Home Prices Are Dropping Again as the Markets Head Toward a Devastating “Double-Dip”

Friday, January 28, 2011
By Paul Martin

Could it drag the larger economy into a double-dip recession?

By Joshua Holland
AlterNet

There was no mention whatsoever of the housing crisis in Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, or in the responses offered up by Republican Reps Paul Ryan, Wisconsin, and Michele Bachmann, Minnesota.
It’s a stunning omission. According to analysts, the housing markets have taken a downward turn after rebounding during the first months of 2009. Home prices took a sharp hit in November, and have now declined for 4 straight months. The American housing market now appears to be heading towards a painful “double dip.”
The Case-Shiller index of housing values in 20 metropolitan areas — the highly respected index that predicted the collapse of the housing bubble years before it crashed — now stands just 3 percent higher than the trough set in April of 2009, and according to Standard and Poor’s, the data suggest that “a double-dip could be confirmed before Spring.” It’s already here for many cities. According to the latest data, “nine markets – Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Portland (OR), Seattle and Tampa – hit their lowest levels since home prices peaked in 2006 and 2007, meaning that average home prices in those markets have fallen even further than the lows set in the spring of 2009.”

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