Since July 2006 prices nationally for homes have just gone down. They have declined for 57 straight months, a streak once thought impossible.
The whole mortgage business and real estate industry was based on the premise that nobody was making more land and so homes across the country would not lose value. Responsible bankers thought a downpayment of 20% was ample security for a loan because prices would not go down.
By 2006 the idea of demanding a 20% downpayment was quaint. Prices had skyrocketed and would keep going straight up and so the liars and crooks flooded the mortgage market with-nothing-down-no-proof-of anything-loans. Then these toxic mortgages were resold by sharks on Wall Street, with some companies betting against the mortgages that they sold to clients.
And where were the regulators? Alan Greenspan, an acolyte of Rand, shrugged. Regulators were picked to regulate primarily on the basis that they did not believe in regulation of the financial sector and so they did not regulate.
The bubble inflated and then popped 57 months ago.
Now the impossible is a monthly reality.