Tomorrow, it is expected that a widely watched housing index will show that prices for homes are lower than they were at the bottom of the housing crash two years ago.
In other words, you ain't seen nothing yet. The New York Times:
Disenchantment with real estate is bound to swell further on Tuesday when the most widely watched housing index is all but guaranteed to show that prices of existing homes sank in March below the lows reached two years ago - until now the bottom of the housing crash. In February, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of 20 large cities slumped for the seventh month in a row.
Housing is locked in a downward spiral, industry analysts say, not only because so many people are blocked from the market - being unemployed, in foreclosure or trapped in homes that are worth less than the mortgage - but because even those who are solvent are opting out.
"The emotional scars left by the collapse are changing the American psyche," said Pete Flint, chief executive of the housing Web site Trulia. "There was a time when owning a home was a symbol you had made it. Now it's O.K. not to own."
Trulia, a real estate search engine for buyers and renters that is based here, is a hive of renters, including Mr. Flint. "I'm in no rush at all to buy," he said. He expects homeownership to decline further to about 63 percent, a level the country first achieved in the mid-1960s.
Too bad they can't bring back gas prices at a dime a gallon and cigs for 5 cents a pack. I guess we'll have to settle for home ownership rates for this nostalgia tour.
If the market had been allowed to bottom out two years ago with no interference from Obama's crazy quilt patchwork of home owner bailout programs - none of which have worked - I wonder if prices wouldn't be rebounding already?