50 Numbers From 2019 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

December 31, 2019 by Michael Snyder


One of the best ways to determine where things are heading is to look back at how much has changed over the past 12 months. 2019 has been one of the most memorable years in our history, and it has certainly set the stage for the critical events of the decade to come. However, not everyone views this moment in our history the same way. For example, one “expert” that is being heavily quoted by the mainstream media is claiming that 2019 was the culmination of “the best decade in human history”. His main argument seems to be that since “the ecological footprint of human activity” appears to be shrinking, the world must be a better place than it was before as a result. And certainly there are many other voices out there that are boldly proclaiming that we have entered a golden new era of peace and prosperity and that the best is yet to come. You can buy that argument if you want, but there are other voices that believe that everything that is wrong with our society is reaching a very dangerous crescendo. For those with that perspective, it appears that we are very close to a societal tipping point and that the years ahead are when we will finally pay the price for decades of exceedingly bad decisions.

So what do you think?

Will the 2020s be the best of times or the worst of times?

As you ponder that question, here are 50 numbers from 2019 that are almost too crazy to believe…

#1 According to a Gallup poll that was just released, Barack Obama and Donald Trump came in tied for “the most admired man in America” this year. They both got 18 percent in the survey, and no other man had more than 2 percent.

#2 At 10 percent, Michelle Obama topped the list in the Gallup poll for “the most admired woman in America” this year.

#3 Global stocks have increased in value by more than 25 trillion dollars over the past 10 years.

#4 In the United States, 84 percent of all stocks are owned by the wealthiest 10 percent of all Americans.

#5 The U.S. government is now more than 23 trillion dollars in debt.

#6 During the Obama and Trump administrations, we have added more than 12 trillion dollars to the national debt.

#7 Over the past 12 months alone, we have added another 1.1 trillion dollars to the national debt.

#8 Every single hour of every single day, we are stealing more than 100 million dollars from future generations of Americans.

#9 According to the IMF, total global debt has now reached the 188 trillion dollar mark.

#10 U.S. corporations are now close to 10 trillion dollars in debt.

#11 Total corporate debt has now reached 47 percent of U.S. GDP. That is the highest level in our history.

#12 Total U.S. household debt is about to cross the 14 trillion dollar mark.

#13 A study that was recently released found that 70 percent of all Americans are struggling financially right now.

#14 The average family in the United States cannot afford to buy a home in 71 percent of the country.

#15 58 million jobs in the United States pay less than $793 a week.

#16 According to the Social Security Administration, 50 percent of all Americans make less than $33,000 a year.

#17 63 percent of the jobs that have been created in the United States since 1990 have been low wage jobs.

Read the Rest of the Story at the Link Below.

50 Numbers From 2019 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

“The Fourth Turning: Of Time, Turnings, Stars & Wars”

by Doug “Uncola” Lynn Dec 29th, 2019

“Like nature, history is full of processes that cannot happen in reverse. Just as the laws of entropy do not allow a bird to fly backward, or droplets to regroup at the top of a waterfall, history has no rewind button. Like the seasons of nature, it moves only forward.”
– Strauss and Howe: “The Fourth Turning”, First Edition, page 255

“Contemplating the concept of time can be quite confounding, to say the least. In the extreme, considering the paradoxical nature of time’s passage will stretch the mind causing thoughts to invert like taffy in a rolling machine or light yielding to the gravity of an Event Horizon before the edge of a Black Hole in deep space.

Knowing Einstein was right means time stops at the speed of light. Surely then, waves of thought must generate their own specific gravity to capture both light and sound, together. Our eyes and ears record each moment and translate events into high definition digital memories which we can recall upon demand and view as celluloid film stock in a dark room.

However, in this dimension, there is another aspect at play that comes attached to time. Space: The final frontier. These conflagrate together and then separate at any given moment never to coalesce again in quite the same way. Time can be recalled like a ghost, or a spectral hologram, on the mind’s screen, but the space will have changed and dissipated entropically like dust digested in the amorphous bellies of Stephen King’s Langoliers.

To put it another way, time changes everything. A couple of years ago one of my offspring had a milestone birthday so we went to a morning movie matinee followed by an expensive late lunch at a fine dining venue. It was there where I chewed my food and contemplated the confounding conceptual continuations of space and time.

The movie was the Star Wars flick, “Rogue One” and the state-of-the-art theater featured stadium seating and a massive UltraScreen Deluxe® with Dolby® Atmospheric Surround-sound which, according to the advertisements, offered the “ultimate moviegoing experience”. As I watched the story unfold in REAL D 3D® with my 3D glasses in place while eating my popcorn and nestled comfortably in the red leather DreamLoungerTM recliner, I thought to myself how I really am in the future. In the lobby after the movie, I checked Drudge on my smartphone and learned Carrie Fisher had died in Los Angeles.

This made me remember way back to my past when I was a preteen and first saw the original Star Wars. I watched it with several friends in an ornately vintage, and solitary, theater in my small town. Through the patina of time and the opaque looking glass of my mind’s eye, I remember hoping no one would tell my parents, or my orthodontist, that I was eating popcorn and lemon drops with new braces on my teeth. Although I was an avid reader back then with a keen appreciation for science fiction, I had not seen a film before that captivated me like the first Star Wars. The excellent storyline, superior special effects, and the characters in the film really made an impression on me.

If my current self could go back to that day, I would meet the geeky, metal-mouthed kid after the movie and tell him some things. I would also mention how, in 39 years, he will celebrate his progeny’s birthday who, at that time, will be several years older than he is now and how he will be seeing another Star Wars movie on the very same day that Princess Leia died in real life.

The ironic confluence of time and space, indeed.

I am sure the mini-me at that time would have pegged me as a brain-damaged old fool and, in turn, would have attempted to persuade me into buying him and his friends a six-pack of beer, a fifth of peppermint Schnapps, a Playboy and a can of chew. After all, according to “The Fourth Turning,” by Strauss and Howe, the year 1977 was two and a half “Turnings” ago. Back then, the future wasn’t set. Or was it?

“We perceive our civic challenge as some vast, insoluble Rubik’s Cube. Behind each problem lies another problem that must be solved first, and behind that lies yet another, and another, ad infinitum. To fix crime we have to fix the family, but before we do that we have to fix welfare, and that means fixing our budget, and that means fixing our civic spirit, but we can’t do that without fixing moral standards, and that means fixing schools and churches, and that means fixing the inner cities, and that’s impossible unless we fix crime. There’s no fulcrum on which to rest a policy lever. People of all ages sense that something huge will have to sweep across America before the gloom can be lifted – but that’s an awareness we suppress. As a nation, we’re in deep denial.”
– Strauss and Howe, “The Fourth Turning”, First Edition, page 252

Written by the historians William Strauss and Neil Howe, “The Fourth Turning” was published in 1997 and was, at that time, boldly proclaimed by the authors to be an “American Prophecy”. The book is fascinating in that it very thoroughly documents recorded cycles of history across multiple cultures and eras in order to predict the timing of “America’s next rendezvous with destiny”.

Processing almost like a Cliff’s Notes summary, the book identifies the timelines of historical events and matches them to specific life cycles of people in the form of generational archetypes. What is also interesting is how Strauss and Howe quantify and compare the recordings of history of multiple authors throughout the millennia to find uncanny comparisons in both historical and generational cycles. Ironically, the comparisons stand up not only to the test of time regarding recorded events in history, but the generational turnings and archetypes also translate to ancient literature and other writings as well, ranging from Homer’s Iliad to the Holy Bible.

The concept of time is discussed in the context of both circular and linear perspectives as Strauss and Howe describe what is called the “saeculum”. The saeculum represents a “long human life”, or approximately 80 to 90 years comprising of four turnings each lasting about 20 to 22 years.

Just as there are four seasons consisting of spring, summer, fall and winter, there are also four phases of a human life represented in childhood, young adulthood, middle age and old age, or elderhood. As each phase of human life represents approximately 20 years, so is each generational archetype identified within historical cycles, or turnings, as follows:


The generational archetypes experience the historical turnings according their life stage, or age. Amazingly, history shows a consistent pattern in how the generations both cause and affect historical events. The patterns develop based upon how each generation interacts with the other and this also has documented consistencies that are delineated by the authors.

At any given “turning” during the saeculum, the set order of the generations on the age ladder is called a “constellation”. For example, during the Fourth Turning Crisis of 1929 through 1945, America experienced a financial crash, a great depression and a world war. During this period, the Prophet generation was entering Elderhood, the Nomad generation were middle-aged and the Hero generation fought WW II as young adults while the Artist generation were children during that time.

When the Crisis (Winter) era of financial hardship and war was over, the Spring of another First Turning began as the Hero generation led America into a season of unparalleled prosperity from 1946 through President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. It was then the baby boomer, Prophet, generation began. As young adults, the boomers began to rock the nation with new age flower-power, feminism, guitars and free love. Thus began the Awakening that lasted through Ronald Reagan’s first term that ended in 1984. It was then the Third Turning of the Unraveling began.

In 1997, when the Fourth Turning was published, Strauss and Howe used their generational model to predict with remarkable accuracy, the start of the next Crisis in 2005:

“By the middle Oh-Ohs, institutions will reach a point of maximum weakness, individualism of maximum strength, and even the simplest public task will feel beyond the ability of government. As niche walls rise ever higher, people will complain endlessly how bad all of the niches are. Wide chasms will separate rich from poor, whites from blacks, immigrants from native borns, seculars from born agains, technophiles from technophobes. America will feel more tribal. Indeed, many will be asking whether fifty states and so many dozens of ethic cultures make sense any more as a nation – and, if they do, whether that nation has a future.”
– Strauss and Howe: “The Fourth Turning”, First Edition, page 252

In 1997 there was no way to foresee the sequencing of 911, the Patriot Act, Edward Snowden, government incompetence after Hurricane Katrina, the financial crisis of 2007 – 2008, the subsequent TARP bailouts or the election of a mysterious, biracial pied piper to the presidency of the United States.

There is no way anyone could have predicted the ensuing eight years of Obama, the nationalization of healthcare, the orgy of greed hosted by Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, endless wars, unchecked immigration, the TSA, NSA, Homeland Security, the CIA versus the FBI, smart phones, drones, religious discriminations, Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party, the Alt-right, Black Lives Matter and fake news.

Given the accuracy and timing of Strauss and Howe’s predictions, perhaps there is real validity behind their generational theory after all. And, given this, then we are now within the Winter of a Fourth Turning Crisis.

Can you feel it in the air? High powers in dark places are gathering and sides are being chosen as potential treachery and intrigue lurk around every corner. A global empire stands prepared to battle with populist movements and sovereign nations across the globe while rumors of a neo American civil war abound here at home.

Captured corporate media propaganda outlets and deep state government agencies relentlessly shill for a global empire and stoke the fires of war against a free alternative media while simultaneously provoking a nuclear armed Russia.

Half of the nation’s electorate, on the brink of a financial abyss, would rather kneel before an evil empire than to support the outcome of a free election. Of course, there is no unity in America today. Those days are long gone.

“People young and old will puzzle over what it felt like for their parents and grandparents, in a distantly remembered era, to have lived in a society that felt like one national community. They will yearn to recreate this, to put America back together again. But no one will know how.”
– Strauss and Howe, “The Fourth Turning”, First Edition, page 252

Winter is here. War is coming. Battles will be waged and conflicts will rage. There will be no escape for what is coming and no guarantee as to any outcome, save one: After this Fourth Turning, there will remain only liberty or tyranny. One, but not the other. For this will be a fight unto the death.

Even so, do many Nomads now entering middle-age, and their Hero generation progeniture, actually understand what is about to befall them? Do they even care? And, for those who do understand and do care; do they know how to fight?

Truly, there are many variables to this historical cycle that were absent in the all of the previous Fourth Turnings throughout history. A few examples would include pervasive and devastating technology with the capabilities of either enslaving, or killing, entire generations of people; a global corporatocracy in control of government agencies, mass flows of information, food and resources; entirely misinformed and apathetic populations with no moral bearing, belief system, or willingness to accept truth in order to stand strong against the dark powers now encroaching; and, finally, there are so many who have been trained to embrace the utopian lie of one world under tyranny. Sadly, many of these may be the new Stormtroopers in waiting.

In the end, we must choose. And not choosing, by default, is a choice. Can a rag tag federation of freedom fighters with truth, liberty and history on their side under a flag of 13 stripes and 50 stars, with idea-fueled keyboards, a compromised internet, and semi-automatic weapons prevail against a galactic empire in control of a technocracy more powerful than any fictional Death Star?

We’re about to find out. The year 2020 arrives shortly. Cheers to the New Year. Everything that has ever happened before has delivered us to where we are now. Hold on to that. Even more importantly, don’t forget to fasten your seatbelts and place your trays in the upright and locked position.The warp drive is about to be engaged. A new journey has begun.

May the Force be with you.”
– https://www.theburningplatform.com/

Melt-Up: Roaring 2020’s Economic Collapse! – Great Video


Something Big Is About To Drop From Wikileaks:Robert David Steele

Kevin Shipp – We Are Headed for the Financial Rapids

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (Early Sunday Release)

Former CIA officer and counter-intelligence expert Kevin Shipp says that former Obama Administration Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder gave a big Deep State panic signal when he wrote in an Op-Ed last week in the Washington Post trashing current AG William Barr and his top prosecutor John Durham. Shipp explains, “This is very significant. We all remember that Holder was Obama’s right hand man. Eric Holder was Barack Obama’s enforcer. The fact that Holder comes out this quickly after the Inspector General (IG) Horowitz Report comes out . . . and makes this veiled threat against Durham’s reputation. The fact that Eric Holder came out and made this statement is a clear indication to me they are running scared. We have to understand it was Eric Holder that Barack Obama used to target the heads of corporations that spoke out publicly about Barack Obama. We know Holder was held in ‘Contempt of Congress.’ He spied on AP reporters, ran guns to drug cartels and blacked out the information. He spied on over a hundred journalists, and on and on we go. . . . They (Deep State) are convinced there are going to be indictments. Secondly, there is AG Barr’s outrage over (IG) Horowitz’s report and what it did not do. He made statements that there was spying and actions by government officials that need to be criminally looked into. Barr’s outrage over this shows me that there are going to be indictments, and that he is taking this seriously. Again, when Holder comes out and puts out this bombshell in the Washington Post, which is another indication that indictments are coming. John Brennan, former Obama Administration CIA Director, is going to be at the top of the list.”

Shipp says during the entire Trump Presidency, the mainstream media (MSM) has operated as a propaganda arm of the Deep State and the Democrats. Shipp contends, “They put these stories out intentionally because they are creating their own story, and that is what the propaganda mainstream media does. It creates its own story. . . .They want to frame their latest story that there really wasn’t any spying on Trump. That’s what FISA warrants and applications are all about. They are all about spying.”

Shipp thinks this will be a big nail in the coffin of the MSM. Shipp says, “The mainstream media will never come back from this because finally, through shows like this and others, the real information is coming out as to what the mainstream media has done. At the top of that list is the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC. . . . What they did is they created the Russia collusion story as if it was reality, as if it was real. That is part of the procedure in doing this. Then, they invented the evidence, and that was the Steele Dossier. They portrayed this as evidence to create this false narrative. Then they sent this story out to each outlet, and all repeat the same story over and over and over again knowing the more they repeat it, the more people were going to believe it. Then, the FBI leaked information to the mainstream media. The FBI took that information leaked to the media and used their stories as evidence. Brennan leaked the dossier to the mainstream media as part of this whole machine.”

Shipp says the hoax of Russia collusion and the impeachment sham of President Trump is distracting us from other very big problems such as the extreme debt the country and the world is facing. Shipp says, “Trump inherited a financial monster that was not his doing. When he was sworn into office, it already existed. It is very serious, and I think now or very soon the U.S. government will not be able to afford the interest on the national debt, much less paying off the debt itself.”

It is reported that central banks are buying record amounts of gold, and even Goldman Sachs is telling its clients to buy the yellow metal. Shipp says, “This is a solid indicator that we are headed for the financial rapids with Goldman Sachs especially. Goldman Sachs is a global bank, and it’s one of the main banks in the United States. The fact that Sachs and others are building up gold reserves is a clear indication that they expect a financial downturn, to put it mildly, that is coming.”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp.


There is no better Christmas time movie than the 1946 Jimmy Stewart classic, It's A Wonderful Life. But NBC is going to make sure it's very difficult to watch this year, and forever more. WHY? Author James Perloff joins me to discuss.

The Rock Stars Of The Real Estate Recovery And The Emerging Third Wave Of Distress

December 12, 2019

A report from DS News. “Foreclosure auction inflow data points to a third wave of post-recession distress building in late 2019 and early 2020. A total of 43,232 residential properties nationwide were referred to Auction.com in Q3 2019 for a potential future foreclosure auction, up from the previous quarter and a year ago to the highest level since Q1 2017. The characteristics of the increasing foreclosure auction inflow are distinct enough to label it a third wave of distress emerging in the wake of the Great Recession.”

“The first and largest wave comprised primarily risky loans originated during the 2004-2008 housing boom. The second post-recession wave of distress emerged in 2018 as the result of a series of devastating natural disaster events—primarily hurricane-related—in 2016 and 2017 in Florida and Texas. The emerging third wave of post-recession distress is showing up in parts of Florida and Texas, but it is also showing up in markets far removed from Florida and Texas (see below for some more geographic details). That’s because this wave is less characterized by geographic concentrations of distress and more characterized by concentrations of distress based on loan type and lender type.”

“More to the point, the emerging third wave of distress is primarily driven by a rising undercurrent of defaults among government-insured loans and privately held loans. Two sub-categories within the overall government-insured space stand out: VA-backed loans with a 31% increase and FHA-backed loans serviced by mid-market lenders—many of them so-called nonbank lenders and servicers—with a 17% increase.”

“The Black Knight report shows that the delinquency rate at six months after origination is trending higher for loans originated in 2018 and 2019, with a more extreme upward trend among Ginnie Mae-securitized loans—primarily comprising VA- and FHA-backed loans. The report shows that 3.3% of Ginnie Mae-securitized loans originated over the past 12 months were delinquent at six months, up from 3.1% for loans originated in 2018 to the highest level since 2009.”

“Among all loan originations, the delinquency rate six months after origination was 1% for loans originated in the first quarter of 2019, up from 0.9% for loans originated in 2018 to the highest level since 2010.”

“Among 2,410 counties with foreclosure auction inflow into Auction.com in Q3 2019, 870 counties (36%) posted a year-over-year increase in foreclosure auction inflow, including Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Los Angeles County, California; and Bexar County (San Antonio), Texas. Also posting year-over-year increases in foreclosure auction inflow in Q3 were all three counties in the Seattle metro area: King, Pierce, and Snohomish; and three counties in the Denver metro area: Denver, Arapahoe, and Adams.”

“‘Some of the markets with the biggest inflow increases in the third quarter may be surprising given they have been rock stars of the real estate recovery of the last seven years,’ said Jesse Roth, SVP of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development at Auction.com. ‘But those markets may now be victims of their own success, with an unsustainable run-up in home prices pushing the limits of affordability for many homebuyers in recent years. Those financially stretched borrowers now have less equity cushion to protect against foreclosure, particularly if they are in a government-insured loan that came with a low down payment and down payment assistance.’”

“The inflow geographic trends align with recent foreclosure start data released by ATTOM Data Solutions, which shows that U.S. foreclosure starts in the first nine months of 2019 increased in 14 states and 80 of 220 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed (36%). Among larger metro areas, those posting year-over-year increases in the first nine months of the year included Atlanta (up 23%), Orlando (up 24%), Jacksonville (up 7%), San Antonio (up 8%), Seattle (up 7%), and Denver (up 3%).”

“Given no other shocks to the economy or housing market, this emerging wave of distress will likely be the smallest of the three that have materialized in the wake of the Great Recession. However, if dangerous rip currents develop in the housing market (think widespread and sustained home price depreciation) or in the larger economy (think recession), this distressed wave could pack a bigger punch.”

The Rest Of The Story Below:

The Rock Stars Of The Real Estate Recovery And The Emerging Third Wave Of Distress

The Revenge of the Illusionists at the Whim of the Deluded


By Doug “Uncola” Lynn via TheBurningPlatform.com December 12, 2019

“Our impulses are being redirected. We are living in an artificially induced state of consciousness that resembles sleep… The poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are nonexistent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices. Their intention to rule rests with the annihilation of consciousness. We have been lulled into a trance. They have made us indifferent to ourselves…, to others…, we are focused only on our own gain. Please understand they are safe as long as they are not discovered. That is their primary method of survival: To keep us asleep, keep us selfish, keep us sedated.”

– “They Live” (1988), John Carpenter, Universal Pictures, Release date: November 4, 1988

John Carpenter’s cult classic film “They Live” foreshadowed our current time in so many ways. The story told of disguised freaks appearing human while consolidating control over the upper echelons of society. To do this, they lulled the masses to sleep via advertising and materialism. The electronic media acted as a hypnotist’s watch on lethargic plebeians as they were cajoled into a dreamlike state, treated like puppets, and surveilled – by flying drones no less.

Given our current circumstances today the movie would be considered non-fiction; except with the truth-tellers on the still-free internet acting as the good guy media hackers distributing the sunglasses in the film that allowed the freaks to be seen in all their loathsome hideousness.

In “They Live”, the media hackers and sunglasses allowed the public to see behind the curtain, so to speak, which is a phrase taken from another film, “The Wizard of Oz”. It was when Dorothy and friends could see the wizard after a curtain fell and revealing him to be just a man operating technological buttons, levers, and a microphone in order to cast illusions upon the inhabitants of Oz.

And here’s the point of these cinematic parables: The grotesque freaks from “They Live” and the wizard from the “Wizard of Oz” knew what they were doing as they purposefully deceived the citizens in their respective worlds; and the deceiving con artists did this so as to consolidate power and maintain control over whom they perceived to be dupes.

Sound familiar?

Because whenever we hear elected officials, talking heads in the media, and former and current high-ranking officials in the government pontificating regarding Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on FISA abuse as having found no evidence of political bias, we just know it’s a pack of lies.

They know what they are doing. And they know what they have done.

Although Horowitz gave the wizards and freaks the talking points they desired, the report was damning, to say the least, and it validated what we red-pilled denizens on the still-free internet understand happened during the 2016 Presidential Election as well as the ensuing treachery that later became the Mueller investigation.

And just as former FBI Director James Comey took to Twitter and The Washington Post to announce his vindication, both Attorney General Bill Barr and his “hand-picked US Attorney, John Durham, issued statements disagreeing with the IG’s conclusions”:

The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken…

– U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr – December 9, 2019

I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff. However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.

– U.S. Attorney John Durham – December 9, 2019

The Rest of the Story Here

Metro Denver homeowners aren’t in a selling mood as new listings plunge

New listings drop by nearly a third from October

By ALDO SVALDI | asvaldi@denverpost.com | The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: December 4, 2019

If buyers were expecting a bounty of homes to choose from this holiday season, they are going to be sorely disappointed. Sellers are playing the grinch as 2019 draws to a close.

New listings for single-family homes in metro Denver last month plunged by a third from October, dropping to 2,500 from 3,768, according to the latest Market Trends Report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.

New condo listings also fell to 1,151 in November from 1,657in October, a 30.5% decline. And while activity drops with the temperatures, the declines are beyond those typically seen this time of year.

“The seller psyche is shifting,” said Nicole Rueth, producing branch manager with the Fairway Independent Mortgage in Englewood and a member of DMAR’s Market Trends Committee.

Sellers may be hearing a message that now might not be the right time to sell, she said, and to wait until spring, when there will be more listings and activity.

New listings were so paltry that the active inventory of homes and condos that buyers had to choose from at the end of November was down 18.3% month-over-month and 7.2% year over year.

In February, the inventory had surged 52% year-over-year. Now it is shrinking again, which is a troubling development for buyers.

The inventory decline would have been worse if sales also hadn’t taken a big tumble. They dropped 22.8% from October and 5.9% year-over-year.

Although affordability is weighing on buyers, it is hard to know what is keeping sellers on the sidelines. Consumer confidence is holding up, unemployment remains low, layoffs are restrained and wages are rising, Rueth said.