Home Prices Falling? Not Mine!

Amid the general surge in economic anxiety, there’s one surprising area of calm: Few homeowners are alarmed that the value of their house has already plunged or is soon likely to do so. In a Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Personal Finance Poll, homeowners were asked how much the value of their home has changed over the past year. Just 4 percent said it has “significantly decreased,” with another 19 percent saying it has “moderately decreased.” Nor do most homeowners feel the past year was merely the calm before the deluge. Just 1 percent think their own home’s value will decline significantly in the year ahead, with another 14 percent expecting a moderate decline. Many more think their home’s value will rise, whether significantly (4 percent) or moderately (37 percent). Events may prove these optimists wrong, but at least they aren’t adding their own house-price anxiety to the current swirl of economic quasi panic.