The darkest hour

Signs of hope among the gloom

AT THE ripe old age of five years, America’s housing bust is still very much alive and kicking. House prices dropped 3.3% in the year to February according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, the fastest decline since November 2009. The Federal Reserve’s preferred measure, the CoreLogic house-price index, showed an even worse one-year decline of 7.5% in March. And Zillow, an online real-estate database, recently said that prices fell 8.2% in the year to March. Zillow has reported falling prices for 57 consecutive months.

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