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The Coming U.S. Real Estate Crash

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This week headlines across the United States screamed that new home sales in the U.S. had declined to the lowest level since the U.S. government began keeping track in 1963.  But in the news stories covering this data in the mainstream media, they were always very careful to give their readers lots of reasons why things are going to “get back to normal” very soon.  But the truth is that is simply not going to happen.  Right now the United States is heading for another real estate crash.  The only thing that has been holding it back was the huge bribe (called a tax credit) that the U.S. government was giving people to buy houses.  Now that the tax credit has expired, there is no artificial incentive to buy homes and the real estate market has fallen through the floor.  Unfortunately, there is every indication that things are going to get even worse.  Read on to find out why…. 

The following are 7 reasons why the U.S. real estate market is already a total nightmare….

#1) In May, sales of new homes in the United States dropped to the lowest level ever recorded.  To be more precise, new home sales dropped 32.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000.  A “normal” level is about 800,000 a month.  New homes have never sold this slowly ever since the U.S. Commerce Department began tracking this data back in 1963.

#2) The median price of all new U.S. homes sold in May was $200,900, which represented a 9.6% drop from May 2009.  If prices are still falling on new homes that means that the real estate nightmare is not over.

#3) New home sale figures for the previous two months were also revised down sharply by the government.  Apparently their previous estimates were far too optimistic.  But those were supposed to be really good months for home sales with so many Americans taking advantage of the tax credit right before the deadline.  So the fact that the data for the previous two months had to be revised downward so severely is a very bad sign.

#4) Newly signed home sale contracts in the U.S. dropped more than 10% in May.

#5) According to the U.S. Commerce Department, housing starts in the U.S. fell approximately 10 percent in May, which represented the biggest decline since March 2009.

#6) Internet searches on real estate websites are down about 20 percent compared to this same time period in 2009.

#7) The “twin pillars” of the mortgage industry are a complete and total financial mess.  The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the final bill for the bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be as high as $389 billion.  Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to hemorrhage cash at an alarming rate, but the truth is that without them there wouldn’t be much of a mortgage industry left in the United States.

The following are 7 reasons why things are going to get even worse….

#1) The massive tax credit that the U.S. government was offering to home buyers has expired.  This tax credit helped stabilize the U.S. real estate market for many months, but now that it is gone there is no more safety net for the housing industry.

#2) Foreclosures continue to set all-time records.  In fact, the number of home foreclosures set a record for the second consecutive month in May.  Not only that, but the number of newly initiated foreclosures rose 18.6 percent to 370,856 in the first quarter of 2010.  A rising tide of foreclosures means that there is going to be a growing inventory of foreclosed homes on the market.  As of March, U.S. banks had an inventory of approximately 1.1 million foreclosed homes, which was up 20 percent from a year ago.  There is no indication that the number of foreclosed homes that need to be sold is going to decrease any time soon.  This is going to have a depressing effect on U.S. home prices.

#3) Another giant wave of adjustable rate mortgages is scheduled to reset in 2011 and 2012.  This “second wave” threatens to be as dramatic as the first wave that almost sunk the U.S. mortgage industry in 2007 and 2008.  Unfortunately, what this is going to cause is even more foreclosures and even lower home prices.

#4) Banks and lending institutions have been significantly tightening their lending standards over the past several years.  It is now much harder to get a home loan.  That means that there are less potential buyers for each house that is on the market.  Less competition for homes means that prices will continue to decline.

#5) Home prices are still way too high for most Americans in the current economic environment.  Based on current wage levels, house prices should actually be much lower.  So the market is going to continue to try to push home prices down to a point where people can actually afford to buy them.  Right now Americans can’t even afford the houses that they already have.  The Mortgage Bankers Association recently announced that more than 10% of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage had missed at least one mortgage payment during the January to March time period.  That was a new all-time record and represented an increase from 9.1 percent a year ago.

#6) The overall U.S. economy is caught in a death spiral.  Unemployment remains at frightening levels, a large percentage of Americans are up to their eyeballs in debt and more than 40 million Americans are now on food stamps.  If people don’t have jobs and if people don’t have money then they can’t buy houses. 

#7) The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history, and it is threatening to become one of the greatest economic disasters in U.S. history.  Already, real estate agents along the Gulf coast are reporting that the oil spill has completely killed the real estate industry in the region.  As this disaster continues to grow worse by the day, homes in the southeast United States will continue to look less and less appealing.  In fact, many are now projecting that the crisis in the Gulf will actually crush the housing industry from coast to coast.

So honestly there is not a lot of reason to think that the housing industry in the U.S. is going to rebound any time soon.  In fact, for those waiting for a “rebound” the truth is that we have already seen it.  Where we are headed next is the second dip of the “double dip” that so many of the talking heads on CNBC have been talking about.  For those seeking to sell their homes this is really bad news, but for those looking to buy a home this is actually good news. 

Who knows?  Home prices may actually come down to a point where many of us can actually afford to purchase a home.

  • John

    Funny…why is it that Las Vegas home prices have begun rising??? Also, new home sales are at an all time low for May, but what’s more important is that new home inventories are also very low. Markets never move in a staight line, but underlying fundaments are actually improving for US housing. This article is very one-sided. Although things are very serious, the sky is not falling. In the future people will be wishing they had purchased when prices were this low. Donald Trump said this a few weeks ago, and although I can’t stand this egotist, he may be on to something.

  • R4i

    As someone who lives close enough to Las Vegas to pay attention, I don’t really understand why housing prices are rising instead of falling there?

  • bob

    John have you looked into buying a home in vegas. To put it mildly, prices are’nt rising. I’ve done searches from 08 to present. I was wanting to move to the cheapest city, Vegas is one of them. This article hits the nail on the head! All you have to do is watch check the housing for sale, numbers, and you’ll see it yourself. Until wages can support house prices, prices will continue to fall. It takes no brain surgeon to figure it out. And Obama giving a 8k buyers credit only prolonged the pain.

  • Rev. Reggie Jackson

    I use to be a Realty for about 9 years; and I know that every failure in our economy is due to the International Bankers/Bilderbergers and the Illuminati Freemasons crashing America’s and the whole worlds economies. Of course we all know that this is being done to get their New International Economic Order in place for their Luciferic New World Order antichrist beast system.

    And they are making many businesses go out of business as they are shipping our jobs and technology all over the world; so that the American worker will have much less to survive on. And ofcourse; we all know that they want to have total slavery over the nations. Especially America, which is the last bastion of hope for the world.

    And next; these devils will have world war 3, inorder to cull (eliminate and depopulate) the masses so that they will only have 2 billion people to have their mark of the beast chip in; instead of 6 billion which would be a much greater task.

    And Revelation 13 and 14 talks about this mark (chip) that will be in your forehead or hand; as you cannot buy or sell without it. But Revelation 14:9-11 says specifically that if you take that mark (chip); you will forever be cursed by God and thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone; because it will mean that you have sided and joined Satan and his antichrist beast leader son. As the antichrist beast leader will rule the world under his father Lucifer.

    And those who take the chip; will give everything that is theirs to the antichrist beast. As they will even give him their children and spouses because; he will be their lord and god and master. As that chip will change their minds and make them his autonotomic zombie slaves!!

  • Retired Guy

    House prices will come down. They are still artificially high. The key sentences in the article are the following: “Based on current wage levels, house prices should actually be much lower. So the market is going to continue to push home prices down to a point where people can actually afford to buy them.” Anything for sale, including houses, is only worth as much as someone is willing OR ABLE to pay for it. As for Las Vegas. It’s a place that is on its death bed. Peak Oil will lay it to rest, along with much of the suburban housing across the country.

  • Roger Carpenter

    The economic system has been destroyed by design. That’s why Washington is letting their buddies on Wall Street rob the treasury.

    We are in freefall. It won’t really hurt until we hit rock-bottom. Kiss America goodbye.

  • Elocutionist

    Unlike other markets such as stocks or commodities, real estate can’t be lumped into one pricing mechanism. Real estate is national, regional and local; urban, suburban, ex-urban and rural. The greatest price declines are occurring in heavily populated, urban areas. This speaks to the underlying issue of a shift in the economy, which is leading to an exodus from affected areas by those with the cash to leave, migrating to places in which home prices, land and taxes are less costly while, at the same time, the landscape and lifestyle is generally more amenable than the concrete cities they have been or are fleeing. The article here on real estate is accurate in that the future of consumer cycle real estate (typified by sprawling urban and suburban homes in densely populated areas priced (even now) at prohibitive levels) is dim at best. That said, the outlook for real estate in places that are 3-4 hours from major metropolitan centers; that offer value and space for the money and are, in terms of their tax burdens, easy to maintain; have and will continue to appreciate. The real estate shift underway is monumental. The urban and suburban population migrations, which started in the 1920s and 1950s respectively, was the result of the industrialization of the economy followed by its shift to a service economy. In short, people had to live relatively close to their places of employment. In today’s environment, however, workers can telecommute with greater ease than ever. The promise of higher food and fuel costs has – at the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist – induced an interest in self-sufficiency. Those are interests accommodated by country living far more easily than city living. While the general economy does hold the promise of substantially higher costs of living as inflation takes hold (due to, at best, misguided government monetary policy) expendable incomes will decline, necessitating an ever greater shift toward self-sufficiency. Small towns that exhibit the qualities sought by those (relatively) few with the means to embrace a new lifestyle will continue to benefit in the years ahead while the relic-like vestiges of the industrial and service economies continue to deteriorate in value. While I agree with the author’s outlook for the most densely populated areas of the country, the state of the real estate sector isn’t easily defined by looking at crumbling values in former hot spots. There are areas in which values are appreciating and they are the areas in which value growth will continue in the years to come. But again, they are areas which correlate to an accommodation of the emerging new standards in living; accommodations in line with the massive economic shift underway.

  • Elocutionist

    I should mention this: The conclusions drawn by the author, relative to the next crash in real estate values, is reasonable (and accurate) because the major property indices (i.e. Case-Shiller/S&P top 10 and top 20 U.S. cities) are reflective of the old real estate paradigm.

  • JLouise

    Las Vegas is running out of water, has no jobs, and the big casino money is in Macau China. The Nevada government is one of the most bankrupt in the union and that is not going to change. The whole city will drastically downsize.

  • I have to agree with John. It is a great time to purchase a home with the prices being so low.

  • Excellent article. While an argument can be made that foreclosures and declining new home inventory are a healthy adjustment for the market, even these are bad signs when also considering that US unfunded liabilities are now over 109 TRILLION and the budget debt over 3.5 TRILLION for a combined debt per citizen of over $395,000. Surely we are headed for high inflation that will reduce potential home buyers available housing funds.

  • thomas

    Hey John,
    you call .02% rising! tell that to the people that lost 40-60% in there homes yeah prices have stabilized….temporarily and have been artificially propped up by the govmint! like it says in the article 2011 and 2012 is another wave of resets are comming not even to mention commercial real estate. you are right about onething. Things in the market don’t just fall in a straight line we platued a little and are now headed lower! We have mad men running this economy! How are you going to stimulate the economy with “guvmint” jobs! What made the Great Depression great? Govmint missalocating money in the economy i.e. WPA and other nonsense projects that only stimied the private sector from growing


  • economike

    @ John

    Home prices are rising in Vegas? Maybe not…

    Higher sales prices for home prices ONLY means that a handfull of “nicer” homes sold, it DOESN’T mean the home prices are rising.

    And yes, NEW home inventories are low… that’s because NEW homes aren’t being built any more due to the fact that there is an 11.2 motnh supply of unsold “OLD” homes on the market (the highest since the National Association of Realtors began tracking!)

    Much of any “good news” in real estate was due to the now expired tax credits. The tax credit JUST ended and home sales immedietly plunged 33%!

    So, you go ahead and buy all the realestate you want… but don’t expect you fellow tax payers to subsidize it – instead be prepared to have your property taxes double in the nex few years.

    Good luck.

  • Taylor

    @ John. LV prices rose becuz of the false rise of home sales. The statistics were driven up by Govt.Tax Credit, its a govt. motivated correction, which is not a market rebound. The reason that there is no inventory right now is becuz the Banks are holding on to them.

    The banks will not take losses in the books, they have the stimulus money to AFFORD to HOLD onto inventory & not sell.

    By HOlDing & creating the shortage of ava homes. It gets the dummies to buy homes at the same or higher price. The govt. paid the banks to prevent the collapse of our housing market. Why? We need to keep the truth from overseas investors & from our own ppl. Other countries are buying our securities, that’s how we had wealth. We took other ppls money & made money with it.

  • de malfosse

    “…wishing they had purchased when prices were this low” … “median price was…$200,900″…

    Yeah. All the Wal-Mart employess and part-time no-benefit workers can easily afford $200K mortgages.

  • Jump right in there and catch that falling knife then Johnny……..

  • Let’s wait and watch. This is just a matter of time before the real estate market starts picking up, though it must be worrying the home builders. Since, the overall economy of USA is very strong, all has not come to an end.
    Real Estate News

  • Pay Lay Ale

    John must be a realt-whore in Vegas. Too bad the data doesn’t support his lies.

    For both month-on-month and year-on-year, Vegas house prices have been falling.

    New house inventory is about 6 months worth of supply. That’s NOT an historic low.

    Buy now or be priced out forever? Isn’t that how the cliche goes? How about buy when you are ready and able?

  • John2

    I was just turned down for a home loan. My credit score is 799, my wife’s 804. We had $40,000.00 to put down, which was almost 30%. BUT! Our bank turned down our application! Why? They required us to have 6 months “operating expenses” in the bank after all closing costs were covered. They came up with an arbitrary number own their own, based on our bills and such. We had that amount and more on top of our closing monies. Then why were we denied the loan? Several thousand dollars were from “cash” and the bank required that “cash” be in the bank for at least 60 days or they wouldn’t consider it fluid funding. Needless to say we didn’t make the closing date and are hiring an attorney to avoid being sued (by the seller).

    So add another bullet to the list! Banks are getting very stingy with their loans.

  • Rhonda

    You think we’ve hit bottom, John? Get back to us in 6 months. And although the sky is not falling today, anyone paying attention can see the debris cloud on the horizon and headed our way.

  • Jack

    Things aren’t bad yet, there is no blood in the streets. Sure there has been some adjustments in the real estate market, but nothing likes what is thundering toward us like a runaway locomotive with a drunken alcoholic at the controls. Think the gulf is bad now? Wait just a very few months, you ain’t seen nothing yet! There will be oil, very heavy, nasty, stinking, sticking insoluvable tar like oil miles and miles in land along the gulf coast. The odor will travel thousands of miles with the wind. It will actually gag enough to cause mass vomiting among the public in cities with populations, that will cause others to vomit at that sight. The real estate, such as condos that recently were worth millions will be abandoned. It will cost most to clean the site of that condo, of the oil and now worthless oil covered building material than the condo used to sell for when constructed. The article above about the coming real estate crash was written with kid gloves on. It makes clear the point. Most will not listen.

  • Mike C.

    The reason housing prices are ‘rising’ in Vegas is because there’s a sucker born every minute.

  • Dan


    You are either totally clueless and you can’t see past the end of your nose or you’re a moron. Just one of the sheeple evidently. Keep watching and you will see the real truth.

  • LaughingatU

    Ummmm…….John. The truth only has one-side.

  • Corporate America sold the country out years ago. All those big tall buildings stand on money from abroad with profits coming from cheap labor and when they get into trouble they expect the American tax payer to bail them out. What a system.

  • Dean

    This is all good. It will help force the clearing of the table. Deflation is the poor man and middle class man’s friend. And the enemy of those who print the money, and their friends.

  • Karen

    John, you MUST be in real estate!
    The sky IS falling! Time will reveal the ultimate truth!

  • Bryan DeLaney

    Probably the best place to live in during the comming crash is in an area I will call an exoburb. An “Exoburb” is a fairly good sized metropolitian area that is within a couple of hours drive to a major city. They tend to have low taxes, low crime, and have cost much less to live in (along with lower wage requirements). But they are big enough to support major industry. An example would be the Greenville, SC metropolitian area.

  • Liz

    I agree with this article in that as a potential buyer, and have been looking since January, prices do need to come down a lot more. I live in Buffalo, NY, which is sort of a depressed area to begin with, never mind the recession. Yet it’s amazing to me that most people selling their homes in the burbs around here still want to get 2007 prices for them. The average salary in Buffalo is 30k. My and my fiancé make 30k each. We are both well educated and working at great companies. Taxes in the burbs here are between 3,500 and 4,500. Folks, that’s already 400 added to your monthly payment and that’s not counting your mortgage. Thank god for because I can actually see what people who are selling their homes now paid for them back in 1999 and 2000. What most people aren’t getting with this Great recession is that we need to come down to 2000 prices on homes. Banks aren’t going to lend to just anyone anymore and realistically most people can’t afford a 130k and up price tag with $400 tacked on for taxes each year. I plan to do this mortgage right and only base it on one income instead of two (my husband). We both have solid jobs but we don’t want to be heavily in debt or work to pay for our mortgage. A realistic mortgage would be around $700-800 a month. Do the math, If we try to buy a home for $120 with say 25k down , that’s 95k but remember, I still have another $300 a month to add on for taxes (which most people don’t realize adds a lot to a mortgage payment and will increase every year) . So we are looking at over 1,000 mortgage payment every month. (we both make 30k a year – so total 60k) That doesn’t leave a lot left over for expenses, a modest vacation once year, birthdays, holidays, maybe some home improvements or if something breaks down (car) or what have you.
    Most folks are in the exact spot we are in…. but most of them didn’t make the smart decision to buy a home based on one income. If we are to get this country back on track financially, we all need to think a lot smarter… I feel bad for all the people who bought over-priced inflated homes back during the boom but we have to change our ways and change course… or it’s just going to get worse for everyone… ok, I’m off my soap box now… 

  • I know a man whose mortgage payments are $2,230 a month – he owes $24,000 in back payments.
    He owes six months of payments and he is still living in the property.
    He told the Bank of America to reposess the property but BA refuses to reposess the property.
    Strange – isn’t it.

  • Truth

    You wish. The sky is falling. Get with reality. It is OVER for the good old U.S.A. The pollutants alone from the BP distaster will kill our food supply. And all you can think about is the house of cards real estate market. Grow a brain.

  • Reckdum

    New home inventories may be low, but overall home inventories are extremely high, highest they have ever been. There has never been a glut of homes on the market like there is now. As for home prices rising in Las Vegas…I find that hard to believe with Las Vegas registering some of the worst unemployment in the country!

  • Scott


    Maybe you should read the previous article from this website about Las Vegas. It is in a death spiral that is compared to Detroit!

    Unemployment rates for the state of Nevada and for the city of Las Vegas both seThere are quite a few U.S. cities that are complete and utter economic disaster zones in 2010 (Detroit for example), but there is something about the demise of Las Vegas that is absolutely stunning. In recent decades, Las Vegas has become a symbol for the over-the-top affluence and decadence of America. But now it is a microcosm of the economic nightmare that has gripped the entire nation. When the subprime mortgage crisis stuck, no major U.S. city was more devastated than Las Vegas.

    Unemployment rates for the state of Nevada and for the city of Las Vegas both set new records during the month of April. In Las Vegas the unemployment rate in April was 14.2%. For the entire state the unemployment rate was 13.7%.

    full article:

  • WestCoast

    Fishermen are relocating to West Coast, So are the Gulf Residents. Mass Exodus from the gulf?

  • Sam

    The prices will go down because most houses in the US are built with the cheapest material available. Just stand next to a construction site and see the toothpick framing on these so called luxury homes.

  • brian

    You are full of BS……

  • Brian

    If you are Dumb enough to live in a fantasy oasis like las vegas.were water is dammed and pumped there for the proffit of the all mighty dollar,you are all NOOBS!.Dont be a stupid moron,live in area that is not heavy populated,has natural running water year round and plenty of game to hunt. If folks are really that dummb not to pay attention to whats going on in this country,them maybe vegas is where you belong LOL

  • Mithan

    You guys are far far too pessimistic.

    Home Prices falling are a GOOD thing in the long run. Nothing better could have happened actually.

    This will enable people to once again purchase homes that are in-line with their income, meaning they will have extra money to spend on other things, that will boost economic activity.

    Instead of blowing 50% of your income on some retarded house, you will spend 20% or so, over a far shorter period of time.

    Right now, all the “doom and gloom” is about keeping the f***ing banks balance sheets alive, nothing else.

  • Lower new housing starts is not a good indicator because you can get a pretty nice new house for so must less. In my neighborhood, there is significant renovations being made. Much better than selling in this nasty economy.

  • Joe in JT

    I once just watched as a neighbor had his house built right in front of me. As each contractor came in I just kept adding and adding to what I thought the cost would be. Labor, materials, roofing and so on. I came up with 70K as to what it should cost to build. To my amazement the price on the house was 234K. This never made sense to me. The sucker in all this is tale end Charlie, the buyer. The buyer is just happy to get his stupid loan from the bank. He doesn’t consider what the house is really worth.

    From the begining of the boom(around the year 2002) I
    never understood how a person would pay so much for a house that is so cheap.

  • Joe in JT


    What an absolutely amazing story by John2 !!
    Here’s a guy and his wife having 800 Fico scores, 40K down payment, and those greedy bastard banksters turned him down on a loan! Incredable.

    Hey W Bush, what about the trillion dollar bailout to banksters that was suppose to go to main street Americans like John2 and his wife. The whole Bush/Cheney/Paulson crowd should be thrown in jail

  • Joe in JT

    Just because the dope John replied first about housing prices in Las Vegas, why do 50% of you bloggers think you owe him a response.

    Illuminatti and the super rich notice your predictive behavoir and will use it against you to benefit them. Don’t be a sheeple.

  • Rene

    Look folks, let’s stop kidding ourselves. The sky IS falling and will only accelerate in the next two years. Im not hanging around here anymore.
    That’s why I’m already planning my Escape from America sometime next year.

  • I’ve been trying to explain what is happening and will happen to the USA since many years now. Please take a look to this web site related to this subject, you will be amazed!
    It’s been no surprise to me at all what is happening to us since the start of this decade, nor what is following. You will agree with me after you look into these 11 pages full of interesting information. Click the link to the web site. God bless you.

  • Larry

    Total economic collapse is coming.

  • Vineyard

    Peter Schiff and other well-respected financial prognosticators have been predicting this crash for most of this decade. How could anyone have missed what was about to happen? Very large “No documentation, no down payment” loans, skyrocketing housing prices to meet the skyrocketing demand for housing, people earning minimum wage “buying” houses they could not afford. . . this was a recipe for disaster. It had to come to an end just as soon as the mortgage payments on the so-called “liar loans” started to rise as the ARM interest rates adjusted upwards.

  • The cost of necessities (housing, insurance, medical) has been wiping out the Middle Class for some time now. The past 30 years to be exact as far as the cost of housing and the rise of the homeless population in this country.

  • Anthony

    Hahaha the author says that fallng home prices are a problem, yet at the same time home prices are too high!

  • Erica

    Home prices are still yoo high. Look at California. How unrealistic is it to pay 600K and up for a 2-3 bedroom home. Ridiculous. Home prices are still too high and will eventually come down. Wait to buy.

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