On Wall Street, it's 2008 again. But what year is it on your street?
Even with Friday’s sell-off, major stock market indexes are up from 5% to 11% this year, lifting the Dow Jones industrial average back to where it was in the spring of 2008.
If only we could say the same for the housing market.
In 2008, the median home price in Southern California was $340,000. Home prices are still nowhere close to that level and, in fact, continue to fall.
The median annual price in 2011 was $280,000. But the median for November was $275,000, according to San Diego-based DataQuick, and by December that had dropped to $270,000. We’ll likely see January numbers next week.
For most of Southern California, home values have hurtled down the Time Tunnel past 2003 (median price: $315,000) and are headed for 2002, when the median was $261,000.
Remember 2002? “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was a surprise hit at the box office and U2 played the Super Bowl halftime show.
Next stop: 2001, when the median price was $225,000, or less than half of the peak in 2007.
Some observers are hopeful that the $25-billion settlement between the states attorneys general and five major lenders will help lift the housing market out of its doldrums by preventing more foreclosures from further weakening the housing market.
Count current homeowners among the hopeful. For them, time travel may not be all the fun it’s cracked up to be.