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September 25, 2006

Today's Housing Bubble Post - Prices Are Falling, Layoffs Beginning

-- by Dave Johnson

Here it comes. After this news buyers will start demanding price reductions. This can only accellerate -- this bubble could "unwind" very rapidly. Where IS the bottom? Just remember what happened when the stock market bubble popped. Existing-home prices fall for 1st time in 11 years,

Median sales prices of existing homes fell from year-ago levels in August for the first time in 11 years and just the sixth time in the past 38 years, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.
Sales of existing homes fell 0.5% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.30 million, the industry group said.
And the ripple effects are beginning to spread with mortgage companies and realtors starting to lay off employees:

Countrywide may cut jobs by 10% - Countrywide blames housing sales slowdown,

Countrywide Financial Corp., the country's largest mortgage lender with about 5,700 workers in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village, instituted a 60-day hiring freeze and plans to reduce staffing in several areas, Dave Sambol, president and chief operating officer, said in a memo obtained by The Star.
Jump ship or pink slip for some realtors,
They are jumping ship or receiving the pink slip. America's real estate agents and mortgage lenders, that is.

Now that the glory days of the most recent U.S. housing market are over, its deterioration is taking a toll on employees who profited from its record-breaking five-year run.

With home sales slumping and loan demand diminishing, layoff announcements and resignations have become increasingly common, evidence that the sector's slump is broad.

Posted by Dave Johnson at September 25, 2006 8:10 AM

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