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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Misc: Merrill House prices"bottoming now", FHFA House price index unchanged in January

by Calculated Risk on 3/22/2012 10:12:00 AM

• Merill Lynch put out a research note this morning: Home price forecast update

We have ... updated our home price model and believe that prices are bottoming now. However, we continue to believe the recovery will not begin in earnest until 2014. ... we expect roughly flat home prices this year and next with modest growth in 2014.
Merrill had expected a further decline, but now they expect prices to be mostly flat for the next two years.

• From the FHFA: FHFA House Price Index Unchanged in January
U.S. house prices were unchanged on a seasonally adjusted basis from December to January, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index. The previously reported 0.7 percent increase in December was revised downward to reflect a 0.1 percent increase. For the 12 months ending in January, U.S. prices fell 0.8 percent.
Note: the FHFA index is no longer closely followed.

• From MarketWatch: Leading economic indicators rise 0.7% in February
[T]he Conference Board ... reported that its index of leading economic indicators grew 0.7% in February, led by improving jobless claims. "Continued broad-based gains in the LEI for the United States confirm a more positive outlook for general economic activity in the first half of 2012," said Ataman Ozyildirim, a Conference Board economist.