The crash of the stock market, the burst of the housing bubble, and the subsequent recovery all account for the last several years of turbulent events that have rocked real estate trends. As the housing market continues to recover, it's important to look back closely on the real estate trends of the last decade to help us avoid any potential pitfalls in the future—and to truly appreciate the market today. Before 2008: Declining Home Values, Overwhelmed Consumers By the time 2006 was over, property values across the country declined to all-time lows. On average, most homes lost 39 percent of their value, especially in depressed suburban areas and impoverished urban centers. At the same time, consumers who had purchased their properties using a variable rate mortgage could no longer afford their payments because rates began to balloon to amounts they could no longer afford. In many cases, consumers lied on mortgage applications and told banks that they could afford payments that were well beyond their means, while banks rarely checked to see if...
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