JPMorgan analysts bearish on housing recovery
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) analysts lowered estimates for a recovery in the housing market between next year and 2014 because the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit slowed demand and overall economic malaise pushed some indicators lower in July. Although a uptick in pending-home sales and level of purchase applications may suggest some stabilization in the market at lower levels, analysts said in the firm's monthly home price monitor. But "any significant improvement from current depressed levels is less likely in the next few months." JPMorgan Chase analysts also said July's record plunge in existing home sales "may be overstated" due, in part, to increased demand caused by the homebuyer tax credit. The analysts estimate about 546,000 sales were pulled forward by the credit and, while not particularly large, that number is enough to keep sales "noticeably low" for the second half of this year and first half of 2011. "The persistent high level of unemployment, the tight lending environment, a massive number of underwater loans and shadow inventory, and a potential increase in foreclosures will continue to drag home prices and prevent a V-shaped recovery," analysts said. Write to Jason Philyaw.