Housing Slump’s Third Year to Be `Deepest’ Since WWII (Update1)

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) — As the U.S. housing slump enters its third year, there is no sign of dawn in the darkness that is paralyzing home building, home buying and home lending.

Standard & Poor’s 15-member Supercomposite Homebuilding Index tumbled 62 percent this year as of yesterday, the largest drop since the benchmark was started in 1995. The companies have lost about $35 billion of market value.

The outlook is bleak with new home sales projected to fall 13 percent in 2008, according to estimates from the National Association of Realtors in Chicago, even as interest rates drop. Losses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two biggest U.S. providers of mortgage financing, may restrict the availability of home loans, and chief executive officers at D.R. Horton Inc. and Centex Corp. expect another tough year.

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