Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Detroit, Las Vegas and the 2000 Losers Club

Lest you don’t believe that the country is caught in the grips of a major deflationary spiral, looks like a few of the regional housing markets have recently breached price levels not seen since 2000 while in Detroit and Las Vegas, things have gotten significantly worse.

There is probably no better an indication of the troubled times we live in than the sight of an 20th century icon of American manufacturing falling so hard that its household sector literally goes broke simply for living there while a shining new millennium icon of leisure and hospitality, especially well suited to the aging Boomer generation, does the same.

Worse yet, these two sorry metro housing markets are not alone.

Cleveland and Columbus breached their 2000 levels earlier this year prior to the start of their typical seasonal bounce while Denver and Atlanta look poised to drop below theirs any day now.

Phoenix briefly crashed right into its 2000 level in February but then bounced with a vigor not typically seen in this nearly season-less market… is there a “V”-shaped housing recovery in store for Phoenicians?

Not likely.

All these markets, though geographically and economically diverse, share one thing in common.

They, like the wider economy as a whole, are seriously impaired, the result of the changing attitudes of the now more cautious but still dangerously indebted and jobless or job insecure households and equally struggling firms and banks.

The following super interactive zoom-able (… and even embeddable and playable) charts show the Radar Logic 28-day aggregates for both Detroit and Las Vegas, the two metro area housing markets that currently show price levels below the level seen in 2000.