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Saturday, June 09, 2007

WSJ: Economists See Housing Slump Enduring Longer

by Calculated Risk on 6/09/2007 12:36:00 AM

From the WSJ: Economists See Housing Slump Enduring Longer

Late last year, some economists were saying the market would start bouncing back by the middle of 2007. That hasn't happened, partly because inventories of unsold houses have continued to grow and a surge in mortgage defaults has made lenders much more reluctant to grant credit to people with spotty payment histories.

David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York, says he is surprised by the degree to which speculation caused builders to overestimate demand, leaving a glut of houses and condominiums.
Reflecting this worse-than-expected slump, Mr. Resler recently trimmed his forecast for economic growth in the second half of this year to an annual rate of 2.8% from 3%. He sees about a 33% chance that the U.S. economy will slip into a recession in the next year. If it does, he says, the weak housing market would be largely to blame. Among the risks, he says, are that depreciating home values will make consumers more cautious in spending and that many more housing-related jobs will be lost.