What do you think? Is Chip Case on target or is he spending too much time smoking pot and playing hacky-sack in the quad with the kids over at Wellesley?

“We are an expensive place where house prices rose a lot during the boom, so I’m not surprised that things have slowed considerably,” Wellesley College housing economist Karl Case said.

Case blames much of the latest downturn on foreclosures, stricter lending standards and other woes hitting lower-priced housing.

“The lower tier is pulling everything down,” he said. “If you talk to brokers outside of Mattapan, New Bedford, Fall River and other places with lots of foreclosures, there’s actually a considerable amount of sales activity going on.”

Case believes the market’s middle- and higher-price segments, which he defines as houses costing $312,000 or more, could begin stabilizing as early as June.

“The latest numbers make it look like the market is never going to bottom out, but it would be wrong to conclude that,” he said. “Every cycle we’ve ever had – including the early 1990s downturn, which was just terrible – eventually comes to an end.”

Again?

“We are an expensive place where house prices rose a lot during the boom …”

True, that. I think I read somewhere that prices have increased 160% between 1995 and 2005 and have only gone down 5-8%, since then.

Source: Sales hit new lows: Bay State home, condo prices down in Jan. – By Jerry Kronenberg, The Boston Herald

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