Fellow blogger and newspaper reporter Ben Kepple covers the ongoing decline in housing prices and the changes lenders have been making in regards to mortgages that is helping to fuel this decline.
Just looking around central New Hampshire where I make my home, it's obvious that the housing market has cooled considerably. While the mix of homes here is a bit different than most other parts of the state (a large percentage of seasonal or “summer” homes) it still hasn't escaped the downturn in sales or prices. While neither has declined as rapidly as has happened elsewhere, it's still happening. Homes are on the market far longer than they were two years ago. Prices have declined about 2%, while elsewhere they may have dropped 5% or more. I see a number of non-seasonal homes that have been on the market for some time now being listed as price reduced.
Considering that mortgage lenders are being far more cautious than they have been over the past few years, I'm not surprised the market is still in decline. I doubt that decline will last much more than another year or two, but it won't be anything like it has been the past few years once it does turn around. Hopefully the non-bank mortgage lenders have learned the lesson this decline and the ever increasing foreclosures have taught them and they won't be handing out mortgages like toilet paper at a porta-potty. The banks learned that lesson in the early 1990's and the lesson stuck.
There's still some rough times ahead for those trying to sell their homes, those wanting to buy, as well as the lenders.