During the first six months of 2008, a host of economies—including that of Denmark, New Zealand, the UK, Spain, Sweden, Canada and Norway—have seen home prices fall at a faster rate than is occurring in the United States.
While home prices have been slipping for the past three years in the U.S., they are just beginning a precipitous fall in other places. Lucky for these other countries, they weren’t as, uh, deluded and stupid as we were.
While countries like the U.K. did experience some subprime lending, the practice of giving mortgages to less credit-worthy buyers never reached the proportions overseas as it did in the United States. That means other countries likely won’t experience the level of foreclosures that America has seen.
There is some sunny news for the good old U.S. of A. in the story. Worldwide, housing downturns seem to last roughly four years. We’re well into ours, and should hit year number four in mid 2009, at which point we’ll likely swing up again.