Recovery is feeling realOf course, the economy has technically been in recovery for some years. But it didn't feel that way for many. Now, finally, there are signs people are regaining confidence:
- The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, published Dec. 31, found sentiment regarding current economic conditions at its highest since April 1988.
- When the same organization measured confidence among CEOs, it found it had "bounced back," and described these business leaders as "upbeat," according to a Jan. 8 report. That attitude is a precondition of the investment that must occur if the recovery is to be sustained.
Homeowners buoyantIf businesspeople and consumers generally are feeling good, many homeowners must be ecstatic. Jan. 17 saw publication of The Market Pulse, CoreLogic's monthly publication about housing. This latest edition revealed:
- As a national average, year-over-year home prices rose 11.8 percent in November. That was the 21st month running when a rise in that measure had been observed.
- The number of homes in negative equity (or "underwater," meaning their market values were lower than their outstanding mortgage balances) had plummeted to under 6.4 million in September, the last month for which data were available. That same number had been nearly 10.5 million in December 2012, and over 11.9 million in 2010. In other words, 4.1 million Americans had, within a 10-month period, seen their homes go from negative to positive equity.