Crisis? What crisis?
If there is a bursting bubble on the housing market, the NAR is unaware of it.
"In the second quarter, 97 out of 149 metropolitan statistical areas 1 show year-over-year increases in median existing single-family home prices, including nine areas with double-digit annual gains; 50 had price declines; and two were unchanged. In the first quarter of 2007, revised data shows 83 areas had annual price increases, while in the fourth quarter of 2006 only 68 areas were up".
In plain English, as a first-time home buyer, you'll be worse off this year than the previous year. And even worse, the price dynamics does not give you any chance to get off the hook. Whenever the area is livable, prices keep going up. Whenever prices retreat, either the area is unlivable, or the discount is a useless 5% off the luxury $1M condo. Oregon is up. Washington is up. New York state is up. Pensilvania is up. New Jersey is up. The whole New England is up. Detroit is down, but it's a city of closing factories, so what's the use of it? Los Angeles luxury housing is down a bit, but it starts from $1.5M anyway. Want to "enjoy" a 1% discount vs. last year? Welcome to the Rust Belt or to the Bible Belt. Ready to accept a rotten compromise - Raleigh, NC or Austin, TX? Sorry, these place are up. You were not the only one thinking along these lines.
Want to take comfort in price drops outside the metro areas, in provincial backwaters? Yes, there were some. That's what drove the nationwide median price down 1.5% vs. last year. Only, these are not the price drops that you want to see. Cheaper areas did not sell any houses at a discount. They simply sold more houses vs. the expensive areas. Best performing states in terms of volume? Yes, you guessed it: Wyoming, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Indiana, Nebraska.
If stock market crashes were like this, we'd be millionnaires by now.