(Source: By Dale Kasler, The Sacramento Bee, Calif.) - The signs point to a turnaround in California’s housing marketthe sort of boost that would certainly put some juice into the state’s somewhat sluggish economic recovery.
But UCLA’s official economic forecast doesn’t see it happening until next year.
“While there will be a robust recovery in California residential construction, we do not find the evidence in favor of it beginning in 2012 compelling,” says senior economist Jerry Nickelsburg in the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast.
The forecast, to be released today, says 2012 is another year of “slow steady gains in employment.” Nickelsburg wrote that California won’t see its unemployment rate, currently at 10.8 percent, drop into single digits until the second quarter of next year.
His forecast underscores the central role the housing market played in the recessionand the extent to which it’s been a drag on the recovery. He said at least half of the 1.3 million jobs that disappeared in California can be traced to the real estate crash. California has recovered about one-third of all jobs that were lost during the recession.
The latest evidence shows the housing market firming up. The median sales price for a single-family home in California rose 8.4 percent in May compared to a year ago, according to market researcher DataQuick.
DataQuick also noted that “distressed sales”purchases of homes that were subject to foreclosure or short saleshad fallen to 46 percent of all transactions, the lowest level in four years.
But Nickelsburg said the market is still distressed, and will remain so for a while.
“The number of foreclosures, particularly in inland California, remains high,” he wrote. While the numbers are dropping, he doesn’t foresee an “early conclusion to the end of the foreclosure/short sale nightmare particularly in the inland counties.”
Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066.
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