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Monday, May 07, 2012

Former Housing Bear Lewis Ranieri calls housing bottom

by Calculated Risk on 5/07/2012 12:13:00 PM

From Bloomberg: Ranieri Says Housing Market in U.S. Is Reaching Bottom (ht Brian)

While “broad” concern that home prices have further to fall is restraining sales, “many, myself included, think we are at a bottom,” [Lewis] Ranieri said today at a conference hosted by the Mortgage Bankers Association in New York.

The second or third quarter will prove the nadir, said Ranieri ...
Note: Lewis Ranieri helped create the private MBS market, and Tanta once described him as "a highly-informed participant in the mortgage credit markets".

This is not an appeal to authority, but this year some of the more informed housing bears are now arguing that house prices are at or near a bottom. This includes Ivy Zelman, chief executive of Zelman & Associates, Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics, Michelle Meyer, senior economist with Bank of America, Mark Fleming, of CoreLogic, Stan Humphries, Zillow Chief Economist and Mark Kiesel at Pimco.

Even Professor Robert Shiller, without making a prediction and suggesting prices could "overshoot", said last week on CNBC that "[house prices] are back to normal levels".

And of course I argued the housing bottom is here back in February.

Ranieri's view is especially interesting because he looks at housing from the credit market perspective. (here was Ranieri last year: Housing Could Sink Economy)