Industry News

Bearish outlook sees worst recession since Depression

Bulls and bears debate sting and reach of housing downturn

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null NEW YORK -- Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics at New York University's Stern School of Business, is calling it the worst housing recession since the days of the Great Depression. Speaking during a session at the Real Estate Connect NYC conference on Wednesday, Roubini said he believes that a U.S. economic recession began in late 2007 and "is going to be much more severe" than economic recessions earlier this decade and in the early 1990s, with credit problems spreading across the financial system and impacting all forms of home loans, commercial real estate loans and even auto loans, among other forms of financing. "What we're worried about today is a systemic financial crisis. This is a severe, massive problem. It's going to take years to adjust," said Roubini. Home prices have already fallen 15 percent to 20 percent in some areas from their peaks during the latest housing boom, with housing starts tumbling 40 percent and sales sliding about 50 percent, he said. If prices ...