Double dip: The housing market is still in terrible shape

I suppose the only good news in this is that one way or another, if you own a home now, you're likely to keep it. Banks probably don't want to own any more houses they can't unload in a market where credit is tight, and demand is nonexistent.

After rebounding in 2009 and 2010, national home prices have sagged to another low in what housing experts are calling a "double dip."

Falling for the eight consecutive month, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index reveals that home prices in major metro areas are back to mid-2002 levels, with no end to the declines in sight. The 20-city National Index dropped 4.2 percent in the first quarter after having fallen 3.6 percent in the final quarter of 2010. In Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas average home prices tumbled below January 2000 levels.

Daniel Martin, an economist with the Economist Intelligence Unit, said excess supply has persisted since the construction boom earlier last decade that culminated when home prices collapsed in 2006.

The Obama economy: Where you can afford to own less, and what you do own is worth less.