Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Housing Bellwether

Your house is no longer a golden goose.

The U.S. real estate market threatens to undercut the Obama administration’s stimulus-driven economic recovery as home sales resume their record slide following the end of the federal homebuyer tax credit.

Sales of previously owned homes unexpectedly predictably fell 2.2 percent in May, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday, even as mortgage rates remained near an all-time low. New-home sales tumbled 19 percent last month...

We inserted "predictably" because anyone with a half a brain could have looked up purchase-money mortgage applications and found that they are sliding down. Fast.

Combined sales of new and existing homes will drop 12 percent in the third quarter from the three months ending June 30, according to a forecast by Fannie Mae, the largest mortgage financier...

By the way, that means that property-tax assessments will be falling. The local governments are going to have a hard time as levies remain high while property values drop.

See Wauwatosa, for example.

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