The housing recovery was described by one muppet on CNBC yesterday as 'parabolic' so we decided to go in search of this mystical anecdotal surge that is so often heard on the airwaves of the preachers. It turns out, the recovery (if that's what you want to call it) is not so much. Just as in Europe, it seems if we repeat the same lie (or hope) often enough, it may just come true. So it is in the US. Headlines crow of YoY gains and ad hoc surges (Vegas and Silicon Valley) but if you dig down just an inch or two into the real data, the housing 'recovery' is the little train that isn't. As Bloomberg notes, regional home prices have recovered to only 2004 levels and while the REO-to-Rent model remains for the late-to-the-gamers, it is inevitably a self-destroying bubble if there is no organic growth and one glance at the rate of mortgage applications ('real' buyers) says all we need to know about the housing 'recovery'.