- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2009

The decline in housing prices will continue to drop for at least a year and not return to pre-recession levels for at least a decade,” Steve Cochrane of Moody’s Investor Service said Monday.

“Housing prices will continue to be fall through next year,” he said.

Mr. Cochrane, managing editor for the Moody’s Web site economy.com, also said average home prices in the United States have decreased 40 percent since peaking in 2006 and the recovery will likely be the slowest in bubble-and-bust states California and Florida, followed by New York City, where many potential buyers work or once worked on skittish Wall Street.

He made his comments on the C-SPAN cable TV channel and acknowledged that Moody’s underestimated the depth of the housing crisis, marked by banks extending loans to underqualified buyers and foreclosures, which has contributed to the 22-month recession.

Mr. Cochrane’s analysis is based on a Moody’s report released this summer that called the drop in housing prices “easily the worst on record for the U.S.”

The report also stated that prices typically will not return to 2006 highs until 2020 and the recovery will vary among regions, with those once having the highest prices taking the longest to return.

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