While I'm not sure by any means, I DO think so.
Most folks that I know in the real estate biz think that we are headed for a lower leg downward. I, and the very extensive staff at Marko's Take, unanimously and respectfully, disagree.
For one thing, any opinion to be so unanimously accepted is very rarely correct. Secondly, the very nature of the panic selling is another tipoff that the bottom just MIGHT be in.
There also exists historical precedent. In the 1970's, a period of "stagflation", Califonian real estate went bonkers! And, despite the sky high interest rates prevailing!
There is also this factor called inflation. It's now creeping higher and will undoubtedly affect housing prices upward also.
According to the Wall St. Journal, in an article titled "Redefault Rate Decreases For Restructured Mortgages" (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126144913572001111.html?mod=djemRealEstate), the rate of redefault has dropped significantly. The report referenced covers the top 13 mortgage service providers and represents 64% of all outstanding mortgages! I find this little nugget OUTSTANDING!
The National Association of Realtors has also weighed in. Its reports indicate that sales rose 7.4% from October to November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.54 million - the highest rate since February, 2007!
Furthermore, sales were 44% above their trough from the November 2008 low!
The California Association Of Realtors just released ITS statistics. Single-family home sales inreased by 4.7% to a seasonally-adjusted rate of more than 500,000 units. The state-wide median price rose 2.4% to $304,000. Unsold inventory fell to 4.5 months, down from 7.1 months in November, 2008.
So, while a bottom in real estate is too early to be verified, all the "signs" indicate that something good is taking place.
Tomorrow we'll unravel the mysterious world of Hedge Funds.