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[Harvard JCHS] The State of the Nation’s Housing 2009

The Joint Center for Housing Studies just released their annual The State of the Nation’s Housing [1] for 2009.

The report is quite extensive and topics include Housing Markets, Demographic Drivers, Homeownership, Rental Housing and Housing Challenges.

Nicolas P. Retsinas [2] Director for the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University will be appearing on The Housing Helix Podcast [3] in the near future to discuss the release. I’m a fan of his research and had the pleasure to share a split screen with him on CNBC a few years ago.

From their quarterly peaks during the housing boom to the last quarter of 2008, real home equity was down 41 percent, existing median home prices 27 percent (and at least 40 percent in 26 metropolitan areas), new home sales 70 percent, and existing home sales 33 percent. Homeowners also pulled back on home improvement projects, with spending off 13 percent in real terms in 2008 and even larger declines expected in 2009. The cutbacks in home building and remodeling shaved a full percentage point off economic growth in 2007 and nearly another point in 2008.

Here’s a sampling of some of the charts in the report – especially the one below – loan volume is half the levels of 2003 and there is virtually no non-prime lending. That leaves a lot of people without mortgage options, that are facing payment stress.