Friday, December 7, 2007

House prices seen falling 30 pct

If states and municipalities are counting on property taxes to fund their green initiatives they had better be looking at these numbers.

From Reuters:

Housing markets from Punta Gorda, Florida, to Stockton, California, will crash and suffer price drops of more than 30 percent before the housing crisis is over, a report from Moody's said on Thursday.

On a national level, the housing market recession will continue through early 2009, said the report, co-authored by Mark Zandi, chief economist, and Celia Chen, director of housing economics.

The report paints a worsening picture of the hard-hit housing sector, which is in the midst of its worst downturn since World War II.

While activity will stabilize in 2009, it will not be until 2010 before a measurable improvement in sales, construction and pricing will emerge, the report said.

House prices are forecast to fall 13 percent from their peak through early 2009. After accounting for incentives home sellers are offering buyers, effective declines peak-to-trough will total well over 15 percent, the report said.

Punta Gorda, Florida, and Stockton, California, are the hardest hit markets in the U.S., with price declines from peak-to-trough forecast at 35.3 percent and 31.6 percent, respectively.

"This is the most severe housing recession since the post-World War II period," Zandi told Reuters.

These markets have been hard hit due to several reasons, namely the exiting of investors from the areas, a fair amount of subprime mortgage loans causing an increase in foreclosures and overbuilding by home builders, Zandi told Reuters. Continued...