A year and a half of doing HP, 3,000+ posts later, I think this is the ugliest article I've ever posted.
And the most spot-on. Hat-tip Richard for the link.
Get ready HP'ers. The days of spin, hype, cheerleading and "we've hit bottom" are over.
We've only just begun...
June 20 (Bloomberg) -- The worst is yet to come for the U.S. housing market.
The jump in 30-year mortgage rates by more than a half a percentage point to 6.74 percent in the past five weeks is putting a crimp on borrowers with the best credit just as a crackdown in subprime lending standards limits the pool of qualified buyers. The national median home price is poised for its first annual decline since the Great Depression, and the supply of unsold homes is at a record 4.2 million, the National Association of Realtors reported.
``It's a blood bath,'' said Mark Kiesel, executive vice president of Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Investment Management Co., the manager of $668 billion in bond funds. ``We're talking about a two- to three-year downturn that will take a whole host of characters with it, from job creation to consumer confidence. Eventually it will take the stock market and corporate profit.''
``It's not just a housing recession anymore, it looks more and more like an economic recession,'' said Nouriel Roubini, a Clinton administration Treasury Department director and economic adviser who now runs Roubini Global Economics in New York.
``There isn't a recovery about to happen,'' said Ara Hovnanian, chief executive officer of Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., the Red Bank, New Jersey-based homebuilder. The company's stock tumbled 42 percent this year through yesterday.
``When all these people see their mortgage payment and it's up 40 or 50 percent, they're going to say, `We can't stay in this house,''' Pimco's Kiesel said. ``And there are millions of people in this situation.''
Roubini predicts the decline in U.S. home sales will last at least another 12 months, reducing the median house price by 5 percent this year and next. That would take home prices back to 2004, when the national median was $195,200.
Some owners are selling their homes at ``fire sale'' prices to avoid foreclosure after seeing their adjustable mortgage rates spike, said Lawrence White, an economics professor at the Stern School of Business.
``Prices will continue to soften for as long as we have distressed sellers,'' White said. Some regions of the U.S. could see price declines of 10 percent in the next six to 12 months, he said