Thursday, January 24, 2008

When the Realtors' chief economist mentions the Great Depression, you know these are strange days

The median price for an American single-family house fell nearly 2 percent in 2007. It was the first annual decline in the lifetime of many Americans, the first annual decline in at least four decades, in fact, possibly the first annual decline since . . . well, I'll let the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors say it.
The median price declined 1.8 percent to $217,800, the first annual decline since reliable records began in 1968. “It’s the first price decline in many, many years and possibly going back to the Great Depression,” said the group’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun.
When even the real estate cheerleaders are reduced to implying parallels with the Great Depression, you know these are strange days indeed.

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