Housing outlook: Slower sales, falling prices, more foreclosures


The housing market dropped off a cliff in October, as the original Nov. 30th expiration date for the first-time home buyers tax credit approached, according to the Housing Market Monitor of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Add to that the 6.25% 60-day delinquency rate in the third quarter -- 58% above the level of one year ago -- and you've got a recipe for housing disaster: more foreclosures, slower sales and ultimately a greater decline in house prices.

"With unemployment virtually certain to remain high well into next year, there is little prospect for any sizable drop in foreclosures," Dean Baker wrote in the Nov. 18 issue of the Housing Market Monitor. "As a result, foreclosures will be putting homes on the market at an annual rate of close to 2 million. This is guaranteed to depress prices in a market with total demand of close to 5 million. In short, house prices will almost certainly resume their decline. The only questions are how soon and how fast."