John explains on Fox Business News what our team is seeing:
- Strength in the markets where foreign buyers are active
- Weakness in the entry level, where potential buyers have almost $1 trillion more in student debt than they did one decade ago
- Some overpriced situations such as San Francisco, where prices have risen much faster than incomes and the housing cost / income ratio is much higher than norm. Nonetheless, John is expecting prices to keep appreciating there this year because demand continues to exceed supply, even at these prices
- Some huge submarket differences such as Chicago, where our local office leader says downtown is doing find and the distant suburbs are extremely soft
John was surprised to hear from the reporter that government officials believe we are having a robust housing recovery. We were having one, but it is a flattish recovery now. If there is a message to be communicated to those in DC, it is that the focus needs to be on continued job and wage growth, and better clarity for the banks on mortgage underwriting. That is what we need to get back to—a normal level of 800K new home sales per year, which is almost double where we are at right now.