Friday, December 28, 2007

Worst Housing Recession Ever?

The graph above comes from Calculated Risk, hands down the best economic blog, and far better analysis than I have seen in print anywhere. WSJ, NYT, The Economist, Bloomberg . . . would that your reporting had the insight that comes from CR and Tanta!

Another favorite, Professor Nouriel Roubini's RGE Monitor, opines that this housing recession may be the worst in the country's history, worse, possibly, than the Great Depression.

My own take is that this has been the biggest real estate bubble the US has ever seen, fueled by cheap, easy credit. The housing market in 2001, in my view, was just due for a mild correction. After 9/11, however, Bush and Greenspan opened the floodgates, the Fed Funds rate went as close to zero as it's ever been, and prices took off like a rocket.

I don't know that things will get as bad as the Great Depression, but this is going to be a painful correction for many.

UPDATE: Princeton Economics Professor Paul Krugman blogs at the NYT on the amazing disconnect between the costs of renting and owning in today's market. Look at this chart:If you believe this is sustainable, you are a crazy person.

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