The Wall Street Journal has an article this morning about the housing slowdown.
"The housing market continues to weaken in much of the country as inventories of unsold homes rise and many sellers cut their asking prices, a quarterly survey by The Wall Street Journal shows.
There is no sign of a broad collapse of housing prices about a year after the once-hot coastal markets entered a long-anticipated cooling phase. But the general level of prices is edging down in some areas and leveling off in others, while the supply of homes for sale keeps rising." Read the rest (subscription required)
Here's a few areas of interest:
Area Inventory Price Trend
Atlanta +20% Rising
Boston +60% Falling
Dallas +6% Rising
LA +181% Flat
Miami +245% Falling
Orlando +397% Flat
San Fran +112% Flat
Obviously, some areas are worse than others, but the trend is obvious. Housing is slowing and we don't yet know the overall effect on the economy. Construction of commercial structures seems to be picking up as residential falls off (Bernanke mentioned this in his testimony yesterday) and that may soften the blow somewhat. It will help the construction industry, but it's unlikely to help the service type jobs (mortgage brokers, etc.) associated with the residential market. Can other types of service jobs make up for a fall off in the real estate associated jobs? I don't think we know yet, but I must admit it seems unlikely.