Thursday, December 4, 2008

Have we hit bottom yet?

via Kevin Drum, Calculated Risk says "look out below":

Using national median income and house prices provides a gross overview of price-to-income (it would be better to do this analysis on a local area). However this does shows that the price-to-income is still too high, and that this ratio needs to fall another 15% or so. The further decline in this ratio could be a combination of falling house prices and/or rising nominal incomes (Note: this uses nominal incomes, and even if real incomes are stagnant or declining, nominal incomes usually are rising).
Of course, the economy could begin to recover before housing prices return to their historical values, and who knows if the current slope of housing price decline is going to stay the same or not?

But, if you think that the housing bubble was the major problem that sent the economy tumbling, and that prices need to stabilize before true recovery can begin... then we still have some ways to go yet... certainly many quarters, and maybe years.