The meltdown of the U.S. housing market now has the ugly distinction as having eclipsed that of the collapse of the Great Depression.
A new report from Zillow.com, a real estate site based in the United States, shows the peak-to-trough plunge in U.S. home values reached 26 per cent in November, down from the June 2006 high. That's a shade more than the 25.9-per-cent drop between 1928 and 1933, Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said yesterday.
November, Mr. Humphries wrote, marked the 53rd consecutive monthly decline in national home values, bringing them to the levels of October 2003.
"More worrisome, the pace of home value declines also notched up again with the monthly depreciation rate increasing to 0.78 per cent in November," he said. "This is the highest rate of monthly depreciation since February 2009."
Foreclosure liquidations fell to 0.94 of every 1,000 homes, down from 1.15 in October, though this was no doubt an "artificial dip" as evictions slowed markedly due to the U.S. foreclosure scandal.
"Look for the liquidation rate to increase again in December and likely reach new peak levels in 2011," Mr. Humphries said.