Harvard Housing Report Says Housing Slump is Worst in Half a Century

Boston–The current U.S. housing market deterioration is most likely the steepest decline in 50 years–and isn’t close to being over, according to the annual report from Harvard’s Joint Center on Housing Studies, which was released Monday.”The national median single-family home price fell [for] the first time in 40 years of recordkeeping, leaving several million homeowners with properties worth less than their mortgages,” the report said.In the past two years, the median U.S. home price has dropped 18 percent in inflation-adjusted terms. The country currently has the worst foreclosure rate in 34 years of tracking data, according to the Boston Herald.The inventory of pre-existing homes is at a 10.7-month supply; the supply of new housing–enough for 11 months at the current sales rate–is at a 30-year high.In addition, mortgage rates, which fell during previous housing market contractions, have hardly declined.”All of these factors may make this downturn more protracted than usual,” according to researchers.