March 15, 2013 - These days, you might be surprised to receive a call from a realtor looking to sell your house -- even if it's not on the market. Mary Beth Harrison, a Dallas real estate agent, has been scouring tax records and contacting homeowners with lots of equity in their homes in the hopes they may be persuaded to sell. "That's how hot things are now," she told Bloomberg.com contributor Carla Fried when Fried wrote recently about the spring home-selling season.
Even as U.S. housing rebounds from its worst downturn since the 1930s, production bottlenecks are pushing up building-materials costs, land prices are rising and skilled labor ready to begin work is hard to find.
Debate among Federal Reserve policy makers is shifting away from the timing of a reduction in bond buying to the need to extend record stimulus as inflation cools and 11.7 million Americans remain jobless.
Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh, Michelle Meyer, a senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York, and John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, said today’s employment report suggests a long period of labor market weakness lies ahead.
Homeowners with underwater mortgages in U.S. states worst-hit by foreclosures are leading refinancings after the government expanded programs to aid borrowers, strengthening the weakest link in the housing recovery.