9 Housing-Market Head Winds for 2009

A look at the forces that will be working against a housing recovery in the new year.


7. Radioactive Effect Despite lower real estate prices and cheaper mortgage rates, the pain inflicted by the housing bust will frighten many would-be buyers away from the market next year, Larson says. "Enough of your 'average Joes' have been burned very badly and will be burned by the time this is all over that investment money is not going to flood back into the market," Larson says. "Any recovery—in my opinion—will be gradual and is going to take time."

8. Foreclosure Sales A huge problem for the housing market in 2008, foreclosure sales will continue weighing down the market next year. "There was a surge this year," Zandi says. "But next year [there] will be even more." While that will give buyers an opportunity to go bargain hunting, it's bad news for sellers. "It puts more homes out there for sale at a very deep discount," Zandi adds.

9. Subprime Mortgages While resetting subprime mortgages may not be a leading factor behind the decline in home prices—as they were this year—such products will again be working against the housing market in 2009, Thornberg says. "There are still lots of subprime mortgages out there that are going to reset not just in 2009, but 2010 and 2011," he says. "And so that's going to be a consistent problem for a while, although it is probably reduced in magnitude [from 2008]."