Talk about bad news for the thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs dependent on housing and the millions of others indirectly affected by the housing market. In Zillow.com’s latest survey on the state of the U.S. housing market, the situation can be summed up in one word—lousy.
The housing slump, the online real estate company reports today, isn’t only reaching levels not seen for 80 years, it’s actually expected to surpass them.
“While not unexpected, the unceasing declines in home values signal that we’re in for a long, bleak winter of continued troubles for the housing market,” Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries, said in a release. “The length and depth of the current housing recession is rivaling the Great Depression’s real estate downturn, and, with encouraging signs fading, will easily eclipse it in the coming months.”
More people are upside down on their mortgages, foreclosures are on the rise, and housing prices continue to fall in just about every one of the top 25 metropolitan markets.
“The high percentage of homeowners in negative equity continues to be troubling, in that it represents a huge number of people who are not only more vulnerable to foreclosure, but who are essentially trapped in their current homes and are prevented from selling and buying a new home. This has profound implications for future demand and will be a millstone around the neck of the housing market,” Humphries said.