Are the New Housing Predictions a Downer, or a Good Guess?

We keep hearing that the worst of the housing crisis may be over. But then again, signs are everywhere that it isn’t–and we might actually have much more housing market mayhem to come.

  • On Monday, shares of Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other
    housing funding sources fell drastically due to growing concerns about the
    U.S. mortgage market’s health, the Financial Times.
  • It didn’t help that the Freddie Mac CEO also said this week that he thought the decline in home prices was only a third over.
  • Countrywide Financial–the nation’s No. 1 lender–also had a rough financial week because of a Wall Street Journal article that said the company is  under federal investigation involving what the company knew about its borrowers’ income and assets.

True, some this week’s news involves activities from years ago–Countrywide is being investigated for previous mortgages, and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have had a tough year in general: That’s not new.

But (once upon a time), analysts were predicting that the housing slump wouldn’t bleed into 2008. Then they said it wouldn’t last much past mid-2008.

And now that we’ve sprung forward, it seems a whole new crop of naysayers are expressing dire forecasts–some of which are even more devoid of hope than the previous predictions. (Really? Have home prices only fallen a third of their total drop? Granted, they haven’t fallen as much as they could have, given the slumping market, but that seems extreme.)

So now it’s time to ask a question we haven’t posed directly for awhile: When do you think the housing slump will end? Or even start to turnaround? Are the recent reports overwhelmingly negative, or realistic?

We want your expert opinion. So tell us all what you think, developers, real estate analysts, agents and other readers: When will the market improve?