Housing Prices, Falling and Falling Some More

Wed, 01 Jun 2011 17:34:28 +0000

The latest Case-Shiller data are out, and the news is not pretty.  From The Washington Post yesterday:

The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index shows that single-family home prices fell 4.2 percent nationally in the first quarter from the previous quarter, leading analysts to conclude that prices have fallen by more than they did during the Great Depression.

The article goes on to discuss that a rebound might come, eventually, when the backlog of foreclosures are worked through the system.  I am more pessimistic -- we are seeing these housing price declines in an interest rate environment that is designed to prop up prices through low mortgage rates.  Mechanically, when those rates begin to rise, there will be even further downward pressure on prices.  This ride is far from over.