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Recovering From The Use Of “Recovery” In Housingspeak

Last week I was quoted in a few articles pontificating about the use of the word recovery that I felt was a misleading characterization of the state of housing:

Business Insider (Jill Krasny): JONATHAN MILLER: Don’t Buy The Hype About A Housing Recovery [1]

“We keep throwing the ‘recovery’ word around, but the big numbers are coming from sources being created from the tight market,” he told Business Insider. “Tight credit is causing rents to rise; falling mortgage rates are pushing people to buy.

International Business Times (Roland Li): Good News On The US Housing Market? Not Quite [2]

“The use of the word ‘recovery’ is really inappropriate,” said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of New York-based appraisal firm Miller Samuel. Inc. “We’re just stabilizing.”

In retrospect, I think some reading this may have interpreted me as being bearish on housing. Well I’m not, I just don’t think use of the word “recovery” is being used properly. Housing will likely slip a bit before it truly improves and I think “improvement” means real stability. “Recovery [3]” means:

an improvement in the economy marking the end of a recession or decline.

In other words, I interpret the word “recovery” as getting better or at least not getting worse. While housing is showing gains in sales and price, it’s too soon for all the hyperbole.

[4]

Perhaps many view the word “recovery” as a process such as this great post by Diana Olick at CNBC [5]that covers all the housing bases. I can agree with it being some sort of “process.” However I think the word when used by people in the business of real estate is different than when used by the consumer. I feel strongly that the use of the word implies to the consumer that the housing market will soon return to the heady days of yore (my recent fave saying) and that’s not what is happening.