According to national real estate consulting firm John Burns, there have been [4 notable weak periods in the past 20 years]( We are in the 4th period right now.

They observe that the 1988-1991 period was a _hard landing_ while the remaining have all been soft including the current downturn. The difference is defined as whether the majority of home builders are making profits.

Reasons given for the difference between hard and soft, was was the large amount fo job losses during the hard landing and very low consumer confidence.

The job losses in the soft landing periods were less severe, and concentrated in the Midwest. There was less speculation than we saw in the prior decade.

In the current downturn, we are seeing similar affordability issues as we have in the past yet jobs, the economy and consumer confidence are still holding up.

>which leads us to believe that consumers will return once interest rates stabilize and the investors have sold their holdings. We don’t know how long this will take but we are fairly certain that there are too many listings for the recovery to occur sometime this year.

One Comment

  1. NYCGuy July 17, 2006 at 5:23 pm

    To the soft-landing crowd we are near the bottom and things will pick up soon with much actual depreciation. To the on-the-contrary-Armageddon-is -just-beginning crowd, low sales and high inventory is just the precursor to gut-wrenching price drops. But what does history tell us? It would be most useful to see a graph of the last few housing market downturns showing these distinct data series:

    median price

    Is that data available either nationally or for NYC?

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