Thursday, January 22, 2009

Housing is Nowhere Near a Bottom

From Bloomberg:

Home prices in the U.S. dropped the most in at least 18 years and builders broke ground on the fewest houses since record-keeping began as the recession deepened, government reports said today.

Prices in November declined 8.7 percent from a year earlier, the biggest drop in records going back to 1991, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said today in Washington. Housing starts fell 16 percent last month to an annual rate of 550,000, the lowest since the government started compiling statistics in 1959, the Commerce Department said.

“We are witnessing a severe recession, historic declines in housing prices, growing job loss and a concern that these negative trends are accelerating,” Timothy Geithner, President Barack Obama’s nominee for Treasury secretary, said in written responses to questions posted on the Senate Finance Committee Web site today.

Prices do not drop at record rates at the bottom; they drop that fast on the way to the bottom.