Any glimmer of hope that the housing market will stage a recovery in the upcoming months has vanished, thanks to the recent spate of bad economic news that has been making headlines over the past several weeks.
According to the latest analysis of home price trends in 384 markets, it will be well into the first quarter of 2013 before median home prices across the nation will even be on par with prices from the first quarter of this year.
And that's not saying much. During the first quarter of 2011, prices fell in 302 of the 384 housing markets, dropping by an average of 5.1% year-over-year.
Instead, median home prices continued to fall by an average of 3.1% between March 31 of this year and March 31, 2012. After that, expect to see prices increase by 2.7% until the first quarter of 2013.
There still, however, is no shortage of housing inventory. More than 3.75 million existing homes in June alone were on the market, according to the National Association of Realtors. At the latest rate of sales, it would take 9.5 months to exhaust that inventory, about 50% longer than what NAR considers a healthy housing market.