Prices Down and Consumers Jittery

According to an article at Realty Times, almost half of consumers are expecting the impact of a bursting housing bubble to visit their neighborhood in the next three years. Where prices have already dropped, consumers aren't sure if the slide has stopped yet. This kind of reaction to the market is apparently hurting home sales.

Strangely enough, people were more confident in the short term than in the longer term. Only about 1/5 of people surveyed thought there would be a decrease in the price of houses in their area in the next year versus the almost 1/2 that are expecting it by three years out. This confusion is blamed for the current drop in prices, as homes sit on the market longer and sellers drop prices to move them.

Consumers aren't the only ones confused. Analysts are predicting everything from the end of the housing correction to a full scale disaster in the housing market. In the blogosphere, it's even more confusing.

However, there are still some ominous signs. I found a chart today which shows a real peak in housing prices, even when corrected for inflation. How much will prices come down? The indications still aren't clear.

Personally, I'm still following the Implode-O-Meter. While not a fancy site, they do seem to be following the news very carefully. The lenders now listed as defunct is 21. That's just since December 2006 and the number of lenders ailing and deceased has climbed virtually every week.

Michael Chantrel
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