Deep breath. Ok, here goes: For the first time in a very long time U.S. housing might actually be a reasonable buy on a five-year view.
As a long-time housing bear and someone who believes there is still considerable pain to come in the U.S. economy and banking system that is quite a hard thing to say.
However historically cheap long-term fixed-rate financing (less than 5 percent on a 30-year mortgage) and the prospect of some nasty inflation a year or two out, both courtesy of current Federal Reserve and government policies, make owning a real asset that is debt financed a lot more attractive than would have been the case just three or six months ago. For full coverage of the U.S. housing market click here.
What I am not doing is calling the bottom of the housing market; there are still reasonable falls to come on top of the 20 percent or so declines we have already seen nationally.