Depending on whom you ask, the winds may already be shifting for the housing market, BusinessWeek.com reports.
All year, economists have warned of a bursting housing bubble and its potential impact on economic growth (see BusinessWeek.com, 8/21/06, "Why Housing Looks a Little Rickety"). However, a recent stream of encouraging data has some prominent prognosticators changing their tune.
One of the first in line was Alan Greenspan. As recently as May 18, the former Federal Reserve chairman put an exclamation point on the housing slowdown when he declared, "The boom is over." But now, the "worst may well be over," Greenspan was quoted as saying Oct. 7, after mortgage applications posted their biggest weekly gain since June, 2005.
A growing number of economists and analysts have come around to the ex-Fed chief's view. Some investors may see sunnier skies too, as homebuilding stocks such as Lennar (LEN), DR Horton (DHI), and Pulte Homes (PHM) have rebounded since touching 52-week lows in July. Reports on existing home sales for September, scheduled for release Oct. 25, and new home sales Oct. 26 could shed more light on housing's status.
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