I’ve been saying it’s bad out there. I have some good company. Lew Sichelman of Realty Times has summarized housing forecasts presented at the recent Southeast Builders Conference. I recommend the whole article, but here are some good clips for you skimmers:
"We think the cycle continues on a downward path in 2008, with 2009 as a stabilizing year and 2010 as a return to more normal activity," [said Mark Zandi of Economy.com].
"It appears that there’s an excess of at least 1.3 million vacant housing units on the market," [said David Seiders of the National Association of Home Builders].
If Fannie Mae’s [chief economist David] Berson is on target, the projected level sales … would be the lowest since 2002, and the two-year decline (2006-07) would be the largest since the housing downturn of 1989-91.
Ken Harthausen of Countrywide Home Loans, Calabasas, Calif., said unsold inventories are "high and not going down."
Though Harthausen is not a economist, he spoke of a "hidden inventory" that has yet to be considered in the mix — houses owned by people who want to sell but haven’t put their homes on the market because of weak prices.
"You are delaying your own recovery," [Stewart Title’s chief economist Ted] Jones said. "You’ve simply got too much supply."
There’s more, but I’m getting too gloomy.