After showing signs of a fledgling recovery from the worst downturn in decades, the U.S. housing market appears to be heading back toward the doldrums, as the expiration of a lucrative tax credit for buyers and increased uncertainty about the economy cause home sales to plummet.Check the graph in the sidebar, home prices are not "historically cheap."
The sudden weakness in residential real estate has struck nearly every region of the country, according to recent government and industry data, driving down sales of new and previously owned homes alike in May. On Thursday, the National Association of Realtors said an index that measures sales contracts signed on existing homes plunged 30 percent in May, more than twice what analysts had forecast, to the lowest level since the group started tracking the numbers in 2001.
Those sharp declines come despite record-low mortgage rates and historically cheap home prices. The market's renewed fragility highlights concerns about whether the U.S. economy will hurtle back into recession and illustrates the impact of the nation's high unemployment rate...
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Housing outlook grim
The Washington Post illustrates the growing bearish view of the housing market, even as it misleads readers about historical housing prices.