The Joint Center for Housing Studies (Harvard University) has released a report titled, “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2008”.
It’s lengthy (44 pages) and I haven’t had a chance to digest it yet. Even the “Executive Summary” is five pages of double-column text.
I’ll try to report back with my thoughts later in the week.
The opening of the summary:
Housing markets contracted for a second straight year in 2007. The national median single-family home price fell in nominal terms for the first time in 40 years of recordkeeping, leaving several million homeowners with properties worth less than their mortgages. With the economy softening and many home loans resetting to higher rates, an increasing number of owners had difficulty keeping current on their payments. Mortgage performance—especially on subprime loans with adjustable rates—eroded badly. Lenders responded by tightening underwriting standards and demanding a higher risk premium, accelerating the ongoing slide in sales and starts.
The report is jammed full of statistics, charts and data. It’ll take a few days to absorb. It has extensive section covering:
* Housing Markets
* Demographic Drivers
* Rental Housing
* Housing Challenges
Should make for interesting reading. Seriously!