When real estate insiders grow pessimistic...

Real estate professionals are inherently optimistic. Home prices going up? Now's the time to buy, before they go higher! Home values collapsing? Now's the time to buy, when you can scoop up a bargain! I've had real estate agents who, in the process of helping me find a house, rail about how the local real estate agents should pull their advertising from the local newspaper for being so negative (though as a journalist, I simply thought the local coverage was reflecting the reality of the moment).

So when I saw this article in this San Diego-area newspaper in which the manager of GMAC's Mortgage group in Coast Mesa warned that we're only "halfway down the mountain and we've got a ways to go," that suggests that any talk that southern California has hit a bottom and is stabilizing is premature. When the pros are willing to speak openly about the problems ahead, you know it's bad...

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