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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Housing/Subprime/Credit Roundup — June 24, 2008

Items of Interest:

Bloomberg:
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Fell 15.3% in April -- Home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas fell in April by the most on record, signaling the housing recession is far from over, a private survey showed today.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index dropped 15.3 percent from a year earlier, less than forecast, after a 14.3 percent decline in March. The gauge has fallen every month since January 2007. The group began keeping year-over-year records in 2001.

Mortgage defaults and foreclosures are adding to the glut of properties on the market, while stricter loan rules are making it more difficult for prospective buyers to get financing. The prolonged real-estate slump, along with higher fuel prices and a shrinking job market, is taking a toll on consumers and the economy.

``There's such an excess of inventories that we certainly expect to see more price declines,'' said James O'Sullivan, a senior economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. ``The economy is still weakening and housing still looks pretty weak.'' ...

MarketWatch:
Four years of gains in home prices wiped out -- Home prices across 20 major U.S. cities have dropped a record 15.3% in the past year and are now back to where they were in the summer of 2004, according to the Case-Shiller home price index...
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HousingWire:
Housing Outlook Grim, As Downturn Called “Worst in a Generation” -- The nation is in the throes of a housing downturn that researchers at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies said Monday morning was “shaping up to be the worst in a generation.” While the falloff in housing starts, new home sales, and existing home sales already rivals the worst downturns in the post World War II era, the study found that home price declines and mortgage defaults are the worst on records that date back to the 1960s and 1970s.

“The slump in housing markets has not yet run its full course,” said Nicolas Retsinas, the director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, echoing what has alreadly become prevailing sentiment among most economists. ...
MarketWatch:
Shaky job market threatens housing recovery -- Housing slump rivals deepest slowdowns in 60-plus years: Report ...
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BusinessWeek:
Michigan: Epicenter of Unemployment -- Michigan, once the center of America's industrial heartland, now holds a more dubious distinction: It leads the U.S. in joblessness. The state's unemployment rate hit 8.5% in May. That's up 2 percentage points from April, and compares with a figure of 5.5% for the whole U.S. in May....
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Calculated Risk

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