Great Recession Over. Really?

de0c5b186600465cb74b20b98789585b Great Recession Over. Really?The Great Recession ended in June 2009, we’ve all just learned. But many in the real estate industry are asking, really?

The National Bureau of Economic Research has declared what economic historians and some grateful politicians have been hoping to hear: that the downturn ended around the time The Hangover came out.

But “for housing to turn a decisive corner, the inventory overhang has to dissipate. That may take one to three years,” said Adrian Cronje, chief investment officer of Balentine, an investment firm based in Atlanta.

The end of the home buyer tax credit dealt a kick in the gut to the housing market in June, and many say they are waiting for the government to release housing data for August to see how long it will remain doubled over. While the number of homes on the market has been going down, foreclosures continue to surge and home starts are down by 15 percent. Also today came news that commercial prices dipped 3 percent. 

So, for now, for real estate professionals this news of the recession being over belongs more in the “nice to know” category. But we’re inclined to give the last word to 97-year-old broker George W. Johnson, who’s seen a recession or two in the last nine decades. “We are headed up,” Mr. Johnson told MSN Money, “but like I said, I think it is going to be slow. It will take a year or two at least.”

lkusisto@observer.com