Bailout Not a Panacea for Housing Market

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The massive financial bailout passed by
Congress and signed by President Bush could help homebuilders and
mortgage lenders. But it's unlikely to bring fast relief to anybody
trying to buy or sell a house.
Under the bailout, the government will buy up sour mortgages and
other securities from banks. That's designed to inject cash into
the credit markets and restore confidence among shaken investors
and consumers.
But that may have only a slow and gradual impact on home prices,
record foreclosures and the 10-plus-month supply of unsold homes.
U.S. home prices are down 20 percent from their peak in July
2006. And many analysts say they still have further to fall, and
must hit bottom before demand picks up. The long-awaited bottom in
prices could be a year or more away.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)