The U.S. Double-Dip Recession Is Here

Photo: Brendel (CC)

Photo: Brendel (CC)

The media today are telling us what we already know: the United States is firmly in the grip of a double-dip recession, at least so far as home values are concerned. Shannon Bond has the details for the Financial Times:

US home prices slumped for an eighth straight month in March, dropping below the bottom previously recorded in the housing bust in a sign of the persistent weakness of residential real estate.

A separate report showed consumer confidence sagged in May as Americans grew more pessimistic about the job market and inflation expectations rose.

Prices of single-family houses in the 20 largest US cities fell 0.2 per cent from February to March on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. The decline was in line with economists’ expectations and left the index at 138.16, below its low point of 139.26 in April 2009 and the lowest level since March 2003. Prices were 3.6 per cent below their level of a year ago, a bigger dip than the 3.4 per cent expected.

“This month’s report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation,” said David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee. “Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight.”

Even as the wider economy has maintained a steady, if sluggish, recovery, the housing market has lagged behind, weighed down by an oversupply of homes for sale and difficult borrowing conditions for many homeowners. The glut of distressed homes, which often sell for as much as a 20 per cent discount, has sapped confidence and depressed prices, discouraging buyers and sellers alike.

Prices fell in 13 of the 20 cities surveyed in March…

[continues in the Financial Times]

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    At the risk of repeating ourselves, shouldn’t these so-called “experts” be asking themselves:

    “What fucking good are we?  We couldn’t even predict when the next bus will arrive, much less whent the economy will recover.”

    But I realise this question will never get asked by the appropriate individuals.  Accuracy isn’t really their bag anyhow; they’d lose all credibility with their clients if they admitted the whole financial sector’s a big fucking sham based on bilking tax payers in order to shove more money into elaborate pyramid schemes favoring the top 400,000.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    At the risk of repeating ourselves, shouldn’t these so-called “experts” be asking themselves:

    “What fucking good are we?  We couldn’t even predict when the next bus will arrive, much less whent the economy will recover.”

    But I realise this question will never get asked by the appropriate individuals.  Accuracy isn’t really their bag anyhow; they’d lose all credibility with their clients if they admitted the whole financial sector’s a big fucking sham based on bilking tax payers in order to shove more money into elaborate pyramid schemes favoring the top 400,000.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    I’ll take a scoop of caramel praline and a scoop of cookies and cream please…..in a sugar cone! 

  • Anonymous

    I’ll take a scoop of caramel praline and a scoop of cookies and cream please…..in a sugar cone! 

  • Godozo

    Double Dip? Since when was there a rise from the original dip?

    Maybe there was a rise up on Wall Street, and on Long Island (an on certain shows that pay their own money to broadcast on the local hyper-right wing station), but where I’m at there’s been no rise from the dropoff…and I wouldn’t be surprised if things started dropping further.

  • Godozo

    Double Dip? Since when was there a rise from the original dip?

    Maybe there was a rise up on Wall Street, and on Long Island (an on certain shows that pay their own money to broadcast on the local hyper-right wing station), but where I’m at there’s been no rise from the dropoff…and I wouldn’t be surprised if things started dropping further.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Once again…the entire country’s real estate experts and 99% of its media manage to dodge what  everyone knows: housing prices may have fallen, but we never allowed them to fall to their ‘real market value’ because no one wants to adjust their books to reflect the actual degree of loss…which is catastrophic.

    As long we play this fake-ass game of make believe where houses priced in the hundreds of thousands are still valued near 60 or 70% of their original theoretical value (and there are millions such houses) while the actual number of human beings who can afford such housing is less than ten percent of the number of houses…we will remain in trouble and prices will still slide.

    The new market reality is that 30+ years of stagnant and/or crashing wage scales, usurious credit terms, crazed building sprees for mega homes and near standstill for building lower priced homes, plus fraudulent bookkeeping by banks has led us to this point: we’re up against the wall. the market for giant pricey homes has reached zero sustainability until wages go up…end of story. So either the prices keep sliding until we admit that the wage scale for skilled trades has to go up, or the value of houses has to come down to match the wages. We cannot have both. Its not a conservative or a liberal issue, although it has plenty of ramifications that touch on political philosophies, because in the end its just a math issue. 1+1=2. 0+0=0. No matter what we do, no matter how much we try to wriggle out of it…the math stays the same.

    What I’d like to see is a real estate and home building coalition that awakens to this cruel reality and starts lobbying Congress for legislation that reflects this, and it doesn’t have to be because ‘they love the little guy’…but because they want the little guy to buy their products someday. Instead of scrabbling after little ‘bumps and fixes’ every few months like some kind huge shambling junkie hooker, it would be in their own best interest to build a future where the ‘fix’ they need is in ready supply…and that fix is wages that can sustain home ownership. If anyone out there knows someone in real estate…pass this on.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Once again…the entire country’s real estate experts and 99% of its media manage to dodge what  everyone knows: housing prices may have fallen, but we never allowed them to fall to their ‘real market value’ because no one wants to adjust their books to reflect the actual degree of loss…which is catastrophic.

    As long we play this fake-ass game of make believe where houses priced in the hundreds of thousands are still valued near 60 or 70% of their original theoretical value (and there are millions such houses) while the actual number of human beings who can afford such housing is less than ten percent of the number of houses…we will remain in trouble and prices will still slide.

    The new market reality is that 30+ years of stagnant and/or crashing wage scales, usurious credit terms, crazed building sprees for mega homes and near standstill for building lower priced homes, plus fraudulent bookkeeping by banks has led us to this point: we’re up against the wall. the market for giant pricey homes has reached zero sustainability until wages go up…end of story. So either the prices keep sliding until we admit that the wage scale for skilled trades has to go up, or the value of houses has to come down to match the wages. We cannot have both. Its not a conservative or a liberal issue, although it has plenty of ramifications that touch on political philosophies, because in the end its just a math issue. 1+1=2. 0+0=0. No matter what we do, no matter how much we try to wriggle out of it…the math stays the same.

    What I’d like to see is a real estate and home building coalition that awakens to this cruel reality and starts lobbying Congress for legislation that reflects this, and it doesn’t have to be because ‘they love the little guy’…but because they want the little guy to buy their products someday. Instead of scrabbling after little ‘bumps and fixes’ every few months like some kind huge shambling junkie hooker, it would be in their own best interest to build a future where the ‘fix’ they need is in ready supply…and that fix is wages that can sustain home ownership. If anyone out there knows someone in real estate…pass this on.