The American housing crisis is worsening. Prices are tumbling, not only in familiar trouble areas like Nevada and Michigan, but also in cities previously thought to be immune from the crash — Denver, Chicago and Atlanta. All this bad news is leading to fears that the U.S. is heading to the second half of a "double dip" recession. Here, a look at the numbers behind America's falling house prices.
Number of cities out of 20 tracked by Standard & Poor's/Case-Schiller in which home prices fell during January
Growth at which house prices grew during January in the one city that was the exception (Washington, D.C.)
The overall drop in home prices in those 20 cities from January 2010 to January 2011
11 out of 20
Number of cities in which house prices are at their lowest point since April 2009 — the point at which the housing bubble burst. These include Charlotte N.C., Miami, Fla., and New York.
Number of new single-family houses sold in the U.S. in February 2011
Number of new single-family houses sold in the U.S. in February 2010
Median price of new houses sold in February 2011
Median price of new houses sold in February 2010
Number of existing homes sold from February 2010 to February 2011
Number of existing homes sold from February 2009 to February 2010
Median price of existing homes sold in February 2011
Median price of existing homes sold in February 2010
Share of existing homes sold from February 2010 to February 2011 that were distressed, or sold at a discount. The figure was 35 percent in 2010.
The share of homes in the U.S. that are currently vacant. Many foreclosed homes are sitting on the market, keeping sale prices and property values low.
The drop in the consumer confidence index in March, the largest decline in a year
Share of Americans who think their incomes will increase over the next six months. "Buying a house is a mix of faith and necessity," says David Streitfeld at The New York Times. These numbers indicate "that first element is scarce these days."
Sources: New York Times, Yahoo! News (2), U.S. Census, MarketWatch, National Association of Realtors
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
When Americans banned Christmas
Subscribe to the Week