A plugged-in reader reports (and posits):
I was on a conference call today with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) CEO Jerry Howard and Chief Economist David Seiders where they were presenting the June Housing Market Index (HMI).
It was pretty bad. They were basically pleading with all news organizations and others to put pressure on the federal government to bail out the housing meltdown.
Jerry even went so far as to say that it is effecting senior citizens and it is just not right that they are losing their equity.
The NAHB reported that the index is at an all time record low of 18. Down from 19 in May. (a rating of 50 is neutral, greater than 50 means a majority of positive responses. less than 50 means a majority of negative)
David did say that he expects further declines since the current index does not reflect the recent rise in interest rates.
I really wish I could describe in words the sense of desperation that came from the call.
It seems easy to look at particular neighborhoods and say that a major downturn is not coming but I would have to agree with those whom have studied bubble and mass movement mentality. The drastic movement starts at the fringes and moves in over time.
Stockton -> Contra Costa -> Specific Districts in SF -> Top of Russian Hill
If we look back in 5 years I will be very surprised if those prime districts have not followed suit.
∙ Homebuilder Confidence Index Unexpectedly Fell to 18 [Bloomberg]
∙ SocketSite’s San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory Update: 6/16/08 [SocketSite]