Further Evidence of a Housing Bottom, Despite the Headlines

by: Casey Mulligan
Given that I thought that housing would likely hit bottom early in 2009, I have been watching the latest housing numbers.
Today it was reported that February existing home sales and prices were both higher than in January.
Interestingly, the media was honest that sales were higher than in January, but put "prices plunged" in their headlines. In fact (seasonally unadjusted) prices rose from January to February. The "plunge" refers to the change from February 2008 to February 2009, which is not news at all (everybody knows that prices fell month after month during 2008).
Note that the average home prices (seasonally adjusted) increased Jan-Feb in all four regions. Seasonally adjusted home sales did too.
[Technical note: seasonally adjusted prices are not available from this source. Arguably, seasonal adjustments for the prices are not needed because they would be minor. No reasonable seasonable adjustment would conclude that prices "plunged" Jan-Feb].