Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We're Nowhere Near A Bottom In Housing

From Bloomberg:

One-third of U.S. homeowners who sold their property in the 12 months through September lost money as foreclosures depressed prices and more Americans became unemployed in a weakening economy, reported.

Home values fell 9.7 percent in the third quarter, the seventh consecutive decline, to a median $202,966, Seattle-based Zillow, a seller of real estate data, said in a report today. One in seven homeowners had negative equity, or owed more on their mortgages than their houses were worth.

``It's clear we are at a unique point in history,'' Stan Humphries, Zillow's vice president of data and analytics, said in a statement. ``We've had seven consecutive quarters of decline, and we expect that to continue until at least the middle of next year. Most markets are still seeing five-year annualized returns, but we will see more markets slip into flat or negative long-term change as the economy continues to suffer.''

Remember the basic problems in the housing market:

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Supply is high from an absolute perspective, and

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From a months of supply at the current sales pace perspective.

Lending standards are tightening:

In the current survey, large net fractions of domestic institutions reported having continued to tighten their lending standards and terms on all major loan categories over the previous three months. The net percentages of respondents that reported tightening standards increased relative to the July survey for both C&I and commercial real estate loans, as did the fractions reporting tightening for all price and nonprice terms on C&I loans. Considerable net fractions of foreign institutions also tightened credit standards and terms on loans to businesses over the past three months. Large fractions of domestic banks reported tightening standards on loans to households over the same period. Demand for loans from both businesses and households at domestic institutions continued to weaken, on net, over the past three months.

As a result, prices are dropping:

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With employment losses accelerating and the stock market in turmoil I don't think this will change anytime soon.