Prediction #7: Home prices

NAR released its March numbers:

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $159,600 in March, down 5.9 percent from March 2010.

That certainly didn’t take long. From my 2011 economic predictions: The national median existing-home price will fall below 160k from the present 170,600..

This is an interesting tidbit from the report: “NAR’s housing affordability index shows the typical monthly mortgage principal and interest payment for the purchase of a median-priced existing home is only 13 percent of gross household income, the lowest since records began in 1970.”

And yet many people still can’t afford to sell their homes, much less consider buying new ones. I’ll be getting into the updated details of the inflation vs deflation debate sometime in the next week, but keep in mind that continually plunging real estate prices despite easy money and historical affordability are not an indicator of inflation. And before anyone starts yammering about gold prices – do you seriously think I’m not aware of them when I was recommending it at $300? – here’s some homework for you. What is the ratio of the size in dollars of the global gold market versus the size in dollars of the U.S. residential real estate market?