Homebuilders are slashing prices. Hot markets are cooling down. Real estate flippers are flipped out, cashed out and knocked out.
You'd think that housing was crashing. It is not.
Stop, for a moment the fixation on what's wrong with housing and focus on what's right with housing: New home sales unexpectedly rose 5.3 percent last month.
Cynics say that's because builders are slashing prices and throwing in extras. Who cares? They're selling homes. And, over the last three months, selling a lot of homes: nearly 1.1 million of them — far more than economists expected and the most in three months.
And as they're selling, the supply of available homes is dwindling. Inventories of unsold homes fell 1.9 percent. That means fewer homes available and, in many markets, way too few homes available.
You see, the dirty little secret on this "doom and gloom" housing talk is that you need a "doom and gloom" in the economy to pull it off.
You need the jobless rate rising — it's falling.
You need corporate profits shrinking — they're jumping.
And you need the economy contracting — it's expanding.
I'm not saying hot markets don't cool. They do. They should.
But there's a big difference between "cooling" and "crashing."
"Cooling" means homes stop going up 35 percent a year in Southern Florida.
"Crashing" means a nuclear bomb going off there.
Be careful. There is a difference — a big difference.
Those of us who live on the coasts forget about all that land between the coasts, where home prices are stable and building sustained.
We see the world through our jaded, spoiled, double-digit-dilated eyes. And we whine when suddenly our condos "stop" rivaling the GDP of Latin American countries.
We like to think we're the world. We're not.
Or that the news is awful. It's not.
We haven't a clue. Fortunately, you do.
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