And that’s that. The housing crisis that brought such misery to American homeowners is over, the Wall Street Journal reports.
It does so on the strength of the Case Shiller U.S. National Home Price index which this month shows housing prices have hit record highs, although that’s not the case in Minneapolis, one of the 20 cities making up the index.
The average national home price is now 0.1% above the June 2006 price, although the index does not account for inflation.
Robert Shiller, an economist at Yale University, says homepwmers who were “underwater” — they owed more on their homes than they were worth — are now ahead of the game.
“It creates an atmosphere that the sky is the limit,” he said.
The housing recovery since 2012 has been uneven, often benefiting wealthier homeowners disproportionately. Just 34 of the largest 100 metropolitan areas have seen starter home prices recover to their previous peak, while 56 areas have seen high-end homes reach or surpass previous highs, according to home-tracker Trulia.
About 12% of homeowners who have a mortgage now owe more than their home is worth, down from more than 30% at the bottom of the market, according to Zillow.
“Personally I wouldn’t be throwing confetti because my house is worth what I paid for it back eight years ago,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at real-estate brokerage Redfin.
The average home price in the Minneapolis area has jumped 5.3 percent in the last year, the index said. That puts it 13th out of 20 cities in the index.
And Minneapolis hasn’t fully recovered the housing meltdown. Prices are still 12 percent below the April 2006 high during the housing bubble, although they’re 37 percent higher than their depth in March 2011, the low point of the housing crisis.