Well, here's another clue. It's the same idiots who made a bad problem worse by making the real estate downturn in the worst markets a national headline for months on end - the mainstream media. Why? Bad news sells papers and ad time on TV.
Several articles have been published in the last few days ranging from positive recovery news to more bad foreclosure news. Here are a few headlines:
Home sales, jobless figures point to recovery
Silicon Valley median home price rises 29%
Santa Clara county foreclosures jump 72%
In one article an economist at Credit Suisse says "We don't see another recession."
So, who's right in all this? No one. The reason it takes so long to recover is that the media will continue pumping any sign of bad news it can. This impacts the psychology of the entire country. The big media outlets report on what happens with one or more major metro areas as if it impact the entire country. It doesn't!
The downturn in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and various cities in Florida would not have had as much impact on the rest of the country if they had simply reported the news IN THOSE AREAS. Instead, the media insists on telling us the bad news there and then IMPLIES that the same thing will happen in my home town. Guess what, speculating on bad things often makes then happen - surprise!
Around here, when the foreclosures were starting to hit east San Jose, the media should have said "this applies to east San Jose because the area was showered in cheap loans made to people who couldn't afford them". Instead, we hear "the South Bay is seeing a downturn". Generalizations created fear and that is what took the markets down.
The media creates and continues to stoke fear in the hearts of buyers. The level of activity in the local area is strong with many homes selling in a few days with multiple offers. However, many buyers are cautious because of what they hear.
My advice to you is to look at the stats and don't believe the soundbites.