Fools Gold, it never existed. Real values hardly decline like other intangible assets, stocks, bonds, commodities, gold etc etc. Real Estate values have always been in a long-term bull market for the past 60 -70 years. Now our consumers have been waiting and " gaming" the markets, hoping to pick up basement bargain prices. They postponed house buying for few years hoping they can do very well. Instead, the tables have turned on them and they are out of luck. Now they will have to wash their laundry with other losers at the local laundromat for sometime. As of now lenders have 95% loan programs with 5 % down, but they are adding another 5% for declining markets. That means you have to come up with 10% down payment + closing costs to get your foot in the door. How sweet! Does anybody has 10% down payment? Not many can raise their hands. If a house is worth 500,000 its $50,000 + closing costs! WOW! Gone are the days of 100% financing, it simply doesn't exist anymore. Countrywide and other lenders have sent in a list of counties nationwide where this rule applies. If the appraisals come at the price they will subtract 5% for declining values and give you a loan. That makes its doubly hard to buy a house even if your motivation has perked up after Fed rate cuts.