Here is an excellent review of U.S. housing booms and busts from the FDIC.

They define a bust as a 15% decline in prices within 5 years. With that criteria, they only found…

… two major episodes of home price busts. The first began in the mid-1980s in the “oil patch” cities of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and some of the western states. This episode includes the most severe price declines of our entire sample, with nominal prices in one city falling by as much as 40 percent over a five-year period. Another episode of large nominal price declines occurred in selected metro areas of the Northeast and California beginning in the early 1990s.

Nevertheless, the unnamed analysts in Catherine Reagor’s article below predict a 10% decline this year alone which, given that the median home price increased January through May this year, really means a greater than 10% decline in 7 months.

I don’t buy it.

The median home price may be down a bit in December compared to today but that 10% figure is just silly. It would be an interesting example of how newspapers work except that I’m sure the article needlessly scared many people.