Phoenix's housing bust has turned into a quasi-boom, a sign that its market may have hit bottom and a sneak preview of what a national housing recovery could look like.
More homes are selling than at any time since 2006. Prices are slowly stabilizing. Buyers are once again finding themselves in frantic bidding wars -- only this time over foreclosed houses selling at deep discounts rather than ranch homes listing for vast sums.

Not so fast. Phoenix, as the same LA Times story notes, had perhaps the biggest housing bubble of all. Prices have plunged from $268,000 in June 2006 to $120,000 - the sharpest decline of any metro tracked by the Case-Shiller home price index.

Looks more like bottom-feeding to me. Long-run recovery will turn on the region developing new industries and work that can replace the tens of thousands of jobs wiped out in real estate and construction.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2009/05/bottom-bounce/17802/