America's house prices are falling even faster than during the Great Depression

//www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11465476

From Information Clearing House

--------

It’s only going to get worse

The Weekly Standard
by Lawrence B. Lindsey

America has not had a nationwide housing crash since the 1930s. At one point during that calamity, an estimated 60 percent of all mortgages were in technical default. The rather primitive housing credit system of the time, which relied on five-year balloon mortgages, certainly exacerbated the problem, but the bulk of the problem was related to the general economic downturn. There have been some regional housing crashes that were short and relatively mild, most notably in California, Texas, and New England in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Most of those were caused by declines in key local industries: oil in Texas, aerospace and defense in Southern California and Massachusetts. The current downturn, by contrast, is due almost exclusively to a change in the housing credit cycle from excessively easy to modestly restrictive. Housing turned down before the economy, and even now, nearly 18 months into the housing recession, the national unemployment rate is still at what economists consider full employment. That is unlikely to last as credit problems spread into the consumer sector, layoffs spread, and the resulting rise in unemployment makes the consumer credit situation still worse... (for publication 06/09/08)

//tinyurl.com/4z7322


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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//freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Great+Depression
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