The top story on the Wall Street Journal Web site this morning is headlined "Home Prices Hit Lows Amid Signs of Bottom." It begins, "Home prices fell to new lows in January, but the rate of decline appears to be easing, offering the latest sign that an elusive bottom in prices could be in sight."
Should you believe it?
Here is a selection of previous Journal coverage on the topic:
February 6, 2009: A Journal article headlined "Report: Some Home Prices to Bottom Out in 2009" begins:
House prices in much of the U.S. will bottom out in this year's fourth quarter, Moody's Economy.com says in a new report.
In some of the hardest hit markets, however, prices won't reach a bottom until 2010 or 2011, the research firm says in a report written by its chief economist, Mark Zandi.
"Despite the darkening national economic outlook and the weak conditions in the housing market, some positive signs give hope that a bottom in the housing market is coming into view," the report says.
February 13, 2009: Article headlined, "Home Prices in Northern Virginia Nearing Bottom."
March 20, 2009: Article reports: "There is a growing case to be made that home prices in many severely ravaged housing markets are actually very close to being at a bottom."
Complex systems like the housing market turn out to be hard to predict, which is a good reason to be humble.